The Art of Fooling the Swedish People

I have written previously about the original Swedish welfare state, Folkhemmet, which had its heyday in the early-to-mid 20th century. The “Swedish model” was not replicable in most other societies, because it relied on a peculiarly Swedish set of cultural virtues: industriousness, thrift, honesty, intelligence, integrity, and a general trust in one’s fellow man.

For several decades the system worked well, until the modern, cynical managerial state — which is not at all a Swedish concept — took over. The new management brought in hundreds of thousands of New Swedes, who do not as a rule possess the same virtues that made Folkhemmet possible. And so we have the violent, degraded society of Modern Multicultural Sweden.

Errbe, a regular Swedish reader, contributes the guest-essay below about what Sweden once was, and what it has now become, based on his more than fifty years of direct experience.

Distinguish between Swedish politicians and Swedish citizens

by Errbe

I want to defend the Swedes, that is, Swedish citizens. I have travelled in many countries and dare say that the average Swede is one of the least xenophobic members of humanity. He is also one of the most trusting creatures on earth. He just cannot comprehend the depth of the betrayal our Politically Correct politicians are committing.

For hundreds of years the Swede could trust the authorities to be reasonably fair and sensible. In the first half of the last century the value of democracy was preached by authorities and studied by responsible citizens in voluntary circles, often organized by unions. I attended such studies in high school. Candidates for political posts were chosen from among citizens who had performed well in some position within unions, several levels of business, farming, bureaucracy, judiciary, media, teaching, etc.

You may say that the value of decency was certified 1938 in the so-called “Saltsjöbadsavtalet”, a contract between the confederations of trade unions, LO, and of employers, SAF, respectively. This was the foundation of the original “Swedish Model”, a concept which lately has been widely corrupted.

Its basis was decency, voluntary agreements, compromise and adherence to agreed-upon procedures for conflict. These should be peaceful. The basic rule was that the employer had the authority to allocate work to employees and to direct its implementation as well as that of hiring and firing. The unions guaranteed workplace peace, no strikes during the contract period, and could negotiate pay, work safety and other conditions.

The overriding agreement was that neither party would initiate legislation that would restrict the power of the other party. This was broken in the ’70s, when the Social Democrats legislated “co-determination” with union members on company boards and much more. That means: When you hear the “Swedish Model” nowadays, it refers to the corrupted version, the one that the last thirty years have proven does not work.

The 1938 spirit of cooperation prevailed for twenty years, during which the standard of living, work conditions and law and order developed favorably. After the war, which Sweden escaped unscathed, the average worker achieved what he had dreamed of: a safe job, good lodging, a car and paid holidays.

In 1960 I had an appointment with the director of production at a factory of some 500 employees. My appointment was 09.00, but his secretary excused him, because he was engaged in “negotiations” with the head of the trade union and such matters always had priority. The director could not receive me until 10.30. When entering I remarked that his negotiation must have been tough, as it lasted so long. It had begun at 08.00. The director answered, “No, it was finished in less than ten minutes. He had a hopeless case. He had requested full pay for a worker who lets his automatic lathe continue to produce pieces with faulty tolerances. The very job of the worker is to adjust the tools to ensure that only good pieces are produced. And that is clearly covered in the collective union contract for our industry.”

“So, what did you do during the two hours I was waiting?” I asked.

“Nothing. You see, the employer side cannot break up a negotiation session. He had nothing more to say, so we just kept staring at each other.”

“But you had a cup of coffee with a bun,” I assumed.

“No absolutely not. I don’t want such a session to last an unnecessarily long time. No small talk. He had nothing to say and I did not need to answer. We sat silent for two and a quarter hours.”

“That is a bit peculiar,” I said with an unspoken question mark. He then explained:

“You see, we have been treating our employees very well for more than a decade. The ordinary worker has a family with kids, a house with a lawn, a car and some hobbies. He does not have much interest in late evening meetings with the union and all the detailed technicalities they want to discuss. So nobody wants to be chairman of the union except the young vociferous communist, whom we employed a year and a half ago. He was chosen chairman. And he needs to make sure he is noted. He continually comes with ridiculous requests. He cannot go back to the floor after ten minutes. He needs to create the impression that he was fighting incessantly for the good of his fellows for more than two hours.”

This was just an amusing anecdote until I learned of another negotiation, described in a book of 1988 by Ian Wachtmeister, who was manager of a large steel mill in Oxelösund. After an extensive expansion of the plant, there were long rounds of negotiation with the professional negotiators, ombudsmen, of the trade union in 1974. There were many new conditions to agree on. However, the management was modern and anxious to create a positive work climate, because they considered this to be a factor in efficiency. Thus the ombudsmen found little to argue about, but still they dragged on with long discussions. Ultimately a collective contract was agreed. Both negotiation teams celebrated this together with a dinner at a fine restaurant.

Good food, some drink and pleasant conversation made for a familiar atmosphere, which two young star ombudsmen used to create better cooperation with the management. They explained how the new times would make unions into power centers, which every management would need to take into account. They advised how to achieve smoother negotiations:

“You should not make public such generous terms as you offered initially. You are too simplistic. In public you should be mean and scold us for being unreasonable. After the talks, we then can go to our members and explain which important gains we succeeded in making for them. That would strengthen our position so we much easier can agree to some of your other proposals. You can’t tell the same story in public and in the talks. We can’t go back and say that the talks were friendly and we all had the same ideas. You are meant to be our adversaries.”

The two ombudsmen were Allan Larsson and Stig Malm. The former advanced to assume offices in government, the EU and the UN. He became finance minister and later president of the state television company SVT. Malm served as president of the confederation of unions, LO, 1983-1993, a position more important than that of a minister, because LO was, and is, the prime financier of the Social Democrat party.

The two represented the politicians of Olof Palme’s generation. They believed “everything is politics”, and they made it so. Politics became the art of fooling people into believing that the politicians were doing something good for the citizens. And note: the citizens of the world.

When everything is politics, this becomes so complicated with so many real and imagined technicalities, that sensible people cannot stand dealing with it. People with real jobs cannot spend their time like that. Hence in the youth section of every party, those youngsters are selected who can stand the conditions and, if they prove talented in intrigue and machination, they advance to become candidates for political offices. Since the ’40s, only one of our prime ministers was not an overage youth politician who had not had a job outside politics.

This has developed into a class of professional politicians, whose competence has been sliding far below the national average. We have gotten a system that entrusts the most important decisions to a group of people with particularly low competence. A particularly eager group are the “do-gooders” who want to save the whole world from any evils with the money of the taxpayers.

The education boom produced hordes of academics from universities that had been taken over by left-wingers. In journalism college they were full-fledged communists. My theory is that people to the left are verbal talents, who lack understanding of logic and natural sciences. Consequently they invaded teaching, the libraries, the media, the judiciary, fine arts, the state church and bureaucracies. And politics.

In the process taxes have come to be funding the main TV and radio channels, some newspapers, “cultural media”, NGOs and a lot of voluntary organizations of immigrants. Practically all of these are preaching what is “Politically Correct”. Alert citizens have come to realize that almost everything “official” is twisted or a sheer lie. This goes for climate, gender, crime, unemployment and immigration. The problems of the latter are constantly referred to xenophobia, främlingsfientlighet, among us “pure Swedes”.

Our own representatives are blaming us for xenophobia, although we are some of the peoples most open to foreigners provided they are decent and willing to blend in. But our naïve “saviours of the world” have created a sloppy system that lets in any primitive or criminal group of foreigners who are incompatible with our society. Many are abusing our generosity. This infuriates any normal person, but the authorities do not take any appropriate action.

What does exist, naturally, is some prudence in contacts with foreigners. Obviously an employer or landlord feels it is less risky to have business with somebody with a Swedish name than somebody with an Arabic name. He knows that among the latter our system has let in totally incompatible people, whom he wants to avoid. That is not xenophobia!

Trust is a beautiful trait in the Swedish national character. The citizen has trusted his political party. That has been particularly clear for those voting for the Social Democrat caretaker state. Generation after generation has voted for the party with no consideration for the dramatic changes in the kind of people that are running the show. To some degree the same is true for the other old parties, “the seven sisters”. Those kinds of people are in control of almost all the information that reaches the trusting citizens.

We have now a professional class of politicians, of which many consider their work so important that they ought to have salaries, fringe benefits and pensions equal to that of presidents of global concerns. As they have no work experience and know nothing, they need to travel the world to learn at our cost. Our political representatives have become our adversaries in economic matters.

I see no other way to correct the situation than to vote for a new party, the Sweden Democrats. That insight has not yet hit sufficiently many to achieve a necessary change.

To conclude: Swedes are as good-natured as ever, but we have been fooled into voting for stupid politicians. Apparently the same goes for some other countries as well.

18 thoughts on “The Art of Fooling the Swedish People

  1. Errbe, for the informative article–Mange tusen tak! (Min Mor, Gud hville henne, var en Norske Jente). Forgive my bad spelling and grammar. Picked up only a little of Mama’s language.

  2. “I want to defend the Swedes, that is, Swedish citizens. I have travelled in many countries and dare say that the average Swede is one of the least xenophobic members of humanity. He is also one of the most trusting creatures on earth. He just cannot comprehend the depth of the betrayal our Politically Correct politicians are committing.”

    This is actually the history of the Dodo and the story of its extinction pretty much to the letter. I shall read to the end and see if he mentions this.

    • Eeyore, we also have a mythic character, from the pen of Al Capp – the shmoo…he wasn’t Jewish, but that word has borrowed from the Yiddish so that one almost sees it before Capp draws it…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shmoo

      Look at etymology and then its subsequent use in other fields.

      So the modern ethnic Swede is a shmoo. So are a lot of us in the West.

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  4. This is very well done, and it rightly notes that the inherent sense trust that Scandinavians have developed through the centuries is being used against them. The only disagreement is the use of the word “stupid” and “incompetent”. I hold that the leaders are neither and that referring to them as such gives them more credibility than they deserve. There is a crucial difference in misfeasance and malfeasance. The former can be attributed to- as we Marines say, “good initiative, [but] bad judgement”, but the latter indicates that the results that we see are the ones that were intended to happen from the beginning. They know fully well what they are doing.

      • The old Norse genes are still in there somewhere, no matter how sleepy they appear to be at the moment. A lot died out during the black plague, some of them settled in territories now known as Iceland, Greenland, Ireland, England, Scotland, Normandy, Russia, USA and many other places. The Norse homeland may end up dry one day, but I do not think we are there yet.

  5. I’m not so sure about that. Their squadies are quite aware that they are gonna have to clean house sooner or later.

    One of the things that I find reassuring is that European military units are still bastions of ethnic pride. The problem is the promise of a pension.

    • You nailed the problem with the pension sword hanging over their heads. A movement would have to have as a key part of its platform some guarantee for their service. I would be More than happy with half of it to have the chance.

  6. As a Swede in a far away exile, I can only agree with this very well written essay by Errbe. Though, I have a few things to add.

    From the 1st of January 1964, the Swedish society was reorganized into fewer units. Before, the country had been divided in something like “parishes”. The highest official in the parish was the “landsfiskal” – my father was one of them. As you might guess from the title, he had the fiscal responsibility in the parish. His other functions were chief of the police and prosecutor at the local Parish Court.

    The landsfiskals were no academics. All of them started as patrolling police officers somewhere in the country, and it took them more than 15 years to reach their positions.

    The highest authority in the parishes were held by the chiefs of the parish courts. Their title was “Häradshövding” – something like “Tribe Cheif of the Parish”. Their new title was “lagman” (= law man), and they all refused to change title!

    Those blokes had a deep and holistic understanding of the society. As long as they were in charge, the new organisation functioned. But as the years passed by in the 70ies, you saw fewer and fewer Tribe Chiefs leading the courts, and the landsfiskals were replaced by academics with little life experience (Guys like me called them “Red Wine Socialists.”. But they got in charge, and some of them are still in charge.).

    The Police, the Prosecutors, The Courts and the Enforcement Districts got more and more separated and isolated from one another.

    To my father, it would have been unthinkable not to respect a judgement by the Court he might not agreed with. For example, today, contempt of the Court, violating the Privacy of home, breaking the Archive Law etc. are natural daily routines of the Swedish Enforcement Districts (If you have any doubts – please check my website thecart.se. I can imagine my father revolving in his grave.).

    I am a M.Sc. in Building Management. The big sharks in the Building Sector have never been any “nice guys” anywhere in the world. But the EU rules of procuring has ruined sector after sector.

    For example – well established experience figures tells you what a building project should cost +/- 5 procent. The procures don’t have to accept “unreasonably low bids”. But that takes argumenting and fighting. And they don’t, which means that the criminal actors have taken over at the same time as the serious actors have been killed.

    I agree with Errbe that trust and generosity for many years was the trademark of the “average” Swede. Sadly, I must claim that this hasn’t been the case for many years. The other day I called them “pirayal”.

  7. The story of the rise to mediocrity.

    But we are missing from this, the cultural revolution of Marx et all. The sexual love liberation of the 1960s, spawning the angry white bitch movement, then the any non- white power is beautiful movement, then the any non-heterosexual movement and now the rapist men of peace movement. Something about when a white man became a pig all hell broke free, and the feminized, those created by the female form, to lust or hate, ruled. Deceit and deception became their lifeforce. Character, they proudly declared, did not count.

    Just sayin’, someone forgot to mention the war.

    So surely any child of Socialism could not be unscathed, without so many resentments and injustices to right, to then have goodwill towards others and applaud as theirs alone to enjoy? Envy is in the heart of all those who do not have one.

  8. I found it interesting that your politicians are generated through the unions. I tried to think of any president of the US that was a notable former union member and I actually came up with one. Ronald Reagan was pres. of the screen actors guild before becoming gov. of CA and then president of the US. Other than that I can’t think of any notable politician that was a former union official.
    Why do you suppose your political process evolved in that way?

  9. Which Western country is dumber than all the others together?
    Your guess!

    What if there will come 20 million Syrians to Sweden? The Migration Board now receives up to 2,000 persons a week applying for asylum in New Sweden, id est in reallity, Swedish citizenship. Some swedish political idiot has already proposed a repeat of the “white busses from Buchenwald” campaign to fetch
    most of the syrian population.

    Most probably the above number will increase exponentially. Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has called dumb Sweden a “humanitarian superpower”, Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag passionately explains to ‘die dummen Schweden’ that “it’s not about which Sweden we want”, the Swedish EU commissioner Cecilia Malmström has demanded that the rest of the EU follows the Swedish example with wide open doors; love thy stranger for (s)he is a friend you have not yet met!

    Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt insinuates that immigration may cost whatever it will cost. The Centrist Annie Loof will open up for free immigration to achieve the wanted “40 million settlers” and the Green Party will not at all be affected by ‘border thinking’.

    The list is long of local politicians who regardless of consequences follow the party whips in the creation of total nationwide diversity in a very short time. Any thorough analysis of the impact of this never before seen incredible generosity and of the social changes is not carried out neither at national nor local level. Such irresponsible behavior of policymakers against their own people has not happened in modern times.

    Sweden now imports absolutely most immigrants per capita compared to any other country in the western world . No other country neighter can nor or wish to get close to Sweden’s intake!

    In addition, there is an ongoing very rapid Islamization of the country.

  10. Sweden is starting to resemble an international airport waiting room there people from different cultures are coming to Sweden to be fed and accommodated and they are also demanding more. They are even sitting in the Swedish government. All these people from different cultures call themselves Swedes. The next day they can go back to their homeland for holidays, even though may have come to Sweden to seek asylum, or to fight for their Islamic califat.

    This is a crazy situation that most Swedes are allowing to happen and the Swedes are even willing to give up their own culture and history in order to accommodate the new colonialists. You can even hear people ask political leaders if there is any such thing as ethnic Swedes living in Sweden. How crazy can they be. I sincerely believe that the Swedish people are not only brainwashed, they have also fallen ill with an illness that infected all the Germanic peoples.

    Swedes who have not been fooled by the politically correct propaganda and care about their homeland are hunted down and persecuted. I really and sincerely hope that the Swedes wake up before they have lost everything, because Sweden was a really great country once.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF-WqWRyPNE

  11. I think that the success of the original Swedish model largely depended on the fact that Swedish – which back in the 1930s was religiously culturally quite homogenous – subscribed on the whole to traditional Christian values. Being Lutherans, Swedes attached a lot of importance to personal morality, emphasising work ethics and financial probity. Even though religious faith as such was already weakened, moral teachings of the Lutheran Church formed the basis of the nation’s ethical attitudes.

    But increasing deChristianisation resulted in a shift of values. The Swedish Church itself has so far departed from basic tenets of Christianity that it has replaced the Gospels with a vague system of politically correct and purely secular ideas. Its new head does not actually believe that ‘Christ gives a better idea of God than Mohammad’.

    Swedish society at large seems to consider Christianity anachronistic and irrelevant. Lutheran values have been replaced by a vague system of secular ones. Political correctness, multiculturalism, and Islamophilia seem to be central to this system. This system is highly illogical, for it also strives to promote feminism, gay rights and, more broadly, a right to sexual promiscuity, which are hardly compatible with Islam and most other traditional religion (just try to celebrate a gay marriage in a Hindoo village!)

    In fact, this new ideology, dominant in Sweden, like in the rest of Western Europe, has set itself the goal of giving everyone a right to everything anywhere and at any given moment. Of course, this goal is impossible to achieve, especially if you have a large section of population that wants to live by the laws of sharia.

    This utopian ideology has led to several dangerous resuls. Indigenous Swedes – like other Europeans – have become somewhat infantile and naive. Spoiled by their high living standards and all sorts of government assistance, they take their comfortable lifestyles for granted and tend to regard the world as a big safe playground full of nice kids. Their morals grow increasingly lax, their readiness to work hard and endure hardship for a higher goal decreases from one generation to the next. So does their honesty. The astounding laxity of sexual morals leads to a catastrophically low birthrate, population ageing and, probably, to depopulation in foreseeable future. Their mildness and niceness to foreigners puts them in a weak position vis-à-vis people who belong to more aggressive and self-asserting cultures. And, what is most important, their lack of religious ideal makes many of them feel that their lives are meaningless. And who wants to defend a meaningless life?

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  13. A very good mid-point book is – use Google translate if your Swedish is limited – Lortsverige. If you search for it on Google you find the whole book. It tells about Sweden in 1938 in a very realistic way.
    http://runeberg.org/lortsvrg/

    Every immigrant here to Sweden should read it and find out we did not get prosperity automatically! Being at retirement age, I do speculate about moving to the home country of my Asian wife. Not totally insane, her place.

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