Out new Scandinavian correspondent Bogiman sends an analysis of the current Swedish political crisis, and traces its origins back almost a century to Sweden’s Folkhemmet.
Swedish Democracy in crisis
Sweden has been a byword for a modern, liberal and progressive country since the middle of the last century. The ‘Swedish Model’ welfare state set a glowing example for the rest of Europe to emulate. But behind the facade of this idyllic Scandinavian nation lurks a dark past and the promise of a very bleak future indeed.
In recent years the spotlessly clean stainless steel and glass cities have been slowly transforming into shabby, crime-ridden third world hellholes surrounded by ghettoes where the police, fire brigade and ambulance services dare not go except in force.
Riots, arson and pitched battles with the police have become a feature of Swedish city life and wise Swedes keep well away from the ghettos. The less wise who do venture too close can find themselves beaten and robbed. Women who walk the streets alone or innocently wander into one of the once peaceful parks and gardens that are a feature of many Swedish cities can find themselves violently attacked, beaten and raped. Swedish rape statistics are the worst in Europe and one of the worst in the world.
The transformation that has taken place in Sweden in just a few decades is startling and in order to understand what has gone wrong it is necessary to look into Sweden’s past.
In 1928 the politician and future prime minister Per Albin Hansson introduced the concept of the ‘Folkhemmet’ or ‘Peoples Home’ into Swedish politics. His revolutionary vision was to transform Sweden from a poor and class-ridden country into a model society where all citizens were equal and everyone worked together for the common good. And Hansson’s vision succeeded far beyond his dreams.
Sweden was rapidly transformed into the most modern and progressive country in the world. With everyone, from labourers and cleaning ladies to technicians and managers feeling they were all part of the same great enterprise, poverty was all but banished from Sweden. Free health care for all and a comprehensive benefits system was paid for by rapidly expanding industry as standards of living rocketed.
Sweden truly became the envy of Europe. But there was a dark side to the success story.
Throughout the periods immediately before and after the Second World War Sweden was in the grip of a racial mass hysteria. There was to be no place in the Folkhemmet for inferior races who would pollute the Swedish stock or for degenerates and non-conformists who would upset the harmony. Dark hordes of sub-humans were seen as a threat to the Nordic ideal.
To protect themselves from this threat, the Swedish parliament in 1935, without protest or opposition and with the blessing of the State church, passed laws calling for the sterilisation of inferior racial types, vagabonds, gypsies and the socially undesirable.
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Perhaps even more chilling, if that is possible, ‘showing opposition to authority’ was considered evidence of ‘feeble mindedness’ and could lead directly to the operating table.
The racial purity policy continued until 1976 and during this time the health service apparatus, doctors, nurses and officials, complied without question or complaint in the forced sterilisation of 60,000 people, mostly young women and girls.
Thoughtless submission to authority and a weakening of individual identity was one of the results of having been raised in the Swedish Folkhemmet. It came to be regarded as a virtue. Swedes became terrified of being thought different and their highest ideal was to be like everyone else. If any unfortunate person went against the consensus and questioned or, even worse, opposed authority he was immediately branded a dangerous idiot. He would be shouted down by all and everyone, who by doing this could show their solidarity and identification with the ‘sensible’ majority. What constituted ‘sensible’ could never be questioned, since anyone who did so, by definition, was not ‘sensible.’
This mindless conformity is a very dangerous state of mind and can lead to catastrophic social and political consequences. It is a state of mind that is now leading to the destruction of Sweden as a nation.
After the racial purity sterilisation programme was abandoned in 1976, Sweden, suffering from pangs of guilt, did a 180 degree turn and decided to become the world’s conscience. Sweden was to become the most tolerant country on Earth. The gates were opened wide to third world immigration.
From being one of the most homogenous countries in Europe, Sweden was to become multicultural and the whole nation enthusiastically embraced the new ideology as only Swedes can do.
As immigrants and asylum seekers flooded into the country in massive numbers to enjoy the bonanza of lavish benefits a generous Swedish government showered upon them, the nature of Sweden began to change. Ghettos sprang up around the main cities and parts of Sweden began to be more like Mogadishu, Algiers and Baghdad than Sweden. But this did not deter the Swedes. United behind the new national project, newcomers were enthusiastically welcomed in however large numbers they came.
Dissenting voices were shouted down with howls of ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobe’ even ‘Nazi.’ No criticism was permitted as Swedes competed with each other to show who was the most tolerant and multicultural. In a remarkable display of national debasement and commitment to the new diverse Sweden, the Swedish Parliament even abolished Swedish history.
In a motion to Parliament in 1997 the Swedish Government declared that: ‘Because a large group of people have their origin in another country, the Swedish people do not have a common history. Being a part of modern Sweden and identification with its basic values therefore has more relevance for integration than a common historical origin.’
Inevitably, as the quality of life in Sweden has deteriorated and as its economy and social services groan and creak under the burden of massive immigration, some dissenting voices are beginning to make themselves heard.
But in ultra-conformist Sweden, no dissent is tolerated.
In a climate of repression more reminiscent of the old Eastern European Communist states, the entire Swedish establishment has mobilised to neutralise all critics. Democracy itself is coming under threat in Sweden and free speech is being closed down.
The situation in Sweden has become so intolerable that Sweden’s neighbours are becoming uneasy. Fears have been expressed in Denmark and Norway about the coming Swedish elections, in which the small immigration-critical party, the Sweden Democrats, are facing censorship and exclusion more worthy of a Communist dictatorship than a Scandinavian country.
Representatives of the governing parties in Denmark have said that freedom of speech and the electoral process are under threat in Sweden and have called for election observers to be sent there to ensure that democracy is upheld. In Norway a spokesman for the second largest party in the Norwegian parliament has said that there is something seriously wrong with Swedish law if it supports such censorship.
The Swedish elections to be held on 19-9-2010 are of immense importance not only for Sweden, but for the rest of Europe. The unheard of criticism of a fellow Nordic country by Sweden’s neighbours, together with the Sweden Democrats possibly gaining some seats in Parliament, might just break the hypnotic spell of multiculturalism that has held Sweden in its grip for over two decades. If it does not then Sweden will likely disappear forever as a modern, European nation.
|||Regeringens proposition 1997/98:16 Sverige, framtiden och mångfalden — från invandrarpolitik till integrationspolitik — Author’s translation.|