Post by Dr. Jai Maharaj
Sweden: 71-year-old man prosecuted for "hate speech" for
Dhanyavaad for your post, fanabba jee!
Jai Maharaj, Jyotishi
From 1928 to 1991, Sweden was ruled by a single political party—the Social Democrats—for all but six years. This single-party rule presided over a corporatist state that was extremely friendly to large corporations, while building a cradle-to-grave welfare system on the back of very high levels of taxation. This stifled small business and entrepreneurship, but that mattered little as long as big industry and government provided sufficient employment for the population.
The Social Democratic “Swedish model” became in effect a hegemonic state ideology: a third, allegedly morally superior path in opposition to both Soviet-style communism and American-style capitalism. With this came a public rejection of all political or military alliances with a view to maintaining neutrality in wartime. In private, Sweden’s Social Democrats—who in the interwar period had taken a clear stance against communism—threw their lot in with the West, including far-reaching covert defense planning with NATO. But only a select few in the country’s military and political leadership knew this; the population at large, and the left-wing grassroots, did not.
Following the events of 1968, the Swedish Left became mesmerized by an increasingly intense Left-radical ideology that embraced Third World leftist revolutionaries, and identified the United States, NATO, and Israel as the enemy. During the 1970s, this powerful leftist wave took over much of the Social Democrat Party, the bureaucracy, and even the Lutheran State Church. Cooler heads ensured they never gained influence over finance and the economy, but they became dominant in foreign policy and particularly foreign assistance. During the long tenure of the charismatic Olof Palme, Sweden’s foreign policy became increasingly focused on supporting leftist causes. The growing aid budget largely went toward left-wing regimes, in particular the “African socialism” experiment in Tanzania, for which Sweden provided a whopping US$7 billion. As the late Per Ahlmark has documented, the Swedish Left fawned over all sorts of left-wing demagogues and tyrants. While Palme compared American bombings in Vietnam to Nazi Germany, during the 1970s and 1980s his government championed left-wing “liberation movements” across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. During a visit to Cuba in 1975 Palme hailed Castro’s revolution; in 1984, he was the first European leader to visit Nicaragua’s Sandinistas.
The extent and depth of the ideological zeal that gripped Sweden for a generation can hardly be overstated. In the 1970s, many young leftists like Birgitta Dahl publicly defended Cambodia’s genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, and rejected allegations of their mass murder as “lies.” Dahl rose to become Speaker of Parliament in 1994, without having to recant. Pierre Schori, a life-long advocate for communist dictators like Castro and the Sandinistas, was elevated to Deputy Foreign Minister and then Development Minister. Crucially, whereas Swedish Social Democrats had been ardent supporters of Israel in the past, in the 1970s they turned against Israel and embraced Yasser Arafat long before he publicly renounced terrorism.
The end of the Cold War only temporarily slowed this left-wing juggernaut. The Swedish Left quickly reinvented itself by embracing the postmodern causes of the New Left and repackaging itself accordingly. It now presented itself as a world champion of globalism. It had embraced “New Left” issues such as feminism and environmentalism already in the 1970s, but now expanded and fortified them with postmodern and postcolonial theorizing. At home, the Social Democrats determined that Sweden suffered from “structural discrimination,” was essentially a racist society suffused with deeply ingrained prejudices against “the other,” and had to be transformed from above by policies that counteracted all real or supposed manifestations of “white privilege.” A growing element was climate alarmism: Hardly a day goes by without dire warnings of impending doom unless Swedes, who are responsible for about 0.2 percent of world carbon emissions, radically change their lifestyle.
The prevailing ideology also led Sweden to adopt one of the world’s most liberal immigration policies. The number of people granted residence permits grew exponentially, the yearly average climbing from 20,000 a year in the 1980s to 40,000 in the 1990s and 70,000 in the 2000s. Between 2010 and 2015, the average hit 110,000: more than 1 percent of the country’s population each year, exceeding the peak of U.S. immigration over a century ago. Between 1995 and 2017, Sweden took in more than 1.8 million people. Meanwhile, the country’s leftist establishment in government and media branded as “racist” anyone daring to use the term “volumes” when speaking of immigration policy. The Left’s media dominance is palpable: Polls have showed that over half of print journalists, and two thirds of those in state TV and radio, sympathize with the Green or Left parties, which have never achieved a combined vote of more than 16 percent.
While the globalist agenda was driven by the Left, the center-right gradually accommodated to its rhetoric. Indeed, Fredrik Reinfeldt, who took over as leader of the supposedly conservative Moderate Party in 2003, gained power in 2006 largely be realigning the party with prevailing dogma. He slashed defense budgets and labeled national defense a “special interest,” while memorably stating that “only barbarism is genuinely Swedish. All development has come from abroad.” When the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats were first elected to parliament in 2010, Reinfeldt reacted by concluding an immigration pact with the Green Party to further liberalize immigration. His explicit purpose was to show that a vote for the Sweden Democrats would not cause him to change policies.
Key to the dominant leftist dogma has been to divide people into oppressor and oppressed groups. In the spirit of this “intersectionality,” the Swedish Left at home and abroad embraced Islamists because they claim to represent oppressed Muslims. The driving force has been the Social Democrats’ influential religious organization, which in a formal agreement with the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Swedish Muslim Council pledged to secure political representation for Swedish Muslims—or rather, their self-proclaimed representatives. In 2013, the Social Democrats elected Omar Mustafa, leader of the Brotherhood-aligned Islamic Association in Sweden, to its party board—only to backtrack following reports of his connections to anti-Semitic and anti-gay statements. The Green Party has similarly been embroiled in Islamists scandals: In 2016, Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan was forced to resign over connections to Turkish far Right and Islamists, and a candidate to the party board was forced to withdraw after his refusal to shake women’s hands caused a furor.
The confusion of the Swedish Left as its simultaneous embrace of feminism and Islamism clashed with one another would be amusing if the consequences were not so dire. Left-wing anti-Semitism has grown rapidly in the country, often bolstered by immigrants from the Middle East. The Swedish Left has been remarkably reluctant to deal with the problem in its own ranks. And in foreign policy, this romance with Islamism helps explain the harshly anti-Israel positions that have characterized Swedish foreign policy in recent years.