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In Praise of Intolerance
Where does one draw the line?
This section of this website is not a political blog. But recent events in Sweden force us to say a word or two. The authors have been roaming the planet for the past fifteen years with little or no time back in the home country. And reports we get tell us Sweden is not the same 'Sweden' anymore. Nothing ever stands still but this is way above and beyond a trivial adage.
Sweden of today is a country in debilitating turmoil. Race riots. Ghetto riots. And this in a country that never before had a ghetto. Emergency services in the worst parts of the southwest cannot go into certain areas without a police escort. Clearly things are out of control.
At the heart of the matter is what the French called 'stealth colonialism' twenty years ago - the result of the earlier French colonialism of northern Africa and thus nothing to do with their policies today. Growing numbers of middle-easterners (yes muslims too) emigrate to other countries where they have absolutely no ambition to 'do in Rome as the Romans'. They build big barricades around their people and their 'culture' and categorically refuse to assimilate.
Swedish immigration law changed in the middle of the 1970s - something most people didn't notice. The new policy did not demand immigrants even learned how to speak, read, and write Swedish to achieve Swedish citizenship. All efforts to help them 'get along' and 'mix in' were abandoned. And there were many pecuniary interests behind this.
The Social Democrats had long been dominant in Swedish politics but by the 1970s started losing their position (and in the recent elections scored the worst result for as long as anyone can remember). Sweden had traditionally been a working class society (with very strong unions) with a very thin layer of ruling elite. The working class withered as the economy evolved. A genuine middle class came about for the first time.
The Social Democrats had also long been able to exploit something called 'kollektivanslutning' which meant that all union members (and in Sweden you joined the union and that was that) were automatically members of the Social Democrats with a portion of the union dues going to them as well. This practice suffered its first setback in 1987 after considerable protests by union members (who still saw a part of their dues going to the party).
A survey conducted by the national union organisation LO showed that only one third of union members in the country sympathised with the Social Democrats. Voting since then has been significant for either the Social Democrats, the leftists, or the greens with over 50% voting for the Social Democrats - but not 100% or close to it.
The Social Democrats desperately needed a new power base.
There is also a strong anti-semitism in Sweden. And one way to harass the jews is to promote their archenemies the arabs. Sweden has for the longest time prioritised arab immigration to the detriment of other folk groups who are often more entitled to 'fair play'. Gypsies can be categorically dismissed where Iranians get admitted in no matter how many falsified documents they come with. And so forth.
These immigrants become the new voter base for the Social Democrats. And this works wonderfully as many of these immigrants achieve Swedish citizenship today without being able to read Swedish newspapers and books, fully understand what's said on the television and radio, or have the faintest clue about Sweden's political parties and what they stand for.
Swedes seldom find anything as idyllic as a small country town with a quaint country church. They're not churchgoers by any means (the country's basically atheist) but they like their buildings and they're suckers for tradition. They like their royal family even though no one can figure out exactly what they're good for. (The royals do engage in a lot of PR for Swedish industry so they are useful, but Sweden is a constitutional monarchy where the royals have no power whatsoever.)
But the Swedes like their traditions. They like their annual holidays - their midsommarafton, första advent, julafton med Kalle Anka, and so forth.
They're not particularly infatuated with Ramadan or minarets. But because the powers that be are no longer interested in integrating foreigners into the society, the foreigners stay in their own areas and promote their own culture - and learn nothing about the culture of the country they've come to and the people who have formally accepted them.
A lot of the immigrant youth would probably like nothing better than to 'break free' - to join the Swedish society, reap the social benefits as well as the economic. But they can't - their culture, as forced on them by older generations, holds them in place and prevents them from escaping. Sweden regularly has 'honour killings' where some of these wonderful people decide their daughters have to be murdered because they associated with Swedes. Is this a sane immigration policy?
People back home - many staunch Social Democrats - have seen this going on for a long time. We've not seen it first hand because we're not in the country. But the facts can't be denied - the riots are there all the time. Gangs of east African youths (muslim) roam the Swedish neighbourhoods looking for Swedish girls to rape and beat up. Yet the mere sight of one of their own will cause them to retreat. This is tantamount to war.
Sweden stands for many wonderful things and Swedish culture is absolutely wonderful. This culture is something that less bigoted people would take to automatically. And the young generations of immigrants do make efforts to break free, despite their knowing that an uncle or a cousin might come looking for them to murder them. That's how badly they want out.
They're also hopelessly indoctrinated people. They've never known democracy before, they have no clue what 'freedom of speech' means, they think policemen are the enemy and not the protectors - these are all things they bring with them in their suitcases. If a country like Sweden wants to arbitrarily accept so many of these people without their having anything resembling 'refugee status' then the powers that be need to take responsibility for helping these people get started. They can't be left on the trash heap right inside the border control. Organised crime, the 'us and them' mentality, the race riots - these are all the result of not so much a failed immigration policy as of a - for all practical purposes - total lack of one. They're treated like cattle.
Right wing organisations have long protested this situation. Some of them can be called 'racists' but certainly not all - some might instead simply see a social issue that needs correcting. The ones who react the strongest are often the ones who haven't climbed too high on the social ladder and end up spending their days in mixed ethnic neighbourhoods where they develop an intolerance for the situation. Swedes don't hate foreigners - but they love Sweden. And one of the things guaranteed to bring tears to a Swede's eyes is hearing an immigrant speak highly of the country.
But the 1.4 million alienated ghetto residents now clogging the social scene aren't ever going to do that. They're on the outside, probably can't remember why they came to Sweden in the first place, would love to get out (but don't know where to go) and above all develop a cynical attitude towards the country, more and more seeing the local populace as 'the enemy', something to be exploited and perhaps even fought against.
Muslim violence is not a novelty. It's been around a long time. It's caused by culture. The only way to fight this violence is to rinse the brainwashed brains and free the people who are shackled by their violent cultures.
Sweden's Sweden Democrats ('sverigedemokraterna') are a party many would like to compare to Adolf Hitler's friends. They seem to be on the far right. And we all know what happens with far right politics. We get world wars. And because the last one culminated in the detonation of nuclear weapons, we must do all in our power to see there's never another one.
Today almost every country in Europe has a far right anti-immigration party. And in every single case in each of these countries, the political establishment bends the rules of democracy to keep them from exercising their voters' mandate.
Sweden's political establishment want to reduce the number of parliamentary committee members so the Sweden Democrats don't get in. And yet the Sweden Democrats did as well or better than any of the minor parties in the current coalition cabinet.
What makes the Sweden Democrats so terrible? Their website was recently hacked. The Swedish security police (SÄPO) kept it down so they could investigate. But it's back up again. This is what their party platform has to say (the short version).
Responsible immigration. We want to protect our cultural traditions, a people's home built on common values and the right of Swedes to develop their culture on their own terms.
- A strong limitation of refugee and blood relative immigration.
- A return to the assimilation policy practiced until the mid-1970s.
- A strongly increased support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
- Stiffer sentences for serious/repeated crimes.
- A new system whereby payments of damages to victims of crime are guaranteed by the government.
- A public register of convicted paedophiles; use of entrapment to catch them.
A Secure and Dignified Retirement
- Strong improvement in the economic conditions for retirees.
- Strong increase in the number of 'secure residences' for retirees.
- Food reforms for retirees.
The longer version of their platform? Try Google Translate.
Above and beyond what the Sweden Democrats say - and there's nothing undemocratic or shocking in anything they have online - one must also take another fundamental political principle into account. To even consider this further principle, one must first divest oneself of all vested interests. Unfortunately, Sweden of today has a 'cultural elite' growing stronger by leaps and bounds, an elite that's actually trying to crush free thinking in this and many other areas of social debate. And that is the principle of tolerance.
In Praise of Intolerance
Everyone knows what tolerance is and what it implies. But an important facet of tolerance is to not tolerate those who aren't tolerant themselves. You can't risk admitting a political party into the democratic process if that party expressly propagates for the end of democracy. This sounds self-evident but for many it is not.
Freedom of speech is not only the freedom to speak and write freely - it's also the freedom to read and listen freely. Democratic societies cannot crush this freedom if they want to keep calling themselves democratic.
Sweden's had 'violent left' for some time - a 'movement' that attacks the websites of opponents, attacks the police and the other parties on the streets of Sweden, that attempts to disrupt meetings with everything from vuvuzelas to outright brutality. And these people are given a 'pass' by the cultural elite. As former liberal politician Johan Ingerö - himself an opponent of the Sweden Democrats - expressed it:
'You might regard a gang of hooligans using vuvuzelas to disrupt a campaign meeting as part of a popular movement but I regard it as childish.'
The Sweden Democrats garnered 6% of the popular vote - as much as any of the three small parties in the incumbent coalition. Yet rather than listen to them and debate their solutions to universally recognised social issues in Sweden, they try to keep it all under the rug as they've done with the current policies that are taking the country to the brink of ruin.
Certainly not everyone will agree with their solutions to the social issues they cite, but honest people will admit the actual issues. And what's important right now is not heckling people with vuvuzelas or hurling stones at them but discussing - the right to speak and the equally important right to listen.
Sweden is in many ways deep in a frightful crisis and now is not the time to rely on political favouritism to squeeze perks out of the system before it totally falls apart. Now is the time for everyone to act conscionably.
Sweden can thank the Sweden Democrats for at least one thing: it's no longer taboo to talk about these issues as has been the case for the past twenty years. Now is the time to start using those hard-won freedoms - now is the time for everyone to come to the aid of their country.