Liberal totalitarianism in a high tax economy
Malmo is Sweden’s third largest city and by far the worst city in Scandinavia when it comes to Muslim aggression. I read recently that an Arab girl interviewed in Malmo said that she liked it so much there, it felt almost like an Arab city. Native Swedes have been moving away from the city for years, turned into refugees in their own country by Jihad, not too different from the non-Muslims in some regions of the Philippines, southern Thailand or Kashmir in India, or for that matter Christian Serbs in Kosovo.
Collapse of society
Sweden was presented during the Cold War as a middle way between capitalism and communism. When this model of a society collapses – and it will collapse, under the combined forces of Islamic Jihad, the European Union, multiculturalism and ideological overstretch – it is thus not just the Swedish state that will collapse but the symbol of Sweden, the showcase of an entire ideological world view.
I wrote two years ago that if the trend is not stopped, the Swedish nation will simply cease to exist in any meaningful way during the first half of this century. The country that gave us Bergman, ABBA and Volvo could become known as the Bosnia of northern Europe, and the ‘Swedish model’ will be one of warning against ideological madness, not one of admiration. I still fear I was right in that assessment.
Jens Orback, Minister for Democracy, Metropolitan Affairs, Integration and Gender Equality from the Social Democratic Party said during a debate on Swedish radio in 2004, ‘We must be open and tolerant towards Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so towards us.’
Orback’s attitude is what follows once you declare that culture is irrelevant. Our culture, even though we try to forget it, is steeped in a Judaeo-Christian morality based on the Golden Rule of reciprocity: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ [Luke 6.31]
Clash of cultures
Muslims, on the other hand, are steeped in an Islamic tradition based on Muslim supremacy. A Swedish man was nearly killed for the crime of wearing clothes with his own national flag while Sweden was participating in the 2006 Football World Cup. Some ‘multicultural youths’ found this to be an intolerable provocation, and the 24-year-old man was run down by a car in Malmo, where Muhammad is becoming the most common name for newborn boys.
The wave of robberies the city of Malmo has witnessed is part of a ‘war against the Swedes’ This is the explanation given by young robbers from immigrant background in interviews with Petra Akesson. ‘When we are in the city and robbing we are waging a war, waging a war against the Swedes’
Exit Folkhemssverige – En samhalls-modells sonderfall (Exit the People’s Home of Sweden – The Downfall of a Model of Society) is a book from 2005 about immigration and the Swedish welfare state model dubbed ‘the people’s home,’ written by Jonathan Friedman, Ingrid Bjork-man, Jan Elfverson and Ake Wedin. ‘The dominant ideology in Sweden, which has been made dominant by powerful methods of silencing and repression, is a totalitarian ideology, where the elites oppose the national aspect of the nation state. The problem is that the ethnic group that are described as Swedes are considered implicitly to be nationalists, and thereby are viewed as racists’
Loss of loyalty
The authors fear that the handling of the immigration policies has seriously eroded democracy because the citizens lose their loyalty towards a state they no longer consider their own. ‘Instead of increasing the active participation of citizens, the government has placed clear restrictions on freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of congregation.’
Mona Sahlin has held various posts in Social Democratic cabinets, among others as Minister for Democracy, Integration and Gender Equality. Sahlin has said that many Swedes are envious of immigrants because they unlike the Swedes, have a culture, a history, something which ties them together.
Notice how Swedish authorities first formally state that Swedes do not have a history or a culture, and then proceed to lament the fact that Swedes do not have a history or a culture. A neat trick. Mona Sahlin was elected leader of the Social Democratic Party, and thus a future contender for the post of Swedish Prime Minister, in 2007.
Why does the government dispense with the social contract and attack its own people like this? Well, for starters, because it can. Sweden is arguably the most politically repressive and totalitarian country in the Western world. It also has the highest tax rates. It has been said jokingly that while other countries are states with armies, Pakistan is an army with a state. Likewise, it could be argued that Sweden started out being a nation with a bureaucracy and ended up being a bureaucracy with a nation.
Anna Ekelund in the newspaper Aftonbladet writes, ‘We are a people who allow ourselves to be insulted by the government on a daily basis. We are not expected to be capable of thinking for ourselves, of deciding what we will read, or managing our own money… Swedes are as co-dependent as an alcoholic’s wife. Yet we do not hurry to the ballot box to remove the prevailing systems. Not because we don’t want to but because too many of us have painted ourselves into their corners’
Moreover, Swedes are keenly aware of the fact that their country is viewed by many outsiders as a ‘model society’ Sweden is a deeply ideological state dedicated to imposing a certain world view on its citizens, and because the state is ideological, dissenters are quite literally treated as enemies of the state.
The then Minister of Education, Mr Ingvar Carlsson, defined the purpose of schooling: ‘It is to produce a well adjusted, good member of society. It teaches people to respect the consensus, and not to sabotage it.’ He also on one occasion said that ‘School is the spearhead of Socialism.’ Mr Carlsson was Swedish Prime Minister as late as 1996.
Mr Carlsson’s mentor in the Social Democratic Party and predecessor as Swedish Prime Minister (1969 to 1986), Mr Olof Palme, openly flaunted his disregard, if not contempt for, Western civilization: ‘The Renaissance so-called? Western culture? What does it mean to us?’ Under the watchful eye of the Labour movement, Swedish education has for decades mounted deliberate attacks on Western culture, making it look suspect.
This is how Mrs Maj Bossom-Nordboe, then departmental chief of the Directorate of Schools, expressed it: ‘It’s useless to build up individuality, because unless people learned to adapt themselves to society, they would be unhappy. Liberty is not emphasized. Instead, we talk about the freedom to give up freedom. The accent is on the social function of children, and I will not deny that we emphasize the collective.’
Roland Huntford, the British historian ended a book written in the Seventies, The New Totalitarians, with a warning that this system of soft-totalitarianism could be exported to other countries. He has been proven right since:
‘The Swedes have demonstrated how present techniques can be applied in ideal conditions. Sweden is a control experiment on an isolated and sterilized subject. Pioneers in the new totalitarianism, the Swedes are a warning of what probably lies in store for the rest of us, unless we take care to resist control and centralization, and unless we remember that politics are not to be delegated, but are the concern of the individual. The new totalitarians, dealing in persuasion and manipulation, must be more efficient than the old, who depended upon force.’
I have called Sweden a soft-totalitarian country, but I am sometimes not so sure about the ‘soft’ part. Opinion polls have revealed that two out of three Swedes doubt whether Islam can be combined with Swedish society, and a significant proportion of the population have for years wanted more limitations on immigration. Yet not one party represented in Parliament is genuinely critical of the multicultural society.
Is it just a coincidence that the one country on the European continent that
has avoided war for the longest period of time, Sweden, is also arguably the one Western nation where political correctness has reached the worst heights? Maybe the prolonged period of peace has created an environment where layers of ideological nonsense have been allowed to pile up for generations without stop.
I do not know what Sweden will look like a generation from now, but I am pretty sure it will not be viewed as a model society. And if the absence of war is one of the causes of its current weakness, I fear that is a problem that will soon be cured.
This article, in a longer form, first appeared on The Brussels Journal,
The final solution?
A short time ago I received an email from Dr Martti Vaahtoranta, leader of the Finnish Lutheran Evangelical Lutheran Institute of Religion – Mannheim (ELRIM), a Lutheran research agency dedicated to mission to Muslims, especially the Turks living in Germany. A few years ago he wrote a great German dissertation on Johann Gerhard and union with Christ.
Now, sadly, he and other confessional Lutherans you may know, such as Dr Anssi Simojoki, are facing troubles from their home church, the Lutheran Church of Finland. Here is my translation from Dr Vaahtorantas German email to me, dated 16 April 2007:
You probably already know this, that the spiral of division in the Finnish Church is spinning ever more rapidly. Investigations are being conducted in two cathedral chapters against two good pastors, just because they have refused to conduct services with female pastors.
A good friend of mine has taken sabbatical from his service as a chaplain in order to avoid this ‘examination and to learn a new occupation (bus driver). One pastor is on an educational sabbatical, but after its end he too will be placed under examination. One brother is even being investigated by the police.
And now it’s my turn, together with brother Dr Simojoki. In February we together sent a letter to the cathedral chapter in Turku with both of its bishops and in this letter protested, admittedly somewhat sharply, the latest developments in the church and especially the treatment of the two aforementioned brothers. (In support of these brothers, approximately ninety pastors published an open letter. In this letter they affirmed that they would act similarly in a similar situation. This letter, however, was very moderate in style, something that can probably not be said for our private letter.)
Last Wednesday the reaction came: official inquiries are now taking place in our cathedral chapter to determine whether we with our letter had perhaps acted contrary to our duties (above all against loyalty toward the bishop or against our pastoral vow) and for this we should be punished.
Then on April 19, 2007, this email came:
I haven’t been able to write you a proper report on the situation with us in Finland. Of course, this actually would be impossible to do, since almost every day new, terrible things happen.
Today it has gone so far that the police – yes really, the police – are officially investigating a few pastors and a lay-woman due to a possible infringement of the Equal Treatment Law. A missionary from the Finnish Lutheran Gospel Society, who is confessional and conservative, had been invited to preach at a mission festival which also was the regular worship service of the congregation. A lady from the congregation, who had organized this service, had long before made sure that no female pastor was scheduled for the aforementioned Sunday.
Shortly before the beginning of the service, a female pastor nevertheless appears in the sacristy and says that she was supposed to help in the distribution of the Lords Supper. To this, the missionary who had been invited to serve as preacher said that this would be against his convictions, but that he could get out of the way. After that, however, the female pastor said that she had a lot to do anyway, and left.
And now this encounter is being investigated as a possible crime. The maximum penalty for this is a half-year in prison.
These developments should be made public internationally and ecumenically. Yet I myself have almost spent all my energy. I don’t know how to go forward. Perhaps someone else in Finland will take over responsibility for this.
As you can see, our fellow Christians in Finland need our prayers.
Erikk Okkels is a pastor of the Church of Denmark