Friday, August 19, 2005

Sweden: Fascism In Slow Motion

I have previously pointed out that modern-day Sweden is rather fun for conservatives to know about but what about the Sweden of the past? I argue below that the old Swedish model -- the "folkhemmet" (people's home) -- gradually became a version of the Fascist "corporate State" with government, business and labor all intertwined to the detriment of the economy. Sweden has been essentially a one-party State since 1932, with only a very brief interlude in the 1990s. But what exactly the folkhemmet should consist of evolved and developed only very slowly and gradually. Change in Sweden is glacial even in the hands of Leftists so the fundamentally paternalist folkhemmet took many years to develop a sweeping dominance of Swedish life. Bit by bit taxes were raised, business was regulated and taken over and welfare programs were expanded. It was not in fact until the early 1990s that the whole edifice came crashing down. So the concept of a fatherly government was there from the beginning, the one-party State was there and a quiet conviction of Swedish superiority and unique wisdom was also there. Like all Fascist ideologies, however, folkhemmet had its own unique national character. So the Swedish folkhemmet State was welfarist, nationalist, paternalist and essentially all-powerful. Because it used its power very sparingly and cautiously, however, and respected civil liberties, it was undoubtedly the mildest of the Fascist States. And after the war it did as all Leftists did and abandoned overt nationalism -- though a sense of Swedish superiority undoubtedly continued and discreetly made itself apparent from time to time.

11 Comments:

At August 19, 2005 1:59 PM, Blogger Runnymede1215 said...

I haven't really penetrated whether it's reasonable to think of Sweden, my home country, as "fascist" or "fascistoid", even though it certainly is possible to make an argument for it.

Often foreigners as well as swedes are puzzled the fact that swedes are so docile and tolerant of their government, how the social democrats can have such a gigantic influence and long reign of power in our society.

Well swedes aren't exactly known as rebellious, and there might be historical reasons for it.

Unlike most other nations we have never, or maybe almost never, had a really bad government. There certainly haven't been many distinguished ones either, for some reasons we haven't really had any real maniacs, any appalingly incompetent ones, or at least the really bad ones haven't managed to screw things up completely in a dramatical and obvious way.

It might be a lucky coincidence, but I guess historical experiences make a difference for how people relate to their leaders.

The same way of reasoning can also explain the pacifist tendencies in continental Europa, in contrast with the Anglo Saxians, who have rather positive experiences of successfull warfare, where the end results have been rather beneficial for most parties involved.

So, maybe our historical experiences make us a rather obedient people, easy to control. Maybe that's a part of the reason for how one can get the impression that Sweden has fascist tendencies.

 
At August 19, 2005 2:37 PM, Blogger Fjordman said...

I think I would label Sweden as "soft-totalitarian", with its all-pervasive state intruding into every aspect of the citizens' lives. The same goes for Norway, to a lesser extent.

 
At August 19, 2005 3:07 PM, Blogger Runnymede1215 said...

I guess "soft totalitarian" is a rather reasonable term.

It's a bit frightening to live here with the daily experience of listening to media, mainstream intellectualls and ordinary people demanding even more such state intrusions, in order to solve some perceived problem.

People getting by depending on their own efforts and capabilities are unheard of. Everybody and his brother are expecting some kind of "help" from society.

The propaganda pressure is so ubiquitous that I really can't blame people for failing to realize it's there.

It would be such a relief if more people understood that the positive rights of one person demands the initiation of force on another.

Maybe too much to hope for.

FOMI, a swedish forum against islamization.

 
At August 19, 2005 11:49 PM, Blogger Herr Unswedenizer said...

Right,

Per Albin Hansson, who coined the concept of folkhemmet (Volksheimat.) was a very dear pen pal with Mussolini.

Read about it here:
http://www.norskkultur.net/andresmeninger2002/diktasve.htm

It's in Danish:

"Sverige har i øvrigt med stort held undtrykt historien om sine egne relationer til Tyskland under krigen. Et andet eksempel på fortrængning er en doktordisputats fra Lund om folkhemmets landsfader i 1930´erne og 1940´erne, Per Albin Hanssons, stærkt rosende breve til Mussolini om det korporative system i Italien - fundet i italienske arkiver. Den blev totalt ignoreret, da den kom i 1995, siger Friedman"

This article is interesting in many other ways, here is an English traslation of the major part:

Moral Dictatorship
Unfree Speech in Sweden Part I
http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2005/04/moral-dictatorship.html

 
At August 20, 2005 12:14 AM, Blogger Herr Unswedenizer said...

The idea that fascism is right-wing extremism is a novel idea, that the left had to coin after WWII to distance themselves from the losers of the war.

It's extremist, sure. But it's rather center extremism, and with most things in common with the left, except for the symbols.

The roots are with Georges Sorel (general strike etc.). Read history and learn! The separation of socialism and fascism is a European post-WWII "patch". Naturally, unknow to Per Albin Hansson in the 20's and 30's. Equally unregocnized by Peron in Argentine. How can tell if Peron were socialist or fascist or "all of above"? Where he acted he didn't need to distinguish.

But don't socialists and fascists fight each other to death? Yeah sure, quite as shias and sunnis.

Soft-totalitarian is probably a good label for Sweden. When a Dutch fellow asked of whether Sweden is a "liberal" and "conservative" country. I browsed through my mind: among the first with civil unions for gay etc, to puritanistic legaisation against soft drugs and prostitution... I told him that Sweden is neither. Sweden stands for Moralistic Radicalism.

Fascism is very radical indeed, nothing conservative about it, except perhaps that some symbols are shared. Today the symobols in Sweden are reversed (so now we live in MultiCultiHeimat), but under the surface Sweden is the same old Per Albin Hansson corporativistic country. Soon the pendulum will flip back, and very hard, since we are facing Jihad (at that point you can drop the "slow motion" as well as the "soft", Fjordman). And the symbols will be reversed like never before. Don't be surprise to see some real hardcore fascism coming from here. There's no country in the world where people do march as one man, as in Sweden. Today it's the march of the lemmings. But that is bound to change. Either way, I'm out of here.

It could have been a nice country. But it has been destroyed by the chattering class. It's still nice to live here in many ways. But the good things are merely an echo from the past. The future is dark.

 
At August 20, 2005 12:55 AM, Blogger NYgirl said...

During my correspondance with a blogger from Sweden I became aware of this situation.

The idea of self-totalitarianism is frightening. I suppose it is similar to Japan which has had one party rule for more than fifty years also.

 
At August 20, 2005 2:10 AM, Blogger nouille said...

Runnymede1215 said: So, maybe our historical experiences make us a rather obedient people, easy to control. Maybe that's a part of the reason for how one can get the impression that Sweden has fascist tendencies.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

or mamaybe it'the fact that Sweden provided Germany with a major portion of the iron ore needed for weapons and armoured vehicles and ball bearings.

 
At August 20, 2005 2:12 AM, Blogger nouille said...

Just to be clear, I like Sweden, in fact I have very close friends there.

 
At August 21, 2005 12:08 PM, Blogger Runnymede1215 said...

nouille wrote: "or mamaybe it'the fact that Sweden provided Germany with a major portion of the iron ore needed for weapons and armoured vehicles and ball bearings. "

Well, we sure made some good money on that war.

The consensus in Sweden is that we all should take great pride in our WWII neutrality , our preference for peace and prosperity for ourselves to the price of suffering for others lives on.

The fact that our socialist democrats were in effect allied with the national socialists haven't occured much.

Herr unswedenizer, that was an interesting line of thought. For sure the main difference between socialism, fascism, nazism and islam is the object of idolization that everything and everyone has to succumb to.

For the socialist it's the "people", for the fascist it's the "state", for the nazi it's the "race" and for the islamist it's "god".

If one doesn't suit you, pick another.

 
At August 21, 2005 9:16 PM, Blogger nouille said...

For the socialist it's the "people", for the fascist it's the "state", for the nazi it's the "race" and for the islamist it's "god".

If one doesn't suit you, pick another.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
well said!

 
At October 30, 2005 8:15 PM, Blogger SydBarrett said...

Fjordman, why do you use opinions from other people as stuff on your blogg? Do you have the same opinions as this John Ray guy who published this article in other matters? Whatever it's fun to see your defence of John Rays statement since it's not your own originally. As a swede it's a great fun. Maybe I can use this in a so called "norgehistoria"

 

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