Incline Left!

Just another WordPress.com site

Sweden’s Fascist “Sweden Democrats” Win

Early campaign sticker using the Bevara Sverig...

Image via Wikipedia

I was speaking to a friend of mine on Facebook. She lives in Sweden and was saddened and alarmed by this.

The Eurofascist “Sweden Democrat” Party made some gains in Sunday’s elections riding a wave of anti-immigration sentiment.

AP’s Karl Ritter reports:

The Sweden Democrats, a small nationalist party, entered Parliament for the first time, winning 20 seats to hold the balance of power between the 172 seats captured by the four-party center-right bloc and the 154 seats won by the three-party leftist opposition, according to preliminary returns.

Sweden has a long-standing reputation of tolerance, and had resisted an anti-immigrant  movement that swept through Europe in the 1990s.

I’ve traveled to Sweden once in the late 1980s, and remember being delighted by the openness and warmth of the people.

Recently, Sweden’s European neighbors have witnessed the  rantings of politicians like Dutch anti-Muslim Geert Wilders (who attended that protests against the Manhattan Islamic center) who seems in line with the goals of  Jimmie Akesson of the Sweden Democrats.

This mirrors the current climate in the U.S., where immigrants’ and Muslims share status as boogeymen du jour.

At the heart of at least the immigration issue are real problems the deserve discussion, but how do you discuss things with people who run TV ads like this:

A TV campaign advertisement by the Sweden Democrats showed an elderly Swedish woman trying to reach an emergency brake labeled “Immigration” before a mob of burqa-clad women pushing strollers could get to another brake with a sign saying “Pensions.”

Daniel Poohl, who is the editor of Expo, an anti-racist magazine in Sweden, indicates that racism and fear of foreigners have always been a problem there:

“Racism and xenophobia constitute a serious problem for society,” he said. “Combined with dissatisfaction and frustration, it has now gotten a voice in parliament.”

The article is accompanied by photos of the massive protests throughout Sweden against the Sweden Democrats election to Parliament, but it’s clear that the world is becoming a scarier and sadder place.

Update: Based on a reader’s reply, I corrected the above the reflect that Geert Wilders is, in fact Dutch (which I should have known). The reader also commented that the post presents a caricature image of the Sweden Democrats, which I admit may be true to the extent that I know only what I am able to gleen through the filter of media accounts. If this is so, I apologize. I still feel that nativist movements are sad. There are real problems with immigration, but hyperbole on both sides doesn’t help. To the extent I have been a part of that – I am sorry, and I will try to do better in the future.

-Chris

Advertisements

September 21, 2010 - Posted by | Immigration, International, Politics, Religion, Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. While there are points to criticize about SD and while they do have some shady members, you have been painted a popular caricature. Notably, SD is not fascist. Equally notably, Expo is not merely anti-racist, but far-left, ideologically biased, and very prone to distortions of facts and others opinions.

    Geert Wilders, BTW, is Dutch.

    Comment by michaeleriksson | September 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Michael, Thank you for your comments. I have corrected the post above. I had known Geert Wilders was Dutch, but it slipped my mind when furiously typing my post.
      What else do the Sweden Democrats stand for, and how would you place them on the political spectrum?
      I am always willing to learn, and try to admit my mistakes.
      Thanks again for your remarks!

      Comment by wcward57 | September 23, 2010 | Reply

      • “What else do the Sweden Democrats stand for, and how would you place them on the political spectrum?”

        That is a tricky question, because SD is what I would call “eclectic populists” and the left–right spectrum is a very blunt tool. Broadly speaking, I would describe them as value-conservative nationalists. A US blog I read recently (I do not remember where) saw them as compatible with some-faction-or-other of the GOP. Some more detail is present in an article on the treatment of SD that I wrote a few months ago.

        “I am always willing to learn, and try to admit my mistakes.”

        That I really appreciate. Most people are not—in particular, where politics is concerned.

        Comment by michaeleriksson | September 24, 2010

      • Michael,

        And I appreciate any input you have into the conversation.

        I will read your article when I have more time (2 jobs, and a weekend away coming up) and would like your permission to link to it.

        Any information that can help improve my understanding of all issues is appreciated.

        Thanks again for your input!

        -Chris

        Comment by wcward57 | September 24, 2010


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: