Smearing the Sweden Democrats
From the desk of Thomas F. Bertonneau on Mon, 2010-02-22 07:31
a page from Soviet internal policy of the Leonid Brezhnev era, Dagens
Nyheter, through Böhm’s poorly written and
incompetently reasoned article, accuses the membership of the Sweden Democrat
Party of suffering from mental disease. In daring to point out the culturally
suicidal implications of virtually unrestricted immigration from the Magreb,
East Africa, and other parts of the Muslim world – and in dissenting from the
official doctrine that no culture, not even one’s own, should be preferred over
another – the Sweden Democrats have thus made themselves a lightning rod for
conformist ire in one of modern Europe’s most vehemently conformist and
methodically totalitarian nations.
one dissented from orthodoxy in such a context, then it would follow, based on
politically correct premises, that one was crazy, a potentially contagious
pest-carrier of unsanctioned judgments. Such people ought to be cast out or at
least safely isolated from the rest of society. That is the intention of Böhm’s
rhetoric. (For reference, Böhm’s article is here
and the website of the Sweden Democrat Party is here.)
Böhm’s article – “The Sweden Democrat Party is an
Orthodox Minority Group” – offers itself then as a representative specimen of
contemporary Leftwing or “Gnostic” bigotry. An examination of its assumptions,
errors, rhetorical nastiness, and outright mendacity will therefore be
instructive. First, however, a few words should be devoted to the object of
Böhm’s censure, the Sweden Democrat Party. Having something in common with
Denmark’s Folkepartie and again with Belgium’s Vlaams Belang, the Sweden Democrat Party, or “Sweden Democrats” (Sverigedemokrater), came into being, in the late 1980s, in response to
an acute perception among attentive individuals that the Swedish state had
ceased to represent or even adequately to serve the Swedish people. Rampant
bureaucracy, administered by appointed rather than elected personnel, had
become an autonomous power within the state. Ideologues ensconced as
bureaucrats set out dictatorially to reshape society according to an antinomian
vision inimical, not only to custom and tradition, which would be bad enough,
but to the basic legal freedoms long taken for granted by Swedes, such as the
freedom of speech.
to the Party website, the Sweden Democrats say, “We are nationalist democrats
and dissociate ourselves from all forms of totalitarianism and racism.”
Furthermore: “Our party [has] declared that we consider the UN universal
declaration on human rights as fundamental for our politics.” Among the several
Party platform-planks, one finds commitments to shrink welfare and lower taxes,
to encourage stable families and promote an above-replacement birthrate for
Swedes, and “to stop the development of a multicultural society.”
Sweden Democrats seem to have taken a page from James Madison and Thomas
Jefferson: “The vision of the Sweden Democrats is a well-functioning
democratically-anchored constitutional polity within which all citizens are
equal before the law.”
Twenty-five years of relentless
social restructuring by Stockholm’s bureaucratic elites have validated the
founding suspicions of the Sweden Democrats. Social pathologies traceable to
immigrant enclaves afflict Stockholm, Malmö, and Gothenburg; Swedes who
formerly never thought about such things must now take rape and assault into
consideration as facts of their social existence. While the Sweden Democrat
Party remains small, it has also proven its tenacity: “Early on in 2002 [the
Sweden Democrat Party] won its first seat in Riksdagen [the Parliament]. Sten
Andersson, member of the Riksdag for [the Moderate Party] since 1983, decided
to join [the Sweden Democrats]. Sten Andersson has for many years been known to
be the only member of Riksdag who questions the immigration policies of the
government.” Sven-Olle Olsson, a popular former mayor of Sjöbo, followed
Andersson into the Riksdag. “Sven-Olle Olsson won national fame in the late
eighties for calling a local referendum on the question of signing a contract
with the national agency of immigration, providing for housing and social
benefits for a number of third world immigrants. The contract was then rejected
with a substantial margin by the voters.”
begins his cynical mistreatment of the Sweden Democrats by invoking a bizarre
misrepresentation of the Swedish nation – or perhaps it is the Swedish people,
as Böhm uses key terms with the semantic slipperiness characteristic of men and
women whose ideological convictions put them at odds with the structure of
reality: “People in Sweden consist of heterogeneous groups under a common
Swedish umbrella – city dwellers, country folk, academics, workers, immigrants,
their descendants, those on sick leave, single people, cohabiters, addicts,
[and] people with dietary needs [näringsidkare].
I was reminded, by Böhm’s taxonomy, of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges,
who in one of his stories purports to parody a Chinese encyclopedia. Borges’
fanciful reference book divides the animal kingdom into “those that belong to
the emperor, embalmed ones, those that are trained, suckling pigs, mermaids
[and, among others] those that from a long way off look like flies.” One might
say that, from a long way off, Böhm’s categories look like an orderly
not in close-up… Böhm’s opening statement in fact disintegrates on examination
right down to the level of its basic grammar. Consider the phrase, “people in
Sweden consist of” (“Människor i Sverige består av”): Theologically, one might say that a human being consists of a body and a soul; or
chemically, that it consists of several common mineral-compounds and a few
quarts of water; or philosophically one might say that the human being,
essentially considered, consists of
rationality on the one hand and mortality on the other. But to say, as Böhm
does, that, “people… consist of,” followed by his lunatic taxonomy, makes no
sense. (Never mind the lunatic taxonomy just yet – we shall come to it.) Böhm’s
“people” is a plural of person,
and no person “consists of” the
things that Böhm names.
is not difficult to divine the origin of the odd construction: Böhm will under
no circumstance iterate the phrase, the Swedish people, because doing so would confirm the existence of the
thing that he wants to deny. The utterance “people in Sweden,” a
circumlocution, thus reveals Böhm obeying his own taboo on certain verbal anathemas. That neurosis-like
avoidance is characteristic of Left-liberal thinking, which strongly resembles
primitive thinking. I shall presently come to other instances of the same
As for the set of component-types
into whom “people in Sweden” may, according to Böhm, be subdivided: it is
either a piece of masterful, deliberate nonsense intended to stultify readers
into delinquency of their critical acumen or it is the second reality – the
ideological delusion – of a social worker and committed Left-liberal who has
completely fused with his job and his party-doctrine. The dichotomy of “city
dwellers and country folk” tells us nothing specifically about Swedes. Town and country are a traditional
polarity in every nation. The pairing of “academics and workers” is reminiscent
of Marxist discourse and again entails no specifically Swedish implication. Notice that Böhm’s list
has extended itself thus far by pairs. To be consistent with the pattern, the
next pair must link “immigrants” with “their descendants.”
But since when have Swedes – the inhabitants of the Eastern
half of the Scandinavian Peninsula since the Fifth Century AD at the latest and
probably from much earlier – been classifiable as “immigrants”? During the mid-Twentieth
Century, refugees from Stalin and Hitler came to Sweden, but they were few in
number and swiftly assimilated. Sweden, like Norway, has been one of the most
demographically stable regions of Europe.
This leaves “those on sick leave,
single people, cohabiters, addicts, [and] people with dietary needs [näringsidkare].” While “single
people” and “cohabiters” form a complement, “those on sick leave,” “addicts,”
and “people with dietary needs” are anomalous and nonsensical. One remarks
again the tendency to substitute awkward politically correct terms for
customary usages. Customarily, one speaks of single people and married
couples; the term “cohabiters” blends away any specificity and could frankly
apply to a man, his Martian friend, and their monkey. “Those on sick leave,”
“addicts,” and “people with dietary needs” are entirely arbitrary and have no
cultural implication – but abolishing coherency is Böhm’s point.
to annihilate the notion of Swedishness, Böhm now avails himself of a standard
gesture of Left-liberal rhetoric, the wild, scapegoating accusation prefaced by
an appeal to a seemingly benevolent concept. The seemingly benevolent concept
is “tolerance.” The “common umbrella” of the “heterogeneous groups” referred to
earlier by Böhm “implies,” as he writes, “tolerance for all differences.” (Note
the sweeping “all,” to which we shall return.) Having lulled readers into
complacency by invoking the highest of liberal virtues, Böhm launches his
accusation: “For a long time,” he writes, “we in psychology have known that
suspicion and xenophobia come from a fear of the unknown.” The claim begins
with a professional in-group self-reference. This particular first-person
plural is the order of adepts or illuminati, destined to govern the
unwashed. Gnostic piety always introduces itself in this priestly manner, ex
cathedra. Just as “tolerance” serves the reigning illuminati for a supreme
virtue, “suspicion” and (the inevitable) “xenophobia” serve for supreme vices.
According to Böhm, “we all have fear
of that which we do not recognize, likewise for the unrecognized even within
ourselves, [a fact] which tempts us to stigmatize groups that appear different
or weak.” (“Vi
har alla en rädsla för det vi inte känner till, liksom för det okända inom oss
själva, som är frestande att lägga ut på grupper som verkar vara annorlunda
As soon as one encounters the word tolerance in contemporary speech, one knows
that the only possible consequence is a display of extravagant intolerance. Böhm
confirms one’s experience in this matter with his next sentence: “Xenophobia
often expresses itself as opposition to the complex or foreign, that which is
not immediately recognizable or understandable in simple categories.” The
accusations of “suspicion” and “xenophobia” belong to the standard verbal praxis of modern elite intolerance. Thus
Böhm abuses both of his terms, treating suspicion (främlingsrädsla) as though it were
emotional rather than rational and then immediately trading it for xenophobia, as though the two
words signified the same thing. Suspicion and the closely related prejudice are cognitive
attitudes rooted in the fact, always ignored by utopians, that the greatest
danger to human beings historically speaking has always been other human
beings. When parents of young children notice a strange man loitering about the
neighborhood playground, knowledge and experience motivate them to scrutinize
the unknown person and, if necessary, take appropriate action.
The term xenophobia (främlingsfientlighet) designates
thematic incontrovertible hatred of anyone outside the tribe. In prehistoric
circumstances, xenophobia likely had a survival function (tribes hated each
other with genocidal ferocity); but in modern, civic society, under the rule of
law, it is an inassimilable anachronism. In shuffling his terms – xenophobia for suspicion – Böhm taints the
Sweden Democrats with a charge of primitive behavior. Böhm quotes a number of
statements from the party’s website. For example: “Immigration- and integration-policies
[in Sweden] have been a monumental disaster.” Again: “To be Swedish is to have
a predominantly Swedish identity, and to understand oneself and be understood
by others as Swedish.” And again: “Within some decades [due to immigration] Swedes
risk becoming a minority in their own country,” a development which, should it
come to pass, will impinge “on all aspects of social life and… transform the
nation into something unrecognizable.”
As to the first statement,
considering the fact that whole areas of Stockholm and Malmö are in effect
off-limits to Swedes and not subject to the rule of Swedish law, it seems
entirely defensible. The second statement no more than describes any national or ethnic self-identity
including the Swedish. Thus it was obvious to Swedes between 1940 and 1943,
when the Third Reich exerted pressure to facilitate the rotation of Wehrmacht troops in and out of Norway and
Finland via Swedish
Rail, that the German soldiers riding in the sealed cars were not their co-nationals. This was not
“xenophobia” but rigorous prudence based on acquaintance with and knowledge of
the passengers and their propensities. The third statement accurately describes
the relation between demography and national survival: people have the right to
define themselves collectively and to assert sovereignty, within the national
boundaries, on the basis of their self-definition. They have a right to defend
Böhm sees it
otherwise, as Left-liberals invariably do. He adduces no facts to repudiate the
claim in the first statement. He dismisses the second statement as “circular
reasoning,” which it is not (it is an axiom). And he refers to the statistical
logic of the third statement as “racist or xenophobic mythology.” Böhm then
offers the red herring that, “Sweden has always been changed by those who live
here.” Yes, Herr Böhm, one would like to say, but until recent decades
ninety-nine per cent of the people who lived there were Swedes, and not merely
under the technicality of their residence. Swedes have long savored
their awareness of internal differences – the language in Skåne stands closer
to Danish than it does to the official Stockholm dialect – but Swedes have
lived with the idea of their unified nationhood since the Gustavian dynasty.
When I honored my maternal ancestry by studying Swedish in college, at UCLA in
the 1970s, it entailed many things, including the drudgery of grammar as a
foundation for language and culture, but it did not entail my learning Arabic
or my familiarizing myself with Sharia-law. That would have
represented an entirely different interest.
Böhm charges the Sweden Democrats in
one of his paragraphs with being “afraid of complexity,” which, in his view,
they “grind down to a Swedish simplification of Swedish/Un-Swedish.” (Suddenly
it is possible to identify something as “Swedish.”) In a subsequent paragraph
Böhm writes of “the demagogic simplification of avoiding complex relations and
appealing to black-and-white, either-or thinking.” The automatic condescension,
with its implicit dualism of enlightened / unenlightened, belongs with the
self-nominating righteousness of the adept or illuminatus. In Augustine’s Confessions, in his description of the
Manichaeans, the autobiographer notes how the theoreticians of that Gnostic
faith flaunted pamphlets outlining extraordinarily baroque schemes of existence
but, when questioned, grew tongue-tied and could not explain their own
doctrines. Once, when stymied by Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly,
comedian-interviewer David Letterman of Late Night tried to evade a vise-grip syllogism
by invoking the notion that, “I’m an intelligent person who appreciates
One speaks English or one does not;
one speaks Swedish or one does not; one observes the law of the land and lives
in civic amity with one’s fellow citizens or one does not. Traditions, rooted
in long habitation in a particular place, live through active commemoration or
they die. Some things, as the actual lesson of life teaches us, are dichotomous
rather than infinitesimally graduated. The fact that some things are simple belongs indeed to the complexity
of existence. Thus,
when the Sweden Democrats argue that “the continued growth of alien enclaves in
the preponderance of cities is unsustainable,” the proposition is either true
or it is false. Evidence for the proposition’s truth may be gleaned from a wide
variety of resources. Here,
for example, is a well-documented story by “Baron Bodissey” on the epidemic of
sexual assault in Sweden. Böhm never addresses evidence; he merely and
peremptorily dismisses the proposition as “demagogic” another factotum-word in his lexicon of vituperation.
According to Böhm, “A central
problem is that [the Sweden Democrat Party] couples together Swedishness –
national identity, language, and culture – with repudiation of other groups,
that is to say immigrants, especially those who come from distant places.” Böhm
misrepresents his object. I would say that he misrepresents it deliberately and
with a demagogic
intention. The Sweden Democrats do not oppose immigration; they oppose the
reckless imposition of a multicultural society – a chimera that does not, in
fact, exist – on the Swedish nation in its longstanding character of some
hundreds of years. The Sweden Democrats have indeed mustered the acuity to
notice and the courage to state that the very word multiculturalism is a nihilistic swindle. “In recent
years,” the Sweden Democrats observe, “immigration has been of a different type
[than in the past].” In particular, “This has involved tens of thousands of
immigrants each year, from distant parts of the world, which has not been good
for Sweden.” These new immigrants not only burden the society; they also serve
as instruments in an ideological campaign essentially totalitarian in its
methods and aims.
To quote from the website of Sweden
Democrats: “Multiculturalism [has] seriously
impaired the conditions for continued democratic development of our country. In
recent decades, political desire for a multicultural society has weakened the
foundation of commonly held values that shaped and made possible the internal
framework of the Swedish nation state.” The Sweden Democrats note that the
destructive policies have never been referred to the Swedish people for
approval but have always been imposed by fiat. In many ways, as a result, and
not merely through the imposition of what amount to foreign colonies in Swedish
cities, “Sweden is becoming a divided country.” Multiculturalism, as the Sweden
Democrats and others have discovered, is another form of radical antinomianism
whose ultimate aim is the destruction of existing societies and the harassment
and oppression of their people.
Böhm’s retort to
the Sweden Democrats on this issue takes the pathetic form of the dubious claim
that, “it is likely that even members of the Party and those who speak for them
have as many immigrants among their forefathers as the others.”
true Left-liberal fashion, Böhm, as the psychoanalysts like to say, projects.
In smearing the Sweden Democrats as bigots and fanatics, he is revealing
aspects of his own personality. Indeed, it is possible to perform a modest and
easily completed experiment that supports this inference. I invite readers to
run a YouTube video search on Sverigedemokraterna.
This search will turn up hundreds of video clips from Swedish television over
the last decade, virtually every one of which traffics in the same hate-filled
clichés that turn up in Böhm’s screed. Every electoral victory of the Sweden
Democrats becomes the occasion for hysterical denunciations of the Party, the
supposed “intolerance” of which arouses the actual intolerance of Sweden’s official
Left-liberal establishment. The
video clips reveal the arrogance of the secular saints in full dudgeon-like
spate. One detects in such unanimous ire the deep-seated primitive revulsion
against the impurity of heterodox preference – again, exactly the
characteristic that the elites use to slander those whose ideas differ from
Böhm proposes his
own notion of “Swedishness” to counter that of the Sweden Democrats. Böhm’s
notion is, of course, erected entirely on abstractions and is logically
self-contradicting. “One could argue,” as Böhm writes, “that to be Swedish is
to be tolerant and not to see Swedish identity as something clear and fixed for
everyone.” A bit later: “Swedishness means then also to tolerate groups that
hold to their own opinions and views on how they shall live.” What could
“tolerance” mean in this vapid but wicked context except submission? I have
referred earlier to Left-liberal comportment as “Gnostic,” using the term as
the philosopher Eric Voegelin did to describe the self-sanctifying, auto-apotheotic
character of modern radical politics. Voegelin saw liberalism, socialism,
National Socialism, Bolshevism, and Maoism as secular religions. To this list one
could add, from recent experience, feminism, environmentalism, and
Among the symptoms
of Gnostic dementia, Voegelin remarked pathological alienation from the world,
as it is given to us; he also remarked that this alienation easily tips over
into outright destructive hatred. The Gnostic sees reality as tyrannical and
intolerable because God or some power has brought reality about, endowing it
with the character that it possesses, without consulting the Gnostic. The
Gnostic is someone – he might even be atheist, as most self-identifying modern
people and most Left-liberals are – who in effect resents the fact that he is not
and who wishes to become or to replace God, or whatever the power is that has
led to the present constitution of reality. In nominating himself as the
replacement-deity, the Gnostic strives to demonstrate his god-equivalence by
remaking or transforming existence. He wishes to be absolutely
sovereign and will tolerate no competitor or rival. Destroying longstanding
traditions and replacing them by synthetic abstractions belong to this project,
as the histories of the ideological dictatorships will reveal.
populations around also belongs to this project. The Soviets
forcibly removed whole populations of Balts, for example, to Western Siberia
while settling Russians and Ukrainians in large numbers in Estonia, Latvia, and
Lithuania. The Chinese Communists have done the same thing in Tibet. Before
their defeat, the National Socialists wanted to empty whole regions of Russia
and Ukraine as Lebensraum for German colonization.
Democrats have noticed that the blandly named multiculturalist enterprise of
importing large nuclei of inassimilable foreigners to small nation states
conforms to this savage dictatorial pattern, which one might think had
disappeared with the dictatorships, but which has not. It is the clarity of
vision of the Sweden Democrats that outrages their enemies, who desperately
want to conceal their own actual motives. Thus Böhm classifies the Sweden
Democrats with “orthodox people who believe that everything can be reduced to
right and wrong”; Böhm proclaims that such people “cannot be allowed to
dominate a society.” But the Sweden Democrats show no sign of wanting “to
dominate” Swedish society. In their own words, they want Swedish society to be
democratically self-determining and sovereign; their opposition to
appellate-proof diktats issued by unelected bureaucrats thus runs in perfect
consistency with, and is logically prior to, their objection to
destructive immigration-projects inflicted on a small nation of nine million
A good part of the
contemporary immigration problem in Sweden stems from the presence in the
country of hyper-orthodox foreigners of fanatical conviction who take from the
welfare state while acting aggressively and even criminally against Swedes and
Swedish custom. They resist assimilation and demand concessions from the larger
community. This is not “complexity”; it is barbarity, for which no
justification exists. Indeed, in those cases where large colonies of Europeans
once settled themselves in Africa and Asia and acted to alter local custom,
Left-liberals are quick to denounce the evils of colonialism. To see the truth
of the situation, as the Sweden Democrats do, is to see something that is
actually simple and easy to understand. That is why Presbyters of
Correctness, like Böhm, reflexively pervert ordinary language. They attack
normative definitions and obscure the genuinely simple under the falsely
complex to hide their motives and calumniate their critics – for example, by
calling them insane. The Sweden Democrats are morally right to oppose the
To Thomas F. Bertonneau
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Wed, 2010-03-03 03:55.
Firstly, I strongly oppose population transfers intended to destroy a nation. However, population transfers are not as a rule unjust. For instance, if Latvia were to deport its ethnic Russian minority to redress Soviet policies, I would consider this just.
Secondly, I disagree that the postwar expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia and Poland was questionable. These communities were the result of Drang nach Osten and colonized West Slavic lands under the aegis of the Holy Roman and German Empires, although some waves settled at the invitation of Czech and Polish rulers. Perhaps their NSDAP membership was relatively low, but they tended to at least adhere to Wilhelmine values. Postwar expulsion was necessary to prevent future German irridentism or fifth column agitation.
As regards the Muslim presence in Europe, we are in agreement.
To “Kapitein Andre”
Submitted by Thomas F. Bertonneau on Tue, 2010-03-02 15:15.
You write: “You seem to have a strong dislike for population transfers, noting Chinese and Soviet colonization and deracination policies.”
[I respond:] I certainly dislike the population transfers by which dictatorial powers, internal or external, historical or actual, attempt to destroy small nations by settling large numbers of foreigners in their midst, often while deporting natives, as the Soviet Union did in the case of the Baltic states. I cannot tell from your words whether you share my dislike for those kinds of population transfers or question its legitimacy. If it were the latter, which I find difficult to imagine, I should be forced to wonder how such policies might be justified morally.
You write: “However, the post–war expulsion of German minorities was necessary to prevent a recurrence of German irredentism, which the national socialists had previously used to justify German aggression against Czechoslovakia and Poland.”
[I respond:] I take it that you refer mainly to the dislocation from the Sudetenland of long-established German-speaking populations right after the war. To the extent that many Sudeten Germans were not Nazis and not interlopers but rather Czechs by political identification with local ancestry going back hundreds of years, the forced expulsion of them and the appropriation of their properties seem morally questionable, to say the least. This is despite the fact that the policy itself is more or less understandable given the historical circumstances. The case of the Sudeten Germans is, however, not a case of a foreign community abruptly imposed on an older, native community for the purpose of disrupting and demoralizing that older, native community. Thus it differs from the cases of Russians in the Baltic States or North Africans in Malmö. There was and is an ancient German-speaking minority in the Italian North, but no one proposes expelling it because it is thoroughly well behaved and integrated; one could say the same of the native-born Swedish-speaking minority in Finland.
You write: “Today, population transfers are necessary to remove tens of millions of Muslims from Europe, for reasons that need not be discussed here.”
[I respond:] In the unlikely case that it were to happen (I see France and Britain in particular as doomed), it would, again, not be a case of expelling a long-established, highly acculturated, co-religious minority, but rather of repatriating a hostile, newly formed minority, which is abetted in its refusal to assimilate by the active advocacy of governing elites who have turned against their own people for ideological reasons. Nor would such repatriations impose an alien presence on the countries to which the deportees were returned. That is how I see it. The “Kapitein” shall have to clarify for me whether he regards us as engaged in a debate or not.
Submitted by truepeers on Tue, 2010-03-02 02:00.
Should anyone wish further illustration of the problem, here's how some condescending "anti-racist" Gnostics in Canada respond to the news of antisemitism in their Utopian Sweden: http://www.rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/jews-leave-s...
To TFB RE: "Smearing the Sweden Democrats"
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Mon, 2010-03-01 03:56.
Dear Mr. Bertonneau,
You seem to have a strong dislike for population transfers, noting Chinese and Soviet colonization and deracination policies. However, the post–war expulsion of German minorities was necessary to prevent a recurrence of German irredentism, which the national socialists had previously used to justify German aggression against Czechoslovakia and Poland. Today, population transfers are necessary to remove tens of millions of Muslims from Europe, for reasons that need not be discussed here.
I too read that Telegraph article...
Shortly after my article on
Submitted by Thomas F. Bertonneau on Tue, 2010-02-23 10:49.
Shortly after my article on “Smearing the Sweden Democrats” went up at The Brussels Journal, I came across a story at Telegraph.co.uk describing the mass exodus of the Malmö Jewish community under harassment by the “diverse” people whom Sweden’s bureaucratic mavens of the multicultural utopia have inflicted on their countrymen. Many of the Malmö Jews are elderly men and women who sought asylum in Sweden during the twelve years of the Third Reich; others, naturally, are their descendants. In one recent incident, in 2009, as the story reports, “a chapel serving the city’s 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze.” Also, “Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and ‘Hitler’ was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.” There is much more, all of it quite sad.
I would like to thank Garthe Kindler for reminding me of Swedish writer Lars Gustafsson, a “realistic optimist” whose Historier om lyckliga människor I keep in my personal library. Gustafsson’s formula for tolerance typifies his clear-sighted wit and constitutes a memorable formula.
I would also like to thank “Mpresley” for his perceptive completion of certain incomplete thoughts in my article. Another word deliberately fudged in the usage of the contemporary Left is “citizen.” As in the clamor of the American Left to grant “amnesty” to illegal aliens (chiefly those from Mexico), this trades mere residency for actual citizenship, a term that implies a deliberate and successful intention on the part of the newcomer to mold himself to the demands of the host society. The perpetrators of anti-Semitic outrages described in Telegraph article are resident in Sweden but reject the traditional Swedish way of life – hence they cannot really be considered citizens even if some of them have been technically naturalized. They are brutish interlopers in the host society.
Bohm and people of Swedish descent
Submitted by JFP on Tue, 2010-02-23 03:16.
Bohm is yet another leftist working for the destruction of the left. I don't see the point of being tolerant if the end result fifty years from now is that tolerance won't be valued.
Also, what about those of us who are of Swedish descent? Do we get a say in what happens in Sweden? If so, then many of us are going to protest against what is happening there. And if not, why not? After all, if people who aren't of Swedish descent (the recent immigrants) get a say, why not us?
Oops. Silly me. If there are no Swedish people, there can be no one who is of Swedish descent. Apparently. I'm descended from people of Sweden, I guess.
Great analysis by Prof. Bertonneau
Submitted by KO on Tue, 2010-02-23 04:21.
This is a model of criticism both of the language and the ideology of the left. Remarkable that the various Western countries face such similar problems: egalitarian religion that disables traditional identities and attachments. The left professes to hate the McDonaldization of the earth, yet everything the left does promotes the homogenization of humanity under the domination of a bureaucratic-commercial hegemony. I often recall L.T. Hobhouse's dictum that the prime value of liberalism, in the early 20th century, had become harmony instead of liberty. Liberalism is now the opiate of all classes, reconciling them to a seamless globalization. The role of the mass media is to be the sandpaper to smoothe down the rough spots. The Swedes are pioneers in allowing themselves to be smoothed down, even willing to endure large-scale crime while waiting for the Muslims to be smoothed down. We experience this in the U.S.A., where we are expected not only to endure, but also deny the existence of, the massive criminality of Mexican and black minorities while we wait for them to realize their potential as equal citizens of the world.
Submitted by Garthe Kindler on Mon, 2010-02-22 20:01.
I hope Mr. Bertonneau's excellent analysis receives wide, public distribution to refute the Mr. Bohm's absurdities. I trust Mr. Bertonneau is aware of the statement attributed to Lars Gustafsson, the Swedish writer, that
Tolerance of intolerance yields intolerance.
Intolerance of intolerance yields tolerance.
comments in the margins
Submitted by mpresley on Mon, 2010-02-22 15:28.
There is always much to be said whenever Mr. Bertonneau takes up pen, and thinking is always stimulated.
“We are nationalist democrats and dissociate ourselves from all forms of totalitarianism and racism.”
The fact that any opposition party (anywhere) has to certify this statement underscores where the debate begins when a party is right leaning or conservative. Yet, does the left ever have to disclaim a link to Communism before speaking? It's just a peculiarity of today's political discourse that one side must always justify itself and is, in fact, presumed guilty.
People in Sweden consist of heterogeneous groups [paired taxonomy follows with a reference to Borges Chinese parody]...
Interestingly, in Communist China, propaganda always included soldiers: Jun ai min lai; min yong jun (the army loves the people and the people cherish the army). This was supposed to create solidarity and attachment among the three proletariat groups (peasants, workers and soldiers) as a means to protect China from foreign (and internal counter-revolutionary) influences. It's ironic to think that Communist Chinese were more nationalistic than whatever is happening in leftist Swedish politics, today. I doubt that a left wing psychoanalyst has any use for the army, though.
The Sweden Democrats seem to have taken a page from James Madison and Thomas Jefferson: “The vision of the Sweden Democrats is a well-functioning democratically-anchored constitutional polity within which all citizens are equal before the law.”
Dr. Bertonneau highlights the need for explicit language when confronting these ideas. One of the problems the U.S. faces with it's own political discourse is the rather loose language contained within its own revolutionary document. As Melvin Bradford (and others) have pointed out, divorced form its polemical historical context, Jefferson's statement ("All men are created equal") has very limited meaning. Thomas Bertonneau has, therefore, rightly pointed out the only intelligible meaning of Jefferson's phrase, at least from a universal standpoint, when he cites the SDP manifesto.
But since when have Swedes...been classifiable as “immigrants”?
Likewise, in the U.S. experience it is common for multi-culturalists to casually proclaim that America is a nation "created" or "founded" by immigrants. The use of loose and misleading language then obfuscates further thinking. In no way was America founded by immigrants. Immigration entails a legal process wherein one changes residence from country to country. America was founded by settlers, but this inconvenient fact does not help the multi-culturalists so it is explained away linguistically.
“For a long time,” [Böhm writes] “we in psychology have known that suspicion and xenophobia come from a fear of the unknown.”
A Gnostic phrase if there ever was one. Let us consider the "we that know" and whether anything is known at all. It is more reasonably argued that group members do not "fear" the unknown, but, rather, fear what is known by way of experience anent immigrant groups. But it is also important to understand that most examples of "psychological disorders" (that is, those not attributed to strictly organic processes) are simply a categorization of unusual behaviors, and, for the most part, are socially or politically defined. This can be highlighted by the removal of the "disease" of homosexuality from the official list of psychiatric disorders (the official DSM categories are decided upon by a committee vote. This, then, is how the "we in psychology know").