Sweden is my spiritual country.
Moving here has shaped me into the person I am today. When I moved here, I fell in love immediately with this modern country in the north. I was impressed by Sweden’s strong belief in equality, democracy, human rights, acceptance and tolerance – and it moulded me. Like Sweden, I believe in an open society where everybody is of equal value and has the right to live how they want. I believe in humanity where people respect each other. I believe in a social contract where we take care of the weaker members of society when they need it, and they take care of me if I need it. For me, this is Sweden. This is what it means to be Swedish. Swedes should be so proud of this legacy.
But is this Sweden still there? 20 years ago, it clearly was. But today? Is this Sweden just a Utopia? Just a distant memory of something good? Is my open Sweden actually shutting down?
Cold winds are sweeping over Europe yet again. Sweden is no exception. The Sweden Democrats – a right wing conservative nationalistic party, dressed in sharp suits, is spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of Sweden’s citizens. And they are gaining ground. Approximately 20% of the population now support them.
These 20% are willing to vote for a party that is openly xenophobic and clearly sexist. Members of this party have, in recent memory, stated that gays are animals, that Jews are not Swedes, that women should have their abortion rights restricted. I don’t understand why they think this is ok.
These 20% are willing to vote for a party that have a shaky understanding of Economics, whose budget lacks 30 billion Swedish crowns to cover all of their election promises and who have no policy for the environment – as it’s ‘not that important’. I don’t understand why they think this is an acceptable future for the country.
These 20% buy into the idea that this party is anti-establishment. The ‘gang of four’ men who run the party are former university students who earn salaries in the millions and furnish their homes with designer furniture. They may come from humble backgrounds, as do many Swedes, but today they are elites. I don’t understand why their supporters don’t see this.
These 20% are willing to vote for a party they do not know much about. Nobody knows what their actions will be. Many of their voters are dissatisfied with the current state of Sweden, and they want a change. This may well be justified. However, they are willing to throw everything out, and place their bets on a dark horse. They clearly don’t feel threatened. But they probably should.
Have these 20% always been there? Was the Sweden I moved to just a lie? Was the openness and tolerance just bullshit? Was it just a neat and well-orchestrated fantasy that in fact had fear of foreigners, sexism and homophobia lurking just beneath the surface? Lurking and waiting and ready to leap out. That is a frightening thought.
I don’t believe these 20% are all racists, I really don’t. But they are willing to allow nationalists to take power in Sweden. I don’t believe they’re all stupid. But they are willing to disregard glaring faults in SD’s policies. I do believe many are disenchanted. And they are willing to gamble the safety of their country and fellow citizens just to prove a point. They are willing to literally throw many people to the sharks.
After this article, I expect to be trolled. I often am. These trolls will abuse me, they will tell me to go home yet again and they will say I am a bleeding-heart liberal.
And they are so wrong.
I am already home. Sweden is my home. And my heart is not bleeding, it is breaking.
Please do not vote SD in the coming election.
19 thoughts on “The dark side of Sweden”
I would not like to live under a far right government but, the centralist parties have got to wake up and understand the self inflicted traumas that now infect the country.
The problem with immigration is integration and that just does not seem to be understood. Sweden has become a segregated society and to integrate such a large influx of refugees is a problem that was ignored. The problem with integration is heritage. People moving here have their own heritage and culture and that is still passed down. Until this can be resolved there will be not real integration.
Swedes are a very tolerant society but that society can only take so much abuse. The values that Swedes grew up with are being watered down or lost. When I first came to Sweden, 40 years ago, there was no litter, no graffiti and everyone from 5 year olds to 90 year olds had the same values. That is not the case anymore and ‘Swedes’ are resenting the perceived causes of this dilution of their values.
Until the politicians,of any party, start to realise that PC is not the answer to everything and take their heads out of the PC sand and become realists to what is happening they give the SD the power to take more and more control.
Does this situation have any similarities to Germany in the early 1930’s? I really hope not.
Moderate politicians PLEASE WAKE UP TO THE REALITY of what is happening before it is to late.
Alan, that was indeed a very well written reply.
Niel, things are not that simple. We do have problems i Sweden. Big ones. But Swedish Democrats are not one of them. Well, they might be problematic, but they are more a reaction of the bigger problems we have in the swedish society.
I do love my Sweden. But since we, the open minded, super tolerant swedes are finding us being used by people who are more interessed in knowing their rights then to contribute, how can you blame us for having had enought?
And the crimes… I really are scared of what is happening.
We used to have the jugoslavian “mafia”, and I remember when the two bigger biker gangs took control over the peaceful older biker clubs. But they didnt bother common people.
More if some dude was mishandling a woman he could get severely but “honest” beaten by some friend to a friend.
Yeah, today I recall that time in a somewhat shimmering manner.
‘Cos no-one was gang rapeing you daughter or sister, or your self.
Burned cars, in the hundreds! Did not happen. Mini wars with Kalashnikov and hand granades!? And the list continues…
We had one crazy islamist and jew hater, Ahmed Rami, and some wacko neo-nazi, like the infamous “Neger nassen” (the Negro nazi?!). Now the etsblissement are supporting islamist hate preachers, funding the Muslim Brotherhoods local bransh etc. Not to mention the, in relation to the smallness of Sweden, the extreme amount isis terrorist breeding in the suburbans. And then the daft morons of politicians wants to give the returning ones free flats, jobs etc. When they should be brought to real jusice! In the courts of their victims in Kurdistan!
Now the jews are fleeing, “making aliya” en masse because of the islamist ancient jew hate which has settled here.
The Commies, the Center party and the Socialist democrats and parts of the Swedish State church was over their heads into the nazi german jew extinction. And their modern jew hate are stronger then ever. Together with todays “Miljöpartiet” . Funding jew hate and terrorism with billions. But hey, THATS politically correct!
I can go on and on.
You are right, Sweden used to be the closest to Utopia there ever could be. But now the innocence is gone. Never to come again. It fills me with sadness and grief.
If you do not see this problem, you are a part of it.
Dear Neil, so well written. I am Swedish but haven’t lived in Sweden since the early 90’s. I haven’t voted since 1988 as I at times have felt that I don’t have “the right” to have a say as I no longer live there. That changes now. I am voting to keep SD out.
Thanks for your spot-on observations about our country (yours and mine). I really enjoy reading your blog.
Thank you for writing this. It gave me goosebumps. Every word rings a chord with me. This is my home. My heart is breaking.
Very well written, Neil! You have put words to my thoughts.
Thank you Neil! Spot on! I feel exactly like you. I’ve taken the liberty to share your words on my page. Warm regards from Stockholm.
It’s not that SD offers a better strategy; its that they are the only ones offering a strategy at all. We seem to remember the lessons that history taught us about what happens when the brownshirts start marching on the sidewalks, but we have forgotten what it was that caused them to put those brown shirts on in the first place. I blame the Moderates. Their liberal policies of deregulation, lower taxes, and privatisation have led to a growing wealth gap in Sweden that has people spooked. SD has given them a convenient scapegoat. I also blame the Social Democrats. Their lack of action on the one issue that is most visible to the Swede on the street has given the far right an issue to champion. Face it, the barn door is open and SD is riding off with the sheep.
1. Don’t let them break your heart. They like that.
2. What Swedish values are being abused?
Well said, Neil. My sentimemts exactly. The sad irony is, though, that we’re all, you, me and SD alike, harking back to an partly fictive golden age of innocence, but for different reasons of course. Although we mustn’t forget the “Rör inte min kompis” movement, or Palmehatet. These undercurrents of hate have always been here, as you rightly suspected. They just didn’t have the channels of dissemination that people do today.
You should have elaborated more on what makes you think SD leaders have a poor command of economics. It doesn’t seem to be the case, to me, after reading their programme. Additionally, several of my friends have a sound knowledge in this field, being their area of work, and they plan to vote for SD.
Sweden is changing, but thanks to the utterly irresponsible way the current immigration of Non-Westerners into the country has been treated by the government. Sweden, as you know, is a rather old but small nation. I have loved it ever since I had a childish, romantic idea of it when I was in school, in another country, reading Swedish classics. Now what I see is that the land of Nils Holgersson has been deformed beyond recognition in many places. One can’t simply expect to fill the gaps left by older Swedes with hundreds of thousands of people from the Middle East or Africa and assume that things would be alright because ” everybody is equal” . Socialism tends to work very well in small, homogeneous societies, by the way.
For what is worth, there are many gays who actually like the SD, like me.
People from Middle East and Africa are filling the gap of swedes as personel in hospitals, service jobs etc. And we swedes are very grateful for that. Many swedes do not take those jobs.
Frerk – a gaping hole of 30 billion in your actual budget is not a poor command of economics? Are we facing yet another “counting example”, like the “€400 000 equals SEK 40 000 billion” brainfart or the blatant lie of “immigration costs SEK 250 billion a year”?
Interesting use of quotation marks, by the way: “everybody is equal”. And on gays liking the SD, the one political party calling homosexuality unnatural, I’m sorry, I just can’t wrap my mind around that one.
@Frank I cannot for the life of me fathom why any gay person would support SD. They have it right there on their homepage and in their manifesto that they do not believe gay people deserve equal rights.
The old adage of turkeys voting for Christmas comes to mind (though perhaps in Sweden that should be pigs, for the julskinka, instead of turkeys).
I won’t ever vote on SD. I want to respect the human rights. Also what is wrong with Sweden being mixed culturally? It’s not like that prevents us from keeping old traditions alive. Some of our traditions (for example midsummer) have made it to other countries and are accepted there so why can’t we accepts others? It’s not like Sweden is the only country accepting immigrants right?
Also no matter what the world is always changing, this isn’t for example 20 years ago when smartphones didn’t exist. The world evolves, our country evolves and that’s something we must accept. Don’t try linger in the past, don’t try making a part of the past to the future to the point of ignoring important points such as human rights and the environment. We can preserve out culture, but we don’t need to do it to the point of ignoring others in need.
In Poland it happened…~ 18% of polish nation three years ago voted for the party who is like your SD. The problem was ~50% of all nation stay at homes during election day. And the Party won, and now, with cold determination, they are destroying our home… my home…
Everything what we achieved in Poland since 89′ is ruined.
And we are going straight to Putin’s iron hug… 😦
Take care Sweden, you are my last hope.
Hope for the normal future..
And 20% are just the ones that accept it consciously. Sweden is a culture of ‘tolerance’ bla bla unless you are a foreigner. More like cultural racism with a smile for the rest of the world.
I’m not muslim or jew or whatever religious affiliation, I have learned swedish and I respect their values. Still, they have treated me like shit often.
Now, one thing is to rationalize the hate and say is ok to vote for SD because of jews and muslims and poor swedes but you dont see that without climate policies the world is finished anyways so maybe your hate is gonna actually shoot back. I would be glad because such primitive species does not deserve survival.
What utopia to begin with mate? Sweden got better because they have been selling weapons to places where war is killing thousands, so how can you say a society is so pure when they have profited from death? Don’t believe me? Check how they cooperated with Nazis and keep selling weapons to middle east to later cry about what, in part, they have caused.
Democracy? Lol there is a queen and royalty!!! How people don’t see things?
Sweden is hypocrisy man, forget about the pink story they sell even to their own citizens.
Plus how is it possible that Sweden seems spiritual to you when the social conditioning is extreme. I mean look at it realistically, you cannot even sit next to other peope in the public transport. Individuality shattered in favor of statistical averages. The opposite of a truly spiritual condition.
That being said, unlike Swedes, I respect others mind so you can believe whatever you want.
Btw crime is going down and the downtrend continues, check real statistics dont just listen to Trump and SD. Don’t believe me? Google it.
With all due respect, Sweden has never been that country that you describe, that is just a utopia well mounted by all the media.
This country is an absolute disaster, in all aspects, a racist society (Racists 100% in silence), its political system is absolutely racist. And they are currently trying to hide their disastrous racism by showing thousands of immigrants in the media, when the truth is that all those immigrants and refugees are third class citizens, people in need, people full of pain and need, who come to Be the slaves and cheap labor of this country.
On the other hand, that of “Country of Equality” is a great lie, it is egalitarian towards homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals and all those citizens, however they forgot that also in society there are Heterosexual citizens, Normal Citizens that we want to live normally and feel safe and that our children grow up normal, without having to see degrading shows that these other people give.
And I do not care that there are LGBT, exist, live, but respect, understand in a good time that you disrespect childhood, and want to sow in our childhood their deviant practices. That is intolerable because of humanity’s own continuity. Understand that you are NOT normal, because if you were normal, you were not born, you were born from a natural Man-Woman Union.
This country is really a very bad example for other societies, to follow the example of this country humanity would be extinguished in less than a century … But it is so, as it is explained that a country with more than a thousand years of history has a population of only 9 million inhabitants? …
Excuse me, sir, but I don’t share that point of view of you …
And if I tell the Swedes that they really love their country, bravo! Bravo! Vote for the Swedish Nationalist Party, and recover your country because your country is lost and if you continue with so many wrong practices you will end up disappearing, and the owners of this land will be the Muslims.
All Swedes Vote For the Swedish Nationalist Party!
Thanks for your comment and that you read the blog. While I completely disagree with you, the great thing about Sweden is that everyone is entitled to their own view.