The victory of populism – global issues

  • Opinion by Jan Lundius (Stockholm)
  • Interpress service

SD thrives on the fear of organized crime, which is narrowly linked to the migrant environment. The party has benefited from many Swedes’ concerns about immigration and failed integration policies that have segregated immigrants, often congregating in sparsely populated areas or abandoned suburbs, leaving many of them unemployed and dependent on aid. Most immigrants have not been obliged to learn Swedish and adapt to Swedish society. SD points out that Sweden’s foreign-born population has doubled in twenty years and has now reached twenty percent.

Recent high-profile incidents of shootings and explosions in public places have been linked to clashes between criminal gangs fighting for drug and arms markets, often controlled by ethnic clans. A development feared by many Swedes and SD on social networks has resolutely inflated such fears. The party’s winning strategy has been an intention to impose “strict law and order”, combining it with a ban on new asylum seekers, tougher criminal penalties, mandatory deportation of immigrant criminals, criminalization of begging and increased police presence in disadvantaged suburbs. . Absent from these policies are more intensive efforts to reach, integrate and train immigrants while helping them enter the labor market.

Jimmy Åkesson, who led the SD for 17 years, is a vocal demagogue who is not afraid to use generalizations and clichés to engage the understanding public. He has been an extremely active campaigner, traveling around the country’s cities. In his speeches, Åkesson can paint a grim picture of a country ravaged by crime, presenting his party as the only means of “making Sweden great again”.

Åkesson’s political enemies and opponents eventually felt compelled to climb on his fear-mongering bandwagon, getting into trouble with law enforcement, while other important issues such as rising energy prices, Sweden’s imminent NATO membership, the disappointing results of education reforms, the long wait. adequate health care—all drowned in a relentless focus on immigration and crime.

Swedish political parties seem to be blinded by their efforts to cling to power and influence, forgetting ideologies and their traditional agendas, and infected by the alarmingly myopic ideology of an extreme party that wants to return to a fictitious utopia consisting of a bygone ideal state of age-old norms and values. In the pre-election debates, almost nothing was said about a future threatened by climate change, disappearing biodiversity, insufficiently controlled nuclear power, the automation of work life, increasing mental illness and a host of other social problems.

SD, founded in 1988, tried to win enough votes to elect members of parliament at all. However, since entering parliament in 2010, the party has increased its share in successive elections. The growth has been staggering – in the 2006 elections, SD received 3 percent of the vote, 5.7 percent in 2010, 13 percent in 2014, 17.5 percent in 2018, and finally 21 percent in 2022.

SD’s success story has sparked a fierce debate about how much the party has changed ideologically, while transforming from a political pariah to an influential power broker. Jimmie Åkesson, who took over the SD leadership in 2005, unveiled a “zero-tolerance policy against racism and extremism” ten years ago, excluding the worst extremists from his party. In 2015, he even suspended the entire youth wing of the party because of its links to the far right.

Why did SD exclude these “fanatics” while replacing their burning flame logo with a more innocent looking flower and getting rid of the slogan Keep Sweden in Swedish? A viable explanation is that SD wanted to go “mainstream” by cleaning up a glaring past from a people almost universally despised. White power movement whose roots are firmly planted deep in the fertile soil of rotten Nazism.

If SD members are reminded of this inconvenient truth, they can say that their party is now far from Nazi-influenced, as a member of SD’s reformed Youth Moment said:

All this was before I was born. People accuse us of bad things, but I don’t think the fact that there were shady people in the party 30 years ago has affected the value of the voters who are attracted to our current politics.

Probably not, even if SD’s legal spokesperson still seems to be clinging to the old slogan. Keep Sweden in Swedish. He recently tweeted a picture of the Stockholm subway marked with party colors that read “Welcome to the repatriation press. Here is a one-way ticket. Next stop Kabul.

But some people are well aware of the fact that when the SD was founded in the city of Malmö, one of its founding members was an old Nazi who had once volunteered. Waffen-SS while another was “the last Swede who dared to show himself in Nazi uniform”. Until 1995, the SD vice-chairman was a lady who summarized the party’s policy as follows.

We can in good conscience continue the fight against the poison of humanity: Marxists, liberals and above all the Zionist occupation power. Since they are actually vermin, they are all crushed like lice

It was this shady party that attracted four students to the university town of Lund. Jimmie Åkesson eventually became the head of SD, while two members of the group are currently active Party secretary and International Secretary, respectively. A fourth member, the only one who earned a degree, is currently a member Skåne Regional BoardSweden’s wealthiest region, after earnings Party secretary and Deputy Speaker of the Swedish Parliament.

As students, these men liked to be “politically incorrect” and formed a group they called National Democratic Union of Students. They eventually joined the SD, announcing that they were going to “take over” this small extremist party. They now claim that they did not support SD’s extreme ideology. Still, why did they decide to “take over” the Nazi Party?

In his bland and impersonal political autobiography Satis Politoin Latin Sufficiently polishedJimmie Åkesson represents the heir of the “old” social democratic idea of ​​fair and safe. People’s home. The cover is just as fakely folk-arranged as the rest of SD’s messages. Vintage Social democratic the election posters and the cat are photoshopped. The title of the book refers to SD’s intention to leave home by washing away his Nazi past. Or as one Italian newspaper put it: “Modern fascism does not stomp in leather boots until it dares to show its true face, it paws in felt slippers.”

SD fits pretty well into the standard description of the populist parties currently haunting the world:

  • Elevation of the “common people” who are portrayed as a homogenous group as opposed to a multifaceted society. A view associated with xenophobia and distrust of the “power elite”.
  • Skepticism about representative democracy. Right-wing populists are happy to participate in elections. When they win, they tend to change the rules of the game to benefit themselves. Like Hungary’s Victor Orbán, who said “we only have to win once”. When they lose, populists often question the election results, suggesting that the election was rigged, like Donald Trump.
  • Aggressive political style is expressed in the use of vulgar language, sharp condemnation and ridicule of opponents, portraying themselves as victims of biased media and the “establishment”.
  • Frequent use of ill-founded claims and/or conspiracy theories designed to undermine stories promoted by members of the ‘establishment media’ and ‘elite’.
  • Instead of open racism and xenophobia, populist parties claim to follow and support “national culture”. Whatever it could be? Jimmie Åkesson wrote in his book that he wants a quick dismantling of multicultural policy both in the cultural space and in other areas of society /…/ Strengthening the cultural heritage and restoring a common national identity. We simply do not want the divided, segregated – soulless – society that the social liberal establishment has created for us. We will fight it. That’s why they hate us. That’s why they fight with us. As a Sweden Democrat, I believe that something cannot be considered part of Swedish culture if it does not have a deep anchorage among current or previous generations of Swedes, or if it is something that is unique to Sweden or a part of Sweden.

Such sentimental and fundamentally incomprehensible nonsense makes many people worry about what will happen now that the SD becomes part of the Swedish government. For what purpose? SD does not believe in climate change or human equality. What kind of future do they and their fellow parties around the world intend to create?

Last words Satis Polito unable to relieve anxiety. Jimmie Åkesson claims that A social-liberal institution so far SD has failed but

Just let them be. It is natural that a falling autumn leaf is startled by the increasing wind.

I wonder which direction this gathering storm will come from. Probably from the dark world once created by Nazis and Fascists.

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© Inter Press Service (2022) — all rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service