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Sweden Democrats


studiot
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56 minutes ago, studiot said:

Hey Ho the Democrats have won the election (just about).

But in Sweden the Democrats are a right wing party.

How cool is that ?

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-62908902

Well it's nice to have a right wing party that espouses democracy, I suppose. Though as it has neonazi roots, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

For a long while, it seems the Scandinavian countries were largely insulated from immigration by their languages, and by their relative lack of a colonial past. But now for some reason they are getting their share, and seeing some disturbance to their traditional social cohesion.  This is the reaction.  A similar story is playing out in many countries. 

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3 minutes ago, studiot said:

I thought the nazis were the National Socialists.

All modern neonazi movements (German, Austrian, Italian, Danish and now Swedish) are far-right, so far as I am aware. Normally, xenophobia is the bedrock of their appeal.  

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Most continental European political parties have 'roots' in fascisim or communism, as a lot of them came into being 75 years ago.
There was a large swing to the left, and communism, during the 50s and 60s in a lot of countries that were previously right wing fascist.
Most major parties have 'evolved' and converged towards the center , but some fringe parties are still 'hard-core'.

Interestingly, America, which helped control the 'swings' of European governments in the 50-60s, has seen its political parties diverge.

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I'm always wary of these terms politicians use to define themselves:

Democrats, liberals, neoliberals, progressives...

Democracy, liberty, progress. Yeah, sure. Gimme some of that, please.

No political party will define themselves as "deceptionists" or "prejudicialists", or "spin-doctoralists."

The ad will tell you nothing about what the product is.

I suppose the Swedish must eat their pudding before they know what it's really made of.

Edited by joigus
minor correction
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The thing about xenophobia, politically, is that it always works with a segment of the population.  If you sugarcoat it with "we are promoting safe streets, law and order, and plenty of jobs because foreigners aren't flooding in and stealing them," then you can soothe a lot of people who lean Right.  The question is how long you can sell that, as the other side, the ugly side of xenophobia rears its head - hate crimes, brutal law enforcement, ghettoization, and cycles of poverty as immigrants are shut out from climbing the socioeconomic ladder.  The people who fear too rapid change in their neighborhoods will be demonized as racists, the immigrants will be demonized as criminals, Islamic extremists, parasites....whatever label can be spun to fit a particular demographic.

Nordic countries used to be protected from immigrant influxes by their winters, as well as by the lack of former colonial connections.  When you have passive barriers, you don't have to think much about political barriers and you can maintain a "nice" demeanor.  Now the winters are getting milder and the immigrants are more numerous, more desperate and less picky about ice and snow.  It will be hard to balance humanitarian concern and the capacity to handle a suddenly accelerating rate of growth. 

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3 hours ago, MigL said:

Most continental European political parties have 'roots' in fascisim or communism, as a lot of them came into being 75 years ago.
There was a large swing to the left, and communism, during the 50s and 60s in a lot of countries that were previously right wing fascist.
Most major parties have 'evolved' and converged towards the center , but some fringe parties are still 'hard-core'.

Interestingly, America, which helped control the 'swings' of European governments in the 50-60s, has seen its political parties diverge.

Well, Sweden Democrats are a bit different, though. They were formed in the late 80s and were the successor party of an actual neo-Nazi group. They have softened their stance since the mid 2000s and are mostly keeping Euro-skepticism and anti-immigrant sentiments. In my mind they are fairly similar to the German AfD whose program is mostly populist and anti-(visible) foreigners.

While outwardly they try to present themselves as respectable, looking at their leadership and members paint a more problematic pictures where folks (often on social media) have anti-semitic/muslim/foreigners rants, have or had ties with Neo-Nazi groups and are uncomfortably close with Russia.

2 minutes ago, TheVat said:

Nordic countries used to be protected from immigrant influxes by their winters, as well as by the lack of former colonial connections.  When you have passive barriers, you don't have to think much about political barriers and you can maintain a "nice" demeanor.  Now the winters are getting milder and the immigrants are more numerous, more desperate and less picky about ice and snow.  It will be hard to balance humanitarian concern and the capacity to handle a suddenly accelerating rate of growth. 

The biggest failure of many European countries is a somewhat segregating worldview. Ethnicity is a anchoring concept and for example in Germany there is common distinction between being German (i.e. holding a German passport) and being biologically German (ethnic). This ingrained societal model makes it very difficult for others to find a niche that fits and integrates with the majority. As a result sub-communities are formed which are deemed foreign and then are used to point out the impossibility to integrate (visible) foreigners.

Compare that to immigration nations such as Canada and US, where there is more tolerance toward visible and even superficial cultural differences. It makes for a more welcoming situation for integration. In a way the Nordic model kind of demands a full assimilation with no wrinkles (which is difficult even with extreme effort because at the end of the day some folks will keep looking different) whereas in immigration societies kink and wrinkles are accepted, especially as the result is often better food.

That is of course only a very superficial view and regionally there are huge differences. But living in those countries as an immigrant is hugely different experience.

40 minutes ago, TheVat said:

then you can soothe a lot of people who lean Right. 

For a few decades the displacement theory is the thing that get folks riled up. I.e. the fear of not being the majority in all spaces anymore. It was actually fairly mainstream (when I was in school even kids complained that they heard foreign languages in public spaces) but now has coalesced into a specific political force.

 

42 minutes ago, TheVat said:

The question is how long you can sell that, as the other side, the ugly side of xenophobia rears its head - hate crimes, brutal law enforcement, ghettoization, and cycles of poverty as immigrants are shut out from climbing the socioeconomic ladder. 

That has gone on for as long i can remember and while I do see temporary advances, they often slide back to zero once a crisis hit (war in former Yugoslavia, Syrian war, to a lesser degree Ukraine etc.).

 

44 minutes ago, TheVat said:

The people who fear too rapid change in their neighborhoods will be demonized as racists,

Well, some do, but has little impact politically. Fear wins out as we can see in Sweden.

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From a recent opinion article (NYT):

Quote

There’s no doubt about the party’s Nazi origins. The Sweden Democrats was created in 1988 out of a neo-Nazi group called B.S.S., or Keep Sweden Swedish, and of the party’s 30 founding fathers, 18 had Nazi affiliations, according to a historian and former party member, Tony Gustaffson. Some of the founding fathers had even served in Hitler’s Waffen SS.

Step by step the party changed its image — in 1995 uniforms were forbidden — but the core ideology remained: Immigrants should be persuaded to go home, Swedish culture should be protected and neither Jews nor the Indigenous Sami people were to be considered “real Swedes.” 

[...]

The stances of the current leadership, which has sought to sanitize the party’s reputation, are equally worrying.

Take Linus Bylund, the party’s chief of staff in the Swedish Parliament. In an interview in 2020, he declared that journalists for the national public service radio and television ought to be “punished” if their reporting was biased. Such people, he stated previously, would be “enemies of the nation.” Proximity to power hasn’t softened his views. The day after the recent election, a reporter asked him what he now looked forward to. “Journalist-rugby,” he replied.

Jimmie Akesson, the party’s leader, also surprised a television audience in mid-February when he refused to choose between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. It’s of a piece with the party’s accommodating stance on Russia: The Swedish Parliament was so concerned about a journalist who used to work in the party’s office and had contact with Russian intelligence that it denied the journalist accreditation. Add in a cohort of representatives more prosecuted for crimes than any other, organized troll campaigns against opponents and even attempts to undermine faith in the electoral system, and you have the image of a deeply unsavory party.

 

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