In Sweden there’s a myth about how far right everything in the US is. You often hear stuff like our Moderaterna is extreme left if measured by American standards. Or, similar, that Obama and other Democrats would fall of the right end the Swedish political left/right scale. But I wonder…
… yes, it’s true that Moderaterna is a leftist party. Leftist and totalitarian. They believe in collective solutions and a strong state. They love the Swedish “welfare” state and the Swedish “model” (a model where a few in the top of our labour unions hold the entire nation grabbed by the balls). Whenever there’s a “problem” Moderaterna are quick to suggest how more regulations will cure them and they love to speak about the need for higher taxation. But this looks no different from Obama’s rhetoric or Bush’s practice. (And it’s no different from any other major Swedish party either.)
Whenever a libertarian leaning submission turns up on reddit.com /r/politics (Reddit has a largely US audience) you note that American socialists are plenty, often angry, aggressive, threatful and very quick to state that anything non-collectivistic is immoral. This is not my experience with Swedish audiences. Yes, the moral of the welfare state is often taken for granted by most Swedes, but it’s so ubiquitous that most people just haven’t stopped and ever challenged it. But it’s also obvious that if you can get Swedes to stop and think about it, there’s some traction there, and at least some will continue to ponder it. I’m not saying that it’s easy to recruit libertarians here in Sweden (it isn’t) but there are less people who’ll stand up for being socialists (Moderaterna certainly don’t, but then again, politicians aren’t known for speaking straight.) Swedes who do identify themselves as socialists behave much the same as the Reddit leftists though.
In the US there are more people keeping the moral of the welfare state challenged all the time. Maybe that forces the socialists to be more straightforward and “ready” for action? (Yes, and Reddit probably doesn’t fully represent Americans, but anyway.)
So, maybe Sweden still is in the lead when it comes to be the more socialistic of the two countries, but it also seems that socialism is so taken for granted here that we’re reaching a point where it is easier to mount the libertarian revolution than ever? The guard is down. This while the US is stuck in it’s New Deal mode and Keynsianism and Socialism has a strong line of defense (maybe due to that the socialist immune system is at work more often). The hope for the revolution there seems to be that the current order of things is beyond repair and the inevitable collapse is only a few years away.
Speaking of myths, the US is not the only country where the label Liberal is kidnapped by collectivists. It’s the same here in Sweden. Now you know.
Here’s a list of some of my Reddit submissions to /r/politics:
- I’m a former Social Democrat who turned to libertarianism. AmA
- I had a chat with my 10 yo daughter yesterday. We started with discussing philosophy in general and ended up with me breaking it to my daughter, not so gently: We are serfs.
- Yes, we can!
- Some people don’t have as much money as other people. To remedy this problem a group of kind-hearted benefactors create an agency whose job is to forcibly take other people’s money without their permission, and give some of it to those they deem to be in need.
- Dear Reddit, you seem to suggest that Sweden is less socialistic than the US. At least the Swedish leftists are less aggressive than the American variety. (I love recursion!)
- We’ve Been Neo-Conned by Rep. Ron Paul