Yesterday Swedish rescue service had to save an elk that had tumbled into a pool belonging to a family in their garden outside Linköping. The rescue service appeared and succeeded in dragging the large animal up, which then quickly disappeared. These news were then shown on TV 4, as an odd but humanitarian piece of news. A common Swedish personality trait is the love for nature and wild life, it’s not unique for Sweden, but it’s common. To take care of animals, taking care of our nature, walk in the woods, to ski, run, paddle canoes on our rivers and sail the seas, or simply enjoy a beautiful day. As in all countries Sweden has its distinct fauna. In the northern parts we see e.g. alp foxes, wolves, bear and rein deers. The lynx is sometimes seen in the woods in mainly central Sweden and wolves, which is both protected and hated, have mainly been seen in the western and northern Sweden in the counties close to the Norwegian border. But wolves, which usually are afraid of humans and avoid being seen have strolled down even down south to my part of the country, Scania, Skåne. Now it’s said that we might have six wolves down here. The farmers are afraid that these predators will attack and kill their cattle, sheep and even dogs. Wild life is wild life and people react very differently to what’s supposed to be part of the national fauna and what is not.
That discussion is a bit like how we perceive our national identity, what’s Swedish and what is not, different forms of patriotism, national, regional and local pride, and how we see the multicultural society. Sweden today is a multi cultural society whether we like it or not, and that is something we must relate to in one way or the other. Now, I’m pro this multi cultural mix of people, but that doesn’t make me less patriotic. I have no problems singing the national anthem, using the Swedish blue flag with the yellow cross, feeling pride in Swedish traditions and Swedish history, or pinpointing Swedish innovations, artists, statesmen and states women, athletes and so on. Every nation has its history, both good and bad things. No country and no people on earth has only good things to commemorate and be proud of, but also bad things, persecutions, genocide, wars, terror, colonial oppression, you name it. The good things are worth being proud of, but the bad ought to be opposed in various ways. These are my views. If you who read this would like to comment on my views and thoughts you’re free to do so by e-mailing me on email@example.com, or commenting this blog text.
In politics we now see different trends. The Swedish democrats has increased their numbers. They have a background in Swedish Nazism, and even if their message today appears less brutal, the underlying attitude is based on a racist agenda, and against any “non-Swedish” influences. For me who is somewhere in the middle, but not belonging to a specific political party, this kind of nationalism is scary, even though we see similar forms in almost every nation. In days of crisis people tend to stand against people, group against group, not in unison, but in hate and suspicion. That is in my eyes very tragic. The Central party now has big problems. Their leader Annie Lööf is under attack mainly from her own party members. The Central party, Centern, has recently renewed their party program and among other things added free immigration, right to polygamy and renouncement of school duty. In my eyes all these things are utterly absurd. Immigration yes, but a regulated one, some groups in society allow polygamy, but to have that in a party program, no. Renouncement of school duty is also propestorous in my eyes. We need a good school and good education for the future generations. The Central party originally was called the Farmer Alliance, Bondeförbundet, and developed more and more to a more humanitarian, social liberal party. Nevertheless, in recent years, the neo liberal forces have got the upper hand, and the party leader Annie Lööf belong to that fraction. She has had good intentions, but I hope that she and the rest of the party will change direction to a warmer message. In days such as these humanity needs affection and a foundation for school, health care and a life in dignity. Tomorrow I will write more about things in society that ought to be dealt with to create a warmer, humanitarian society.
Anders Moberg, January 5th 2013.