Alla inlägg av Jan Sjunnesson

Bloggar om svensk och internationell politik och kultur. Frihetlig och konträr.

Socialist scandals in Sweden 1970s

SOCIALIST SCANDALS

1. Fall 1972. Croatian terrorists hijacked a plane at Malmö airport, asking for release of Yugoslavian terrorists that had killed an ambassador and occupied a consulate in Sweden and money. Minister of justice Lennart Geijer could not withhold against the terrorists and gave in to the demands.
2. Spring 1973. The labour unions own faltering construction company BPA was saved unconstitutionally by Olof Palme through a foreign aid project for Algeria, a corruption pattern that would unfold later .
3. Summer 1973. Bank robbery in central Stockholm leading to robbers holding hostages for five days. Sympathy arose between robbers and hostages leading to the Stockholm syndrome. Olof Palme emerged as soft on crime, talking to the robbers at their request for 45 minutes that was taped by the police. However 20 minutes remain lost of the conversation. Palme used the tense occasion when tear gas had disarmed the robbers to speak as a politician rather than a statesman and thereby using a crisis before the election.
4. Spring 1975. West German embassy occupied by left wing group Baader Meinhof terrorists which left four people dead and severely injured terrorists. The injured were immediately sent to West Germany in spite of doctors’ recommendations and with no negotiations with German officials. The minister in charge Anna-Greta Leijon was one year later hunted by same terrorists wanting to take revenge by kidnapping her, which did not happen due to clumsy planning by the terrorists. Swedish left wing activist Pia Laskar was sentenced in planning kidnapping the minister but later brought into social democratic and union circles as lecturer on queer and left activism .
5. Oct 1975. A spy working for the social democrat party was revealed at Gothenburg municipal hospital where he surveilled left wing activists. Two leading social democrats, police officer Hans Holmér and journalist Ebbe Carlsson, were involved but not charged. They were however charged later in 1980s for other illegal actions doing police work without legal authority.
6. Oct 1975. Pentti Ketola, Finnish social democrat, was stopped at Stockholm airport with cash coming from Germany to help Finnish unions campaign against communists .
7. Jan 1976. Hans Eriksson, leader of Transport workers’ union, vacationed in fascist Spain paid by employers in spite of the union blockade of Spanish general Franco’s dictatorship. Eriksson would later resign due to mismanagement of union funds.
8. Jan 1976. Ingmar Bergman, world famous film maker, were questioned by taxation authorities in front of actors during a rehearsal at National Theatre Dramaten and left Sweden for five years to Germany.
9. March 1976. Astrid Lindgren, world famous children’s author, had been double taxed with 102 % and wrote a satire in the largest tabloid about the greedy witch Pomperipossa in the land of money.
10. May 1976. Brothels with politicians, royals, judges, military officers and heads of government agencies as customers were linked to the social democratic party. Polish prostitutes associated with the communist country’s Stockholm embassy courted military officers and ministers. Under age girls were involved. Police investigation was hampered by leading socialist leaning police officers. Documents are still partly filed secret.
11. Aug 1976. Female clerk at parliament who took notes for ministers Palme et al. was cohabiting with important drug dealer who was given pardon by minister of justice Geijer. The woman was given new job in the labour movement .
12. Nov 1977. Geijer, by then former social democrat minister of justice, were named among other politicians including Olof Palme in the press for visiting prostitutes. Palme lied about Geijer and the whole affair in parliament and to media.

13. 1973 IB affair. public disclosure of a secret intelligence bureau, IB (Informationsbyrån) that without agreements from parliament and in opposition to routines of secret services, had registered and persecuted left wing activists and others that the ruling socialist party disliked or feared. The bureau did not exist officially in the intelligence services, so there were no laws on military or civil intelligence to follow.

Annonser

Debatter i veckan

Sista ronden av Timbros arrangemang på Teater Brunnsgatan 4 gick av stapeln 9 maj. Det första gav goda skratt men lite substans. Jag gav mig ned till Brunnsgatan i tron att Johan Lundberg, Göran Hägglund och Åsa Linderborg skulle visa lite mer djup. Dessvärre var nog denna gång än tunnare soppa. Lundberg mullrade, Linderborg dinglade med kjolen och bara log när hon fick frågor om sin syn på Lenin från Lundberg (blog dan efter). Om någon höll måttet var det KDs Göran Hägglund som verkligen försökte tala om elitismen i kulturvänstern men pladdrades bort. Gratis underhållning och vin, tack Timbro och tack LO som hotade med strejk på 70talet så att SAF fick samla in fondmedel vars avkastning nu blev till Timbro.

Veckans andra debatt var heldagsföredrag på libertarianska FreedomFest. Jonas Himmelstrands berättelse om hans flykt undan Uppsala kommuns socialförvaltning var gripande. Hans tre barn som varit i hemundervisning i sex år kunde inte garanteras säkra av socialtjänsten själva. De sade rent ut detta. Samtidigt hade familjen fått viten på över 200 000 kr för brott mot skolplikten. De flydde i feb 2012 till Åland.Se hans initiativ Rohus och Mireja. Libertarianerna i Mises Institutet och Piratpartiets Falkvinge berättade om statsmakt och frihetpatos. Som gammal folkbildare var det härligt att se unga och gamla samlas från 9 till 19 en lördag med att lyssna på ett tiotal tankvärda föredrag. Tror detta arrangemang uppfyllde alla regler för bidrag men inte tog emot några. Härligt.

Indian callings and entanglements by American- Indian authors

Two writers of Indian descent but brought up in USA has captured my interest, Anand Giridharadas and Sadia Shepard.

Anand was the first IHT correspondent in India in 2004 and wrote his narrative non-fiction India calling 2011. There he tells the story of his family leaving India in 1960s due to its poverty but also its traditions, rustic partiarchial life patterns and inability to nurture dreams. Anand did the opposite in re-entering India in 2004 to write about the emerging India for the world´s largest international daily. He gave a talk at Google recently about the background of the writing. The style is close to newpapers columns and very easy to take to, but there is a depth below the surface that gives a much more complicated feeling of what it is to live in India today with your eyes open.

Sadia Shepard has a more complicated family background that gives her reason to settle back in India (Anand is Tamil-Punjabi, stange but still imaginable): American Christan father, Muslim mother with Jewish roots. Sadia wrote in 2009 her book The girl from foreign about her search for the small Jewish congregation of Beth Israel, which are said to have come to India over two thousand years ago. She is a documentary film maker which gives her a reason to find her family roots around Pune and Mumbai, travelling with her brother and other film students. She was brought up in USA not knowing that her grandmother was Jewish until her late teens and the story unfolds into a remarkable identity puzzle. The style is personal but not sentimental, keeping the tearful American kind of huge feelings at bay.

Both books give new personal insights into the Indian identity as it expands into Western culture without losing its Hindustani distinct voice. Another generation of writers of Indian heritage has emerged, totally Westernized yet loyal to the land of their families.

Skolval och differentiering

Alltsedan 1990talets början då skolval infördes med rätt att välja annan skola än utifrån närhetsprincipen har denna möjlighet diskuterats livligt, ifrågasatts men något alternativ har inte presenterats. Skolvalet verkar ha blivit minst sämsta alternativ. Men det är väl tunt tänkt och mitt tidigare försök fortsätter med detta inlägg. Försök istället analysera skolvalets förutsättningar:

Om argumenten för att byta skola grundar sig på att eleven inte tros kunna få tillräckligt med utmaningar och kvalitet i den skola han/hon bor intill, tvingas eleven att helt byta skola för att få dessa behov tillgodsedda. Vad skulle ske om den närbelägna skolan hade möjligheter att differentiera elever så att fler kunde tänka sig stanna kvar?

1962 års nystartade grundskola hade det sista året uppdelat i flera yrkesgrenar och en gymnasieföreberedande, i enlighet med den sk Visbykompromissen, 8 plus 1, som liberaler och socialdemokrater enades om. I matematik, engelska och språktillval fanns särskilda och allmänna kurser. De särskilda kurserna behövdes för gymnasieantagningen. 1970 togs grenvalen bort, då alltför många elever valt den gymnasieförberedande grenen (i likhet med framgången för realskolan ett halvsekel tidigare). Ett decennium senare togs de skilda kursnivåerna bort i språk och matematik.

Sedan dess har grundskolan verkligen blivit en sammanhållen skola och ve den som ifrågasatt denna ambition (vilket skolvalet gör implicit dock). Sverige har en förhållandevis sen differentiering, vid 16 år men andra länder har krupit ikapp. Att sk homogena klasser med likartade elever i samma grupp skulle innebära en steg tillbaka och inte leda till bättre utveckling för alla slags elever framhåller Skolverket med bestämdhet i sin utvärdering 2009. Stigmatisering av de lägre kurserna och inlåsningseffekter blir följden, och ingen emotsedd utveckling i de högre antas ske om en differentiering införs. Skolverket har framför allt analyserat specialpedagogiskt motiverade grupper, dvs ”lilla gruppen” som ibland sitter i grupprum med outbildade extraanställda personer.

Om vi går tillbaka till enhetsskoleförsöken under 1950talet, som gjordes för att pröva fram den nya sammamhållna grundskolan på 1960talet, då svenska folkskolor, realskolor, fortsättningsskolor, nya enhetsskolor experimenterade med nivågruppering så finns en del att tänka på. Skolmannen Nils Erik Svensson som analyserade Stockholmsförsöket 1961 i en doktorsavhandling tog miste på resultaten från lägre och högre klasser. Sambandet var inte alls de han framförde som verkade leda till att sk heterogena klasser (dvs med både studiebegåvade och mindre studiebegåvade) skulle vara bra för båda grupper. Tvärtom hämmades de snabba och de långsamma fick ingen sporre framåt av att läsa tillsammans.

Detta kom inte fram förrän våren 1962 då opponenten Karl Georg Ahlström från Uppsala universitet påpekade missen. Till sommaren 1962 beslöt riksdagen ändå att införa grundskolan med sammanhållen klass till åk 8. Några år senare 1967 skrev professor Urban Dahlöf, och kollega till Svensson, att resultaten från enhetsskoleförsöken var ”skrivna i lösan sand”. De gick inte att tolka i någon bestämd riktning alls vad gällde uppdelning och differentiering. Statsvetaren Karin Hadenius nämner detta i sin avhandling från 1990 om målen för frihet och jämlikhet i den svenska skolan men sedan dess har differentieringsfrågan fallit i glömska. Till nu då bland andra historiedidaktikern och professon Hans Albin Larsson skrivit en ny skolhistorik med uppskattning av Hadenius forskning.

Variation är ett annat ord för differentiering som pedagogen Peter Nyström använder i sin studie från 2003 av matematiklärares inställning till att dela in gymnasieelever efter kunskap, intressen, ambitioner etc. Svaren är intresssanta och inte alls så enkla som Skolverket förmedlar senare i sin utvärdering. Nyström hänvisar till den populära jämförelsestudien ”The teaching gap” 1999 av matematikundervisning i USA, Tyskland och Japan. I det senare landet ses variation som en möjlighet för elever att finna sin plats i systemet, inte som ett tvång eller stigmatisering.

Kan skilda kurser locka elever att stanna vid sin grund-eller gymnasieskola ? Den skola jag var bitr rektor för 2004 -05, Hjulstastkolan i nordvästra Stockholms tyngsta område, Tensta, hade ma/no klasser som nog kunde sägas ha den funktionen. I viss mån räckte dessa klasser för att hålla tillbaka en del studiemotiverade elever men vad innebar uppdelningen för andra ämnen? En slutsats som differentierings- och intelligensforskningen kom fram tid på 1950talet (Dahlöf, Husén, Härnkvist m fl) var att personer sällan är begåvade inom alla ämnen. Med dagens skolvalsystem tvingas elever att inte bara söka till en särskild klass (ma/no, som om just dessa ämnen tydde på sk formalbildning) utan till en helt annan skola. Att diskutera kursindelning vore intressant men jag ser få forskare och lärare som verkligen tar upp frågan. Lite i periferin till min kollega Elisabeth Hultqvists genomgång av skolans legitimitetskris utfrån dess sekularisering och modernisering. Hon skriver:

Läraren ser sällan premieringen av ”de bästa” stå i motsättning till principen om ”en skola för alla”. Motsättningen mellan att tro på en jämlik och rättvis skola och uppgiften att klassificera och göra eleverna ojämlika hanterar lärarna genom att hänvisa till omständigheter utanför skolan: skiftande begåvning, olika förutsättningar och bakgrund, osv. Dubet kallar detta för ”nödvändiga fiktioner”. Även om man som lärare mycket väl vet att alla inte har samma chans skulle arbetet bli outhärdligt och cyniskt, (Varför ägna sig åt elever som ingenting fattar?) och helt förlora sin mening om man avvisade tanken. Värden som ”En skola för alla” eller ”Skolans likvärdighet” har länge setts som oantastliga eftersom de givit legitimitet åt läraren att tillrättavisa, men framför allt att betygsätta. Även om lärarna verkar för att ge alla en lika chans vet de nu att det inte längre är möjligt.

Om inte den sammamhållna klassen fungerar, och skolvalet kan leda fel som bl a sociologen Nihad Bunar hävdar måste vi utveckla nya alternativ. Även om de prövats i en annan tid kan de åtminstone tas upp till diskussion igen.

Neuropsykoanalys, barns utveckling och hjärnan

Kvällsföredrag på ABF huset i Stockholm om samband mellan neurovetenskaper och psykoanalys. Egentligen hade nog läkaren och analytikern Magnus Kihlbom tänkt tala om kropp och själ, medvetandets materiella sida osv, men jag ställde en fråga om aktuell hjärnforskning som ledde till att diskussionen efteråt gick oss till huvudet. Kihlbom var god nog att låta andra läkare ta över hjärnforskningens vindlande men vi enades om att träffas och tala om barns tidiga utveckling utifrån ankytningsteorier och neurovetenskap där Allan Schore verkar vara den främste just nu. Se intervju och hemsida.

The difficulty of being good and uphold dharma in the modern business world

Gurcharan Das is an Indian intellectual and businessman that makes you test your present ethical choices against the Mahbarat tradition of Krishna and the family feud of 2500 years ago. His book The difficulty of being good was an introduction to Hindu ethics for me in 2010 when I worked under his leadership at CCS, a liberal think tank in New Delhi. I was reminded of him last night and listend to an interview with him that is a good introduction. Das was CEO of Procter and Gamble in India but left early to pursue his spiritual and scholarly ambitions. Thank you.

Swedish self – images, state individualism and my writings

I have written earlier here and here about the book I am writing on about the Swedish self- image that partly will be a reply to the influential concept of ”state individualism” in the 2006 book ”Är svensken människa?” by historians Henrik Berggren and Lars Trägårdh.

Historian Lars Trägårdh has become a source for the new moderate government polices to ensure continuity with the welfare state of earlier leftist years. The Guardian let him explain his views when Cameron was here and as well as the moderate daily Svenska Dagbladet and the very useful web discussion forum Newsmill let him speak for an influential audience recently.

Below is an expanded draft plan of the book that will amount to a critique of Berggren’s and Trädgårdh’s optimism of their coined concept of ”state individualism”, see the links above for presentations.

Draft of writings on Sweden – an outline:

Introduction

Sweden the last century is a microcosm of the affluent West, modernity and individualism. The last decades have been tougher but still the Swedes make it well in most global market indexes, except for primary education.
This study will tell both the success story of the welfare state and its downfall. The two theses I will pursue are that the Swedish welfare state has given rise to an unfettered individualism supported by the welfare state. This statist individualism is cherished by all political parties and has deep national roots. Secondly, radical policies to correct and nurture the Swedes’ behaviour and minds in good directions are sprung from belief in expertise, science and government. The isolation of Sweden outside continental Europe has been crucial for nurturing exceptionalism during the Swedish Empire 16-18th centuries and in its unique leap from a poor rural economy with peasant democracy to a modern welfare state in very short time in the last century.

This study will try to link the welfare state with the unique domineering politically correct policies in 21st century Sweden, where the most embarrassing is not doing and thinking what is correct, from sorting out the garbage to memorizing with ethnic groups could get offended by speaking one’s mind. The Swedes must collectively be made to make the right choices by political campaign, ideologist state apparatuses and benevolent media when buying alcohol, deciding on child care, caring for oneself when unemployed, sick or old and finding a place to live in. The centre-right parties in 1990s and since 2006 have reformed some welfare state mechanisms with great excitement together with the centre-left parties with less excitement. But all parties want to use the enormous state apparatus and its experts to control choices, processes and outcomes.

I will argue that this belief in the good state and its well meaning civil servants was accelerated by leftist policies since 1968. With a vocal intellectual bureaucracy under PM Olof Palme elected 1969 the Swedish welfare state changed from a modest reformist state handing out pensions to an aggressive Moloch that interfered with not only your wallet, taking two thirds to itself, but also your values and self-respect. What distinguish Sweden during 1960s – 1980s from other nations were the ability, need and desire to employ loyal teachers, doctors, lecturers, bureaucrats and PR agencies in municipalities, ministries, government monopoly media etc.

The results are still with us whenever we enter public spaces or deal with the government. We are the children, the government is the adults. The legendary social democratic PM Per Albin Hansson created used national romantic term “Folkhem” (People’s Home”) in 1928 to describe his social utopia. In this national home, everybody should be treated equal. No bullies, no favourites, no downtrodden children. The nostalgia and force of the term Folkhem is still in repressive use after its heydays 1930-1970.

Earlier research and commentary

Earlier research and journalistic commentary has been done successfully by foreigners like R Huntford, M Zaremba, M Rojas, M Alapoeus, A Brown, N Sanandaji, M Karaveli but also by self-critical Swedish scholars and authors like V Moberg, S Rydenfelt, S Burenstam Linder, T Segerstedt, H Zetterberg, J Norberg, B Sundberg Weitman, A Edwardsson, M Henrykson, S Fölster, P Engellau, B Rothstein, A Lindbeck, PT Ohlsson, J. W.F. Sundberg, C Arvidsson, L Trägårdh, Å Daun and KO Arnstberg along with proceedings from Axess seminars on Swedish history and modernity. My contribution will be to condense these findings and draw conclusions that will bring contemporary perspectives. Little has been published in English with a comprehensive narrative of the particularly Swedish road to modernity and individualism. My approach will be to tell the history of Sweden trying to explain how the distinct features of Swedish nationality made the late 20th century welfare state to implode yet without any sound and fury.

The findings so far seem to be that the Swedes wilfully accept living in a state with little respect for rule of law, with little knowledge of individual rights against authorities, paying over 60 % of wages in taxes, fees, VAT and payrolls and succumbing to a nationally correct culture and media. Swedes are simply not interested in much else than consumption, security and efficient government. Humanity, integrity, religiosity, moral values and individual responsibility and courage are not popular issues and make them nervous. I may accept that being somewhat bland, anxious and with few human traits common to other cultures and peoples is the pale Swedish prerogative but then we should not be proud of being sheepish. Swedish politicians and representatives usually take a very high moral ground with little base. Our history of forced sterilizations in 20th century is enough to prove out incapacity to both being the epitome of modern welfare state and an example of scientific rationalisation, eugenics, social conformism and mental hygiene going mad.

The current situation

What has accelerated the inner contradictions of the Swedish welfare state is the inability to speak openly about any of these matters in media and research. Slowly the intellectual debate will change but new areas since 1980s have replaced the older socialist paradigm, e.g. government versions of feminism, multiculturalism, child care, security paranoia etc. With state controlled media, education and weak parliamentary system with little civil society backing, the executive branch of government runs the country like a corporation. No matter if the CEO is socialist or not, the state machinery runs effectively in praise of the meek citizens.

Table of contents

Prel title: Swede land

Introduction
Part 1 History: hubris, humility and hubris again
History 1000 – 1930
Hubris 1930 – 1970
Humility 1970 – 2000
Hubris again 2000 – 2012
80 pages

Part 2 Anxiety, conformism and policies
Schools
Academia
Gender
Immigration
Culture/Media
Legislation
Foreign policy
Business/Economy
Welfare
Anxieties
180 pages

Part 3 Alternatives, ideologies and national mentality

70 pages incl references

Total 330 pages

Part 2 will cover the current debates in these policy areas after year 2000; with some exceptions (the mad 1970s in foreign policy and primary education will not be forgotten). Part 3 will conclude with references to current political philosophy and ideological debate in Sweden. Liberalism and conservatism has been revived since 1980s by liberal minded publishing houses (MTG, Axess) and think tanks (Timbro, Ratio, SNS) and will be considered along with useful studies by young writers like Hadley-Kamptz, Bard & Söderkvist, Norberg, Olsson et al. Little discussion on the particular issues, more on the national character of political culture and thought in Sweden. Debates in UK and USA on communitarianism, civic humanism and contemporary liberalism may be included.