Sweden has got a new government, a bourgeois one but with the addition of the far-right Sweden Democrats.
What does this mean for Sweden and perhaps even Europe’s future?
The most interesting issues for the Swedish voters in this election was gang violence, integration and, to some extent, electricity prices. There is no point hiding from the fact that the new right-wing alliance gave the most persuasive answers, which has in turn gotten them in power, to put it simply.
Socio-cultural issues are more interesting than socio-economic ones and have given the Left very little space and success. The climate crisis has been turned into a background issue by politicians as much as by the media. Greta Thunberg’s perennial attention to politicians who postpone the problems to the future is proven true repeatedly.
The techno-feudal situation with surveillance capitalism and how finance and capital have gone their separate ways and the old capitalism is about to be replaced by an even more remote and oligarchic order, no one even knows about and even less can choose to pay attention to.
The forecast is that people will continue to pay attention to what concerns the first level of human needs: safety and security, money that keeps flowing in, expenses that are not allowed to increase and passable highways free of sitting climate activists, because we want to get to work on time.
It is not possible to replace natural laws and, for example, believe that people whose children have been drawn into gang violence should first start thinking about what a post-capitalist world could mean. Nor is it possible to call a million Sweden Democratic voters racists or Nazis and believe that they will then change their opinion and join a progressive and politically correct side that mocks them.
Ten years of persistent grinding on the same strategy has been a disaster for the progressives in particular.
Credibility, clarity and respect for people’s concerns are some human qualities that are always needed if you want others to listen to you – this also applies to grassroots democracy.
The question then is what DiEM25 could do in this crass political market where other parties in Sweden are increasing, where dissatisfaction is increasing and voter turnout is falling.
There is widespread dissatisfaction with people who see their petrol prices skyrocket because a few politicians believe that we must reduce fossil emissions.
Shake hands with them and say that we also think it is unfair and that we want the policy to compensate so that you are in the same boat when we have to help each other with the climate problem.
There is a hidden dissatisfaction with immigrants and the idea that they contribute to gang violence and shootings in the suburbs.
Shake hands with them and tell them we make no distinction when it comes to judging murderers. We can agree that everyone is equal before the law, while also admitting that certain communities need more help than others in order to be defended from a life of crime.
No progressive needs to lose their core values if they want to approach our fellow unaffected citizens.
Today, Swedish young people vote for Conservatives and the Sweden Democrats, the revolution is blue and if you want to use the momentum that has been built up, it is not time to withdraw and wait for another political wind.
Being progressive needs to be redefined. Several right-wing nationalist leaders in Europe welcome the Sweden Democrats’ success as a wave of nationalism that confirms themselves. A brave new progressive force may and must change this. A new progressive objective is necessary that can carve a new space for progressive politics among the Left’s old voting base as well as become a new attractive grass root magnet placing the current guardians of political status quo in the shadows.
Coordinator Stockholm Local Collective
Member of DiEM25 Press Team
Writer and active for Klimatalliansen