Finally, we were offered activism in the parliament
The Swedish government is collapsing as there was a support for the motion of censure on Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. The motion was raised by the left leader Nooshi Dadgostar. But with this, in many opinions “exaggerated” protest a momentum for new thinking can arise according to the author, writer and activist Mats Sederholm.
Nooshi Dadgostar put her foot down and finally we were offered some activism in the parliament. The proposal for market driven rent control allows the tenant to be removed from discussions and negotiations about their own economic and living conditions. And it’s just another reform in the line of tiptoeing neoliberal changes in society.
Long-term negative societal changes always take place through small positive pragmatic adjustments or through decisions that are not given attention or that are considered insignificant. For example, an increased surveillance society where every little reinforcement is motivated by promises of catching more criminals or as with the economization of schools that in a small way provide clearer choices but which in general have created schools with corrupt grading and segregation.
The neoliberal cultural change has meant that ideals like communion, a socially safe and just society have cooled over the years. The lack of these fundamental and human vital needs has become so normalized that hardly even political analyzes in the media or among other politicians are able to touch on the core issue, that of co-determination and justice.
Dadgostar’s decision to protect the influence of ordinary tenants is instead seen from a party strategic perspective, or as parliamentary “whirling”. How low can one sink in a society? How far back in our layers of consciousness have questions such as co-determination and democracy not ended up? Political reasoning and analysis today is almost exclusively about party competition, extremism, election barometers or trust in individual party leaders.
“Adults in the room” talks about government crises and how irresponsible for Sweden this confidence vote is. But political activism will always be irresponsible, dizzying and incomprehensible to those who primarily have administration as their greatest political vocation. Political activism means that you put your heart issue first and let pragmatism and vulgar rhetoric like, that you are in alliance with your opponents if they would also vote for the same proposal, come second.
“History is written” as one Swedish writer and philosopher Göran Greider wrote. And he’s got it right. Not only because the vote was democratically historic (it has never happen in the Swedish democratic 100 years of history) but because it was political activism in the parliament, at the heart of Swedish politics. Dadgostar’s declaration of no confidence was a genuine systemic protest, albeit channeled into a matter of the liberal market driven rent reform. She has repeated the word system change. Her argument is that if you allow market driven rents for new production, it will in time be market rents for all tenants, “This is exactly how you implement system shifts,” she said in the public television channel SvT. The neoliberal tiptoeing has got the spotlight on.
The vote seems to create even clearer boundaries in Swedish politics with the Liberals (Liberalerna) now leaving the cooperation with the socialdemocratic government rushing home to the right-wing and nationalist camps and the liberal Center Party (Centerpartiet) who must choose sides. The political agenda has cracked. Light and nourishment seep in between the cracks because what if we can start discussing politics and democracy with historical perspectives and with an open mind to how we should make a democratic renovation.
What human values are most important to safeguard? If someone thinks that there are natural or better opportunities for mistrust in politics or in public, you are extremely naive. It is precisely in that “exaggerated” protest, and which many thought would not benefit Dadgostar’s popularity and career, that momentum for innovation can arise. Actually the polls after the dramatic vote in the parliament has gained her and the Left party considerable.
Let this be an exercise in what will be required to stop perhaps the most poisonous cultural change of all. The consumer culture created by all political camps and the misuse of our planet’s resources and climate problems. Many “disruptive and naive” decisions will be required in our parliament in the future to stop this civilized suicide. It will required many overturned tables in the political temple and make it to the house of democracy and not making it ‘a den of robbers..
Tove Lifvendahl the political editor-in-chief for the conservative newspaper Svenska Dagbladet wrote before the mistrust was executed in the parliament that if the Löfven government falls, it is not a societal crisis but: “It is a democracy at work.” True!
When perhaps GDP in its role as an engine in society in the future is forced on the defensive and demands for green and human sustainability incentives for societal development can conceivably overthrow a conservative government, I hope that Tove Lifvendahl is equally satisfied with the statement that: “It is a democracy in work.”