Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

Culture columnist Karin Henriksson is writing in SvD today about how Obama most certainly isn’t a socialist. She references shows on Fox News, which amusingly enough is banned from Swedish airwaves after political pressure. It was replaced by German government-run news.

Anyway, Henriksson has fallen for the same collective hallucination that afflicts many, many Swedes: she honestly believes that Sweden is a middle of the road country, politically. Depressing, but true.

In Sweden, you pay up to 58% income tax. Each employer pays an additional 32% on top of that, as a hidden tax. Sales tax is 25%, the highest in Europe, and five times that of the U.S. We have socialized medicine and socialized universities, government run liquor stores and pharmacies. The government sponsors sports, sewing clubs, Dungeons & Dragons clubs, and runs daycare centers which focus on teaching solidarity and environmentalism. Unions are responsible for virtually all labor contracts, newspapers only survive due to government grants, the most popular television channels are government-run ones, and the same goes for radio. Private radio and television has barely been legal for a decade.

It is plain to see for anyone not an inbred that Sweden is about as socialist as you can get. We’re a blood red country, and only the determined efforts and mass protests of the productive class kept us from turning into a communist one. Note how Italian communists were inspired by Swedish social democracy.

Now, you can be a socialist and love this model, or you can be liberal or conservative and oppose it, but it’s outright deceptive how many influential Swedish journalists pretend to be neutral and objective, yet consider the Swedish example as a middle of the road foundation for criticism. As if anything to the right of Sweden is suspiciously right-wing, and anything to the left of Sweden is truly socialist.

Note how Henriksson states, sycophantically, that “Nothing in Obama’s proposals are concrete steps towards a planned economy or government control of production.” Now, Henriksson herself is so far to the left (probably without realizing it, though she hints at having socialist literature on her bookshelf), she only sees outright nationalization as socialism. Anything less than that, obviously,  is “capitalism”. That’s lunacy, however. Raised taxes, massively increased government control, unionization of workplaces across America, government regulation of politics on the radio, socialized medicine, massively increased redistribution of income, and government control of private banks: these are some of Obama’s policies. They are, in every way, influenced heavily by socialism.

If further difficulties are had, Henriksson is welcome to contact me and borrow some of my old political science textbooks. I’m sure something from the beginner’s course would be appropriate for her.

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~ by Escaping Perdition on March 11, 2009.

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