Saturday, July 4, 2009
THE TRUTH ABOUT SWEDEN 2, ABRIDGED
I spent the first 23 years of my life in Sweden, which was for the most part bloody excellent. My primary and secondary schooling left a little to be desired as I was taught by an unhinged, perma-tanned, exclusively beige-wearing Israelite. Despite this, the free dental treatments, fabulous health care and excellent housing, it is the Swedish educational system that I have come to appreciate more than anything, it is phenomenal, especially in comparison to the UK’s backward pedagogy.
My beef with Sweden is that it takes itself so fucking seriously; it is really sanctimonious about its neutrality, excellent plumbing, superb education, its progressive social policies, 100% literacy, fiscal prudence, national health system, etc, etc. I do concede that there are many great things about Sweden and I am very lucky to have grown up there, you really do get looked after. However, as a forfeit you also get the shit patronised out of you on an almost daily basis. It is this holier-than-thou attitude, letting you know how lucky you are to be in Sweden all the fucking time, which allows me some pleasure in sharing some jaw-droppingly heinous things Sweden is responsible for.
History classes were always one of my favourites, and as in any country, national heroes start to emerge during the course of 12 years schooling. One of Sweden’s national heroes is Carl von Linné (1707-1778), the father of biological taxonomy. Linné took it upon himself to create a system, within which any organism on Earth could be categorised, his epic Systema Naturae (1735). Here, Linné divides the human race, or “homo”, into 5 varieties: Americanus, Europaeus, Asiaticus, Afer and Monstrosus. Later, in Fauna Suecica (1747), Linné divided Europaeus into a further 4 categories: Goths, Finns, Lapps and the remaining Europeans, or others. The original Goths were from the Southern part of Sweden and characterised by their straight blond hair and blue eyes, this variant of the “homo” is considered superior by Linné, who was blond and blue-eyed. Swedes, as you can see, come from a long line of self-congratulatory cunts.
Linné’s mad ramblings about us humans does not feature in the modern Swedish curriculum, it’s the stuff you find out if you bother your tiny little mind with independent study. Personally, I was too preoccupied with playing out, and later with my libido, to bother with any extracurricular reading. All whilst living in a part of Gothenburg (the Borough of Goths) called Linnéstaden (Linnétown), oblivious to the fact that this hero of Swedish science was also one of the forbearers of institutional, colonial racism.
Linné’s ideas took hold at a time when scientific discovery became a vital part of government, used to justify their actions at home and abroad. Having been an aggressive coloniser, especially enjoying a good war with Russia over who should rightfully be pillaging the poor Finns to fuck, Sweden opted for military neutrality in 1912. Honestly, Sweden didn’t quite get the hang of not raping neighbouring states in the bot-bot for decades, and when WW2 broke out, Sweden had a relapse: officially sticking to its neutral policy, the Swedish government let Nazi troops make use of its rail network on the sly, so the Nazis could invade Norway without much trouble. And they wonder why the Norwegians and the Finns hate them! Smugly they assume its jealousy… Ridiculous.
One of the reasons the Nazi’s wanted to invade Norway was that it was thought to be the birthplace of the Aryan race. A notion inspired by the hugely influential, and Swedish, Linné. Another reason was economical; the Nazis relied heavily on Sweden’s willingness to sell them iron ore, in order that Hitler’s 3rd Reich could sustain its weapons industry. The iron ore was shipped through Norwegian ports. As a result of the Nazi invasion of Norway, brought to you courtesy of Sweden, over a third of Norway’s Jewish population was murdered.
In contrast, Sweden and especially a man called Raoul Wallenberg did rescue many Jewish families from almost certain death by arranging asylum and passports during WW2. However, these gallant acts of hospitality and kindness, which were very much highlighted in my history lessons, seem a little disingenuous in light of the Norway debacle just mentioned.
After the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859), and the subsequent furore that ensued, lesser scholars applied elements of evolutionary theory to their own research, in order to gain some academic clout. These misappropriations were mostly inoffensive but at times would endorse some deeply questionable quasi-scientific bilge; the consequences were disastrous. This misapropriation is particularly damaging when applied to Romantic Nationalism, a wave of patriotic zeitgeist that permeated European culture in the 18th and 19th centuries. Filling people’s heads with romantic thoughts of their nation, authenticating what are essentially myths, with the misplaced application of notions such as “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest”, allowed National Socialism the power that ultimately resulted in the facilitation of the holocaust. Ta-da!
Nowhere, apart from Germany, did the culture of National narcissism get a stronger foothold than (yes, you guessed it) Sweden. So, by the end of the 19th century, new sciences like Eugenics and Social Engineering had gained impressive momentum, in academia as well as politically. That is how a sinister man named Herman Lundborg (1868 – 1943), with degrees in Psychiatry, Marine Biology and Medicine, was able to lobby the Swedish government to finance and endorse his National Institute For Race Biology at the University of Uppsala in 1921.
Titles of his publications include: Racial Biology and Racial Hygiene (1914), Swedish Racial Science (1927) and The Western Nations in Danger (1934). The translations are approximate, but you get the gist. Lundborg spent the latter part of his career with an honorary doctorate at the University of Heidelberg advising the German government from 1936 (yep, Nazi Germany), he was the vice president for the International Federation of Eugenics and he publicly expressed the opinion that people with brown hair were less capable of moral rectitude than blond people, because, “they are clearly mixed race.” Genius.
As one of history’s most proactive bigots, Lundborg launched an attack on his own: in 1934, as head of the Institute for Race Biology at Uppsala, Lundborg successfully passed a bill that would allow the state to forcefully sterilise members of the population, in order that they would not pass on their undesirable characteristics. Between 1934 and 1976, when this absurd piece of legislation was finally removed from the statutes, the Swedish government sterilised in excess of 63,000 of its citizens. In brief, during the course of 42 years the Swedish government rendered 1% of its population infertile.
Other than racial hygiene, motivations for the sterilisation of the unfortunate, included criminality, mental “sluggishness” and promiscuity. These were considered “internal enemies” to the “excellence” of the Swedish race. Strangely, although men are notoriously more promiscuous than women, men commit most crime and educational subnormality occurs equally in men and women, over 75% of Sweden’s enforced sterilisations were performed on women. This in a country that parades its gender equality around like a prize pony.
I’m much happier living in this dirty, fucked-up country, with its piss-poor plumbing, that owns up to its shortcomings, than somewhere like Sweden, Canada or Switzerland.
Mia Tagg 2009®