Fake History, Swedish Style

Sweden has a general election next month. Anything could happen – any sort of coalition, that is. Present polling shows the middle-ground parties being squeezed by the ‘extremes’: the Vänster (roughly Corbynistas) on the Left, and the Sweden Democrats (Ukippy) on the Right. Just like nearly everywhere: it’s a world trend. (Obviously arising from the crisis of global capitalism.)

The Sweden Democrats are limbering up for the fray by putting out a false (at worst) and selective (at best) version of the past history of the Social Democratic (Labour) Party, claiming that it was pro-Nazi in the 1930s and ’40s, and embraced ‘eugenic’ social policies thereafter. There’s some truth in the latter, but the Socialists weren’t alone in Sweden in this. Yesterday there appeared an authoritative riposte in Dagens Nyheter, penned by a number of top academic historians.


The SD’s approach looks very much like the same cynical tactic employed by the Trumpists against the Democrats in America, and the Israel Lobby against Corbyn in Britain. Maybe Steve Bannon has had a word in their ears. For those who read Swedish, the foregoing article has some excellent points not only on this, but on the selective use of history generally.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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