Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Unfair treatment of Sverigedemokraterna


This article originated as one in a series of blog entries on unfair argumentation. As soon turned out, it became too long and complex to make a good blog entry (at least without further subdivision)—and I chose instead to write an article for my website with the intended blog entry merely linking here.

Beware that many sources given below are in Swedish. Any suggestions for English alternatives are welcome.


This article focuses on the highly unfair and hypocritical treatment of the controversial, but legitimate, Swedish party Sverigedemokraternaw (SD). The treatment and the party’s views will be discussed to various degrees below.

More information from a source closer in opinion to SDe.

For an easier understanding, a brief overview of some other Swedish parties:

Socialdemokraternaw (S) A social-democrat party. Usually the number one in voter polls. Has ruled Sweden for most of the last century.
Vänsterpartietw A formerly outright communist party, which rather suddenly changed its opinions after the fall of the east block. Now a socialist and gender-feminist party. A common political supporter of S.
Miljöpartietw A “green” party leaning leftwards in most issues. A common political supporter of S.
Feministiskt Initiativw A gender-feministic and largely leftist party outside of parliament. Has a world-view which is not reconcilable with the actual facts, even by the standards of politicians.
Moderaternaw (M)Largest partner in the current (–2010) center-right government. Traditionally, the second largest party; however, it seems to slowly be overtaking S. (Interestingly, both parties are moving more and more towards the center.)
Centernw, Folkpartietw, Kristdemokraternaw Junior partners in the center-right government.

My own position on SD

I am often moved by a wish to combat unfair and incorrect reasoning, intellectual dishonesty, and similar. An unfortunate problem is that I am often accused of following an entirely different agenda relating to the matter at hand, rather than the quality of reasoning (see an earlier discussion). So it has been with Sverigedemokraterna: I try to argue that they are unfairly treated—and am immediately stamped as one of their supporters, whose opinion is not only partial, but, ipso facto, wrong (because opinions held by SD are, in the eyes of many, ipso facto wrong.)

Therefore, let it be unequivocally stated in advance: I am not an SD supporter.

Consider the following incomplete list of points with differences in opinion:

  1. SD is nationalist.

    I am bordering on being anti-nationalist.

  2. SD feels that immigration and how it is handled is the central problem in Sweden today—and are generally somewhat negative to non-trivial amounts of immigration.

    While I see many and severe problems with current immigration levels and policies in Sweden, I am myself an immigrant (to Germany), I believe that in the best of worlds everyone should be allowed to himself decide where he lives, and I see immigration as potentially immensely valuable (when handled correctly—which is not the case today).

  3. SD has a mostly positive view towards the “welfare state” and is otherwise similar to the Swedish left on many issues.

    I have noticeably more neoliberal and libertarian views on questions like society and economic policy.

  4. SD is a strong believer in the “traditional family”.

    My feelings towards it are highly ambivalent—and decidedly negative where at least some aspects are concerned.

  5. SD is opposed to EU.

    I am pro-EU (even if I admit some concerns concerning both the implementation and power concentration in general).

  6. SD wants a strong military.

    I consider the military something that has little justification in today’s world (in Sweden and Germany—other countries have very different situations).

On the balance, the differences in opinion between me and SD are likely greater than between me and any of the parties in the center-right coalition. There are similarities in some opinions (including a dislike for the absurd degree of political correctness there is in Sweden and the constant bowing to pseudo-scientific gender-feministic propaganda and “research”)—but the sum is nowhere near large enough to justify my being considered a supporter, and I am certain that if I read the current programs of the leftist parties there would be a few similarities there too.

The core problem

SD is a nationalist party, critical of the current immigration policy—and this stance is simply not accepted by the main-stream political parties, newspapers, whatnot. (Despite some of them themselves having very similar thoughts only a few decades ago...) Further, this stance is what defines the party in the eyes of its opponents—unless they “extremify” it by claiming that it is hostile to immigrants, racist, or even nazistic. While these statements may be true for individual members or supporters, they do not match the party line—no more than the S wants to return to margin tax hell or Vänsterpartiet wants to start a revolution. Certainly, there are supporters of the latter two parties who, more covertly, are also hostile to immigrants, racist, and, yes, possibly even nazistic.

As for their remaining political program (see above for parts of it), they are at most center-right, more likely center, possibly even center-left, on the classical left-right scale, with many issues common to the Swedish leftist parties, including being in favour of more welfare and opposing the EU. (Generally, they are somewhat eclectic and, with the common automatic mark of “extreme right”, based on their nationalistic and immigration-critical stance, they are an excellent example of why this scale can bring more confusion than clarity.)

SD is a perfectly legitimate party with opinion-poll results giving them a good chance at parliamentary representation in the upcoming elections of 2010. They do have a semi-shady background if we go back some twenty years, but the same applies to Vänsterpartiet. Certainly, the ideals of Vänsterpartiet are less democratic and less in line with established “Western” politics/ideals, when viewed as a whole—yet, Vänsterpartiet is treated as legitimate and SD is shunned, maligned (as opposed to factually and fairly criticized), and physically attacked. Even Feministiskt Initiativ, which watches the world through “gender-glasses” (“genusglasögon”), which distorts it to the point of absurdity, is treated better.

The treatment

Distortions of opinions and unfair debating

SD is a common victim of over-generalization and distortion of opinion, e.g. in the claim that it is racist and/or anti-immigrant (instead of being spread over the entire spectrum, beginning with those who merely criticize the details of the current immigration policy—or even support the party for reasons not related to immigration). In particular, it is very rare that any other aspect of SD’s ideas and opinions are discussed except those related to immigration issues. Rhetorical and ad hominem attacks are common, while few of the opposing groups actually bother to debate the issues at hand, provide arguments and counter-arguments, do fact-checks, whatnot. Indeed many of the counter-claims are, in turn, lacking backing evidence.


Unfortunately, no party is perfectly free from such behaviours, but it tends to be worse on the left—and SD is the victim disproportionally often.

Still, for the sake of completeness, SD too is an occasional sinner, e.g. by (at events during the writing of this article) using the phrase “democracy haters” (“demokratihatare”) against people who organized a less-than-civilized protest, including e.g. throwing of eggs, against an SD demonstration: Clearly, these are haters of SD who do not play by the democratic rules; however, that does not automatically make them haters of democracy.

Unfair treatment

SD is often treated in very different manner from other political parties. Among the various types of discrimination and disparate treatment they have been victims of:

  1. Troubles buying ad space:

    Då valde i princip alla att bojkotta partiet—i dag är det bara Aftonbladet och Metro som tackar nej till Sverigedemokraternas reklamkronor.

    (Back then [election of 2002] basically everyone chose to boycot the party—today [2010] it is only [sic!] Aftonbladet and Metro who declines Sverigedemokraterna’s advertizing money.)


    Notably, Aftonbladet is the largest evening paper in Sweden, while Metro (a free-of-charge morning paper) could have the largest circulation of any Swedish paper.

    Ola Bergström, CEO of OMDe, interviewed in the same article:

    – Principiellt måste det vara så att vill ett politiskt parti som kandiderar till riksdagen annonsera och innehållet i annonsen är lagligt så ska annonsen införas. Skulle innehållet bryta mot lagen är det en polisiär fråga och inte heller då i grund och botten en medieägarfråga, säger han och tillägger:

    – Om SD stoppas nu, vilka stoppas då nästa gång?

    (– As a matter of principle, if a political party candidating for parliament wants to advertise and the contents of the advertisement are legal, then the advertisement must be published. Should the contents break the law it becomes an issue for the police [...]

    – If SD are stopped now, who will be stopped the next time?)


    The famous statement First they came...w may be worth considering under the circumstances: While it is unlikely that the Swedish situation ends as badly, there is a very definite problem with uniformization of opinion, lack of tolerance to deviation in opinion, a worship of The Official PC Truth, etc. This while, in a hypocritical twist, near-unconditional tolerance of other cultures, religions, whatnot, is one the cornerstones of the PC ideology.

  2. An online paper (SD-Kuriren) run by SD was shut down for having publicized a caricature of Muhammed after Säpow (“security police”) contacted the paper’s ISP. It appears that the paper was only allowed back online after removing the caricature.

    Party secretary Björn Söder:

    Vi har följt de regler som finns och inte brutit mot några svenska lagar och ändå stänger de ner oss utan vidare.

    (We have followed the rules present and not violated any Swedish laws and still they shut us down just like that.)

    (http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/kritik-mot-stangning-av-nattidning_275273.svde; also with more information in Swedish.)

  3. The Moderate and Social-Democratic parties (roughly Tory and Labour) in Stockholm have expressed a wish to form an alliance after the local election, rather than giving SD any influence. This despite having to very heavily compromise the ideals, politics, etc., that their respective voters actually (will have) voted for in order to do so. (Swedish sourcee.)

  4. Schools have selectively excluded SD from making informational visits, while other parties of a similar size have been invited—including the aforementioned Vänsterpartiet. (Swedish sourcee. New central regulation banning selective exclusion.e)

  5. Several SD members have been expelled or threatened with expulsion from their labour unions for having the wrong opinions. (Two examples: Erik Hellsborne, Ronny Ledströme.)

Threats and use of physical violence

(Yes—this is Sweden in 2010 and physical violence against politicians is a problem...)

Consider the following media statements:

- Sverigedemokraterna är det parti som under det senaste året varit i särklass mest utsatt––de är en prioriterad måltavla för de autonoma grupperna, säger Karin Lönnheden, chefsanalytiker på Säkerhetspolisen (Säpo). Inom loppet av en vecka har fyra aktioner mot enskilda sverigedemokrater ägt rum. Tre har misshandlats och en fått sin fasad nedklottrad med förtäckta hot.

(- Sverigedemokraterna is the party that by far has been most exposed [to violence, etc.] during the last year [2007]—they are a priority target for the [violent extreme leftist] groups, says Karin Lönnheden, chief analyst at Säpow. Within one week four actions against individual members have taken place. Three have been assaulted and one has had his facade [in context likely the exterior of his house] painted with graffiti with hidden threats.)


En undersökning som Kaliber har gjort visar att Sverigedemokraterna de tre senaste åren har utsatts för våld eller hot vid minst 35 tillfällen. Ett trettiotal medlemmar har attackerats, hotats eller fått sina hem vandaliserade, flera av dem vid upprepade tillfällen.

Gatstenar kastas in genom fönstren till deras hem. Yxor slås in i dörrar. Bilar vandaliseras.

Flera av dem som drabbas har valt att lämna sina politiska uppdrag. Enligt polisen är mörkertalet stort.

(An investigation by Kaliber [program on public service, license financed radio] shows that Sverigedemokraterna have been exposed to violence or threats at at least 35 occasions in the last three years. Thirty-something members have been attacked, threatened, or had their homes vandalized, several [many?] on repeated occasions.

The windows of their homes are broken by cobblestones. Doors are struck with axes. Cars are vandalized.

Several of the affected have chosen to leave their political assignments. According to the police there is a large number of unreported cases [“mörkertal”, lit. “darkness number”, has no direct translation]. )


(See also detailed information from Kaliber in Swedishe.)

There are plenty of more specific examples, some quite recent, to be found at Fria Nyheter, e.g. how an SD politician was forced to request a protected identitye to ensure the safety of himself and his family.

(Interestingly, almost all politically motivated violence I recall in Sweden has been leftist extremist, sometimes even by members of Vänsterpartiet’s youth organisation—while the mother party sat in parliament.)

Reasons for the outrageous behaviour

As far as the Swedish left is concerned, this behaviour is, unfortunately, unsurprising: Large portions of the left are either trapped in a black-and-white thinking or apply a the-means-justify-the-ends policy. Furthermore, the use of exaggerated enemy images is a staple of (in particular) leftist propaganda through-out time. The examples of this are many, and it is even a recommended modus operandi in some socialist or communist works (including e.g. Mao’s little red bookw). During my time in Moderaterna’s youth organisation, I often heard leftist propaganda satirically summed up as “Moderaterna äter barn.” (“Moderaterna eats children.”)—and bear in mind that M is not in anyway an extremist party, but stands somewhat to the left of the US Republicans and the UK Tories.

The disturbing thing is the more or less universal rejection and unfair propaganda. Here I would speculate that there are situations where it can be dangerous not to denounce a certain opinion, behaviour, religion, whatnot, because not doing so would expose those not rejecting to rejection on the same grounds. Similar situations can be seen in e.g. some contexts like Soviet-Russia or the Spanish Inquisition. When not being devout or dedicated enough can be cause for denunciation or imprisonment, few dare to waver—and a risk of individuals trying to “one-up” each other in devotedness is present. The same applies when failing to condemn brings a risk of self being condemned. Indeed, As mentioned above, I have myself repeatedly been denounced as an SD supporter—merely for requesting more intellectual honesty in the debate.

Notably, in a larger PC context, the exact same fate of undue rejection has happened to a number of people making statements that are, by all signs known to me, approximately true, including prominent examples like the authors of the Bell Curvew (evil racists) and Larry Summersw (evil sexist). Anyone who does not condemn them is automatically deemed just as evil (i.e. guilty of questioning or contradicting an ideologically determined “truth”)—and is the next to be burned at the stake.


As I discovered during writing, Hitler had some very interesting and insightful views on how to best use political propaganda and how the German left was doing so. This is discussed in the logically following blog entry.

Nazi analogy

Now, the reader may want to raise concerns along the lines that the Nazis seemed comparatively harmless at first, and that any sign of something similar must be stomped out at the first opportunity. Certainly, this is the attitude displayed by some debaters. If so, I ask to consider that:

  1. We must apply in dubio pro reo, or any form of civilized politics will become impossible.

  2. The Nazis had much further-going ideas on their program from an early stage. We could then just as well ban S (let alone Vänsterpartiet) for fear of Stalinesque dictatorship and genocide.

  3. The situation in Germany at the time was very different: The probability that SD will become more than a minor party in the foreseeable future is far smaller. The probability that SD could push through anything even resembling Nazi-Germany is negligible.

    This assuming, obviously, that SD will turn out to be a new version of the Nazis—which, again, is no more likely than a new Stalin rising on the Swedish left.

  4. Other parties and political organisations that are behaving far worse or advocating policies more akin to those of dangerous dictatorships are not attacked in the same manner.

Who is evil, prejudiced, whatnot?

Paradoxically, many of the anti-SD people commit the exact same errors and malignancies that they (often incorrectly) claim that SD commits—most notably over-generalization. Certainly, I see a greater threat to a civilized political climate, freedom of speech, and similar from the anti-SD direction. Certainly, in the (hypothetical and unlikely) event that the Swedish situation degenerates to something akin to UK in V for Vendettaw or Nazi-Germany, I have no doubt that it will be either leftist or PC/feminist extremists who are behind it—not SD.

Generally, I advise the use of balanced thinking:

Not everyone who appears evil is evil; not everyone who appears good is good. Furthermore, the evil that appears good is the far greater threat than the evil that actually appears evil—and many of the greatest evils have been committed by people convinced that they were, in fact, the good guys.

Update after the Swedish elections of 2010

SD did indeed manage to receive parliamentary representation. More information can be found on my blog, most notably in an entry dealing with the post-election treatment of SD (no improvement, unfortunately).