The Swedish Social Democracy has been the leading brand of Scandinavias friendlier socialism tradition – Being more about reforming society through democracy and alienating their more revolutionary brothers and sisters. But, like all mainstream political parties, there are always holes where more fringe alternatives can sneak in. Or is that a feature and part of the design of the political philosophy?
After the Cuban revolution, Swedish Prime minister Olof Palme was the first leader from the western world to visit the island and Fidel Castro, Cubas then new leader. Two branches of the same tree: The Swedish Social Democracy who aims to slowly turn society towards state control and the Cuban communists that took a more direct, violent, path towards that goal. Pictures from that state visit show the two leaders smiling, parading and exchanging cigar puffs in harmony.
That visit was the start of political co-operation spanning 4 decades, strengthening the camaraderie. Swedish Union and political leaders have visited Cuba ever since, exchanging support and political power on the world stage.
For me, this is just a continuation of what has happened in the past. Early on, the Swedish Social Democrats removed the more Soviet-friendly and revolutionary parts of their organization (to be fair: Some left because the Social Democrats weren’t extreme enough) in order to focus on more streamlined methods and talking points, to gather more support from the commoners. But, they have always kept them on their contact list, in case the necessity arises for more brute force methods. Or to trade ideas and rhetoric.
Let’s take a look at this quote from Daniel Suhonen, ex-speechwriter for Social Democratic leader Håkan Juholt and the director over the union think-tank Katalys:
“I want to have politics where you can wake up every morning and contribute towards building a socialistic society, and if that means taking up your Kalashnikov and shoot – Then that is what we do. But, until then we can’t wait in study groups”.
– Daniel Suhonen
This quote is from a debate between Revolution editor Ylva Vinberg and Daniel Suhonen on the topic of if socialists in Sweden should “Follow the Revolutionary or Reformist path”. Here is the time stamp for the moment he says the above quote, in Swedish – The video has no English subtitles, so it will sadly make no sense to a non-Swedish speaker. In the background of the video the logo for the organizer of the event, Swedish Adult Educational Association, can be seen.
Mr. Suhonen has later said the statement was meant as a joke, “I don’t want to use violence, just raise taxes” (Link to the Tweet in Swedish, translation here is Mine). In the context of the video its hard to determine if it actually was a joke – After my first listen through the debate, the quote sounds very sincere, used in a way to approach the other speaker’s side.
Either way, even if this particular speech was meant to be taken as some light-hearted fun, the trail of anti-capitalistic rhetoric and dogma is strong in Daniel Suhonens written work for his think-tank Katalys and in debate articles in mainstream media.
Both the Social Democrats and their youth party branch has had several team-up with left-wing fringe elements, for example on the International Women’s Day march where they planned the march out with Revolutionary Communists.
Trying to answer the question “Is it a feature and part of the design of the political philosophy?”, I would say yes. Even though many of the normie-crowd Social Democrat voters and party affiliates wouldn’t want to support the extreme communistic ideals, there are higher-ups and grassroots movements that act as a filter, shielding the regular folks, yet integrate the ideas into the party program by using reformism as the tool towards a socialistic Swedish state.
The methods used are different between the branches, but the goals are not far from each other: Total political control under the red banner.