Decentralizing Sweden – Part 4: Radical Roads

socrates

A legitimate strategy for finding out better political solutions to societal problems is competition, but declaring yourself an independent part of Sweden to conduct experiments will be met by some kind of force and asking for permission will be an exercise in futility. Those with political power will see it as the first card in the house of cards that will make the whole foundation fall, by giving you permission they open the door for everyone to choose defection.

A legitimate way to break out a piece of a municipality, though, is to invoke a communal splitting of an existing commune. In part 1 of this article series I gave example data on how much manpower you need to artificially control a commune politically, the same numbers could be used instead to split off from that commune – But it is crucial to have an absolute majority in order to have any legitimacy.

When voices in Tullinge, outside of Stockholm, wanted to separate from Botkyrka it went as far as an election – and got voted down by 70% of the voters in the municipality (yet, 66% voted for it in the specific area of Tullinge…).

The central government needs to sign off on any decisions in regards to this before it has an official effect, but they have yet to deny any communal splittings – Not that there has been many with a majority wanting to break off a larger commune, but let us paint from the color bucket with the label “Full of Hope”.

One of the major advantages to the practice of separating from another commune is the possibility to dodge the liability for any communal pensions, a “hidden” cost as discussed in Part 3 of this article series. Even though it’s not 100% waterproof that the new communes citizens will be free from any unjust pension plans, it is increasing the chance to be freed significantly.

The organization Swedish Freetowns (Swedish: Svenska Fristäder) is a sort-of think-tank that argues for the ability to resign from the Swedish state and the creation of economical free-zones in Sweden.

 

On Occupation and Squatting

House or land occupation, through organizational force, has never worked out that well in Sweden comparatively to its Scandinavian siblings in Norway (Blitz) and Denmark (Freetown Christiania). It has mostly been used as a short-term protest or negotiation tactic in Sweden over anything more permanent.

One of the most famous house occupations in modern times was the so-called Green Wave protest in Taråberg, where a family squatted in an abandoned house during a protest against practices of a local timber company, which prompted the ordering of over 100 police officers to handle the situation. This was back in the 1980s and the political climate for any potential squatting has not been relaxed, quite the opposite in fact.

After the European security political arm, TREVI, clubbed through a decision that all house and land occupations should cease by 1992 as a norm within the European continent and that establishment of new ones should be clamped down on hard, the Swedish mainstream political line has been to go in hard with police force to stop occupations.  TREVI got absorbed into the Justice and Home Affairs part of the European Union, where its spirit lives on.

 


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