Oslobaserade skribenten Bruce Bawer har idag en osande vidräkning med svensk demokratisyn och svensk offentlig debatt i The New York Sun. Och även om jag inte ser, som Bawer tycks, andelen muslimer i Sverige som ett hot, och även om Bawer tycks ha missat att landets justitieminister faktiskt tvingades avgå på grund av yttrandefrihetsfrågor, så finns det stora delar i artikeln som är väl värda att ta till sig.
The Economist Intelligence Unit, associated with the Economist magazine, has awarded the title of world's most democratic country to Sweden. For many observers, this is not only wrong — it's staggeringly, outrageously misinformed.
Sweden is, after all, a country in which the people are fed by their political, press, and intellectual establishment an unvarying diet of propaganda promoting the socialist welfare state, demonizing Israel, and whitewashing Islam. As for America, the official view was neatly captured in a post-September 11 editorial in the nation's largest newspaper, Aftonbladet, which assured readers that the terrorists who attacked New York and Washington weren't Sweden's enemies but simply hated " U.S. imperialism," a reasonable position given that "the U.S. is the greatest mass murderer of our time." Such views, taught in Sweden's classrooms and enshrined in Sweden's state-approved schoolbooks, are reiterated daily by Sweden's mainstream press organizations, all of which are either government-owned or government-subsidized.
Dissent is powerfully discouraged.