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2017: Ragnarök or world renewal?

2017: the Ragnarok or the renewal of the world

Share on FacebookShare on WhatsAppShare on TelegramShare on TwitterSo one year has come to an end and a new one is dawning. Project Moberg often focuses on history, but for me this project is as much about the present and the future. It is unclear whether this [...]

So one year has come to an end and a new one is dawning. Project Moberg often focuses on history, but for me this project is as much about the present and the future. It's unclear whether this qualifies as a "year in review", but you'll be taken on a quick look back at the past year, and then into the future - which is not yet written in stone.

We do not live separately from history. Just as Viktor Rydberg wrote in The fathers' god saga of our ancient Norse myths, each generation has also "been incorporated as a link in a chain which begins with the rising of the world, the gods and mankind, and ends with Ragnarok and the renewal of the world".

Of course, we can only influence our small link in the chain. But our link - our generation - has something in common with previous generations. Vilhelm Moberg believed that the great struggle through the centuries has always been between the controlling and the controlledthat is, those who want to rule over others and those who are content to be their own master.

Already in 1947, Vilhelm Moberg warned in a radio interview in Dagens eko about the development in Sweden, and that if it continued, "life in this country would become unbearable for everyone who places any value on their individual freedom, on self-evident human rights. Our people have fought a hard and tenacious battle to acquire this freedom, these rights. They are dearly paid values."

We are approaching 70 years since he said those words, and the trend has continued in the same direction. Laws have multiplied along with all the ordinances, regulations, forms, taxes, and other ways in which those in power control our lives. The past year is certainly no exception. The straitjacket has been tightened ever more tightly in 2016 - and through good social democratic education, we have learned that this is a good thing, because we are the ones doing the tightening!

Is this our task as citizens of the nation of Sweden? To vote one day every four years and watch the straitjacket tighten on ourselves until we can no longer fill our lungs without filling in a form? No, not if you asked Vilhelm Moberg:

"What Sweden is today, it has been made by dead and living Swedes, and no one else. Sweden is ours today through Swedish endeavour. The task of the living Swedes is to preserve it and improve it by continuing this quest - on the basis of freedom." - Vilhelm Moberg

The task of the living Swedes is to continue the Swedish endeavour on the basis of freedom. But Swedish endeavour is no longer based on freedom. Swedish endeavour is once again hijacked. Ancient freedoms for which our ancestors have paid dearly - in human life and suffering - have once again begun to be questioned by those in control. Indeed, from some quarters it is questioned whether any Swedish aspiration has ever existed at all.

The right to speak and think freely, the right that belongs to all free peoples, is no longer self-evident in their eyes. The right to fully determine one's own life, the right that belongs to all people now and forever, has been under attack for as long as there have been people who want to rule over others. That battle is not over. Obvious human rights are something that must be defended and earned by every generation. Our generation is no exception.

In the coming year, Project Moberg will therefore continue to follow Vilhelm Moberg's words to "stubbornly hold on to the most elementary truths and legal concepts and repeat again and again the self-evident things".

The obvious things are those that are worth more than life itself, as Vilhelm Moberg tells us:

"I have something to die for that is of greater value than my individual life, than my remaining years of life:

It is the right to rule over myself, over mind and body. It is the right of my children to live free in the land of their birth; my life is already largely spent, and if it is sacrificed for the unspent life chances of my children, then a lower value is exchanged for a higher one. It is the free life of the spirit on our earth, it is the belief in the sovereignty and inviolability of the spirit - it is all that I sum up in the beautiful dream of the kingdom of the soil, which will one day belong to man.

These are values, greater than my life, these are values to die for. And evil is all that threatens to take these values from me.

I must resist evil."

Resisting evil

These values - these human rights - are not only threatened by Swedish politicians who see no limit to the extent to which the political sphere can encroach on the private sphere. Our rights are also threatened by another, more tangible evil.

A wave of terror and abuse has swept through Europe in 2016. Europe and Sweden will not be spared from even more evil in 2017. Our wise political leaders have seen to that, eagerly cheered on by their ideologically like-minded comrades in the media, and in doing so they have also made their establishment part of that evil - and set Sweden on course for the total police state. More recently, the same establishment has certainly turned its coat to the wind and made some clumsy attempts to correct its mistakes, but the damage to our rights has already been done.

It is only a matter of time before Swedes too are forced to pay the ultimate price - to be slaughtered on the altar of false solidarity. It could be your partner, your child, your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, or anyone else you know who is snatched away from you. It's horrible. Disgusting evil. But it's the reality we've been served by those we've entrusted with our security and our children's future. "Sweden has been naïve," the prime minister said. Yes, naive in the belief that those in power put the safety and freedom of Swedish citizens first.

One I know that never dies: the verdict on dead man. I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. However, my eternal promise to myself, to those I love, and to all of you who believe in justice and freedom is this: I will stand against evilthan the form that evil takes. Torgny Segerstedt writes about the battle against evil in an article on 1 May 1934:

"The world is going dark. It is a life-and-death struggle for or against freedom and justice, for or against all that dreamers and poets have given us of the glitter of ideas, for or against faith in the eternal humanity of men.

Happy the youth whom ideas call and who obey their call. If it goes forth under blue banners or under blood-red, if it works in this or that sphere of life, if it only, believing in the right of spirit, of thought, of good will, defies the crowds that rise from the abysses of the past, let it be praised tenfold happy. Defiance here is the self-exaltation of the human, and it can overcome death. Happy all who fight for the highest, the only thing that gives life substance, the human. The inexhaustible glory of spring, the impenetrable meaningfulness of life, surrounds them, even if they run towards the smoke of rage."

It may feel like Ragnarok is around the corner, and it will get worse, but remember that after Ragnarok, world renewal awaits. How bad it gets, and which of the two we pass on to the next generation, is entirely up to us.

To all of you who are willing to make the same pledge - to stand against evil - I leave the following words for the coming year:

Don't go quietly into the night. You must rage against the dying of the light.


Photo: K W Gullers / The Nordic Museum (CC BY-NC-ND)

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