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International Events IX: I feel like a mushroom

Which Tyler

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I really doubt SD will be able to do anything about gas and electricity prices in the short term. I was interesting reading an interview in our local paper with the departing VD of our local power company (Ale El) where he suggested that work on building the Hansa PowerBridge (which would increase export capacity by 50%, according to him) should be stopped immediately and that there need to be ways to prevent companies from exporting so much when prices are sky rocketing for consumers. I'm guessing his views are either because he's leaving, or he's leaving because of his views.

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Sweden Is Becoming Unbearable




.... The media is culpable, too. In an attempt to protect traditional Swedish democratic values, the mainstream media has often shunned and canceled Sweden Democrats officials and supporters, especially in the party’s early years. But now it seems that this response actually might have had the opposite effect. Individuals leaning toward the Sweden Democrats for various reasons have felt stigmatized: Some haven’t been invited to family gatherings, and in a few cases have even lost their jobs. This has not only fed the party’s self-image as a martyr, but also nurtured even more loyalty among its supporters.

One could argue that the traditional parties have had their part in creating the perfect storm. The Social Democratic party has named the Sweden Democrats their main enemy in the election campaign, making other alternatives almost invisible in the public debate. Us or them, was the strategy. Many, predominantly male Swedes, chose the Sweden Democrats. As for a conservative party like Moderaterna, they have seen their voters abandon them for Sweden Democrats and so Moderaterna reacted by emphasizing the similarities between the two parties until it reached a point where it became hard to distinguish any differences at all.

The result is now plain to see. The Social Democrats, though the largest party, are unable to form a government. Instead, a conservative bloc, led by Ulf Kristersson from Moderaterna, will attempt to take office — as long as it has the support of the Sweden Democrats. Effectively a kingmaker, the party is now one of the most successful far-right parties in Europe since World War II.

It’s a terrifying truth. But we must bear in mind that the majority of the country’s population is not among the Sweden Democrats’ ranks. These people want solutions to real problems — such as a worrying spike in gang and drug-related shootings in several cities — without recourse to ethnic blame games and the vilification of “un-Swedish” culture. As a liberal democrat I will never approve of a party that celebrates its success with references to Hitler’s Nazi ideology, no matter the claim that only by sheer coincidence was the exclamation “Helg Seger” just one letter apart from a Nazi war cry.



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10 hours ago, kiko said:

Can you explain how you jumped from the quoted article to Sweden is becoming unbearable?

Quoting the caption-title, which is why it's in ital.  

I put the link to this opinion piece here because the writer laid out clearly her view as to why at least 20% of Sweden is going neo nazi.

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18 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Everything I've been seeing and hearing boil down to large swathes of the country are really angry with and sick of the morality police.

Right. I guess my question is just how large are those swathes? Is it enough to force change or just enough to look impressive on camera but ends with bloody repression?

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Unless deeply embedded in the ruling contingents of the nation, and maybe not even then, don't think anyone can know.

My own guess is since the sparking event for this round is essentially the murder of a woman by 'clerics' it won't. A large contingent, particularly women, have been objecting to this for at least 40 years already.

But these events can add up to full uprising.  But I don't even know if there is anything approaching an organized contingent that could take over and change things.  You much more likely know more than many, or I, do.

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I wonder if a new Iranian regime would be any kinder to the Baha'i minority. Hundreds killed, thousands imprisoned, 10s of thousands stripped of property, rights and freedoms over the last few decades, no street protests by the general populace.

In a small ray of sunshine, some good news on a disease that kills too many young people. https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/wellington/300693994/jemima-gazleys-jembot-begins-cancerdetection-work


Wellington teenager Jemima Gazley’s determination to be part of the cure for a cancer that ended her own short life has come to fruition: The “JEM-bot”, funded with money she raised as she was dying with an aggressive brain tumour, will begin operating this week.

The robot will speed up the research process in the race to find better treatment and ultimately a cure for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

The JEM-bot would eliminate human error and speed up the work of testing combinations of drugs on tumours by 400 times, said associate professor Dr Matt Dun, who is undertaking the work at his University of Newcastle lab in New South Wales.

A pity a bright youth died for this advance to happen. But what an amazing person, leaving a legacy many who live to their 80s and beyond don't achieve.

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18 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Quote what you’d want us to see please. Paywall.

Are you actually interested?  I'd like to know, because the piece is very long and detailed; it does take some effort to cut&paste and remove stuff so the content shows up on this site clear and easy to read.  I'm willing, but not unless you actually care that a significant portion of Northern Europe - Sweden - is pushing with all its might for neo-nazism, while in the south, a significant port is pushing for neo-fascism, which is alarming, yes.

 Probably plugging in the search terms from the link, such as: Italy Meloni Lord of the Rings Fascists and find another online source.  This isn't exactly hidden or new news for Italy.



There is quite a bit more than I have cut&pasted.



Hobbits and the Hard Right: How Fantasy Inspires Italy’s Potential New Leader
Giorgia Meloni, the nationalist politician who is the front-runner to become prime minister, sees “The Lord of the Rings” as not just a series of novels, but also a sacred text.

.... As a youth activist in the post-Fascist Italian Social Movement, she and her fellowship of militants, with nicknames like Frodo and Hobbit, revered “The Lord of the Rings” and other works by the British writer J.R.R. Tolkien. They visited schools in character. They gathered at the “sounding of the horn of Boromir” for cultural chats. She attended “Hobbit Camp” and sang along with the extremist folk band Compagnia dell’Anello, or Fellowship of the Ring.

All of that might seem some youthful infatuation with a work usually associated with fantasy-fiction and big-budget epics rather than political militancy. But in Italy, “The Lord of the Rings” has for a half-century been a central pillar upon which descendants of post-Fascism reconstructed a hard-right identity, looking to a traditionalist mythic age for symbols, heroes and creation myths free of Fascist taboos.

“I think that Tolkien could say better than us what conservatives believe in,” said Ms. Meloni, 45. More than just her favorite book series, “The Lord of the Rings” was also a sacred text. “I don’t consider ‘The Lord of the Rings’ fantasy,” she said.

Tolkien’s agrarian universe, full of virtuous good guys defending their idyllic, wooded kingdoms from hordes of dark and violent orcs, has for decades prompted scholarly, and convention center, debate over the author’s racial and ideological biases, his view of modernity and globalization. More recently, his works have also provided a fertile shire for nationalists who see themselves in his heroic archetypes.

But in Italy, the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the maps of Mordor have informed generations of post-Fascist youths, including Ms. Meloni, who, the latest polls strongly suggest, will emerge from the election on Sunday as Italy’s first female prime minister — and the first descended from post-Fascist roots.

Ms. Meloni, who leads the hard-right Brothers of Italy party, and who has called for a naval blockade against illegal migrants and warns her supporters about the dark, conspiratorial forces of internationalist bankers, first read Tolkien, a conservative who once called Hitler a “ruddy little ignoramus,” at age 11. She became a fantasy fanatic.

In her early 20s, she surfaced in chat rooms under the nickname Khy-ri, calling herself the “little dragon of the Italian undernet.” More recently, she named her political conference Atreju, an Italian rendering of the name of the hero of “The NeverEnding Story,” best known as a 1980s cult film featuring a flying animatronic character that appeared to be half dragon, half Labrador retriever.

As a government minister in 2008, Ms. Meloni posed for a magazine profile next to a statue of the wizard Gandalf. In 2019, she honored a manga character, Captain Harlock, the “space pirate,” as a “symbol of a generation that challenged the apathy and indifference of people.” Last month, she lamented that her busy campaign schedule had kept her from mainlining Amazon’s new “Rings of Power” series.

But Ms. Meloni’s otherworldly interests have as much to do with politics as personal taste.

“The genre of fantasy in Italy has always been cultivated by the right,” said Umberto Croppi, a former member of the Italian Social Movement who is now the director of a national association of public and private agencies in Italy’s culture industry. He said that the two worlds shared a “vision of spirituality against materialism, a metaphysical vision of life against the forms of the modern world.” ....

.... After the war, many of those Fascists flocked to the Italian Social Movement, but the party’s efforts to reintegrate into Italy’s institutions eventually hit a wall. Its younger members, feeling excluded from civil society, seized on an Italian edition of “The Lord of the Rings,” prefaced by Elémire Zolla, a philosopher who was a point of reference on the hard right and who argued that Tolkien was “talking about everything we confront every day.”

That resonated with a small group of the party’s Youth Front, already bristling at the cultural dominance of the left. They saw themselves, as one of their leaders, Generoso Simeone, put it, as “inhabitants of the mythical Middle-earth, also struggling with dragons, orcs, and other creatures.” Seeking a more palatable alternative to quoting Mussolini’s speeches and spray-painting Swastikas, which, Mr. Croppi pointed out, “was easy to reproduce on walls,” in 1977, they created the first Camp Hobbit festival.

“The idea to call it Camp Hobbit came from a real strategy,” said Mr. Croppi, one of the founders. The thinking was to move beyond the old symbols and to capitalize on the party’s isolation, smallness and victimization by violent leftist enemies to make their hero “not the warrior Aragorn, but the little hobbit — we wanted to get out of this militarist, heroic idea.” ....


This brings to mind the guy who was determined to game the Hugos for Sad Puppies, that this situation might be why he chose to migrate himself, chattels and so forth, from here, to Italy.  Just a thought. :dunno:


So, nazis go for Nordic mytholody; Italian fascists go for Tolkien's invented work.  This is in no way Tolkiien's fault, anymore than it is the fault or responsibility of saga compiliers and formers to be latched on by such nationalists as Wagner, and then the nazis.

It's also more than alarming that the UK government is more extreme authoritarians and anti-democratic than has been seen since the WWI.  Not to mention what we've got here in the USA of determination to rule by the most cruel, racist, sexist, and dumb policies policies

There's this too, about this fascist, just today:




. . . .  In recent years, however, Italy’s modern radical right has felt emboldened to wage a culture war against one of the world’s favourite freedom songs. In recent years, far-right politicians have questioned the use of Bella Ciao in schools and described it as a recruitment tool for the politically correct left. During the current election campaign, the sledging appeared to pay off when a well-known singer, Laura Pausini, refused to sing the song on the grounds that it was “too political”. This week, Mr Salvini hailed Ms Pausini’s decision as a victory against leftwing propaganda. “The left will be saying Bella Ciao to power after the election,” he said.

Bella Ciao is not a leftwing song; it is not leftwing to oppose fascism and insist on universal human rights and freedom from oppression. But it is a song that draws uncomfortable attention to past connections the modern far right wants to airbrush out of history. Brothers of Italy comes from the same political tradition as the MSI and its successor, the National Alliance. Its logo still carries the MSI’s tricolour flame.

A Brothers of Italy election candidate has just been suspended by the party, after a Facebook post was discovered in which he praised Hitler and described Ms Meloni as a “modern fascist”, a claim she denies. As the party seeks to enter the respectable mainstream, the true propaganda is coming from those who seek to undermine and confuse Italy’s collective memory of the horrors of fascism and the political forces that were responsible.



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