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Out with the Old, In with 1984
Orwell didn't go on about only mass surveillance. Translated from the original at Scriptorium.
I wondered if I was still drunk come New Year's morning when I sat down to read Carl Bildt's op-ed in Expressen. The impressive array of empty beer bottles, together with the time of day, indicated this was improbable, and reactions I heard from others swept away all doubt. What's written there is precisely what I thought was written there. Carl Bildt explains that Internet freedom is important, and that Sweden is a model country in that regard, and that other countries admire our legislation in the area and plan to follow suit.
I want to throw up after reading this. The FRA debacle was and is outrageous with all their evasions and excuses. As is the data retention directive. And IPRED. And ACTA. And all of them. But this. To express oneself as Bildt does... Where does he get the nerve? How far gone is he in his psychopathology when he starts using this type of Newspeak?
There are a few possible explanations. One is that Bildt is totally clueless. That's not likely. We're not talking about an MP whose been tasked by the party to defend a controversial bill and who's easy to replace if things don't work out. We're not talking about a poor sod who's had the wool pulled over his eyes by the party's leadership. We are talking about a foreign minister, a former prime minister. Bildt knows. Bildt has the influence.
Another explanation is that he's bat shit insane - that the cheese slipped off his cracker. And that he therefore has a warped world view where he really thinks he's telling the truth. This would of course be both sad and serious. Sad for him personally and serious because he's still our foreign minister. It would be the epic height of irresponsibility for party leadership to let a mentally disturbed Bildt continue to represent this country on the world stage. At least unless you're exploiting the situation as above, for then it's not just the epic height of irresponsibility - it's also frighteningly cynical.
Myself I don't believe in either of the above explanations. I believe in a third explanation where Carl Bildt is very aware what he's doing with Newspeak and is coldly counting on most people never suspecting he's lying. You know, those people his party leader once said were 'Sleepbrains'. People can be sick and tired of politicians they despise, but they still have a tough time detecting the Big Lies. Or rather: we have a difficulty realising that someone could lie so majestically - so therefore what they say has to be true. I turn the podium over to Adolf Hitler who explains it in more thorough detail:
'All this was inspired by the principle - which is quite true within itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.'
And should other countries be admiring our legislation, then it's about our current government's shamelessness, their Newspeak, and their thick layer of teflon - no criticism sticks, no surveillance scandal is big enough to get them to open their mouths. And when they finally do open their mouths, it's Chuckie Charts who pops out of the teflon bubble to dish up this sort of rubbish. And what makes this so unbelievably uncomfortable is that it tells us something about how far down they've already taken us.
Bildt boasts arrogantly that the Obama regime's NSA investigators already have an eye on the 'Swedish model' - but we already know the 'Swedish model' was a request from the US. We already know our FRA are an integral part of NSA operations.
Bildt says further that discussions like these can only take place in open democracies, for people are silent in countries built on illegal surveillance. He conveniently forgets that his party chairman's only memorable comment from the time when the FRA law was pushed through the parliament was 'things would be a lot better if people would stop talking about this'. If Bildt and his friends were serious about having discussions in our open democracy, they could start the ball rolling by answering the questions already levelled at them. Time after time after time.
I read Bildt's op-ed over and over again and I'm still gobsmacked. Speechless. That's the way it's to be read. Not be plucked apart into its constituent parts, but seen in its entirety. It says something alarming, either about the condition of our democracy, or the mental health of our foreign minister, or about who he's really working for. For let me put it like this: should we sometime in the future receive a whistleblower's document which shows that Sweden's government were infiltrated by US interests, that as an example Sweden's foreign minister was an agent for the US, I wouldn't fall off my chair. I'm not saying it is so - I'm only saying I wouldn't fall off my chair.
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