The losers of the Socialist International
by C G Holm
Socialist parties and socialist leaders have had bad times this year. Mona Sahlin, chairman of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, was forced to resign after the loss in last year’s election. Two of her dear colleagues in the Socialist International disappeared at the same time, Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who was forced to resign after 33 years at the helm and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak who was forced to resign after thirty years. Both these gentlemen were welcomed as members of the Socialist International by former Swedish Prime Minister (and chairman of the Social Democratic Party) Ingvar Carlsson at the International’s general meeting in Stockholm in 1989. Nor should we forget Laurent Gbagbo, the president of the Ivory Coast since 2000 (refusing to resign after the loss in the 2010 election). His party is a long time member of the Socialist International.
”Equalist” Pär Ström Speaks on Gender Discrimination,
in an interview by C G Holm
Pär Ström has been active in the debate on integrity, especially regarding registration of personal data in public registers. During the past couple of years he has become more and more involved in the discussion of gender equality. His blog Genus-Nytt (in Swedish only) has between 5 000 and 10 000 visitors a day. Contra had a chat with Pär Ström: ”Feminists are people who work for women. Feminists are not those working for equality between the sexes, feminists want to give women privileges. My view is that sexes should be handled as equals”.
Integrity and Security
by Fredrik Runebert
Politics and law is very much about balancing countering principles against each other. One of the most important questions we have to consider is the balance between integrity and security. In order to improve security it might be necessary to reduce integrity, as is the case with metal detectors at airports or even body scans. But how far should the society be prepared to go in order to improve security?
Estonia Twenty Years after Independence
by Ann-Mari Lahti
This year Estonia celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its regaining of independence. Much has happened during these twenty years. Estonia is a member of the European Union as well as a member of NATO. The currency is the euro (since January 1 2011). The government was re-elected in March and has proclaimed the goal that Estonia should be among the five most wealthy countries in the European Union in twenty years. But still there are people dreaming of going back to bad old times.
Opposition in Today’s Russia
by Maria Walden
Russia is turning the already authoritarian regime in a still more authoritarian direction. This weakens the very weak opposition.
Two Goats and some Barbed Wire
by Roger Klang
Globalization is the only way to get food for the increasing world population.
Freedom Monuments in Stockholm
by C G Holm
In Contra #6 2010 we told about monuments that honoured Communist butchers like Lenin and Mao in the middle of the Swedish capital. But there are monuments celebrating freedom and people who have fought for freedom. Five public monuments tell us about it. Swedes who as volunteers fought in the Finnish army against Soviet aggression during World War II. Boat refugees, 30 000 Estonians who crossed the Baltic in small boats at the end of World War II, fleeing from the advancing Red Army. The Baltic Freedom Memorial celebrating the 1991 independence of the three Baltic countries and the weekly meetings in Norrmalmstorg square, that for more than a year demanded independence for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Liberal Prime Minister Karl Staaff who was the man behind general suffrage in Sweden (but we are missing the monument on Arvid Lindman, the conservative Prime Minister who actually sent the bill to parliament in 1907). And Swedish publisher Lars Johan Hierta, who was successful as the founder of the modern independent Swedish press, successfully fighting the King’s many efforts to ban his Aftonbladet newspaper.
The Cow Smuggler who Made it to South Korea by Bjørn A. Wegge
Risking his life Gwang was successful in getting from North to South Korea (through China, Laos and Thailand). He was supported on the road by underground Christian groups, but he has not himself found God.
A Freedom Academy for the 21sth Century
by Bertil Häggman
In 1966 Freedom Studies Center was established in Boston, Virginia, in order to offer education in Free World strategy towards communism. The Institute developed tactics and programs to defend freedom. Today it’s time to launch a similar program directed against islamofascism.