M must fight for freedom


After two mandate periods of unimaginative social democratic rule, Sweden finally got a new government last year under the leadership of the Moderates and Ulf Kristersson. In the eight months that have passed since he took office, there has been in many ways a higher pace in the government office than in the previous eight years, and large parts of the promised policy have begun. Criminal policy is undergoing a complete restructuring. Punishments have been toughened and investigations with short time frames have been added on everything from visitation zones and anonymous witnesses to more people who participate in gangs should be able to be convicted and how victims of crime should be able to receive compensation more quickly. Proposals to build more reactors and in more locations are underway and offshore wind power is getting the green light at breakneck speed. These are important and big issues. At the same time, it has been anything but a honeymoon for the government. The time has been characterized by nightmarish inflation figures, the largest real wage reduction in 30 years, an energy crisis with sky-high electricity prices and a full-scale war in Europe, started by a neo-Stalinist Russia, where Sweden is still outside NATO. That the Moderates in this situation have not lost a single voter since the election is a feat. Also that the previously unproven Tidö cooperation works improbably well and has put an end to the parliamentary chaos that has prevailed since 2010. Despite the progress, there are expectations when a bourgeois government takes office that has not yet been incorporated and where an agenda is missing. It is often said that this the government got its mandate based on a restructuring of energy policy and criminal policy. But just as much the voters opted out of a left-wing constellation and with it their description of society and rhetoric, such as the eternal distrust of gains in welfare, the threats of increased capital taxes, the desire to pressure small savers, and a detailed regulation of forests and beaches that hits the countryside hard. are traditional issues of freedom. Together with responsibility, it is the guiding principle of the moderate legacy of ideas, and the core of the political conflict that has historically stood between S and M. What M calls freedom issues, S calls justice issues. Where S sees class differences, M sees empowerment and the opportunity for class trips. Where moderates see room for the individual, social democrats see room for a swelling state power. But in matters of principle about freedom, M is today almost invisible. Instead, the focus is on other areas, such as crime and migration. Of course, it is also a matter of freedom to maintain order and order. Just ask those who have to deal with the gangs’ unpredictable firing line in their everyday lives. But law enforcement does not evoke feelings of desire and is a national trauma with a long processing time. Mostly it is about the state taking responsibility for its core tasks and individuals being forced to take responsibility for their actions. In addition, the primary political conflict is no longer around issues such as crime and migration. On the contrary, there is great agreement among the parties, at least the major ones. Everyone sees the flaws in the system and even if there are nuanced differences between the parties, they are small. Rather, the conflict in politics is still about the freedom of the individual, about the view of the state and capital and man. But where moderates are expected to bite back against social democratic excesses, it is instead often the Sweden Democrats who oppose. Take the issue of the investigated wealth register, a feared first step towards a new wealth tax. While M trembles on the cuff, it is the Sweden Democrats who reject the register to the wastebasket. They are pushing on the issue of farm sales and have campaigned persistently for reduced electricity tax, a much better option for a bourgeois government than handing out electricity subsidies. When S wanted to introduce quotas for company boards in 2016, it was SD who rightly called it socialism. It must be embarrassing when Sweden Democrats sound more like Gösta Bohman than moderates do. It also risks leading to the primary political dividing line in the future being between S and SD, something that the Moderates themselves have warned against. This is precisely why a moderate freedom agenda is needed. In an interview with the prime minister in Expressen, a libertarian and hopeful right wing was recently glimpsed that would have a chance and be worthy of being re-elected. Kristersson says that strolling around freely in a city is at least as great an experience of freedom as driving a car. It’s a start. Implementing regulatory simplification for the countryside, regardless of whether it concerns beach protection or farm sales, is a continuation that does not involve contradictions in the city. But even more important is not to neglect the issue of reduced taxes, reduced expenses and an overhaul of the state’s companies. It is in the libertarian politics, and the economic one in particular, that the Moderates have built up trust and claim over the decades. Highlighting this is pure self-preservation. M won the battle for the formation of the government, now the party must take the initiative and win the battle for the freedom paradigm. Make use of the mandate and libertarian streak found in the Tidö collaboration to implement such a policy. This is what is done in Finland, with a government cooperation similar to the Swedish one, where, among other things, it has been agreed to lower the tax on labour, review state-owned companies and make the stock exchange more attractive. This is also needed in Sweden. A bourgeois government, and especially the Moderates, has a responsibility to protect and fight for freedom.

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