Posted by: Johan Normark | September 22, 2010

Neomaterialist thoughts about the Swedish election

The Swedish election is not completely over since there still are votes that need to be counted. However, what will remain true is that a major change has swept through the political landscape of Sweden. For the first time we have a party in the parliament with its roots in fascism, the Sweden Democrats (SD). They received 5.7% of the votes. Media and politicians debate how this could happen since it was not just unemployed and low educated countryside men from the Social Democratic party that made the transition to the far right.

Christopher Kullenberg at Intensifier argues that reasons are far deeper than simply a question of unemployment. It is all about desire (in the way Deleuze and Guattari formulates it in Anti-Oedipus). Kullenberg writes that “Sweden Democrats are not fooled. They are not living with a false consciousness, they are not alienated workers who have gone wrong in life. They have voted and they voted because they hate immigrants. They want to drive them out, they desire their disappearance. It has nothing to do with the elections.”

The roots for (macro)fascism are always found in microfascism. This is a construction of monomanias in “little neighborhood policemen” that emerges from a desire for codes that “fix subjects to rigid boundaries of thought and action and fix bodies to pre-established patterns of flow” (Bonta & Protevi 2004:86). This “molecular” microfascism spreads like a virus before it becomes captured by the “centralizing resonance [the War Machine] that create the molar apparatus of the State [and macrofascism]” (ibid). This virus grows when it is criticized since the desire for a strong leader, purity and the Other’s extinction exists everywhere, on all levels and in all neighborhoods. It fills all voids.

I doubt that we ever have a situation in Sweden when the fascist War Machine takes control of the whole State apparatus. But now that SD is in the parliament they are likely to affect the way people interact with each other. Microfascism will grow stronger as it has done in several European countries and the US.

Karl Palmås has remarked on the difference between SD and the Green Party (MP), who now is the third largest party in the country (they got my vote). He believes two very different views of “society” will emerge in the years to come. SD relies on an arborescent view with rigid boundaries and essences. The culture, family and nation are like organisms (see DeLanda’s critique of the organismic metaphor in social studies). However, this is how most people view their life. There are certain fixed points in life you are expected to fulfill (school, marriage, elections, shopping, etc.). Most people do not wish changes, they want security and this is exactly what microfascism emerges from.

MP will rather see the same assemblages as part of an open ecosystem that is rhizomatic in character. There are no essences and predefined functions, everything emerges through morphogenetic processes. Although this far better explains the way “society” works that is not how people perceive it to work since they have been educated in a school system that has been designed to create obedient subjects to a national state.

This difference is huge. SD (and most people I must add) has a belief in the existence of an essential Swedish culture where everything has a fixed position like organs have in an organism. These organs are needed for the organism to work and hence they must remain in the same position, otherwise the essential organism (Sweden) will be destroyed. The ecosystem, on the other hand, is open and lack goal. It is always open to include new components. Its constituent components are always part of experimentation.

The organismic option will give insecure people security but it will become a stagnant society that ultimately will destroy itself since it desperately will attempt to control all lines of flight out of its territory (and these will only increase as the State increases its molarizing and homogenizing processes). For instance, criminality (another of SD’s major political agendas) will not decrease by enforcing Draconian penalties. The US has death penalty but has crime decreased? No, it is rather the opposite way. The ecosystemic option will allow for change and innovations, which will be far more beneficial in the long run. It will be a more open-minded view and less harsh. The path Sweden has entered now will not be beneficial for anyone except for a small minority.


  1. I guess most people are not interested in becoming waste products in some kind of ecological utopia, jump from an airplane ten miles high without a parachute etc, just because some great things might happen. It may, but hardly to them, they know it and some react by voting SD and giving the political elite a slap in the face. MP was borned as a fresh original, but now it seems to be just another tired neoliberal copy. It they continue along this road SD will probably gain a lot the the next few years as the only opposition party in the Parliament.

  2. The SD Fringe Are The Remains Of WWII Exclusivism,Anti-Immigrant,Also Strongly Anti-Religion(Islam).The People Could Be Comming To The Center In Unity,Instead Choosing The Egde In Polarity.

  3. I also believe that most people voting for SD did it as a protest against the politicians. However, that may not be the case in the next election. Microfascism will be fueled by their presence in the parliament.


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