This Summer I spoke at this year’s Identitär Idé conference, which was held on 28 July in Stockholm. These conferences are seminars organised by the blog portal and think-tank Motpol, in conjunction with Arktos and Metapedia, to discuss identitarian ideas. The ideas explored are linked mainly to the European New Right. Last year’s guests were Markus Anderson, Andrew Fraser, Lars Holger Holm, Alexander Jacob, and Tomislav Sunic. Truth be told, I spent more time travelling than at the actual event, and my experience of Stockholm was brief, but this made the experience no less interesting.
I had been looking forward to visiting Sweden. It is a country of vast natural beauty. I had dealt with talented Swedish musicians in the past via my music-related activities, and I had been well impressed by them, finding them intelligent, calm, fair, and courageous—sometimes with unbelievable violence beneath a stoic exterior. I had also heard good things about Stockholm from my mother, who had visited the Swedish capital on business during the 1990s and had remarked on its architecture. I had high expectations with regards to cleanliness, orderliness, and civility, having been to Sweden’s Eastern neighbour and heard admiring reports from visitors to its Western neighbour.
The outward journey involved two flights. The first would take me from Manchester to Amsterdam; the second from Amsterdam to Stockholm. On the day before the conference, I headed for Manchester Airport with my hand luggage and a book for the occasion: a 1925 hardcover edition of Idiot Man, by Charles Richet. I chose this one because it seemed apt amid the seething multitudes of air travellers and its title reminded me of Lombroso’s Criminal Man.
Manchester Airport is not congested like Heathrow, but its security policies are no less paranoid than in Britain’s main airport. Accordingly, I was still presumed a potential Muslim terrorist by the foreign-born, multiracial security staff, who scanned me and my belongings with their metal detectors and X-ray machines. A South Asian man waved me through once it was determined, following a review of my skeletal structure, that I bore no means to blow up the aeroplane in the name of the Prophet.
The waiting area was crowded and flanked by corporate franchises in cutthroat competition—each shop a gaping maw screaming for money. I scorned them, determined to keep my wallet defiantly shut. I did, however, walk through W. H. Smith’s book selection. There I discovered that airport novels—easy-to-read fiction with high word counts and convoluted plots—are now segregated into an ‘Airport’ section. I had never noticed that before.
In terms of reading habits, travellers were divided by race. The Whites had books, the non-Whites not. Sitting in the waiting area I was at one point next to two polar extremes. To one side I had a bearded man, straight out of a 1970s university faculty department, poring over photocopies containing technical prose and abstruse diagrams. To the other side I had a group of West Africans, jabbering loudly in heavily accented English, rocking the bench as they roared with laughter and violently swapped seats.
While at the gate, I encountered a Dutch man with resolute contempt for queuing etiquette, but who also lacked the courage to act honestly in accordance with his beliefs. Instead, he propelled himself from his seat to a position next to and vaguely in front of me, not close enough to justify an admonishment, yet near enough to make it plain that he had strategically placed himself with a view to cut in front of me as we entered the bottleneck leading to the boarding pass inspectors. By subtle lateral displacement, however, and tactical positioning of my hand luggage, I eventually trapped him behind a row of seats, forcing his capitulation. Behind a mask of equanimity, I silently gloated as he, humiliated, had to content himself with a position way back in the queue.
The last three times I flew to the United States, the flights were operated by American airlines. None of the stewardesses on those occasions were below the age of fifty-five. One was, in fact, quite elderly. Evidently, some equality body somewhere had complained about ageism and industry executives had caved in to its demands, summarily firing all their young stewardesses and bringing back from retirement the stewardesses with whom I flew back when Abba was topping the charts. The KLM flight I flew in this time, however, had apparently escaped, or resisted, the equality lobby: the stewardesses were in their thirties—nearly embryos by modern standards. This was strange. When I was a child, all stewardesses were barely out of their teens.
I had been looking forward to the stop in Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, because I had passed through it regularly during the mid 1980s and, not having set foot in it in twenty-four years, I expected to reminisce. Unfortunately, however, my expectations proved naïve: the airport was completely unrecognisable. I found it ten times larger than I remembered it. I also found it extensively refurbished with a ruthlessly commercial orientation, to the point where it now resembles a Las Vegas shopping mall. There was even a miniaturised castle in one of the concourses, containing a busy pub. I imagined stressed-out businessmen knocking back tequilas one after the other.
The security screening here proved even more paranoid than Manchester’s. I had flown in from a EU member state and was en route to an EU member destination, but I was nevertheless required to go through passport control and full security screening a second time. The uniformed passport control officers looked like Arno Brecker statues, so that was as I would have expected it in a sane world. The security staff, on the other hand, were as in Manchester: foreign-born and from everywhere in the world except the Netherlands, or even Europe. Their metal detector had been calibrated for maximum sensitivity. I had to go through it three times, in successive stages of informality, before the bleeping stopped, and even then I was required to subject myself to a manual scan. I stared into space as a black shadow looked for weaponry. I was, it seems, deemed likely to carry knives, pistols, chemical agents, plastic explosives, or biological weapons. When it was done, the shadow said ‘Okay’, and I walked through it. It is ironic, is it not, that a foreigner with no roots in this continent can now be in a position to regulate the natives’ movements, with the power to block access and prevent movement, at his own discretion. No wonder they think us idiots.
Aboard my flight I came across the first Swedes. Invariably, they boarded weighed down with plastic bags filled to bursting with bottles of booze. Invariably also, the latter was the hardest available, as if a calculation had been made to ascertain the most extreme Euro to inebriation ratio. The aircraft filled to the tune of clinking bottles. My neighbours across the isle were two cheerful Swedes in their late twenties. Both suffered from polydipsia, ordering beers when the drinks trolley first appeared, ordering more when it reversed course, and ordering yet more each time one of the stewardesses passed by. They were indulged every time, though the last beer cans required negotiation. The Swedes, who pleaded with sad puppy eyes, seemed well accustomed to drinking, as the alcohol had no appreciable effect. To their credit, they looked like Arno Brecker statues too, so perhaps their gym instructor had recommended a high-carb diet to push them up a weight category in their sport.
I landed in Stockholm’s Arlanda airport at 11 in the evening, by which time the terminal was nearly deserted. Upon exiting the customs area, the sliding doors revealed only a handful of tired-looking folk as I stepped into the arrival’s lounge. They stood or sat around quietly, eyes glued to the sliding doors. My hosts were not among them, so I had time to survey the scenery while I waited. Having never been to Sweden before, I had—naïvely in the age of budget airlines—expected to see only pure Hallstatt Nords. After all, Sweden has a small population, is cold and dark during Winter, and is in the antipodes of Europe. Instead, I found both those arriving and those waiting for them were vibrantly multicultural. Quite a few were South Asian, and some appeared to be in relationships with indigenous Swedes. The Swedish males in these relationships were hardly Vikings; in fact, I imagined their arms would have broken like breadsticks had they tried to lift one of those broadswords of yore.
Daniel Friberg, the conference organiser, arrived some twenty minutes later. I met him outside, by the pick-up lane. A gleaming black Audi emerged out of the darkness and a tall Swede, of a much higher breed than the ones I had seen thus far, emerged out of the Audi. He was well dressed, all in black. For man still running errands late in the evening and only hours ahead of a conference, he appeared preternaturally calm.
On our way to the hotel I was sad to find an utterly familiar landscape: modernist architecture, globalisation, factory production, and international standards had erased all sense of place, and had it not been for the signs in Swedish, I could have been anywhere in Europe—even Spain or Italy, since in that part of the country the conifer forests had been wiped out. There were some encouraging news, however. Daniel told me that while nationalist politics in Sweden was still in the margins and indigenous Swedish citizens, intimidated by a state- and media-sponsored multiculturalist propaganda, were terrified of political incorrectness, dissidence was growing. Arktos’ rising book sales backed this observation.
The hotel was unlike any other I had seen. Firstly, it began on the fourth floor. Secondly, one side of the reception desk was used as a bar. Thirdly, the dining room area began in the lobby. Sensing my surprise, Daniel said to me ‘This is what happens when you get to Stockholm’s city centre’. The night manager, a Swedish woman, was standing in front of a flat screen television when we arrived, watching with a few others the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. She was loud and friendly. Also friendly was the barman, a native of central India.
I ordered a sandwich after checking in. As it was 12:45 in the morning and the end of a long day, the Indian and I struck a conversation. When the barman discovered I spoke Spanish he immediately switched to this language, which he spoke with fluency and was glad to practice, though he complained of imperfections. It turned out that for three years he had worked in Spain. There he had met a Swedish girl and he had followed her Stockholm, where they had moved in together. The barman told me he spoke five languages: Hindi, his cast dialect, Swedish, English, and Spanish.
During the previous evening I had seen little to tempt me back outside in the morning and, Stockholm being then choked by a Tropical heatwave, I found it inadvisable in any case to walk around in a heavy black suit. I did venture down to the hotel restaurant, however; it was abuzz with activity, teeming with yammering humans from every corner of the world. I discovered a breakfast buffet with a selection of cheeses and cold cuts not too different from what I had found offered in the Netherlands twenty-seven years earlier; the Swedes, however, added (at least in this part of the country) a larger selection of cured or picked fish.
Back in my room, and still with a few hours to spare, a swift review of Swedish television revealed, again, that, save for the Swedish, I could have been anywhere in Europe. I began watching the Olympic swimming heats, but soon tired.
As it turned out, I ended up having to walk several blocks in a heavy black suit after all. Mick, who proofreads for Arktos, had been given an obscure early book by Jonathan Bowden to hand over to me, so he met me in the hotel lobby wherefrom we walked to the venue. Our being engrossed in conversation, and Mick’s knowing the way, meant I took little notice of my surroundings beyond the their familiarity: the same concentration of modernist buildings, shops from global franchises, and motor vehicles from global manufacturers one finds in any and all capitals of Western Europe. Semi-consciously, I had been expecting to find a city crammed with distinctive gothic and baroque architecture, which I know still exists, but I was obviously in the wrong part of the city for that, and a business version of the Million Programme sponsored by the Swedish Social Democratic Party between 1965 and 1974 appeared to have wiped out much of the older building stock. Noting the dearth of Hallstatt Nords, but not yet planning on writing a travelogue at that point, I blanked out the pedestrians and passed through them as if through shadows. Post-colonial theorists have theorised that this sort of behaviour is racist: a sign of the bourgeois White man’s sense of racial superiority, it seems, whereby the coloured man is effectively dehumanised through a subconscious act of mental erasure. Yet it seems the Hallstatt Nord has physically erased himself, so perhaps post-colonial theorists need to theorise again.
As we passed through the iron gates of the conference venue—finally, a nineteenth-century construction—I encountered a welcome tonic: wrought iron fences decorated with fasces. I wondered how long it would take before some professionally offended government diversity officer noticed and demanded their removal.
Inside the venue we found various individuals in the 25 – 40 age group moving boxes of books and other literature up to the conference area. Actual, living, breathing, Nordic-looking Swedes, which by now seemed a strange and unusual sight. Indeed, it was not until I entered the conference room that I finally sensed I was in Sweden: the attendees were nearly all aboriginal, and diversity at that point consisted of one Norwegian—a tall and well-read modern Viking, who had brought with him a copy of the 2011 edition of Lothrop Stoddard’s The French Revolution in San Domingo, published by me last year. A descending whir filled my mind as the corpse of Madison Grant, which until then had been spinning like a dynamo, began revving down in its grave.
I was able to converse with a number of the attendees, including some who had travelled from other parts of Europe; they had read my book, copies of which I, absent-mindedly and in a most uncapitalistic manner, had neglected to bring. It was again mentioned that Swedish aboriginals were terrified of political incorrectness, and that the tiny but subtly totalitarian social democratic establishment had fomented a culture of silence on matters of race and settler colonisation.
Unlike many, who get nervous before a speech, I was eager for my time at the microphone. And when it came it went in a flash.
There were two talks before me (in Swedish) and two after (in English). The event’s main speaker was Professor Alexandr Dugin, who heads the Sociology Department at Moscow State University, and whose book, The Fourth Political Theory, was being launched in English translation that same day. Professor Dugin first talked about liberalism, the first political theory, and its two twentieth-century critiques: Communism, the second political theory, and Fascism / National Socialism, the third. He then described how these went into reverse, leaving liberalism triumphant through American hegemony. For Professor Dugin, liberalism—nowadays primarily embodied by Americanism—is in a state of ‘delayed collapse’ (one of the five collapse models I described); it is dead and kept going by artificial means. In his view it has been a culturally destructive ideology, due to its individualism, egalitarianism, materialism, and economism. Professor Dugin said it was time for a fourth political theory to challenge liberalism, a proposal he linked to the idea of a multi-polar world, and Eurasianism, as an alternative to (liberal) American hegemony. The problem is not America or Americans per se, of course, but the fact that American hegemony means liberal hegemony.
The conference ran smoothly and there was ample opportunity to socialise before and after, as well as during an intermission. There were tables loaded with literature. And there was the rare opportunity also to meet and talk to Professor Dugin, a man with links to the Russian military and influence in the Kremlin. Despite his fierce appearance, the man is quite amiable. He is, in addition, a polyglot, in command of eight languages. Like the Indian the night before, when he discovered I spoke Spanish he briefly switched to that language with ease. Travelling to Sweden, it seems, is good for practicing my Spanish.
After an enjoyable post-event social at a local pub, Mick kindly offered to show me the way back to the hotel. This time, I paid attention. It may have been one o’clock in the morning, but central Stockholm was pulsating with life. (Where I live, all is still by five in the afternoon.) All the bars, pubs, and nightclubs were open, pumping their cacophony out into the streets. These were still buzzing with motorised traffic. Amidst the semi-hallucinogenic kaleidoscope of chrome, glass, cement, neon, and global brand names, I found a disorderly hodgepodge of multiculturalism. The shockingly few aboriginal Swedes interlacing it evinced the effects of metropolitan life and multi-generational degeneration under social democratic hegemony: inharmonious features, misshapen skulls, low stature, flaccid musculature. The females, svelte blondes with wobbly legs perched atop vertiginous heels, wandered around in irritable inebriation, some of them golden-tressed Valkyries accompanied by leering, swaggering Sub-Saharan males. The latter were surprisingly in abundance, along with Asians of varied provenance. I was glad to burrow back into my hotel room, away from the achievements of the Swedish Social Democratic Workers’ Party—a party that has had a stranglehold on Swedish politics since 1914.
Official figures put Sweden’s foreign-born population at 20%, and that includes Norwegians and Finns. Yet, if correct, that should have meant that at least eight or nine out of ten pedestrians I encountered in the street would have been of pure Nordic stock. Perhaps it was my being in a capital city, which will always be unusually diverse and generally unrepresentative of the rest of the country. Perhaps I traversed an unusually diverse part of the capital city. Or, perhaps, the definitions of ‘Swedish’ used in official statistics are based on nationality status, rather than ancestry. That would explain the divergence between official demographic statistics and the evidence on the ground. Was not one Oussama Kassir described in the mainstream news media some years ago as a ‘Swedish terror suspect’?
I had an early flight, so I rose a 5am and had reception call a cab, which I was told would be by the front door ‘within minutes’. The receptionist gave me a slip with a number and warned me about Stockholm’s taxis. The city, it seems, does not have a regulated taxi service, and several companies operate in aggressive competition, which means some are more honest than others. Crooked taxi drivers, I was told, will drive by or wait in front of a hotel in hopes of stealing customers from those who have telephoned a reputable company, hoping to exploit the departing visitors’ lack of knowledge and time pressure. I was told not to reveal the booking number until the cab driver had recited it to me.
The receptionist’s forewarning proved timely: as I exited the hotel, I found a Turkish cab driver already waiting—with a walrus moustache, but without a booking number.
I arrived at Arlanda with time to spare. The security staff were Swedish, which was good, and good looking, which was better. The screening was quieter and more civilised than in Amsterdam or Manchester. This was the first time in years I was treated like a person by airport personnel. (The last time was in December 2006, when a passport control officer became very interested in my copy of Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and nearly made me miss my flight in his desire to discuss the fate of Rome.)
All the same, at this airport I found that jungle capitalism intersected with crushing socialism. Prices were exorbitant. Obviously, they were pushed up by predatory taxation, I suspect necessary to support Sweden’s ever-growing foreign-born population of welfare claimants. A mere factory-made sandwich sold for $11. Twenty paces away a newsagent sold the same sandwich for $8, a slight improvement, but still double what I would pay even in London. The $8, factory-made sandwich proved tasteless, despite the jalapeños—like all packed sandwiches sold these days, it was too cold and the beef had been pumped with water, apparently, as British supermarkets tell its customers, ‘for added succulence’.
Travellers aboard the flight back to Amsterdam were almost entirely non-European. Next to me sat an Ecuadorian and a Mexican, the latter a loquacious patriarch travelling with his family. By this time I had begun Bowden’s Craze, and, because it is in a question-and-answer format, my new book allowed me periodically to tune in to the Mexican’s monologue. He spent the entire flight droning on to his fellow Latin about Mexico. He had an opinion about every subject under the sun, from fiscal policy to BMW suspension, all of which he somehow always linked back to Mexico. The Ecuadorian seemed content to be dominated in conversation.
In Amsterdam I had little time between flights, so I zipped from one end of the terminal to the other without further observation. At the gate I felt a little closer to home. I encountered a contingent of rubicund Northern Englishmen. These were loud-mouthed, beer-swilling football lovers, all in their forties, with shaved heads, tattoos, and prison-yard humour. Jonathan Bowden would have liked them. One of the shaveheads, a grinning comedian, spent the entire flight shouting ‘Russell!’ across the cabin. It seems a fat man some rows in front found this highly amusing, for he burst out laughing every time, until he eventually waddled towards the comedian to express his appreciation. This went on until another shavehead, with surround mirror shades and an ugly scar on his occiput, told him to shut his f**king mouth or else. The resulting exchange of tough words and puffed chests ended in the comedian’s humiliation. Once in Manchester, as I made my way through the airbridge and then the arrivals terminal, I heard him telling his friend, all the way through to the lavatories, how he would have ‘floored’ the guy, how the guy had ran away scared, and so on.
Two hours later, I was glad to be back home. Where my wife and I live, there are only sheep. Peace and quiet at last!
I was glad for the opportunity to speak in Sweden. My stay was, sadly, too brief to get anything but a snapshot of the most unrepresentative part of the country. However, what I saw in the capital did not bode well. The negative trends evident in London, Paris, or Madrid were present in Stockholm, despite Sweden being in the boreal antipodes of Europe and the existence of more than one welfare paradise lower down the hemisphere. Somewhat surreally, at times I felt as if I had become my own character in Mister. An added problem is that the negative trends tend over time to spread outwards from capitals, and, driven by the equality policies, be replicated in other large cities and towns. In the United Kingdom, for example, when Labour politicians noticed that racial diversity was concentrated in London and the south-west, they made efforts to distribute the diversity more evenly around the country, injecting diversity in the most unlikely of places. Of course, no one dared say anything. Subsequently, Trevor Phillips, the Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, complained that there were not enough Blacks and Asians in the British countryside, and demanded that action be taken to rectify that omission. And again, no one dared say anything. Thus, the culture of silence fomented by Sweden’s socialist establishment creates an extremely dangerous situation—only the extremity, arising from the radical nature of a transformation no one ever needed or asked for, is not widely perceived because it has been introduced gradually and cushioned by the comforts of technology and the pleasures of consumerism.
On the other hand, I was pleased to find an organised resistance, aimed at undermining the moral and intellectual basis for liberalism and social democracy, so that subscribing to these ideologies becomes an indefensible position. The organisers know that this project is a key step in the process of bringing about fundamental change, in Sweden and elsewhere; without it, no meaningful political challenge is possible. Theirs is, therefore, an ambitious project. I hope to see their efforts continue and bear fruit before all my travelogues end up reading like Mister.