In Sweden, intolerance and polarisation are increasing, acts of violence are becoming normalised, the responsibility for welfare is placed on those with primarily economic interests, labour unions are playing on the employer’s side to keep our economic society in a state of work and consumption which in turn is damaging our climate and exterminating plant and animal species. Invisible power players such as think tanks and lobbyists are flourishing more and more eagerly. We as digital people look helpless as our human rights are being lost before the power of tech companies.
A clear political course is needed to deal with all of this. The focus must always be on the citizen and the grassroots’ right to shape their own lives and be able to trust their fellow human beings and those in power. Sweden currently lacks a progressive political force adapted for a society where so many independent power factors influence people’s daily lives. A power without obligations to classic ideologies and parties. A political initiative that dares to stand up for man as a social and cultural being, and not as an economic component in a machine that no one seems to be able to turn off.
Once upon a time, people experienced welfare and care as something we owned together because the majority voted for a party that had an impact and could create reforms that changed our lives. 82 individuals – we call them welfare oligarchs – have assets that correspond to 49 percent of Sweden’s annual GDP, making unlimited profit withdrawals from tax-financed welfare services and contributing to increased inequality is what a small circle of billionaires with political influence is doing. Sweden is one of the few countries in the world that practices tax-funded privatisation.
The climate threat looms over us, but it is climate activists who are doing the job right now, not the elected officials. They do not want to say the word “climate crisis”. But climate activism is not enough if there is no political force willing to take over. DiEM25 dares to see the inevitable connections between democratic conditions, environmental and climate change. Let us share the climate anxiety and find the necessary sense of “we” that is needed if we are to achieve the system changes required.
In bad times, the Keynesian strategy has been successful – that is, investing oneself out of a stalled society. But the classical view of investments does not work as well anymore as these are easily linked to the industry, which today leads to fossil emissions and climate problems. Optimism and the desire to “invest” to “get the wheels rolling” must be done in a partially new way. In an ambition to want to change society, DiEM25 seeks investments in social and cultural areas. Where investments do not lead to direct economic growth, we want to make new priorities with other values that benefit social and cultural growth. Shorter working hours, better housing environments, more sustainable products, and an end to the “use and throw away” society. It reduces predator behaviour on our planet and people. Not least, we believe that other values can also curb crime.
Today, human rights are something we take for granted, even though we are losing them on a large scale. We are almost more digital people than physical ones. And in the digital universe, we lack rights as we are used to. The companies and suppliers that have created our digital system have made us believe that technology requires us to give up our rights to this new techno-feudal nobility to gain access to their creations, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and so on. This digital nobility is now using our most intimate and personal behaviour and turning it into commodities that are sold around the world. Free products usually mean that you are the product. DIEM25 wants to put citizens’ right to determine their own privacy.
We all try to understand what is happening in our society today. We read on social media, we watch the news on TV, read newspapers, and hope that we can create a fair picture of what is going on. But in addition to our daily newspapers becoming increasingly polarised, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to understand who is influencing whom. Think tanks and lobbyists have crept into our increasingly complex information society. DiEM25 wants clearer content on what is said and expressed. We want to be able to see who pays for opinions, who has composed them, and that these individuals or organisations are registered and available on the content list. Who is influencing our politicians, what economic interests are hovering in the background? Transparency is perhaps DiEM25’s most important weapon against ruler strategies and corruption.
DiEM25 Stockholm Local Collective
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