September 1998

The SDP has been
warned not to enter
into an alliance with
the Left Party

"That's just the way it is," regardless of actual policy

The reigning communists of China are less frightening than the historical communists of Sweden


1998 Swedish National Election

The growing strength of Sweden's Left Party has been a source of considerable irritation to the neo-liberal establishment. Following the 1994 election, leading figures from the business community warned the reinstated Social Democratic government that it could expect big trouble if it entered into a solid alliance with the Left Party.

The logic behind that threat was later disclosed in a television interview by one of its most prominent authors, Bo Berggren of the Wallenberg business empire. In the interview, Berggren confirmed that he and other powerful business leaders had warned the government against any alliance with the Left Party and its leader, Gudrun Schyman. Then:

Interviewer:  Regardless of the Left's actual policy?

Berggren:  Essentially. That's just the way it is.

Int.:  In other words, any proposal which is supported by Gudrun Schyman and the Left Party is by definition bad?

Berggren:  Yes. . . .

Int.:  But it sounds as though it is emotional arguments that determine what you think.

Berggren:  No. Obviously, it is history, the traces of the past, that are frightening.

Int.:  Does industry usually concentrate on the past so much? It has been investing heavily in China and Russia, and there are certainly "traces of the past" in those countries, are there not?

Berggren:  But they have given clear signals that, uhh. . . .

Int.:  That they shoot advocates of democracy?

Berggren:  No. Yes. That is not what we are interested in. . . . We go into those countries and do business under market conditions.

Int.:  But you are more afraid of Gudrun Schyman than of China's leaders?

Berggren:  We fear her in Sweden, in any event.