Monday, January 16, 2006


No, I'm not going to post an endless boring (or maybe not) rant about politics. I'm just taking the opportunity to use some of the discussions we've had in Social studies, write down my own thoughts in English and thus remembering it much better when it's time for my first test. At the same time, I might influence one or two of my readers to get their asses out of their comfy television armchairs. ;o)

First of all, think about this:

  1. Democracy means roughly "from the people", ie the people decide what kind of politics they want. Looking at the world today we can only state that the people get the politics and politicians they deserve.
  2. Democracy as we know it hasn't been around for a long time. Yes, in Athens they had something called democracy but only for the wealthiest and free males. Women, slaves and young and poor people had no saying at all. "Our" democracy slowly evolved in the industrialized countrys in western Europe in the late 1800's and accelerated in the early 1900's. Democracy as we know it is barely a hundred years old. Totalitarian politics are at least four thousand years old! Democracy is a child and children have to be nurtured to mature. If you neglect them they turn into nightmares. This is actually happening as you read this.
  3. Democracy is under a constant threat, not only from fascist organisations from the far left and right wings, but also from people themselves. If people stop caring about politics we will very rapidly be faced with a bunch of politicians who only look after their own interests. Once again, we get the politicians we deserve. Face it, we're all humans and as such just lazy bums. If we can get away with a nap at work, we'll do it. If we can get someone else to do our work for us, we'll let them. Politicians are no exception. If no one looks after them they'll do whatever they bloody well like.
  4. Democracy is it's own worst enemy. A real democracy is built on, among other things, freedom of speech. You can and should not be censored in any way. In Sweden there are very few exceptions to this, among them military and industrial secrets. In reality I can actually publish anything as long as I keep my mouth shut prior to publishing it. After the publishing however, I can get severely punished. Let's say that I write and publish a really hateful article targeting a certain group of people (gays, muslims, jews, whatever). Let's say I show this article to authorities. They can warn me that I will get fined or even imprisoned if I publish it but they can't censor me or stop me from publishing. Ever. After the publishing it's a completly different matter. In this case I would (and should) be prosecuted for "agitation against ethnic group/religious group/minority".

Sorry, I have to stop here. I really need my beauty-sleep. Tomorrow is another day learning things. I just can't understand the constant whining from my fellow students complaining about how hard it is to study and combining it with a life? Learning IS life and life is learning. Bah, they're just all spoiled brats. ;o)


Virginia Gal said...

Wait, I'm confused, in Sweden you can get punished for your thoughts? Isn't that an oppression of free speech? They will let you publish a hate letter and than you get in trouble?
I don't like the idea of punishing someone for their thoughts, even if I disagree with them.

PissedOffPencil said...

Yes, in Sweden it works that way. If I would, as an example, be on a national radio show and say that "gay people are a cancer destroying society" that would classify as "agitation against a minority" which is prohibited by law.

In the case I described in the post I did get a fair warning prior to publishing. After that, it's my own choice if I want to obey the law.

Since this law also is known by everyone it doesn't matter if I keep my mouth shut prior to publishing. I have the choice, break the law or not.

It's impossible to protect minoritys without some kind of regulations and this law collides with the freedom of speech.

It's also prohibited, by law, to own, distribute, sell or propagate for child pornography. To some people this is a restriction to the freedom of speech. To me it's not.

We can sum up the Swedish freedom of speech restrictions with one sentence:
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. :)

Virginia Gal said...

I like that summarization : )