imageIt has been a while since I thought about Sweden. But all of a sudden, Sweden is all over the news here in Denmark, and somehow we as Danes have a sort of helping role in the intellectual development of Sweden.

Please let me explain with a little story.

I have this amazing friend. He is an artist, but not just an artist, he is a G-d inspired provocateur. So much in all of our faces, that it is absolutely too much, and just inspiring.

A year ago I went with him on a trip to Copenhagen. He has this old beat up car, the cheapest you can get. The breaks does not work much, and it just looks like it should really be in the graveyard of cars, not on the road.

We went in the car, and he had this little upperclass artist tea party, he was invited to. Some really rich conservative art conneseur held a little get together for her rich friends. She was quite nice, and in a way it was a good party, perhaps because of the hilarity in the clash off cultures at the tea party. We being the poor artist, inviting some resistance hangarounds, the rich banker hosting the event. And in the middle my friend, who got all mixed up in it.

But, bohemians are like that, so nobody really had a bad feeling about it, in fact it all added to the bohemian vibe.

Here is the point. My friend was asked a lot of questions, about how he saw provocative art, how he saw his own things and so on. He said, in fact he was not that much of a politician, and he did not claim to hold any party membership. But there was one value he really held dear. The value of freedom.

I really liked that, and after all the buzz with our Swedish friend Dan Park, I think we could say the same, with what he stands for. This is not to put any labels on him, but rather as a reflection of what it is we are seeing as oppositions.

The system has, luckily in vain, tried to shut Dan Park up. They put him jail, they tried to take away his existence basically. Why? To shut him up, because he threatened the political correct interpretation of Swedish intellectual life.

Yes he is provocative to all of us, yes he does it because he can do nothing else, yes he is miserable, yes he is not concerned with our feelings. But he holds up a mirror to us, so that we can see our own prejudices and idiosyncrasies. For this we should be grateful. Because as Socrates says, you can kill me, but if you kill that bee on the great stallion of Athens, you will be sorry, because these bees are hard to come by. And if the bees are not there, the stallion will fall asleep.

I like that guy, and this comes from a conservative. I believe it tells us, as conservatives something about ourselves too. We have become liberal in a way. We defend freedom, so we are also liberal.

In this way, I believe the conservative perspective has developed in the last few years. We have become more open minded, the fights we fight are not just as a last ditch resort to protect old virtues. It is a fight where we have been given the initiative. Where we are the ones who make up new paradigms, who put up new trends. The back benchers have become the front runners.

The story about my friend who took me to Copenhagen in his beat up car, ended quite good. We had a nice time, and the honesty of my friend is basically what I really like about him. He is uncorrupted by the power he has, and I believe he has this balance that I like about fighters of light. He fights for freedom, but on an honest base of friendship, loyalty, honesty. And I believe I am blessed to have a friend like him.

G-d bless the world as we are progressing in new ways.

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