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It is possible to build a free country when sustainable development falls

In Poland, the authoritarian state is being dismantled

For a year now, the Social Democratic Party has run the Swedish government.  Pippi Longstocking might still be surprised

Nothing is ever hopeless.

After the fall of the extreme right in Spain, Portugal and Greece in the 1970s, it was said that restoring liberal democracy would be difficult. You can make fish soup from an aquarium, but how do you make an aquarium from fish soup?

After eight years of far-right government under PiS, Poland voted for a democratic government last fall. It was a long time before the Law and Justice Party took power, as the party is not democratic.

But the majority was too large, as voters were tired of the far-right's rhetoric and policies aimed at dividing the country. In December, liberal Donald Tusk became the new prime minister at the head of a diverse coalition of Democratic parties.

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Pomeranian villages

Aftonbladet's editorial page followed candidate Barbara Nwaka, leader of the social democratic faction within Donald Tusk's Citizen Platform party, on the campaign trail.

Since the Law and Justice Party controlled the state media and used state institutions as tools in the election campaign, the core of the opposition's election campaign was the personal meeting between candidates and voters.

We accompanied Barbara Nowacka to the small villages of Pomerania in northern Poland during the final days of the election campaign and met the angry voters and the amazing fighting spirit.

Today, Barbara Nowacka is Poland's Minister of Education.

Town hall meeting during the election campaign in Starogard Square, South-East Pomerania, with Barbara Nowacka and Patrick Gabriel from the Citizen Platform, among others.

Authoritarian reform

During its eight years, Law and Justice corrupted the entire apparatus of the police state. The fish soup is thick and rich. The party appointed party friends as Supreme Court justices, controlled the media and enriched themselves through rampant corruption.

The new democratic government now faces an incredibly complex question: How do you dismantle an authoritarian state? How to rebuild the pelvis?

So far it has started well and has announced that it intends to follow EU rules and try to restore the principles of the rule of law and independent courts again.

Withstands

Many in Sweden today feel hopeless in the face of the government's increasingly authoritarian policies. Will we regain the rights and freedoms that were taken from us now?

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Those of us accustomed to living in a functioning state of law quickly learned about visitation zones, wiretapping without criminal suspicion, and the upcoming whistleblower law.

But the answer from the Polish opposition is clear. It is possible to defeat an authoritarian regime, even if it uses extremely harsh methods against the opposition, if you do not surrender.

Tyranny's best friend is capitulation, as we become accustomed to less personal integrity and legal certainty. To remain silent in the face of abuses targeting the scapegoats that the government refers to, most of whom are Swedish Muslims. And to become indicators of strength ourselves.

When SD fell

In September 2022, German cartoonist Harm Bingen reacted to SD's success by drawing the now-classic joke in which Pippi Longstocking looks at a blue and yellow swastika in shock.

At that time, bourgeois Sweden did not believe the warnings of the left. All criticism was dismissed as “brown painting”. Since then, the SD has become more extreme. Jimmy Akesson wants Swedish mosques demolished, parts of the rule of law dismantled, followed by attacks on free culture, trade union rights and academic freedom.

The fish soup began to boil.

But without the submission of the people, there will be no change in the authoritarian regime. Strength depends on you, on me, on all of us. Resistance always pays off.

SD will fall. Just as law and justice fell in Poland. One day we will have an aquarium again. If we refuse to bend our backs.