CONTRA # 4 2012

Somewhere with the KGB there is a Raoul Wallenberg file, which they haven’t showed to us
An interview with former Gulag prisoner Janis Rozkalns by C G Holm

Janis Rozkalns spent several years in the Gulag as a dissident, just before the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the Gulag he met a prisoner who could tell that he had seen the name ”Raoul Wallenberg” and an address in latin letters at a set of drawers he was ordered to move from one cell in the Vladimir prison to another.

I worked at a kibbutz in Israel by Isak Nygren

Long before the foundation of the State of Israel jews in the area formed collective farms called kibbutzes. The first was established already in 1909. The kibbutzes were created as socialist model farms, even upbringing of children was managed in the collective. Many kibbutzes were formed in the uninhabited marshlands around the Sea of Galilee and in the deserts in the south. They created fertile agriculture in areas where nothing had been before. Today the kibbutzim movement is in a sharp decline. This socialist experiment is a failure, like all other socialist experiments. Kibbutzes are transformed into private enterprises. But still a few kibbutzes survive, happily recruiting foreign idealists as cheap labour. Isak Nygren went to Israel and worked at a kibbutz for two months last summer.

Swedes go into exile to flee from the law banning home schooling

A small group of Swedes are chased by Swedish Education Secretary Jan Björklund. Several of them have chosen to leave the country in exile. The usual goal for exiles are the Åland isles, a Swedish speaking province formally in Finland and only a couple of hours away from the Swedish mainland by ferry. A total of some 80 kids – and their parents – have left the country since the total ban on home schooling July 1 2011. Parents persevering with home schooling are threatened with fines (Contra gives an example of a 30.000 $ fine for one child and one year). An extension of the fine is that the children might be compulsory taken into government custody. One case this far.

Sverker Åström – a dark shadow in Swedish foreign policy by Tommy Hansson

Former Swedish top diplomat Sverker Åström died recently and a lot of articles and TV programs praised his achievements. Even foreign secretary Carl Bildt added to the praise. Åström was mainly known for two things: He was a promiscuous homosexual and he was suspected to be ”the wasp”, a Soviet mole placed in the heart of the Swedish Foreign Office. As the article describes, these matters are closely linked.

The tyrrany of the majority by Fredrik Runebert

Imagine a well-known businessman, former professor in economics. He participates in the public discussion and is well-known for his controversial standpoints. As references for his positions he mentions Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Adam Smith, Robert Nozick, Joseph Schumpeter and Ludwig von Mises. And he likes to quote Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. No he is not a Swede, but a Finno-Swede, chairman of the board of the Sampo Group and of Nordea, the biggest bank in the Nordic region. His name is Björn Wahlroos and he has criticized the populistic regulations of banking and especially government restrictions on bonuses paid to senior executives. He has excelled in this during Annual General Meetings of Nordea lately, as the Swedish Government is a large shareholder opposing bonuses, while the Sampo Group has slightly more shares than the Swedish government…

The Olympics – neutral or politically correct by Britt Louise Körninger

Once the Olympic Games were banned because of their pagan influence, that was done in 393 AD by the Emperor Theodosius I. In the end of the 19th century the French aristocrat Pierre de Coubertin started the Olympics once again in an effort to limit hostilities between nations and promoting peace. Now the Olympics seem deteriorate in the swamp of political correctness.

The renting market
by Sten Dybeck

Assar Lindbeck, Sweden’s most well-known economist, publsihed his autobiography this summer. He said: ”It’s not a flattering grade for Swedish politicians that rent controls introuced during World War II still are in effect 70 years after the end of the war”. And he is right! If you look at the property market, the markets for private housing, for condos and coops and for offices and factories are working fine. But rented housing is still regulated, with a catastrophic effect on that market segment.