When I arrived to Sweden in February I had not seen much snow in over a year. I walked down an ice- and snow-covered road, learning to read the street names. I had drawn a small map in one of my notebooks, showing how to get from the city center to the suburb where I would be staying. A shy woman walking her dog offered to help me as I must have looked lost. I followed her, and neither of us spoke. I found my way. The streets had names of sports: handball road, football road, tennis road, and so on. There were lots of tall pine trees by snow-covered soccer fields. It was quiet.
This was not an especially different world from the one I have known in New England. The main difference was the population density; there seemed to be fewer people inhabiting the same kind of environment. The homes here were connected, as opposed to the separate homes, garages, and yards of the typical American suburb.
I met my host: a heavyset single woman in her early fifties who didn’t mind speaking frankly. She informed me that this is an unusual habit for Swedes. She also told me right away that she, like most Swedes, resents Trump and his comments about Sweden. I still wonder whether my facial expression gave me away, or whether she could simply see through me (I later discovered that she is part of a group that practices some sort of contemporary witchcraft).
She later told me over a rather strong cup of coffee about Sweden’s need for more immigrants (“we need people to work”), and about the essential role of migrant workers in Sweden’s wealth. I kept my disagreements to myself, though in hindsight I think I would have enjoyed debating her. She also told me all about the local garbage and recycle collection, of which I remember virtually nothing. Another coffee-induced conversation involved her saying that other women often suggested to her that she should get a husband. “I don’t need a man!” she said. “Why do I need a man?” She looked out the window as she said this, as though responding to someone not present. She raised her two children on her own, and thinks that is perfectly fine. She has both a full-time job working for an international company, as well as part-time as a hairdresser. She reminded me of a few female personalities back in the US, who without enough residual patriarchal social standards would probably revert to a similar lifestyle.
There are obviously a lot of tall people walking around in Sweden. Many of the women are taller than my average-American stature. They are ‘whiter’ to my eyes in the sense that they are Nordic, and those whom I might guess are Mediterranean are often assumed to be Arabs by locals. Non-whites stand out for their non-Nordicness: occasional East Africans, East Asians, and so on. They are consistent but not ubiquitous in most of Stockholm.
It felt like every other person had tattoos, young and old. I saw an inordinate number of piercings as well. I determined that there were attractive blond girls, short-blue-haired feminists, and very few in between. This is a culture in a more advanced stage of subculturization than the suburbs I come from. The fact that there are fewer social problems appears to exacerbate the nihilism of its youth.
At one point I was examining a map of the Tunnelbanen, and found myself next to two dark-skinned teenagers accompanied by two sad, sleazy-looking girls. They were speaking something that was absolutely not Swedish, and took up space as if to say: “this is ours, and what are you doing here?” A couple of them looked at me from far away, as if I had done something strange. I soon found an expensive Somali-operated taxi and went home.
The average person is better looking than in the US. Day to day services run with about the same level of smoothness. I observed no equivalent of jock culture; the overall dearth of masculinity among Nordic men is not a secret. Guys are mostly thin, well dressed, polite, and unprepared for a fight.
One afternoon as I was waiting for a bus I saw a group of mostly young people approach the stop. Their ‘leader’ was a large, short-blue-haired woman who wore what was unmistakably a pink pussy hat. I could not guess where they were headed, but they were clearly on a mission. The patriarchy must have called for further dismantling.
I spent two weeks in the Stockholm area in the winter. I took a long walk around the snowy neighborhood on my last afternoon there. I was comfortable in that environment, as well as nostalgic for all the winters I have experienced back home. I experienced total silence in a small wooded area, and did my best to imagine coming to that quiet neighborhood every day for years.
I returned to Stockholm in May, when the sky was bright nearly twenty-four hours a day. It was much warmer, though far from oppressively hot. At one point I took the wrong subway going toward a suburb. As I waited for the train going the other way, I paused to look around. I heard birds, people going on runs, and children playing. It really was idyllic, even more so than the still predominantly white city in the US in which I was raised. I highly suspect that as a nerd and an introvert I would have been more comfortable being a kid in Scandinavia. I cannot blame Middle Easterners for risking the trip North to Sweden; in certain respects the ‘European Dream’ is even more desirable than the American one. Still, I have even more reason to want them removed, since I’ve glimpsed the society that has to defend itself from the invasion.
It was on this second trip that I met a twenty-eight-year-old Swedish woman. We met under the pretense of language exchange. We went to Gamla Stan (“Old Town”) to have tea. She had lived in London for a few years, and now intended to teach music to Swedish children. At some point she described herself as “more traditional.” I spent hours with her, during which neither of us felt compelled to say anything about politics. She described her previous long-term relationship by saying: “I felt like I was his mother”. She later said: “I want the man [in a romantic relationship] to act like a man.”
We went to the Nordic Museum the next day. We passed by the scene of the most recent terror attack on our way; the wall of the building was covered in sticky-notes of various colors. You do not need me to tell you what they said; it can be summed up with the tired naïve line that “We need more love in the world!” Again I refrained from stating my views on non-white migrants.
Outside of the museum I took a look at the architecture of the building and the sculpture of Charles X Gustav. I looked at the quote carved into one of the obelisks outside that a Swedish nationalist had pointed out to me months earlier, which reads:
Frän fader är det kommet,
till söner skall det gå,
så långt som unga hjärten,
ännu i norden slå.
“From fathers it has come,
to sons shall it go,
so long as young hearts
still beat in the North.”
The girl and I explored the exhibit on Swedish traditions, and she told me about her experiences as a child at holidays. There were objects and scenes detailing the ways Swedes have dealt with holy days, the transition into Christianity, death, and marriage. She seemed to genuinely want to share her experiences and traditions with me, and in a patient and reserved way. The whole process was wholesome, if that word can be used earnestly. I did not see her a third time, as I left for England the next day.
Tolerant Sweden still has a lot of diversity left to import before it loses its character. It is full of conscientious people who do not yet see how the very ‘Swedish’ act of kindness to foreigners will negate that very trait. They are a people who recycle, who watch soccer, who drink, who will take time out of their day to help a stranger, and who, underneath a layer of softness and militant openness, long for tradition, meaning, structure and power.
The most rewarding part of my trips was of course the chance to meet various Swedish nationalists. A common theme I detected was their emphasis on nationalism rather than some kind of inclusive white nationalism, even those who were well-versed in the lingo and memes of the American Alt-Right. Most of the patriotic young men I met are highly presentable, athletic, industrious, informed, intellectually curious, well-spoken, and prepared, if it ever becomes too late to save Sweden in its present form, to maintain a culture of courage and racial loyalty that will extend across this century and into the future. Young hearts, however misled by the insane liberal culture around them, still beat in the North.