On Sweden in Russian


Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,




I have seen your series about the Scandinavian countries, and can announce that it has been received without hysteria in Sweden. By the few who speak Russian and can see it on Youtube. Still to see if the series is purchased. For me, who knows both cultures, as you know three cultures, there is a tag in the heart, or rather in the brain, that concerns fundamental issues such as democracy and the media. There you have gone astray. No one knows what democracy is, and only few know what it is not, but one thing is certain, namely that the Western European two-party democracies and the Scandinavian block democracies have no precedence over the Russian personal democracy. Rather, on the contrary, and one of the main reasons is the Russian dissatisfaction with democracy, and the view that Russia lacks or is deficient in democracy. You are one of the advocates of this view, which is macabre, given that you know French and American democracy, which you have never criticized. Particularly clear is the view of the country's own democratic level in your Scandinavian series, where the citizens are fully convinced that they live in a democracy and that it is good. It annoys me that you seem to agree with this. I also think it is a dangerous misleading picture to show up in Russia, because the countries that designate themselves as democracies are the least independent and most despicable countries in the world. Hypocrisy and fear excludes democracy. Like hypocrisy, of which there are plenty in your Scandinavian series, where people are seriously sitting and claiming that the stay at the elderly home is free, which it is not at all. It costs most of the pension, and the higher the pension, the higher the cost for the accommodation. It is possible to say without lying that the elderly care is free, not saying that the elderly home costs around 70% of the pension, but it is also hypocrisy. Then we have not mentioned 30% tax on the pension. The hypocrisy is consistent throughout the series, and hypocrisy is a democratic weakness.


The media is, after all, an important part of democracy, and here again I would urge You to ponder Your American and French experiences, which should really make You a strong supporter of Russian free media. In the Scandinavian series, there is also a profound hypocrisy in this area, where both the population and journalists are convinced that they have free media, and especially that media is free from government involvement. They "do not know" that the Swedish state owns the dictatorially autocratic TV company or that the journalists there in practice are state officials. In the same silly way, You are convinced that in Russia there is a censorship, but also just as convinced that this is not the case in the West. For example, You mention America's largest Jewish newspaper as an example, which is ridiculous considering that you are a Jew. Incidentally, as ridiculous as You constantly love the question of Navalnyj, a Jew of the type 1917 or Ukraine 2014 that You do not get to interview in Your program, according to directives from the TV management and the Kremlin. You understand very well that Navalnyj is a Western project, just like the Jew Poroshenko or Guaido, and You also understand very well that it is irresponsible as a significant media factor to drive the project, especially as the channel you can sell your program to has a Jewish management. You also participated in the Jewish-liberal project Sobtjak, a figure You said You are prepared to vote for as presidential candidate. I know Your intelligence, so there can only be one reason for You to think that that person would be of benefit to Russia.


The media in Sweden and all other countries are owned and controlled by the state, and in Sweden the TV management also meets the government and security service. In Sweden, as in other countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government agencies order articles and tendency in articles as people order pizza. It is not entirely unlikely that Your program would be impossible in Sweden, and had You had me as a companion through Sweden, the Scandinavian series had been banned and blasphemed. If I could wish, You would take me on a journey through Russia, since in my double-culturality I have an advantage over You: I know the lie on both sides. You, on the other hand, seem to be part of the Russian culture, because You believe that SVT or the BBC would be non-governmental broadcasters. I know Your dream is the British variant, You have talked about this and worked for it in Russia. You think that Englishmen voluntarily pay a fee because they want to see the BBC, and thus the BBC is a "people-owned", ie, democratic organization. We have the same system in Sweden, where the state forces citizens to pay a fee, in fact a forced TV tax, to give the appearance of democracy. We pay for TV and propaganda we do not want to see, and the fact that we pay gives the appearance of democratic television. But at the same time, the state is us, and we have the media we deserve. 


It is always difficult to avoid statements, of course, and You have my respect for Your almost honest attempts to tell the reality for the audience without taking a stand, or at least pretend. But in Your uncritical relationship with the West, You are once again transformed into what You once were in the Soviet Union. a propaganda maker. It is as if You are once again the propaganda maker on the wrong side. It is as if a journalist always fears being called a propagandist and therefore chooses the side that calls all other propagandists. At the same time, it is a fact that the propagandists exist where they say there is none. This claim is, after all, the basis of all propaganda, and You should know that. 


It seems to me that the ideal of free media is false, which corresponds to Russian mentality. Let us think that the media is free in some way, from the state, from power and money. A journalist or a group of journalists write texts and talk about reality. Truthfully. About themselves and about their society, about the civilization they live in. Someone would tell about corruption, others about national projects. Some readers or viewers would believe one, some the other. I am absolutely sure that a Westerner would be horrified by the state of his own country and surprised by the state of Russia, while Russians would be equally surprised by the state of their own country and the foreign country. You should tell us about free healthcare and free media in Sweden that are neither free nor free, and I would tell you about free healthcare and free media in Russia which are actually free. But it is a fact that such a series about Scandinavia is not possible, just as such a series about Russia will never be produced. The series would be accused of being propaganda, even though both You and I would know that they are true. 


It is time for You to make a trip in Russia and present the country to the world. I'd like to go along.






Stefan Gehander