To exist or not to exist that is the non-issue
Before reading further the reader should be aware of this piece being farcical and satiric in nature. And to those others perhaps wondering: no, this notice isn’t a trigger warning aimed towards the reader but rather an extra layer of protection for the author in hope of minimizing any potential physical or social fallout resulting from deciding to publish this short piece.
In short – bear with me, friends.
When is an issue an issue and what defines a non-issue? Or rather: must an issue be declared as such?
Steven Luke’s three faces of power here come into play: (1) the first and most public face as illustrated in someone’s capacity to get someone else to do something that that someone else would not otherwise do; (2) the power of someone to set the agenda and (3) the “insidious” third face which gets those made powerless to internalize and ultimately accept their condition.
How these three faces affect the defining of issues can seem quite clear in the case of Sweden, as Sweden historically has been somewhat of an expert at declaring issues non-issues within the domestic public debate.
The cause for this could seem to be attributable to the collectivist culture within Sweden: hierarchies are frowned upon and traditionally – in line with the so-called Law of Jante – collectivistic argumentation is stressed to the detriment of the individual.
To say that collectivist culture is the only reason for the Swedish tendency of non-interest to publically discuss some issues is somewhat of an over-simplification, however.
Declaring something as to be a non-issue is, easy, fun and cost-effective.
It also has a tendency to float many people’s boats – ignorance truly being bliss.
The state of the national defense…who cares? The absence of a current as well as future cooled security climate in the Nordic countries obviously will continue to make defense a non-issue.
Human trafficking in Stockholm… how is that even possible? Doesn’t anybody remember that we conveniently criminalized the buying of sex back in 1999? In other words the obvious way for the political class to approach this is to not approach the hornet’s nest and gently let the issue pass in the same way that women and children very well pass our borders to satisfy the ever-present cravings of a faceless customer base longing to buy into that other of the oldest professions in the world: slavery.
I propose wielding this rhetorical tool of existence and non-existence even further: why protect the threatened forest of Ojnare when you could just quietly erase or alternatively falsify the very existence of it?
As a result of this Ojnare will cease to exist on Gotland and the name and concept of “Ojnare” will be transplanted to Dalarna.
The lesson? Sometimes the best way of solving a problem is simply to define it out of existence.
The memory of the public is short so most won’t even remember it anyway.