Once upon a time, there was a safe welfare state called Sweden, where people rarely locked their doors.
Now, this country is a night-watchman state -- each man is on his own. When the Minister of Justice, Morgan Johansson, encourages breaking the law, it means opening the gates to anarchy. Mr. and Mrs. Swede have every reason to be worried, with the influx of 190,000 unskilled and unemployed migrants expected this year -- equivalent to 2% of Sweden's current population. The number is as if 6.4 million penniless migrants who did not speak English arrived in U.S. in one year, or 1.3 million in Britain.
And the Swedes are preparing: demand for firearms licenses is increasing; more and more Swedes are joining shooting clubs and starting vigilante groups. After a slight dip in 2014, the number of new gun permits has gone up significantly again this year. According to police statistics, there are 1,901,325 licensed guns, owned by 567,733 people, in Sweden. Add to this an unknown number of illegal weapons. To get a gun permit in Sweden, you need to be at least 18 years old; law-abiding; well-behaved, and have a hunting license or be a member of an approved shooting club. In 2014, 11,000 people got a hunting license: 10% more than the year before. One out of five was a woman.
"There is also a high demand for alarm systems right now," says a salesman at one of the security companies in an interview with Gatestone.
"It is largely due to the turbulence we are seeing around the country at the moment." People have lost confidence in the State, he added. "The police will not come anymore. Truck drivers say that when they see a thief emptying the fuel tank of their trucks, they run out with a baseball bat. It is no use calling the police, but if you hit the thief, you can at least prevent him from stealing more diesel. Many homeowners say the same thing: they sleep with a baseball bat under the bed. But this is risky: the police can then say you have been prepared to use force, and that might backfire on you."
The salesman, who asked to remain anonymous, also spoke of Sweden's many Facebook groups, in which people in different villages openly discuss how they intend to protect themselves: "Sometimes you get totally freaked out when you see what they are writing. But you have to understand that Swedes are really scared when an asylum house opens in their village. They can see what has happened in other places."
One blog, detailing the consequences for the local population when an asylum facility opens, is aptly named Asylkaos ("Asylum Chaos"). There is a list of companies the reader is prompted to boycott; the blog claims these businesses encourage the transformation of Sweden to a multicultural society, and are therefore considered "hostile to Swedes."
At another security company, a salesman said that every time the Immigration Service buys or rents a new housing facility, his firm is swamped with calls. "The next day," he said, "half the village calls and wants to buy alarm systems."
Ronny Fredriksson, spokesman of the security company Securitas, said that the demand for home alarm systems first exploded about six years ago, when many local police stations were shut down and police moved to the main towns. This, he said, could result in response times of several hours. "More and more people now employ the services of our security guards. Shopping malls and stores in the city come together and hire guards. We are kind of like the 'local beat' cops of old."
Even though Securitas makes big money from the increased need for home security alarms and security guards, Fredriksson says they also are worried about the effect on society:
"The problem is that we too need the police. When our guards catch a burglar or a violent person, we call the police but the response times are often very long. Sometimes, the detainees get violent and quite rowdy. On occasion, the police have told us to release the person we have apprehended, if we have his identity, because they do not have a patrol nearby."
Even before the massive influx of migrants in the fall of 2015, Swedes felt a need to protect themselves -- and with good reason. Since the Parliament decided in 1975 that Sweden should be multicultural and not Swedish, crime has exploded. Violent crime has increased by more than 300%, and rapes have increased by an unbelievable 1,472%.
The politicians, however, ignore the people's fear completely. It is never discussed. Instead, the people who express concern about what kind of country Sweden has become are accused of xenophobia and racism. Most likely, that is the reason more and more people are taking matters into their own hands, and protecting themselves and their families to the best of their ability.
All the same, some people do not settle for that. It seems some people are trying to stop mass immigration to Sweden. Almost every day there are reports of fires being set at asylum houses. So far, miraculously, no one has been hurt.
These fires are set not only by Swedes. On October 13, a 36-year-old woman living in Skellefteå was convicted of setting fire to the asylum facility in which she herself resided. The woman claimed she lit a candle and then fell asleep. Yet forensic evidence showed that a combustible fluid had been doused throughout the room, and the court found beyond a reasonable doubt that she herself had ignited the fire.
Left: The burned remains of a home for asylum seekers in Munkedal, Sweden, after it was torched last month. Right: The results of rioting in a Stockholm suburb, December 2014.
The number of violent incidents at Sweden's Immigration Service facilities is now sky-high. In 2013, according to Dispatch International, at least one incident happened every day. When Gatestone Institute recently acquired the incident list for January 1, 2014 through October 29, 2015, that number had risen to 2,177 incidents of threats, violence and brawls -- on average, three per day.
The Swedish government, however, would apparently rather not talk about that. Foreign Minister Margot Wallström conceded, in an interview with the daily Dagens Nyheter that garnered international attention, that Sweden is, in fact, heading for a systemic breakdown:
"Most people seem to think we cannot maintain a system where perhaps 190,000 people will arrive every year. In the long run, our system will collapse. This welcome is not going to receive popular support. We want to give people who come here a worthy reception."
Symptomatic of Swedish journalists, this statement was tucked away at the end of the article. The headline was about how the political party that is critical of immigration, the Sweden Democrats Party (Sverigedemokraterna), is responsible for the asylum-housing fires. But foreign media, such as The Daily Mail and Russia Today, picked up Wallström's warning about a systemic collapse and ran it as the urgent news it actually is.
Nevertheless, in official Sweden, the imminent collapse is ignored. Instead, journalists exclusively focus on attacks by supposedly "racist" Swedes on refugee centers. To prevent new fires, the Immigration Service decided on October 28 that from now on, all asylum facilities would have secret addresses. And meager police resources will now be stretched even further -- to protect asylum seekers. Police helicopters will even patrol refugee centers. But considering there are only five helicopters available, and that Sweden's landmass is 407,340 square km (157,274 square miles), this gesture is effectively empty.
At a meeting with the Nordic Council in Reykjavik, Iceland, on October 27, Sweden's Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, was questioned by his Nordic colleagues about the situation in Sweden. Löfven had recently said that, "We should have the option of relocating people applying for asylum in Sweden to other EU-countries. Our ability, too, has a limit. We are facing a paradigm shift." That comment led a representative of Finland's Finns Party (Sannfinländarna) to wonder, with a hint of irony, how mass immigration to Sweden, which for years Swedish politicians have touted as being so profitable, has now suddenly become a burden.
Another Finns Party representative, Simon Elo, pointed out that the situation in Sweden is out of control. "Sweden has great abilities, but not even the Swedes have abilities that great," Elo said.
When Löfven was asked how he is dealing with the real concerns and demands of the citizenry, his answer was laconic: "Of course I understand there is concern," Löfven said. "It is not easy. But at the same time -- there are 60 million people on the run. This is also about them being our fellow men, and I hope that viewpoint will prevail."
The daily tabloid Expressen asked Löfven about the attacks on asylum facilities. He replied, "Our communities should not be characterized by threats and violence, they should be warm and show solidarity."
As if such behavior can be forced.
Many Swedes see mass immigration as a forced marriage: Sweden is forced to marry a man she did not choose, yet she is expected to love and honor him even though he beats her and treats her badly. And on top of that, her parents (the government) tell her to be warm and show solidarity with him.
More and more Swedish commentators are now drawing the same conclusion: that Sweden is teetering on the brink of collapse. Editorial columnist Ivar Arpi of the daily Svenska Dagbladet, wrote an astonishing article on October 26, about a woman named Alexandra von Schwerin and her husband. The couple lives on the Skarhults Estate farm in Skåne in southern Sweden; they have been robbed three times. Most recently, they were robbed of a quad bike, a van and a car. When the police arrived, von Schwerin asked them what she should do. The police told her that they could not help her. "All our resources are on loan to the asylum reception center in Trelleborg and Malmö," they said. "We are overloaded right now. So I suggest you get in touch with the vigilante group in Eslöv."
What the police had called a "vigilante group" turned out to be a group of private business owners. In 2013, after being robbed more or less every night, they had decided to come together and start patrolling the area themselves. Currently, they pay a security firm to watch their facilities.
"On principal, I am totally against it," von Schwerin said. "What are the people who cannot afford private security to do? They will be unprotected. I'm sure I will join, but very, very reluctantly. For the first time, I feel scared to live here now. Are the State and I now in agreement that our mutual contract is being renegotiated?"
Commenting on the police's encouraging people to join vigilante groups, social commentator and former Refugee Ombudsman Merit Wager wrote:
"So, the Swedes are supposed to arrange and pay for their own and their families' security and keep their farms from being subjected to theft, even though that has up to now been included in the social contract -- for which we pay high taxes, to have police we can count on to protect us and apprehend criminals?! When did the social contract expire? October 2015? Without any notice of termination, since the tax-consuming party is not fulfilling its part of the deal? This should mean that our part of the deal - to pay taxes for public, joint services -- has also become invalid? If the social contract is broken, it is broken. Then it is musical chairs (lawlessness, defenselessness, without protection), and that means that each and every one of us should pay less taxes."
Ilan Sadé, lawyer and social commentator, wrote about the refugee chaos at Malmö Central Train Station on the blog Det Goda Samhället on October 27: "The authorities no longer honor the social contract." He described four large signs on display around the station that read "Refugee? Welcome to Malmö!" in four different languages.
"It is unclear who the sender of the message is, or, for that matter, who is in charge of the reception facility -- a number of barracks by the old post office in the inner harbor. Everything is utterly confusing. It could be Malmö City or the Immigration Service, but it might as well be 'Refugees Welcome,' or possibly a religious community. I think to myself that a government agency could not reasonably write like this, a correct and pertinent sign would say something like: 'Asylum seekers are referred to the barracks for information and further transport.' But I am probably wrong; Malmö City is the chief suspect communicant. ... The signs in and around the Central Station are symptoms of something incredibly serious: Role confusion and the decay of the constitutional state. And thus, that our authorities no longer honor the social contract."
In a post called Anarchy, blogger Johan Westerholm, who is a Social Democratic Party member and a critic of the government, wrote that the Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson, is now urging authorities to "be pragmatic" about laws and regulations (concerning asylum housing for so-called unaccompanied refugee children). Westerholm stated that this is tantamount to the government "opening the gates to anarchy":
"Our country is founded on law; Parliament legislates and the courts apply these. Morgan Johansson's statement and his otherwise passive approach are testimony to how this, our kind of democracy, may fade into a memory very shortly. He now laid the first brick in the building of a state that rests on other principles. Anarchism."
If anarchy really does break out, it would be good to remember that there are nearly two million licensed firearms in Sweden. Sweden's shooting clubs have seen a surge in interest; many are welcoming a lot of new members lately.
Ingrid Carlqvist is a journalist and author based in Sweden, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute. Follow Ingrid Carlqvist on Twitter.