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Socialist patriotism, racism and antisemitism in the early Swedish labour movement
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Institute of Contemporary History.
2017 (English)In: Patterns of Prejudice, ISSN 0031-322X, E-ISSN 1461-7331, Vol. 51, no 3-4, 318-334 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Blomqvist's article holds that nationalism in the socialist labour movement did not suddenly manifest itself as Europe went to war in 1914. In Sweden, patriotic ideas from the French Revolution and radical liberalism heavily influenced the early labour movement and contributed to the development of a socialist patriotism. As a twin of socialist internationalism, this left-wing working-class nationalism centred on the question Who is the nation?' The answer was not simply the working people', but penetrated further into the questionin this age of nationalization of the massesof who those working people' were. With few intellectual resources of its own in its early years, the young socialist movement in Sweden had to rely on popular liberal education. Accordingly, knowledge from the modern natural sciences and anthropology was imported with its ideas of human races as kernels of nationality. Academics who subsequently joined the socialist movement tried to interpret racial science and eugenics to the advantage of the working class and for the sake of social reform. Together with socialist patriotism, this attempt developed into a racialized message on the anthropological value of Swedish workers as opposed to both the bourgeois elites and foreign low-paid workers and strikebreakers. In its more extreme versionas represented by a leading Swedish social democratit turned older stereotypes of Jews into a racist antisemitic discourse against those who were believed to be the enemies of Swedish labour. The combination of socialist patriotism, racism and antisemitism, however, was challenged by other interpretations and experiences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 51, no 3-4, 318-334 p.
Keyword [en]
antisemitism, labour movement, nationalism, racism, social democracy, socialism, Sweden
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33555DOI: 10.1080/0031322X.2017.1355498ISI: 000410908000006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-33555DiVA: diva2:1147198
Available from: 2017-10-05 Created: 2017-10-05 Last updated: 2017-10-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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