Göran Axel Adamson (1963) is a Swedish sociologist, who in 2014 published a book criticising Swedish diversity policy. Called The Trojan Horse: A Leftist Critique of Multiculturalism in the West, it argues that, although celebrated as a progressive idea, multiculturalism actually contains “intolerant qualities bordering on racism.” Although there is a tendency to identify it as springing from the Left, and thus beyond reproach, Adamson argues that:
Multiculturalism is a conservative idea seen as progressive. (…) Those who talk about roots talk about an idyll of the past, a historical El Dorado in contrast to impartial institutions, technological achievements, gender equality, and modern society. A reactionary ideology does not become more radical just because ‘progressive’ journalists, politicians, and academics are cherishing it. The developed world has dragged a Trojan horse into its midst.
During an interview with a local newspaper in Malmö, Adamson commented on the influence multiculturalism had on Swedish universities, concluding that the Swedish government had more or less mandated it. A 260-page report called Diversity in Higher Education commissioned by the Swedish Social Democrats, together with a half a billion Swedish Krona a year subsidy had caused all universities to incorporate this kind of thinking. Multiculturalism had become a mantra. A mantra unopposed by Swedish universities.
Thoughtfulness, critical reflection, a prestigious discussion, the core of all academic activities, had gone out the window. Diversity in Higher Education and its consequences is a testament to the fact that academia in Sweden is not independent from political power. A relationship that is otherwise associated with totalitarian societies.
Shortly after the publication of his book, Adamson was dismissed from his position as lecturer at Malmö University, where he had worked for ten years. Ostensibly in the context of a cut, Adamson claimed the reason was ideological. Although his immediate superiors never commented on the matter, university rector Stefan Bengtsson had said the book was “not something I recognise myself in.” After being fired, Adamson has worked as an external lecturer at Copenhagen University. Since 2015 he is a lecturer at the Department of Social Pedagogy and Sociology at Väst University in Trollhättan, Sweden.
Adamson was interviewed this year for a documentary (below) on Sweden’s immigration policy. The portion with the interview was cut out by YouTube account Sense of Awareness and presented under the title: “Göran Adamson – The Swedish Jordan Peterson.” In the clip, Adamson explains the problems he has with multiculturalism as a concept, its political ramifications and the effect that resisting it has had on his own life. The segment opens with a very good question:
You can ask yourself: is multiculturalism in favour of social change or not? That is a very important question. And I would say that multiculturalists, as being leftists you know, or [multiculturalism as] defended by people who perceive themselves as being leftists, they have a problem with the idea of social change. Because, if all we have to do when we see ‘exotic cultures’ is to recognise these cultures – because that is also what multiculturalism is about: it’s about a kind of peaceful, passive recognition of the ‘other’ and the culture of the ‘other’ – then there is an imminent risk that these cultures will not change. And, you know, myself, being a Modernist, I think there is a problem with this, because – and this is a dangerous thing to say, you know, you might jeopardise a lot of things – it is a dangerous thing to say that it might be a good thing for certain cultures to change.
Later on, Adamson discusses a particularly grating example of multiculturalism and the political correctness it comes with.
If we talk about Jews in Malmö, the official discourse was that the Jews in Malmö were harassed by Swedish neo-nazi’s. But if you go to Malmö and have a look, you will not find many neo-nazi’s. You know, there might be one or two, but they are not responsible for the fact that Jews in Malmö have left. Basically they’ve left. So the threat… the reason why the Jews in Malmö have left is because they have been attacked by Muslims. Not all Muslims of course. But Muslim groups, Muslim men, mostly Muslim young men. And you can’t say this, even though it is true.
He then concludes:
So there are certain things you can’t say, even though they are true. And there are other things you are free to say, even though they are not true. So as a multiculturalist, you go on saying the ‘right’ things, which are wrong, but you can say them and you should say them, because it protects you and it gives you a lot of friends and you can write a lot of articles and everything you say is bogus. But it doesn’t matter. So social reality no longer matters.
Which, in one handy quote, is the problem of present-day politics.