IJWEDEN experienced an unexpectedneruption of right-wing populismnthis autumn. While news accountsnfocused on the electoral defeatnof the ruling Social Democrats and thenvictory of a center-right coalition, thenbigger story was the success of two newnpolitical parties: one telling thenSwedes, “be good”; the other, “benhappy.”nThe left suffered across the board.nThe Social Democrats, who promisednto defend welfare state benefits, attractednonly 37.9 percent of the vote, downnfrom 43.2 percent in the last election,nand their lowest share since 1928. ThenCommunists, meanwhile, fell to 4.7npercent, a decline of 0.9 percent, butnstill held on to 17 seats in the 350membernSwedish Riksdag (or parliament).nIn this, they fared better thannthe Swedish Greens, who fell belownthe magic 4 percent level, and lost allnof their seats in the proportionallyndetermined chamber.nIndeed, in a comparative calculationnof decline, the Reds even out-performednthe middle-of-the-road parties.nThe Liberals (a group ranging ideologically,nin American terms, from thenAmerican Civil Liberties Union to thenleft-wing of the National Associationnof Manufacturers) tumbled sharplynfrom 12.9 to 9.2 percent of the votenand held on to only 34 seats, while then. Center Party (“anti-nuclear,” statistnagrarians, more Tom Harkin thannChuck Grassley) dropped to 8 percentnand 29 seats.nScoring big was the most conservativenof Sweden’s old-line, parties, officiallyncalled the Moderates (and resemblingnour Republican Party), whichnran on a tax-cutting theme and tookn21.7 percent of the vote (up from 18.3npercent last dme) and 80 seats. Shakingnup everyone, though, were the 14npercent of votes going to two newnparties: the Christian Democrats andnNew Democracy.nBarely respectable a few years ago,nthe Christian Democrats won 27 seats.nTheir platform stressed Christian values,nthe defense of traditional familiesnCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSnfrom the state bureaucracy, and cuts innthe welfare state. The party also condemnedngovernment incentives thatn’encourage illegitimate births and discouragenmothers at home, rearing theirnown children. In the spiritual birthplacenof cradle-to-grave socialism andn”children’s rights,” such sentimentsnhave been scandalous, if not illegal.nNow, they drive one of the two partiesnholding the parliamentary balance ofnpower.nThe other party organized only thisnFebruary. Imagine a party cobbled togethernby Pat Buchanan, Tom Fleming,nand Murray Rothbard, but headednby a Roosevelt, and you’ve got annAmerican version of Sweden’s NewnDemocracy party. Emerging out of thenshadows of the Swedish psyche. NewnDemocracy says it’s time for Swedes tonhave fun again. The party stands fornthe virtual elimination of the angstriddennwelfare state, a similar end tonforeign aid (particularly that going tonthe quasi-Marxist states long favored bynSwedish bleeding hearts), deep taxncuts, strong restrictions on new immigration,nthe quick expulsion of phonyn”refugees,” and — most endearinglyn— cheap liquor. Headed by IannWachtmeister, rebellious scion of annold noble family, this party will hold 24nseats in the new Riksdag, votes needednfor any working non-socialist coalition.nPolite Sweden is horror struck. Bothnthe Center and Liberal party leadersnsaid during the campaign that theynwould “never” join a coalition withnNew Democracy. Sweden’s Consul-nGeneral in Chicago, Lave Jonsson,ntold me with embarrassed, quiveringnvoice that New Democracy is an”clownish party,” one “not to be takennseriously,” merely a “populist” blipnthat will soon disappear.nHe may prove correct. Modern historynhas rarely been kind to protestnparties of this sort. Then again, Europenin the 1990’s isn’t going the way thatnanyone has predicted. So let’s each justnpour a tall, cool one, and offer a toastnto both New Democracy and thenChristian Democrats: Sweden’s bestnnnhopes for a free and wholesome future.nSkilln—Allan CarlsonnA LEGAL EXECUTION occurrednlast summer in South Carolina, thenfirst in about two years. Donald (“PeenWee”) Caskins, a rural Bluebeardncredited with 16 murders, was embracednby the electric chair amidstngeneral public relief and the usualncandlelight vigils by opponents of capitalnpunishment. The public satisfaction,nhowever, if it rests on a feelingnthat a rational system of criminal justicenhas finally been established, isnsadly deluded. For the circumstancesnof Caskins’ capital sentence servenmainly to point up the absurdity of ournfederal courts.nCaskins’ first 15 murders, whichnincluded several children, were committednat a time when the learned andnstatesmanlike reign of Warren, Burger,nBrennan, and Blackmun forbade usnthe right of carrying out our laws ofncapital punishment. (All the aforementionednare Republican appointees, bynthe way.)nDECEMBER 1991/5n