I an regularly kind of shocked when I speak to foreigners who have moved here and have lived here for many years and who know little about Norwegian politics, for instance the name and significance of Carl I. Hagen, former chairman of the Progress Party, Fremskrittspartiet.
He has been talking constantly for about 40 years, since the 80s at least – and in Oslo, especially, normal thinking has been more and more difficult under the pressure of his party’s uncompromising ways of thinking and talking. It has been a bully regime by a group who abuses tolerance in favour of their own political goals, and their methods are neverending stubbornness, no real listening to opponents, a presence of steel on the outside, although the inside is probably sometimes unsure and insecure, sometimes ignorant and not giving a shit about certain things because they are unimportant in their world.
The movement is in many ways a private one, not a world of thought based on science or a real view on society, but more limited to one’s own family, house, neighbourhood.
And an obsession with money, anxiety that poverty will break us. When others talk about oil and carbon dioxide, they talk about the money that it has given us, not the other troubles we give the world because of the drilling and export.
Ketil Solvik-Olsen is right now posting short messages to this effect, like you do as you please, MDG (the green party) – I prefer employment, not unemployment.
Carl-Ivar Hagen, which is his full name, has said many times that the whole story of human-made climate change is a hoax.
His party was in government together with the conservatives under PM Erna Solberg, later also the Liberals (Venstre, usually also an environment-minded party) and the Christian Democrats (KrF).
An impossible coalition in many ways, the FrP so badly schooled, it seems, in the first negotiations when the first Solberg government was to be formed, they asked for all political solutions to be either 100% FrP or 100% Høyre (Conservatives) – meaning, in my head, they don’t really know how to create a political compromise.
I believe it is common thinking among those who dismiss the climate problems as nonsense, that it is created to make money, to give an income to those involved.
This may seem like an insult and nothing else to people who do normal scientific research for a living, but an insult and something meant as a statement of truth or political belief is difficult to distinguish when the words come from people who were not used to being in any world of political power, whether it be a formal position in a city council, a job in a ministry, or just belonging to a group of people who are basically used to being heard when they raise their voice. Almost all debate has an element of fight in it, but it is not the same situation to be part of meaningful discussions from time to time, and never being heard or in contact with power in any form, or not having the feeling of being heard whether you possibly could have done something to fix it or not.
Another general problem of politics today is meddling with sectors you don’t know very much about, and the right-wing is as full of it as any other part of the political rainbow. Carl I. Hagen, as many other professional politicians, has had little normal employment in his lifetime. We are historically more used to the politician type of a worker or farmer becoming politician and retaining a connection to his or her background.
Today we all live economically and in terms of lifestyle more similar than we used to, but we should also be on guard against new ways of exploiting our labour.
Also, when it comes to politics-at-a-distance, many seem to be participating in it, both the large group of retired people whose work experience is becoming obsolete, and all professionals who sometimes seem to believe that all their professional norms and habits are or should be valid in all other fields. Professional, full-time politicians give us a similar problem, and if all this wasn’t enough, the whole wave of ignorance, discussions about fake news and very different concepts of reality is breaking up a situation which used to be too stable, now becoming too unstable.
Internet and Facebook plays a huge role in it, and also when you consider the amount of travelling and migration, every conceivable group of people can meet and often do meet, and the result can often be confusing.
The revolution of education also plays a part in the development, and it is a shitty thing to say, because no teacher wants to deny anyone any part of knowledge, but it takes more than power and a little knowledge to run a country soundly.
We can’t deny people access to media or power in general, but it is for sure a difficult situation for people of real knowledge to meet different combinations of ignorance and power, outside or inside the old system.
There has always been a degree of ignorance everywhere, but in what situation and to what extent we can live with it is a question for debate. The other opposite can also be a dangerous option, in combination with too much carefulness, like in the handling of COVID-19, with less competent politicians than we were used to, or people with less real connection to science, and a powerful health sector which takes over so much of the business needed, actually the politics, that I keep wondering about their realism.
Carl I. Hagen has not been saying much about the last subject, but a lot about money during the years. What he really wants is to make way for private enterprise and dismantle the «welfare society», and his politics is in many ways, as those of his party (he built it up, to a large extent) – a world of very much private views, not based on an overview of society, but in many cases made to fulfil private needs and based on ideas from the family rather than from sociology books. He has a sister who used to be a professor of history at the University of Oslo, but himself appears to be an anti-intellectual in many ways.
The Conservatives has been influenced really much by his voice in public and his presence on and off the political stage. It is perhaps a question whether Erna Solberg has managed to defend her party against the simplistic thinking of her far right collaborators. She suffers from dyslexia and is at the same time also a rough politician when it comes to the use of power, and I don’t know what goes on backstage.
Defending yourself against the charismatic, actor-like personality of a guy like Carl-I. Hagen is at any rate a tough job.