The Konservativt Forum (KF) is both a center for classical conservatives in Sweden and a platform for conservative thinking and networking. With an internet community as its base, KF stands independent of party politics. It gathers participants from the established center-right parties as well as other organizations and associations relating to conservatism or conservative issues in Sweden. – Jakob E:son Söderbaum
KF was founded in 2002 by three students: Johan Carlson, Anton Lindberg and Jakob E:son Söderbaum. The initial membership was chosen from conservatives within their personal networks. To avoid being associated with right-wing extremism of any kind, KF has been very restrictive in registering new participants. It has focused on associating only those who have already demonstrated a distinguished capability of, and belief in, classical conservative analysis of culture and politics. Today KF has about 100 participants from all over Sweden, ranging from seventeen to sixty years of age.
In the summer of 2005, KF arranged a conference of more than forty personally- invited conservatives from all over Sweden. It was not only geographically diverse but also represented different generations of Swedish conservatives. Most of the attendees—as well as those at subsequent Summer conferences—were members of either of the center-right parties, Moderata Samlingspartiet (the Moderate party) and Kristdemokraterna (the Christian democrats), or the old conservative student organization Heimdal in Uppsala. This first conference is still the forum’s most well-known event, discussed in three Swedish magazines during the Autumn of 2005. These included the Christian democrat magazine Kristdemokraten, the anti-communist magazine Contra, and the magazine for conservative students Tidskriften Heimdal. This conference lasted for two days during which four prominent conservatives spoke.
Subjects of KF lectures through the years have been: “Feminism and the Sexualization of the Public Square”, “Traditionalism vs. Radical Conservatism”, “Conservatism in the History of Sweden”, “Conservatism in the USA”, “The Ideas of 1914: the Young Right and the Political and Literary Debate”, “Oscarian Idealism and Its View of Man”, “How Can We Save the Swedish Cultural Heritage?”, “The Crisis of Conservatism in the USA”, “What Have Conservatives in Sweden Done Wrong?”, “The Moderate party and the Conservative Heritage”, and “Working as a Political Secretary in the Swedish Parliament.” During the forum’s conferences, KF’s development has also been discussed, both in terms of what we now have to work with and what the possibilities are for the future of Swedish conservatism.
The initial summer conference was the first national gathering of classical conservatives in Sweden in more than two decades. This is partly due to the fact that until about fifteen years ago Moderata Samlingspartiet has been the reliable homestead of conservatives. Moreover, several earlier attempts at organizing Swedish conservatism have failed to keep the right-wing extremists out, and thus never have achieved enough legitimacy to hold a large-scale conservative gathering. Since the beginning, confidence and legitimacy have been the guiding stars for KF. In addition to annual conferences, since 2005 KF has been holding seminars.
One of KF’s main purposes is to present classic conservatism in its entire spectrum—a spectrum that is completely unknown in Sweden outside of a small circle of academics. The basic conservative values that the forum wants to shed light on are that:
* Historical and cultural contexts are the necessary starting-points for the understanding of oneself and of ones fellow human beings.
* Natural communities must be the foundation of a civilized social order, as continuity is fundamental for social development and any desirable advancement.
* Family is and must be considered to be the cornerstone of society and social life.
* Individual citizens have the right to freedom guided and secured by responsibility and duties.
* State power is necessary for safeguarding order, democracy, and personal freedom.
* Subsidiarity is of vital importance to a healthy society—a higher level decision- making body shall not deal with questions that can be better decided on a lower level.
On the homepage (www.konservativtforum.org), KF has collected a large number of articles by well-known Swedish conservatives. It is the largest open electronic library of modern day Swedish conservative thinking. And it is published with permissions of the authors.
KF has recently become part of the conservative think-tank Empron, which was founded in 2006 by Anton Lindberg, Christian Swedberg and Jakob E:son Söderbaum. Apart from KF and its events, Empron has published a book with critical views on Swedish social democracy and is currently planning a conservative E-zine.