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Achieving Adherence to Society-Foundational Values

Society-foundational values should be defined through a national consensus, but we must also discuss how to obtain maximal adherence to them once they have been defined. Three methods are particularly important. The first one is by working through organizations whose mission is to influence public opinion. The second method is through schools and youth activities. It has already been stated that the promotion of the basic principles of democracy is one of the main tasks of the school system, besides conveying knowledge. Diversity-oriented and other society-foundational values will therefore fit well into this task for the school system.

A few years ago, 'Skolinspektionen' (the Schools Review Authority) conducted a review of how schools perform this task of theirs. It emerges from their report that there is a considerable uncertainty, in many places, about what shall be included among these basic values. 'Democracy' and 'the equal value of all humans' are of course included, but what comes after that? With 'diversity in liberalism' we have a concrete and well thought-out opinion about what should be included.

A third method for achieving adherence to the society-foundational values is to monitor important deviations from these values, and to make sure that society reacts aginst such breaches. In those cases where the values have been encoded as law there are already procedures for doing this, but values of the kinds that are listed under the tab 'Values' can hardly be expressed and enforced as laws.

One realistic method may instead be to create a particular committee whose task would be to consider concrete cases of deviation and to make public statements about these. Such a committe would be analogous for an existing committee for the daily press, 'Pressens opinionsnämnd'. It would be a useful complement to ordinary opinion-forming activities.