How Sweden & Denmark Ride the Imperialist Wave, w/ Torkil Lauesen
When most people think of Sweden, or more broadly, the Scandinavian countries, they imagine a more egalitarian and advanced model to which we should aspire. Some assume without investigating that Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries, Denmark and Norway, have figured out how to be prosperous “socialist” countries.
But this Swedish model is uglier than it might appear to be, with a brutal history and a dangerous present.
To discuss the imperialism on which Scandinavian living standards are built, Rania Khalek was joined by Torkil Lauesen, a long-time anti-imperialist activist and writer, who spent years in prison for his militant activities as a member of a clandestine Danish communist cell. Torkil is also the author of many books, including “Riding the Wave: Sweden’s Integration into the Imperialist World System.”
A good book on Torkil’s political activism: “Turning Money into Rebellion: The Unlikely Story of Denmark’s Revolutionary Bank Robbers”
1:38 The global perspective
3:38 Scandinavian integration in the imperialist core
9:00 Swedish settlerism
14:43 Sweden, Denmark & the slave trade
19:43 Sweden, Belgium, Congo & Dag Hammarskjöld
25:20 1986 Assassination of Swedish PM Olof Palme
29:03 Formation of the social welfare state
34:06 Racism & national chauvinism
40:40 How social reforms strengthened European imperialism
46:32 What radicalized Torkil into leftist anti-imperialism?
57:26 Global neoliberalism in the last 50 years
1:08:15 The future after covid-19 & Ukraine
1:12:53 End of capitalism?
1:15:57 Opportunity for the revolutionary left?
1:19:58 The Scandinavian military-industrial complex
1:28:34 How to view Russia’s war in Ukraine