This article appears in the July 31, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Lyndon LaRouche Challenged the Swedish Model and Was Proven Correct
July 26—References to the so-called “Swedish Model” have long been used to justify anti-technology and suppressive policies in Europe and the United States. This “model” is a false narrative. Swedish industry and welfare were built not with those suicidal policies, but with other policies more like the American System of Political Economy, founded in a long tradition of industrial and engineering development in alliance with a young industrially oriented labor movement. Out of a very poor country, which had lost a third of its population due to emigration prior to World War I, these forces built railways and hydropower—paving the way for a full set national industrial economy. This industrialization continued through World War II and into the postwar period when the social democratic government, with high growth rates, could build housing and welfare protections ahead of all other European nations that had been devastated in the war.
Only after World War II were the sterile, existentialist, antigrowth ideologies of the Swedish Model superimposed on this now relatively wealthy society, and then advertised as the reason for the Swedish success story.
Lyndon LaRouche early in the 1970s efficiently challenged the Swedish Model for which then Prime Minister Olof Palme was the poster boy. The background was LaRouche’s almost prophetic warning in 1971, when President Richard Nixon had disconnected the dollar from the gold reserve standard, that the monetarist floating exchange-rate system would lead to a resurgence of fascist economic policies. LaRouche at that time intensified his exposure of the various tricks used by the big banks to hide this fascism behind “a democratic face.”
He especially exposed the methods of the billionaires, like Rockefeller, to support all kinds of countergangs to deflect any real political change. These counterintelligence studies have been the hallmark of this magazine, EIR, continuously from its founding in 1974 until today when the members of the Wall Street billionaires club have become well known for pouring money into all kinds of “social” projects and election stunts benefitting themselves. Very soon the British colonial and psychological warfare methods, especially those of the Tavistock Institute, were exposed as fully active in the West in peacetime, and very often advertised as part of the Swedish Model.
The early 1970s expansion of the LaRouche movement into Western Europe was intentionally directed to the most industrialized areas of the main European nations, but also to the relatively small nation of Sweden, to find out more about, and challenge the Swedish Model. Just as with many other European nations, it was American organizers with some local connection, or who were just volunteers, who came to Sweden in 1972. In 1973 the Swedish social researcher Tore Fredin returned home from a study and work period in Chicago, where he had met and joined the LaRouche movement. With contacts from the early organizing, Fredin started the first Swedish study group based on articles by LaRouche, who challenged the ongoing shift towards the green paradigm by the British oligarchical institutions and their billionaire groupies.
The Green Swedish Model
The flagship event of the Swedish Model and of the prime ministership of Swedish Socialist Olof Palme was the first United Nations Environmental Conference in Stockholm, on June 5-19, 1972. This UN conference is considered the launching point for the environmental movement internationally.
In his main address there, as the prime minister of the host nation, Palme said:
Some years ago, public discussion—at least in the industrial countries—centered around a probable future of affluence and abundance. This optimistic view was rooted in the experiences of the first postwar decades with their unparalleled technical and economic progress ...
Nowadays, the debate centers around a future of scarcity on this one Earth. Progress continues, yes, and world production increases. But we have been becoming increasingly aware of the fact that our natural resources are limited. We have come to discuss more and more the interrelated problem areas of population, poverty, and pollution. And we realize that just as we could not afford a laissez-faire economy, we shall not afford a laissez-faire technology....
How much national sovereignty are we in each instance prepared to give up in the interest of interdependence and international solidarity? In the field of environment, the case is in some respects simpler.[fn_1]
Not much has changed since Palme began to popularize this type of rhetoric, down to today’s Swedish green poster girl, Greta Thunberg. Palme went further and had zero energy growth made official government policy in a parliamentary decision, an extreme policy of Palme which is never mentioned in Sweden, especially not in the context of today’s energy crisis. In the Social Democratic Party Program of 1975, it said:
The first pillar in a Swedish energy policy must be a conscious intention to hold back consumption.... The Swedish energy policy must have the conscious goal of slowing down consumption. We are orienting ourselves towards a two per cent increase on average in the period from 1973 to 1985, with the intention to reach zero growth in 1990.
Posing as a radical reformer, Palme promoted the non-development of industry and welfare, which favored the financial sector. Especially targeted were the developing nations. Their minuscule electric power production was to be kept low “to conserve nature.” Indira Gandhi directly challenged Palme at the UN Conference.
As we know today, the industrialized nations like Sweden were targeted. Soon Palme orchestrated the rollback of the impressive Swedish nuclear power program. It was a tricky policy to implement, as his own labor party, the Social Democratic Party, was pro-nuclear.
One participant in the first LaRouche study group was the engineering student Göran Haglund, who had been active among all the leftist organizations protesting the antigrowth policy of that UN conference. While most of the left soon betrayed the growth policy, he and some of his friends did not, continuing in the LaRouche movement and as a long-time editorial board member of EIR in Europe.
Palme’s Green agenda provoked much resistance in his own party, but the Green paradigm shift took over the Center Party, the farmers’ party, to which Palme lost the election in 1976, ending a record-breaking 44-year rule of his Social Democratic Party. He returned to office in 1982, primarily with the tactic of orchestrating a referendum on nuclear power in 1980, which created a split among the nonsocialist parties but at the same time boosted the antigrowth environmentalist movement in Sweden, making possible the birth of the extremist Environmentalist party. The LaRouche movement in Sweden grew in influence, taking the lead in defending nuclear power against Palme’s antigrowth paradigm, which was being massively promoted by the monolithic public media controlling Sweden’s only two TV channels and the three radio channels.
The entire industry producing Swedish nuclear power plants was dismantled. The domestic uranium mine was closed and with that the Swedish uranium resources, which had an energy potential comparable to the oil in Saudi Arabia. That resource could have made all of Western Europe energy independent.
Palme’s call for zero energy growth has put a dead hand over the Swedish energy system ever since, and led to the closing down so far of three of twelve nuclear power plants without replacing them. By 2018 this program had led to a power deficiency, blocking the establishment of new productive industries in southern Sweden. This summer, 2020, an oil-powered plant, that is normally reserved only for very cold winter periods, had to be started up to stabilize the Swedish power system, which used to be so reliable that it could be used to keep clocks calibrated. This is but one example how the Swedish Model is crashing.
The Cultural Fascism of the Swedish Model
The LaRouche movement started to study and expose the Swedish Model whose anti-technological rock, sex, and drug “culture” was promoted with the aid of an extreme kind of soulless existentialism, best exemplified by the films of Ingmar Bergman. Bergman openly admitted in his autobiography that he was an admirer of Hitler for ten years and a card-carrying youth member of the Swedish Nazi Party.
How could this nihilistic Nazi ideology be allowed to be promoted so soon after World War II?
Answer: After the war, all of Western European culture, especially the Swedish state-controlled media, was brought under the supervision of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), a Cold War (NATO) outfit founded in 1950 in West Berlin, established to control Western “culture” against Communism. In the name of anti-authoritarianism, a concept developed by Hannah Arendt of the Frankfurt School, all principled standpoints were rejected as “authoritarian,” including religious and scientific arguments against fascism. What was left over to be considered as anti-communist and anti-authoritarian “free” standpoints, were the radical nihilist liberal ideas allowing everything. Thus, the “anti-authoritarian” campaign of the CCF turned culture upside down, allowing nihilistic Nazi ideas but banning classical western values as “authoritarian.”
The existential fascist culture propagating “cultural freedom” was (is) a typical example of “Fascism with a Democratic Face.” Another was (is) the pseudo-democratic ruling form, similar to the corporatist model of the Italian fascist Benito Mussolini, in which the people were represented in parliament, not by elected persons, but by persons from different fascist organizations, “corporations,” from all parts of society, such as workers, farmers, industrialists, fishermen, women, youth, seniors, etc. It is only another of the typical, murky oligarchical European ruling systems from which the American Republic and other colonized nations over centuries have fought to free themselves.
The Fascist Ruling System in the Swedish Model
The “Swedish Model” is a corporatist system from the time of many other European experiments with fascist ruling systems in the 1930s. It started in the deal between the employers’ and trade union federations (SAF and LO) in 1938 in the Stockholm suburb Saltsjöbaden. With that deal the labor market policies were removed from the control of the government elected by the public and given to private interest groups. The trade unions and the employers’ associations represent a lot of people, but they do not represent the unorganized unemployed, the self-employed, the youth before their first job, nor the general public at large. In reality it was a deal between the Wallenberg family financial interests running the employers’ federation, and the Social Democratic Party running the trade union federation that shaped the labor market and industrial and financial policies to suit their own interests.
Soon the whole Swedish bureaucracy was equipped with boards, consisting of private interest groups of all kinds, ruling according to this system. If you did not belong to one of those private clubs, you had very little chance to get decisions in your favor. The power of the real democratic institutions—the parliament and the government—is very weak, as the public bureaucrats are independently responsible for the executive powers, with the private interest groups more available than the government ministers, who are banned from meddling in active cases.
On top of that, the bureaucracy was (is) protected by a separate justice system, in violation of the human rights rules against special tribunals. Ostensibly to protect the rights of the population was (is) the typical “Swedish Model” system of “ombudsman,” an appointed government bureaucrat whose job it is to investigate your complaint on your behalf, but without the due process of a trial and without any possibility of appeal.
To protect the stability of this system, the employers and trade unions, together with the military intelligence service, in 1957 set up a separate secret Swedish intelligence service later to be known as “IB” (the Information Bureau). About 200,000 trade unionists were enlisted to spy on any workplace opposition from especially communists and to report to their central trade union office. These registrations were shared with military and civilian intelligence services without the knowledge of most of these informants. The central figures setting up this system came from former Nazi activists. Palme became the liaison with IB at the office of the Social Democratic Prime Minister Tage Erlander, meeting the head of IB every week even as the next Prime Minister, until IB was exposed by an inside leak to investigative journalists.
Among the murky operations protected under the Swedish Model was NATO’s Operation Gladio system of secret military groups organized to “stay behind” enemy lines in case of a foreign (i.e., Soviet) military invasion and occupation. In many European nations, Gladio functioned as the NATO liaison with terrorist organizations of both the left and the right, for destabilization operations. The Swedish Gladio ran military exercises to protect and hide the King, establishing bases in the mountains under the cover of tourist hotels.
When Lyndon LaRouche launched a “War on Drugs” against the British offshore banking system for drug money laundering, his movement in Sweden exposed the protection of the drug trade and narcoterrorism still continuing, with Swedish support of jihadists in the Bush wars in Asia and Africa. It also exposed the Swedish secret international weapons trade that is protected by the corporatist ruling system, in which it has floated around for decades, unchallenged under the control of “independent” bureaucrats colluding with the private corporative organizations. The India-Bofors scandal was a huge international scandal marked by Swedish weapons trade complicity in regime changes benefitting international weapons cartels. Lyndon LaRouche exposed Olof Palme and his relations to the secret, dirty networks of the Malmö International, the Nazi international organization based in the Swedish city of Malmö, which replaced Hitler’s organizations after World War II.
The Massive Opposition to Palme, 1984–86
When Olof Palme came back into power in 1982, he faced a storm of criticism over the many murky scandals under the corrupt Swedish Model system. The industrialists of Sweden gathered the biggest demonstration in Sweden so far on October 4, 1984, protesting a corporatist Swedish Model reform proposal called the Wage-Earner Funds. In the summer there was the biggest farmer demonstration in 70 years gathered in Stockholm. And in October 1985, there was the first officers’ revolt in Sweden in almost two hundred years. In the winter of 1985-86 the trade unionists also went out protesting against the government. All these major pro-growth sectors of the population were influenced by the very intense programmatic agitation of the Swedish LaRouche Movement, the European Labor Party (EAP).
When Olof Palme was murdered in the streets of Stockholm on February 28, 1986, all these protests were destabilized. But the significance of the murder was not how it affected Sweden but how it was used against Lyndon LaRouche in the U.S. and internationally. The charge immediately went out: LaRouche killed Palme—placed in the media by influential operatives in Stockholm, London, New York, and Moscow. TV specials, huge spreads in the press, and special diatribes in the Soviet press and TV began to propagate the conclusion that LaRouche did it. There was no evidence. Most Americans did not know much about Olof Palme, but they had heard about Sweden as a successful and reliable country. What was left of the “weight” of the Swedish Model was thrown against Lyndon LaRouche.
The following month, on March 18, two LaRouche associates won state-wide Democratic Party primaries in Illinois—for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State. Rather than celebrating and reporting on the grass-roots organizing by LaRouche’s National Democratic Policy Committee that had by-passed the media and party leadership control over the elections, the party leaders and the media went into a frenzy, using the lie of LaRouche’s responsibility for the Palme assassination to drive home other slanders—that LaRouche was a political extremist, a racist, anti-Semitic, a communist, a fascist, a cultist, a demagogue—anything that could scare people away.
The Department of Justice set up a Get LaRouche Task Force to manufacture charges against him and his organization, headed by—take note—Robert Mueller, the same Robert Mueller who would later be appointed to run the equally fraudulent investigation of President Trump. This led to a massive, combined federal, state, and local law enforcement raid on LaRouche’s offices in Leesburg, Virginia, and several satellite offices around the country, on October 6, 1986. Years of court cases and “railroad” trials followed, with convictions of LaRouche and several associates on fraudulent charges, putting LaRouche in prison for five years.
Thousands of leading citizens from around the world—politicians, scientists, classical musicians, trade unionists, civil rights leaders, diplomats—have called for and campaigned for the exoneration of LaRouche. A list of these courageous thousands can be reviewed here.
Palme Murder Investigation Breakdown
On June 10, 2020, the Swedish investigation into the Palme assassination, which had gone on for the past 34 years with no conclusion, was closed down. The leader of the investigation, Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson, said that a person who died in 2000 was the “prime suspect.” Asked about other organizations which had been investigated, Petersson answered that there were groups in Sweden at the time, “like ‘stay behind’ and EAP, but we found no connections with them.” In that way it was made clear, as also from the official Swedish police authority, that the accusation against Lyndon LaRouche for having anything to do with the case was a diversion.
In the official press release and at a press conference, Prosecutor Petersson was openly critical of how his predecessors had run the investigation:
To a large extent, we have been at the mercy of the police investigative work that was performed closer to the time of the crime. The current Palme investigation has not been able to repeat such investigative work....
Had the current Palme investigation group been in charge 34 years ago, the suspect would have been remanded in custody had he been unable to provide satisfactory explanations for his movements and actions. My assessment is that there would have been sufficient evidence to have him detained in custody.
At one time we had a reasonable chance of securing the murder weapon as well as other evidence, and of investigating whether he had acted as part of a wider conspiracy. Now this is not possible.
At the end of the press conference, Petersson made public—and quoted at length—a memo from the investigation dated February 9, 1987, which he called “sensational.” The memo was written when the investigation was in its first stage, led by the strange operative Hans Holmér. It mixed up important witness testimonies and arbitrarily concluded that the suspect was of no further interest for the investigation. That clear manipulation of the investigation was written just days before Holmér was removed from the investigation in February 1987.
Petersson also reported that on November 12, 1986, Holmér had made the extraordinary statement to his investigators that “they must go to the bottom [of everything] with [the suspect] S. E. [Stig Engström] before the prosecutors put their claws in him.” Even before that, the suspect had been kept out of the investigation and only heard from once. That remained the situation until he died in 2000.
Apparently, this prosecutor had sent more inquiries to the Swedish intelligence service, SAEPO, and the Swedish military intelligence, MUST, about the activities that day of certain intelligence networks like the stay-behind groups, and a group of special forces from the military. Petersson never got any additional policemen for his investigation to find out more.
In an answer to reportage in the Stockholm tabloid, Aftonbladet, published June 10, Petersson said that the only conclusion about the Swedish stay-behind/Gladio networks was, that they had had their Swedish headquarters in the same office building where the suspect worked—the leading insurance company Skandia. This was not known publicly before, but it was public knowledge that the Director of Skandia, Alvar Lindencrona, was the head of the Swedish Gladio and participated in their international meetings. It was also known that the group “Barbro” of the secret stay-behind operation was active with walkie talkies in the area at the same time as the murder, in what was said to be an action against drug traffickers.
A Clarification Is Needed
The closing of the official investigation is another example of institutional breakdown caused by the Swedish Model with its competing command structures. It was made clear from the press conference that the official investigators had met a great deal of resistance from higher-ups against really finding out who murdered Palme. What is needed is a clarification of who put pressure on the investigation, including from abroad. Hans Holmér was the head of the police in the Stockholm region but was primarily an operative of the ruling Social Democratic Party. His career included work with the huge secret intelligence network “IB” (the Information Bureau) in which the Social Democratic Party, in cooperation with military intelligence, had trade unionists as spies at the workplaces in the nation.
A democratic inquiry commission should clarify who allowed the Palme murder investigation to be misused by Holmér for political purposes against Lyndon LaRouche and his movement, as well as against many other opponents. This is necessary to clear the justice system of all influences from strange, undemocratic or foreign institutions and straighten out its command structure. Such a commission should also be allowed to open the archives of the Swedish intelligence services and of the many semi-official secret networks in Sweden, such as the paramilitary stay-behind networks and others.
Sweden Is Crumbling Under its ‘Model’
The strong corporatist ruling structures are competing with the democratic institutions in Sweden, as well as with each other. This explains much of the recurring mess in the command system, in which a number of major crises have been mismanaged, such as the Olof Palme murder investigation, but also the sinking of the ferry boat Estonia in the Baltic Sea, the Sunda Strait tsunami that caught many vacationing Swedes in Thailand, and the out-of-control forest fires in the hot summer of 2018.
Also now, in the coronavirus crisis, the permanent bureaucrats are running the show with the government on the sidelines. It’s a mess—because the authorities, according to the Swedish governing model, are supposed to make decisions without direct control from the democratically elected politicians. However, at the same time, this permanent bureaucracy is not independent, but operates under the influence of a variety of corporate officials and semi-official interest groups.
With different authorities having different perspectives and goals, there is no overriding responsibility, and the Social Democracy Party is no longer strong enough to control the system through its myriad corporatist interest groups keeping everyone in line with its formerly almighty party standpoint. This means that there are no clear lines of authority for ultimate decision making in Sweden. The corrupt leadership structure therefore breaks down every time, as now in the coronavirus crisis, in what is a much deeper crisis of democracy and justice resulting from the Swedish Model.
LaRouche has been proven right, that the Swedish Model, a type of type fascism with a democratic face, does not work. The growth oriented advanced scientific and industrial tradition that built the Swedish welfare state has to be revived! The world, including Sweden, needs the ideas of Lyndon LaRouche. His exoneration from having had anything to do with the Palme murder is important, but it has to move forward to LaRouche’s full exoneration by President Trump to make his ideas available for all.
In her June 10 webcast, LaRouche’s widow, Helga Zepp-LaRouche said:
It’s the same thing: If you want to make war against somebody, you have to demonize them first. So, if you look at the demonization against my husband with something which was completely invented, that was part of the legal frameup, which Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General of the United States, who became the appeal lawyer of my husband, said was the most massive case of the bending of justice in the history of the United States. And, in the Swedish media, later, as became known later, a guy named Herbert Brehmer, a former officer in the East German secret police, the Stasi, said that he was one person in something called Department X of the Stasi [which was responsible for active disinformation operations], and that they planted the story blaming LaRouche for the murder of Palme. And then they played it through the media, and this is how it was orchestrated.
That lesson has to be learned: Regarding a lot of what is now called “fake news,” a really big and very destructive fake news story was this story that LaRouche was responsible for the murder of Olof Palme.
This has now come out, and since it has now been acknowledged that neither my husband nor his organization had anything to do with the assassination of Olof Palme, I demand from the Swedish government that it issue a written statement saying that, and that all the accusations against Lyndon LaRouche and his movement were a mistake, and apologize....
Kjell Lundqvist, EAP Chairman in Sweden, said in a recent statement:
Now as the Palme Murder investigation is closed, it is clear that there was no clear evidence against anyone. Swedish and Western media should apologize for their vilification of the EAP and Lyndon LaRouche.
Lundqvist asked everyone to sign the call for the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche.
[fn_1]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB0eXIKmAlA&list=PL3D4267C33E785127&index=3 at 1 minute, 57 seconds. [back to text for fn_1]