[Marxism] Fwd: Swedish imperialism in Africa | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 9 10:14:48 MDT 2015

If Sweden seems pure as the driven snow compared to the major 
imperialist powers such as England, the USA and France, that is only a 
function of how low the bar has been set. In my last post I tried to 
show how indigenous peoples got screwed by the dominant nationality bent 
on creating a modern capitalist powerhouse. Now I will look into the 
question of Sweden’s footprints in Africa, a continent that most of 
us—including me until I began researching the matter—considered 
untouched by the reputedly benign northern European state.

If there’s any term that captures the essence of European colonialism, 
it is the “scramble for Africa”, a project largely associated with 
England, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium. Believe it or not Sweden 
was a player as well.

This is all laid out in copious detail in an article by David Nilsson 
titled “Sweden-Norway at the Berlin Conference 1884–85: History, 
national identity-making and Sweden’s relations with Africa”. Sweden and 
Norway had a common monarch in this period—King Oscar II whose visage 
adorns the brand of sardines seen in your local supermarket. Norway had 
been taken over by Sweden in the Napoleonic wars, just another 
indication that it was as capable of territorial aggrandizement as any 
other European empire-builder.) Nilsson, like Gunlög Fur whose 
scholarship on the persecution of Sami I referred to in my previous 
article, is part of the generation of younger Swedish scholars who are 
taking a fresh look at the nation’s dark past.

full: http://louisproyect.org/2015/07/09/swedish-imperialism-in-africa/

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