Anna Lindh 1957-2003

She passed away in the early morning.

The murderer is still not caught. They have the murder weapon though, so maybe this won’t be another giant screw-up like the Palme investigation.

Apparently they think it was premeditated. The murder may or may not have to do with politics, but the circumstances, especially using a knife rather than a gun, suggest to me a lone perpetrator, nothing organized.

Lindh was seen as an unusually talented foreign minister and politician. Apart from everything else, it’s a great loss for the Social Democrats. For all Swedes, I suppose.

10 thoughts on “Anna Lindh 1957-2003

  1. La Libre Belgique is reporting that the stabbing took place less than 500m from the spot where Palme was killed. They also claim that Sweden has a fairly high murder rate by European standards. Considering how often reports on this murder have evoked how safe Sweden is, and how politicians hardly need bodyguards, I found this claim very surprising.

  2. Well, murder is one of the few crime statistics where international comparisons are likely fairly reliable, so we can check. A higher rate than most of the nonanglo west wouldn’t surprise me, I may have heard something along those lines. A big difference would surprise, though.

  3. You’re right David.

    I’m not sure how relevant such figures are when looking at a terrible pre-medidated killing such as this, but for 1997-99 Sweden’s murder rate per 100,000 was 1.94 (around a 180 a year).

    By comparision this was pretty similar to the EU average of 1.7, and less than a third of the US at 6. It was higher than Denmark (1.2) and Norway (0.85) but lower than Finland (2.55). See p.10 of this http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hosb601.pdf

  4. It might be a great loss for the Social Democrats, but that would make it a gain for everyone else who doesn’t espouse freeloading as a way of life.

    In the light of this murder, Scandinavians should be asking themselves the question they think Americans should be asking themselves: doesn’t the environment shape the criminal? Shouldn’t Swedes examine the presumptions they hold about how their society works on an individual’s self-esteem? Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with the social democratic welfare-state way of life?

    Do you think that Swedes could go so far as to ask these questions? Or is it only the Americans who should be asking them?

  5. I wouldn’t exactly call Sweden a healthy society. Deluded is more like it.

    They’re still under the impression that they support the social welfare state all by themselves, while in fact it is supported from the outside, by worker-consumers in other countries who don’t enjoy the same social protections.

    Such a society is inherently exploitative. But you won’t get a Swede to admit to that: it is always the “Other” (mostly the American “Other”) who exploit, not them.

    The Lindh murder will get the Swedes asking some questions, but it will be all the wrong questions.

  6. Markku wrote:
    “They’re still under the impression that they support the social welfare state all by themselves, while in fact it is supported from the outside, by worker-consumers in other countries who don’t enjoy the same social protections.”

    What is your solution then? A “mind your own business” society? Survival of the fittest? The classic right wing way?

    Please elaborate.

  7. Capitalist free market societies are the solution, of course. Social welfare states are not self-sustainable: they need to harness the worker-consumers of capitalist countries in order to survive.

    Sweden has had the luxury of access to capitalist markets. One reason one social welfare state, – Cuba – has not succeeded, is that it does not have access to those markets.

    But the worker/consumers in those markets do not have the same social protections Sweden does. And if they did, – if American consumers were taxed at the rate Swedish consumers are – then Sweden’s market would dry up, and the Swedish welfare state could not be financed.

    So Sweden must continue to – essentially – exploit the worker-consumers of other countries.

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