Linjie Chou Zanadu

Following the Cold War, Sweden has been acclaimed as a paradigmatic society for its social welfare and egalitarian values, which most Western nations regard with great admiration.

Despite its longstanding history of neutrality in international affairs, Sweden is urged to align itself with NATO by the collective neo-liberal wisdom that prevails in the Anglo-Saxon world. The subject of Swedish social welfare emerged during the 2016 presidential election, where it was wielded as a potent argument by Bernie Sanders in favor of an advanced form of progressive Western society.

At its inception, NATO emerged from the historical context of the “special relationship” between the United Kingdom and the United States. President Charles de Gaulle harbored resentment towards the predominance of the Anglo-Saxon alliance within NATO and consequently withdrew French forces from the integrated military command structure in protest of the close ties between London and Washington.

Amidst the Brexit phenomenon, it was widely acknowledged that the relationship between Britain and Germany was fraught with tension. The United States, at that time, supported Britain’s position. Both countries were imbued with the belief that they had a calling of manifested destiny to effect change globally. This ideology has been present since Britain’s colonial era, where it financed its industrialization, and later during the Pax Americana period, culminating in the establishment of UKUSA.

The Anglo-Saxon civilization perceives itself as having achieved the pinnacle of human development and considers it its destiny to enlighten others. However, Scandinavian countries expressed mild apprehension. Several international social and human development indexes have consistently demonstrated that these countries have surpassed Anglo-Saxon countries.

For instance, the UNICEF ranking report on family policies across OECD countries showed that all Scandinavian countries outperformed their Anglo-Saxon counterparts, as did the generalized social trust level index. Consequently, the Anglo-Saxons’ desire for significance is openly challenged.

The relationship between the Anglo-Saxons and the Scandinavians, particularly Sweden, is intricate and multifaceted. In addition to social and cultural factors, the issue of race has played a significant, albeit unspoken, role in shaping this relationship, as evidenced by the Anglo-Saxons’ admiration for Scandinavian whiteness. This admiration has deep historical roots, dating back to the Victorian era in England when the English celebrated their Scandinavian heritage and colonization by Denmark.

The Grant Madison doctrine, a racially based American law that influenced Hitler’s racial laws, further reinforced the Anglo-Saxon belief in their Nordic lineage. This ideology also impacted American immigration policies.

In the 1920s and 1960s, sociologist Emory Bogardus conducted surveys examining attitudes towards different ethnic and racial groups, ranging from neutral questions about social relationships to more intimate inquiries about marriage. The results revealed that Scandinavians were consistently ranked as the most favored ethnicity, followed by the Anglo-Saxons. Although the Anglo-Saxon identity is privileged compared to other groups, such as those belonging to the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) identity, the true Vikings’ secondary social and racial position has created feelings of insecurity among the Anglo-Saxons. As a result, the Anglo-Saxons aspire to establish a leadership role within the Nordic groups, which they believe NATO membership could facilitate.

Sweden’s adoption of neutrality after its defeat to Russia in 1812 has led to significant social and psychological changes. This shift in focus toward internal affairs has also influenced the Swedish culture to prioritize the principles of non-confrontation and collective consciousness concerning peace and mediation.

Sweden’s perception of itself as a pinnacle of whiteness, fairness, social cooperation, and love for peace has somewhat placed it above the Anglo-Saxon culture. However, if Sweden were to join NATO, this superiority would be diminished. NATO’s collective security policy is based on a disguised offshore balancing principle that defends the Anglo-Saxon narrative of neo-liberal democracy and commercial cosmopolitanism. Therefore, subjugating the de facto racial and social primacy of the Nordic/Viking culture is necessary to maintain the orchestrated primacy of the Anglo-Saxons.

The accession of Sweden to NATO represents a clear departure from the country’s longstanding cultivated identity, thereby compromising its unique historical essence as a non-confrontational and peace-loving nation. The apparent Anglo-Saxonization of Sweden’s militia represents a method of deconstructing the Swedish national identity, possibly motivated by the Anglo-Saxon’s envious admiration of Scandinavian cultural values.


*Linjie Chou Zanadu is a fellow at the Center for Foreign Affairs & Defense Policy (CFADP), and a former advisor to the secretary of the international civil defense organization in Geneva. He is also a member of the Petrovskaya Academy of Science and Arts. 

**The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views or position of The Diplomatic Insight. The organization neither endorses nor takes responsibility for the content of this article and its accuracy.

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