Anarchism in Sweden

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Anarchism was reported to have been extant in Sweden by Mikhail Bakunin as early as 1866.[1] As with the movements in Germany and the Netherlands, Swedish anarchism had a strong syndicalist tendency.[2] One of the earliest Swedish anarchists of note was the artist Ivan Aguéli who in 1884 was arrested and sentenced in the "Trial of the thirty" in Paris. Also prominent were Anton Nilson, Leon Larsson, Axel Holmström, Albert Jensen, and Hinke Bergegren. Bergegren edited and published nine issues of the weekly periodical Under röd flagg, from March to June 1891. The magazine, which had an anarchist communist editorial bent, featured excerpts from the writings of prominent European anarchist intellectuals Peter Kropotkin, Leo Tolstoy, and Élisée Reclus.

Anarchist ideas were prominent in the Swedish Social Democratic Party from its founding in 1889 to the early 1900s. Bergegren headed the party's anarchist group – called Ungsocialisterna (The Young Socialists). Bergegren and Ungsocialisterna were expelled from the SDP between 1906 and 1908.

An anarcho-syndicalist trade union, Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation, was founded in 1910.[3] In 1922 it had 32,000 members.[citation needed] Today it has about 7,500 members[citation needed] and still publishes its own weekly paper, Arbetaren.

Many Swedish anarchists joined and fought with the CNT-FAI during the Spanish Revolution 1936–1939. Among them, Nisse Lätt and Axel Österberg later published eye-witness reports from Spain.

The well-known author Stig Dagerman remained an anarchist for his entire life.


  1. ^ Woodcock 2004, p. 135
  2. ^ Woodcock 2004, p. 366
  3. ^ Campbell 1992, p. 435