Anarchist Tales

Joan Acocella reads Stieg Larsson’s trilogy with an eye for the political implications:

Swedes think that their country is uniquely egalitarian (Larsson presents considerable differences between rich and poor), that Sweden is politically neutral (Larsson shows a burgeoning right), that the Swedish health-care system is the best in the world (Lisbeth is imprisoned in a state hospital), etc. Above all, the Swedes believe that their government is benign, and working for their benefit, whereas, in [writer John-Henri] Holmberg’s words, Larsson shows the Swedish state as “an instrument of violence, wielded against individuals who threaten the privileges and power of those who have managed to gain control of it.”