Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great Northern War

Gregory Levonian asks why, if Swedes are indeed so cool, did they have their arses handed to them by Russians in the Great Northern War of 1700-21. Well, Gregory, it's a widespread misconception (apparently shared by Wikipedia and Peter the Great) that Russians supposedly won the war. An interested student of the conflict will soon discover the falsity of this belief, which we further explore in more detail.

The Russian domination of the Baltic from 18th century on, annexion of Estonia and Ingria and the founding of St Petersburg in Ingria "to secure the acquisitions" are all widely recognized as clear indications of Russia's victory in the war. To concentrate on them, however, would be to ignore the much more interesting story of Sweden's victory by infiltrating Russia from within. The Swedes who are, as we have learned, a tough and clever nation, came to a conclusion that it would be to their benefit to let Russia enjoy the so-called victory with the Baltic and everything while taking advantage of the moment when Russia's focus was elsewhere (undoubtedly, on drinking themselves silly a la russe in celebration of the "victory") and establishing presence in strategic locations on Russian soil, and, of course, in key positions of power. The strong velvet influence of the Swedish lobby lasted well into the twentieth century, culminating in a Swedish-initiated social engineering experiment that lasted for over 70 years from 1917 to 1991. Acquiring by proxy control over what came to be known to the world as the Soviet Block (Svenskablok), the Swedish overlords took the opportunity to try different brands of socialism. A notable crisis in the experiments happened in 1968, when a senior agent broke loose and went on to reveal to the world the true, highly classified, objective of the experiments, the creation of the "Socialism with a human face". The complete objective was, of course, the creation of socialism with a human face in Sweden and only in Sweden, so that the rest of the world, imperfect and envious, would look at Sweden with everlasting admiration. Fortunately, nobody took Agent Dubcek's revelation seriously, but the Swedes had to cancel the otherwise well-going Chekhoslovak experiment, reverting it back to the older, stable model. Sensing at that point that it was too dangerous to not immediately make use of the research findings (lest somebody else should file for patent), the Swedes have reluctantly started applying their research findings in their own country, which today are responsible for the only known functioning example of the Socialism with a Human Face.
In fact, here's that face:
And, finally, Gregory, you were looking for the third negative thing to say about Sweden. You were probably looking for word "ABBA". It was an effective psychological weapon at the time, but now the Swedes acknowledge it was unnecessarilly cruel, and they are sorry.


  1. Listen man, Abba is cool. As a matter of fact, I think the first album I ever bought was an Abba album!

  2. I hate to break it to you, but you might be suffering from Stockholm syndrome!