Olof Palme

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Olof Palme in the 1970s.

Olof Palme (January 30, 1927 – February 28, 1986) was a Swedish Social Democratic politician. He was Prime Minister from 1969 to 1976 and from 1982 until his assassination in 1986.


  • For us, democracy is a question of human dignity. This includes the political liberties, the right to freely express our views, the right to criticize and to influence opinion. It embraces the right to health and work, to education and social security.
    • In: Nancy I. Lieber, ‎Institute for Democratic Socialism (U.S.) (1982) Eurosocialism and America: political economy for the 1980s. p. 222.
  • Former Prime minister Tage Erlander spoke on radio a year ago about the people's home and about how he visited his senile mother at a residential hospital outside of Karlstad. When he came to visit her she told him; I'm so happy here. Everyone is so nice to me and I get good care and nice food. But who is paying for all this? Is it you Tage? And Erlander said; no I'm not paying, you're paying for this yourself mother. You have paid for this your entire life. You have grown up in this society, you have taken care of the family all these years, you have been a good citizen. And you have the right to be taken care of when you get old and infirm, not because of charity, not because you have a thick wallet, but because you are a Swedish citizen. This is your society, our society. You have the same right to this as anyone else. That is the welfare state and it is our greatest pride!
    • Olof Palme, August 28, 1985, in debate with the leader of the opposition before 1985 years general election.
  • Apartheid cannot be reformed. It has to be eliminated.
    • Olof Palme, February 21, 1986: Quoted in: Roberta Seret (2011) World Affairs in Foreign Films: Getting the Global Picture, p. 122.
  • Human beings will find a balanced situation when they do good things not because God says it, but because they feel like doing them.
    • Quoted in: V. Thomas (2009) The God Dilemma: To Believe Or Not to Believe,.
  • They build their democratic institutions with pedantic conscientiousness.
  • The bourgeoisie seemed to live in the illusion that an effort for peace presupposed an almost unreserved support for the American position. The hallmark of a balanced bourgeois critique seems to be that it should be heard as little as possible. Preferably be almost silent. That it is surrounded by so many reservations that it loses every meaning and that it is guaranteed not to affect any business.
    • Palme responds to the criticism from the bourgeoisie parties after his criticism directed at the US bombing of Hanoi. Source: Sveriges Radio: P3 Dokumentär - "Palmemordet".

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