The optical properties and electronic structure of materials are the origin of the electrodynamic van der Waals – London dispersion (vdW-Ld) interactions, the universal long range interaction, which plays a critical role in wetting, interfacial energies, and nanoscale assembly. At the nanoscale, beyond the formation of individual chemical bonds, long-range interactions (LRIs) dominate the nanoscale manipulation and assembly of materials such as single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). SWCNTs are optically and morphologically anisotropic, so we determined ab initio full spectral, uniaxial, optical properties from band structure calculations, then developed anisotropic cylinder solutions to determine the vdW-Ld interaction of 64 SWCNTs. These results show a clear dependence on CNT type (metal or semiconductor), structure (armchair, zig-zag, or chiral), and [n,m] chirality, and reveal new effects such as vdW-Ld torques which can be used for CNT alignment during placement. Harnessing these LRIs holds great promise across physics, chemistry, biology, and materials science.