By Enrique Tessieri
What would Finland see if it took a long and deep look at itself in the mirror after April 17? Would it see the ogre of racism? Xenophobia? The rise of right-wing populism? Would it say in sotto voce: “Mirror, mirror on the wall whose societal values are the fairest of them all?”
Optimism is an indispensable resource that humans have to pull through difficult times. When we use, however, such optimism to create wishful thinking that is when we tread into dangerous territory.
After last month’s election victory by the Perussuomalaiset, which gained 19% of the votes and 39 MPs, what would Finland see today if it looked at itself in the mirror?
For one we’d see a slightly different country where our values of social equality and tolerance for all enshrined in the Constitution are being threatened by nationalist populist rhetoric.
Alan Bruce put it eloquently: “Europe is being stalked by organized and pernicious forces of hatred – many of which have simply been lying low since 1945.”
Anyone who wants a glimpse of the mindset of some PS MPs, especially those that belong to the far-right Suomen Sisu association, should acquaint themselves with the work of Alfred Rosenberg and David Duke. The ideology of racism, anti-Semitism and White, or in the case of Rosenberg Aryan supremacy, unites both authors.
PS MP Jussi Halla-aho, one of four Suomen Sisu members who were elected to parliament, has refused publicly to condemned Rosenberg’s and Duke’s writings.
He does not because the Finnish twenty-first century context of Rosenberg and Duke are Suomen Sisu and the Nuiva manifesto.
It is widely known that Suomen Sisu is against Finns marrying foreigners. The racist views of these people, very present in Rosenberg’s and Duke’s writings, is based on the fear that white Finland will be overtaken by immigrants and Islam. Their opposition to multiculturalism can be compared, in today’s context, to the loathing that the Nazis had of the Jews and other minorities.
Rosenberg and Duke are the antithesis of multiculturalism, which means generally accepting and living in a culturally diverse society.
The main argument of Rosenberg’s The myth of the twentieth century is that the “Aryan race” became corrupted and lost its power due to the Jews. In order to become the “master race,” Germany had to expel the Jews from the country.
Former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke shaking hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Duke believes that his goal is “the advancement” of races by segregating white and black people. Is this what Somen Sisu seeks in Finland?
The same ideology, in a Finnish twenty-first century context, is being allowed through the backdoor by parties like the PS through MPs like Halla-aho and others.
It is not only unfortunate but shameful that some Finnish politicians’ lack the leadership to condemn an ideology based on far-right nationalism, xenophobia and racial myths spread by the likes of Rosenberg and Duke. Politics does make strange bedfellows but there are certain lines one cannot cross in a democracy.
Do Kokoomus, the Social Democrats and other parties believe that the Finland we are now seeing in the mirror will vanish magically with the help of wishful thinking?
Is Finland’s future being left to chance?