Finland’s future recipe for success is based on social equality, mutual acceptance, respect and equal opportunities

by , under Enrique

Why would any political party seriously care about immigrants and their children if these newcomers form part of a fragmented group that has little political and economic power? Should they be concerned about high unemployment and ever-growing social inequality among such groups in Finland? 

Our success story as a society was never based on social inequality but on social equality, or tasa-arvo.  If you disagree, look at our violent history between 1918 and 1945. The crucial fuel that fed the wheels of internal and external strife back then was suspicion of other groups and nations.

Despite our rocky start as an independent nation, we have built today a model society that is the envy of other nations. Another welcome characteristic of our society is its strong sense of community and belonging. Not everyone, however, enjoys being part of such a great family. Some of these are  visible minorities like the Roma, Saami, non-white Finns, homosexuals and other groups.

As we race deeper into the depths of the new century, we need more than ever those tools that turned us into a successful nation and helped mend our differences as a society. We especially need values such as inclusion to rub off on those that form part of our ever-growing culturally diverse nation.

Are we putting Finland in harm’s way again by reviving those same class divisions, inequality and loathing that once impoverished us? Are those very values that fueled strife now entering our society through the back door as anti-immigrant sentiment and intolerance?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that humans are social animals and that our successful Nordic welfare society is based on social equality.  Social vices like greed, apathy and even racism therefore constitute today the greatest threat to our society.

Some politicians in Finland and Europe naively believe that they can revive these above-mentioned social ills and control them with a short leash. Nothing could be further from the truth. The mass killings in Norway that we witnessed last year are tragic proof of the contrary. What attacked Norway wasn’t a mass killer called Anders Breivik but his racist values and fear.

Political parties are playing with fire if they fuel class divisions and hatred of other groups like immigrants and visible minorities.

It is an encouraging sign, however, that more politicians, political parties and common Finns are finding the courage to openly question racism and all forms of discrimination.

A lot more work is still needed on this front. We should hear more than ever those values, together with new ones, that turned us into what we are today:  social equality for all based on mutual acceptance, respect and equal opportunities.

 

  1. Sasu

    Riippuu varmaan mitä tavoittelemme. Kannattaa muistaa, että siirtomaavaltiot nousivat suuruuteen juuri poliittisen, sosiallisen ja ekonomisen epätasa-arvon avulla. Ilman köyhiä ja yhteisöstä syrjäytettyjä värillisiä ei olisi eurooppalaisten yhteiskuntaa. Ei ainakaan sellaisena kuin mitä olemme oppineet tuntemaan sen. Uuskolonialismi ja riisto-kapitalismi toimii aivan hyvin ilman tasa-arvoa.

  2. Justice Demon

    Sasu

    Finland arrived on the scene too late to have any significant independent colonial adventures. Following periods of serious population loss and internal unrest in the 19th and 20th centuries, Finland’s postwar success has been based on optimal use of domestic and international resources.

    The most important domestic resource is human capital. Social and political equality is a policy instrument that seeks to ensure that human capital is not wasted through class-based deprivation or internal strife. Public education, health services and social welfare all aim to ensure that people have a fair and equitable opportunity to realise their personal potential. This goes hand in hand with national affluence.

    There is nothing mysterious, devious or naïve about this national game plan. The population ultimately pulls the national economy. If we train the population well, ensure that it is well fed and that its ailments are properly and promptly treated, then the population remains both strong and willing to work. It is also important to ensure that everyone pulls in the same direction, to minimise infighting, and to ensure that nobody seeks to exclude the efforts of any willing contributor. It is vital that everyone is both encouraged and allowed to help. Those who actively discourage others from participating through vanity, jealousy, greed or prejudice are enemies of the collective endeavour. The best way to ensure that everyone pulls in the same direction is to arrange regular consultations that give everyone an equal and informed opportunity to express their views on the choice of objectives and the means of achieving them.

    We call this system social democracy, and it has been spectacularly successful in Finland since 1945.

    • Sasu

      Öö Kyllä tiedän. Myös olen kuullut tuosta sosiaali demokratiasta joka taitaa olla vain hyvinvointiliberalismia toisella nimellä. Suomea auttoi tuossa prosessissa se, että Suomessa oli yleisesti vahva yhteissyyden tunne. Tunne, että olemme yhtä ryhmää. Etelä-Afrikassa ei ollut sitä jolloin halliksevat valkoiset pyrkivät vain kasvastamaan omaa hyvinvointia hyvinvointivaltio mallilla. Tietyssä määrin tämä pätee Yhdysvaltoihin ja nykyajan monikulttuurisiin maihin esim Iso-Britantnia.

      Pyrin vain nostamaan, että tasa-arvo ei ole mikään voima joka nostaa yhteisöjä ylös. Sen tekee ihmiset vapaaehtoisesti tai pakotettuna.

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