By Enrique Tessieri
There are many ways to face diversity. You can try to quash it with nationalism as is happening in many parts of Europe, or make it work for as many as possible for everyone’s benefit.
Unless we end up killing each other with the sword of indifference, it is only natural that humanity must learn one day to live with its diversity. It has to because if we fail in the task it will mean resurrecting those two dark riders of the apocalypse: war and squalor.
The rise of right-wing populist parties in Europe is not only an unfortunate sign of the times but a dangerous warning because they are stoking the fires of hatred and divisions in society.
Populist parties like the Perussuomalaiset believe that their main job is to fuel more nationalism at the cost of those minorities they suspect or loathe. The nationalism that they are handing wholesale to the public with their rhetoric is hazardous to society.
Racism should not find an ever-growing foothold in this country but are parties like the PS concerned? When Teuvo Hakkarainen’s racist outbursts hit the public fan not one PS MP expressed condemnation or remorse.
As far as politicians and groups like the PS continue to use bigotry as a tool to secure votes and to increase their popularity, Timo Soini’s party can never be considered normal but a passing fad that will retreat back to single-digit percentage figures.
Diversity and Finland are one and the same. It should be defended and respected by everyone in this country, even by parties like the PS.
I think people are confusing nationalism and patriotism.
Hi Allan, what do you think is the difference between nationalism and patriotism?
“All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labor, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral color when committed by ‘our’ side.… The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” – George Orwell
I cannot be a true patriot unless I understand and respect that all expressions of identity are valid. Nationalism is a pernicious legacy of the construction of the State by the emerging mercantile classes. It is a tool of aggrandizement as well as a means of deflecting the attention and critical insights of those oppressed by those same mercantile forces. Nationalism can be traced to the settlement emerging from the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 but reached its highpoint in the jingoistic imperialism of the 19th century. It reached its murderous highpoint in the 20th. Nationalist rhetoric masks a vicious dialectic of hatred and discrimination. And it always hides behind the skirts of a pretended ‘patriotism’. Europe is being stalked by organized and pernicious forces of hatred – many of which have simply been lying low since 1945. Real patriots will stand up and confront this enemy now. When we understand that the likes of Donald Rumsfeld is a traitor and Bradley Manning is a patriot we will be making some progress. When we see that the loyalty of Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Soini and their buddies in Jobbik is not to ‘patria’ but the power of control via other-directed fear and loathing we will grasp the outlines of this.
Hi Alan, great to see you hear as well. I could not agree more with you on what you stated about nationalist rhetoric. What is happening in Finland and in some other countries shameful.
Check out the last message in this video clip:
Enrique, do you take guest contributions? I’d be interested in writing an article for your blog entitled ‘Am I a racist?’
Mark, I have been thinking about you contributing for a long time. Sure thing! I will get in touch with you by email today.
Now that sounds like an educated and an insightful opinion!
The inevitable referendum in Scotland will be crucial for the rest of the UK including England as practically all the British oil produced from the North Sea comes off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland meaning effectively a whole important industry could be removed from the UK if Scottish independence is gained.
It is simply not credible to compare the results of the Scottish election or the position of the SNP to the issues in this discussion around xenophobia and racism and the rise of rightwing populist parties like the PS. To equate the SNP with European anti-immigration and racist movements is deeply misguided. The SNP is a progressive movement reacting against the reactionary and imperialist traditions of the UK state. The SNP is neither anti-immigrant nor anti-European. The SNP is asserting national rights against oppression and subjugation not in favor of them. The unease expressed should be focused against the covert racism of the UK Conservative party – increasingly confined to its English heartland.
Don’t confuse them with facts, Ricky. They might turn violent.
Oh yes how could we forget that Portugal has been invaded by it’s wild unpredictable big neighbour Spain and World War III has just began. How dare Finland who’s not taking part in this World War not want to give money to Portugal as those are the reasons why they need it. Until a situation like this arises, comparing Portugal helping out Finland in 1940 to the bailouts of today is completely idiotic.
Klay, reciprocity is key in human relations and in relations between countries. The PS think that everybody is obliged to them. They even bring their populist ideas to the public as if we were living in an autocratic state. They are far from being a majority and their MPs are on notice until 2015.
“We, us, our…”
I doubt the Portuguese living today are to be thanked for most of the things mentioned in the video, including the aid given to Finland during WWII.
Not saying Finland shouldn’t help Portugal.
I just don’t think that _they_ should be helped
because _their ancestors_ did thing x
but because they need that help now and this country is in a position to give it.
I don’t see the point of the video you posted. I mean, it is very educational and narrator is doing a good job, but why is it is directed to Finland/Finns? There is a part that says Portugal gave food and other supplies to Finland over 70 years ago, but what about the rest? What does it have to do with the current financial crisis?
They can have 27 boxes of pickled herring back, no problem.
Difference between patriotism and nationalism? Well, lets ask what was the difference between a Yugoslavian patriot and a Serb nationalist?
Can one be both?
“Diversity” may be foisted on a nation by its leaders’ decisions, but is it really diversity if all have to fit the leftwing lovey-dovey profile? IF being “right-wing” is denounced by the educated, then that is hardly tolerance and intellectual diversity – that boils down only to skin color diversity, with a few ethnic restaurants. Here in San Francisco area, the opinions voiced in most halls, offices and parties are de riguer left-wing. Diversity? A joke! The more you lean to Communism, the more politically correct you are, and the more welcome you are!
As if Finland doesn’t remember the dangers of a Communist nightmare on its border!
What about leftwing whackjobs, aren’t they dangerous for Europe! Look what happened to East Germany, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, not to mention the Baltics and the Russians themselves, victims of the Red takeover of their nation. And what do these lefties push? “Internationalism” above “nationalism”, no matter what their own people really want.
Hi Marymekko, what did you think about the anti-Vietnam movement? Do you think Richard Nixon did the wrong thing by “abandoning” South Vietnam?
Did you ever watch that comedy “The Russians are coming?”
Still waiting for your advice on the space alien menace and the coverup by pinko lefties in Washington, DC.