Jussi Halla-aho: Of human value

by , under Migrant Tales

Migrant Tales insight: We get a lot of email and tip-offs from our readers. The latest one we got is of three blog entry translations in English of Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted for ethnic agitation. This first one, Of human value, was published in Scripta on April 13, 2005.

Apart from understanding how racism in Finland thrives and which arguments are used to spread hatred of other groups, one matter is clear from all three writings: They are repulsive and we apologize if anyone is offended by them. The writings have nothing to do with a PhD’s critical thinking; they are simply urban tales and prejudices that have been piled high and deep. 

Another important aspect that we must acknowledge about these writings is that they are hostile towards migrants and intended for gullible Finns. They are hateful writings that fuel prejudice, which in turn fuels social exclusion. 

Acceptance of these two anti-immigration parties this week in the ECR with “MEPs with criminal records,” proves that shoplifting is a worse offense for a politician today than being sentenced for ethnic agitation. It sadly exposes as well why racism has grown in Europe and why mainstream politicians and the media have helped fuel such intolerance. 

Our only motive for publishing these blog entries is so that other Europeans who don’t speak Finnish can read what kind of a politician Halla-aho is. 

For more insight into the PS, take a look Far-right and anti-immigration quotes in English by the PS.

Migrant Tales will publish Sunday France the football giant (2006) and on Monday, Do not tolerate the intolerant one (2007).

* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. 

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An axiom is a claim that is so obviously true that it doesn’t need to be backed up. It’s probably axiomatical (pun intended), that when granting a claim the status of an axiom, we should be especially careful. The claim should preferably be such, that it can be proven to be and have been true everywhere and always.

One of our modern axioms is that all people share a human value, and said human value is of equal size for every person. Even the worst racists and anti-egalitarians try to fit the human value axiom into their own theoretical formulas. Denial of the axiom is altogether politically incorrect.

If we claim that everyone is of equal worth, we also claim that we know the value of a human being and that it can be measured. If it cannot be measured, we cannot prove how much each individual has it. Human value can’t be anything that comes from outside us (from Heaven), or at least it can’t be proven as such, because it’s not written in the stars, waters or rocks. Actually, nothing points to equal human value (or human value in general) being anything else but a convention and a statement typical for our age, like past axioms: ”The Sun revolves around the Earth” ”The Pope is infallible”, ”A woman has no soul”, or ”Masturbation leads to near-sightedness”. They used to be believed in as blindly as human equality is believed in now. There’s been as much measurable evidence to support them as there is for human equality. Because they couldn’t be proven, they were declared axioms that didn’t have to be proven.

The only human value that can be measured and therefore exists beyond all doubt is the instrumental value of an individual. Individuals can be set to a hierarchy based how much the community would weaken were their abilities and functions removed. A farmer, a breeder of edible animals and a construction engineer are more valuable than others, because without them the community would die of starvation and cold. On the other hand, they would survive even if everyone else were removed. An individual using a weapon is the next most valuable member of society, because he protects the food supply and houses from beasts and enemies and keeps community members from responding to their primitive urges and annihilating each other.

An artesan (and his modern variations) is valuable in the sense that his products and inventions make life easier for everyone hierarchically above and below him. Natural scientists (especially physicists and chemists) are valuable, because they produce knowledge, which both the artesan, soldier, construction engineer and food producer put into practice. It’s possible to survive without basic research, but it’s uncomfortable. A doctor is valuable, because he makes our lives last longer and increases our quality of life. Necessary he of course isn’t, because the large majority of people would survive to breeding age without him. Breeding is the primary function of all species that everything else leads to.

The people listed above pretty much materially produce the society in which we live. These professions make free time and the existential thoughts that follow it possible, which includes most of astronomical and even more so all humanistic sciences. They separate us from monkeys, but are in no way necessary. Although it has to be said, that behavioral sciences have perhaps made us less likely to kill each other. Then again, wartime increases cohesion within groups and almost always leads to technological breakthroughs.

Artists, priests and politicians are basically worthless. Any community would perform its functions well enough without them, and everything that they do is possible only because of the actions of others. Artists especially are plagued by bitterness towards science, but no painting would be painted without the chemical industry, which is natural science in effect. The meaninglessness of these professions to the rest of the community is manifested by them surviving on alms and handouts alone (which are called state grants).

Intelligence, when it is not used for something necessary, is of subjective value, but a few will deny that reading a good book or listening to someone talking sense stimulates the intellect and puts you in a good mood. I consider it absolutely bizarre and insulting to think that Esko Valtaoja wouldn’t be more valuable than Juha Valjakkala, Helena Lindgren or an immigrant leaning on a wall at the Helsinki railway station.

Based on what I’ve said above and until someone explains me proper how come everyone is of equal worth, I am of the opinion that difference means difference of worth and everyone is of unequal value. However, unlike egalitarians imagine, unequal value doesn’t lead to gassing of those of lesser worth, unless there is no other valid reason for said gassing. I consider myself more valuable than a mouse carcass lying on a forest path, but I won’t tear the carcass to pieces because of that. I enjoy the world more with art and linguistic studies in it (I’m not all that certain about religions and the Parliament). But if the boat starts leaking, I consider it clear that the less valuable cargo goes overboard first, in this case artists and linguists.

Egalitarian nonsense is brought about by having too many people with enormous energy but nothing sensible to do. Karmela Liebkind, Rosa Meriläinen and Mikko Puumalainen as Finnish examples. Like people from any era, we are also blind to ourselves and our thoughts being just a momentary flash, soon to disappear in the endless tide of time. Upcoming generations will spit on our graves and guffaw and fart at what we consider meaningful. There is no reason to believe that ”equality”, ”tolerance”, and other things important to us will end up in the long list of nonsense from a bygone world. Alongside the Sun revolving around the Earth, infallibility of the Pope, the soullessness of a woman and near-sightedness as a result of masturbation.

 

  1. JusticeDemon

    This is a poor translation, Ricky. The translator has not understood what the article was about.

    Most crucially, the Finnish term ihmisarvo is used where English refers to human dignity. For example section 1 of the Constitution of Finland stipulates that the constitution shall guarantee the inviolability of human dignity and the freedom and rights of the individual (MoJ translation of the original Finnish: Valtiosääntö turvaa ihmisarvon loukkaamattomuuden ja yksilön vapauden ja oikeudet).

    “Ihmisarvo” is standardly used in Finnish translations of international human rights legislation wherever the fundamental idea of “human dignity” is invoked.

    Dignity is the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect, and in this article Halla-aho is objecting to the principle that all human beings are equally worthy of honour or respect as such. This principle is the theoretical cornerstone of human rights, modern democracy and the rule of law.

    I have referred obliquely to this article in several contributions to Migrant Tales, most particularly when highlighting the arrant hypocrisy of petitioning the European Court of Human Rights while maintaining this obviously fascist manifesto.