In the early hours of 28th September 1994, a pleasure ship, MS Estonia, sank in the Baltic Sea. Of the 989 people on board, a staggering 852 died. Bizarrely, some 650 were found below decks—unable to believe what was happening, they had made no attempt to save their lives
Why? One possibility: humans used to be prey, so where there is an inescapable threat, it is natural to freeze. But this was only in an inescapable threat in the victims’ minds: many people did escape, leaving behind paralyzed friends and relatives.
Another explanation: these northern people—strongly adapted to cold environments—are high in anxiety. This makes them plan for the future and be deeply concerned about how others see them, creating profoundly harmonious societies. But it also it means they’re more likely to be emotionally overwhelmed, leading to high suicide rates—14 suicides per 100,000 deaths in Finland in 2015 and Estonia, only 7 in the UK—and withdrawal from reality. They have evolved to be trusting, obeying their leaders and the rules, completely maladapted to a savanna-like situation of utter chaos.
Which may explain why Finland appears to be frozen with fear as it is dragged to a multicultural grave. December 6 saw the 100th anniversary of the country’s declaration of independence from Russia, hailed by the leftist Guardian newspaper as a social democratic “triumph.” [The Guardian view on Finland’s centenary: a social democratic triumph, December 5, 2017] Yet everything is falling apart and is doing so at breakneck speed as mass Third World immigration has suddenly overwhelmed a once-unified nation. Political consensus is disintegrating—recently, the government felt obliged to ban the “Nordic Resistance Movement” because of “hate speech” i.e. not violence but merely opposition to immigration [Finnish court bans neo-Nazi group, Reuters, November 30, 2017].
As recently as 2003, nobody could have called Finland a multicultural society. Its nationalist party, True Finns, was a political minnow, with just three seats in Finland’s 200-member, proportional-representation parliament. There were people in rural towns who’d literally never seen a non-European. About 80% of the population were paid up members of the Finnish Lutheran Church. Finland was a stultifying, boring, conformist place, and that’s how they liked it.
Finland was a kind of European Japan: an intelligent (the highest IQ in Europe according to research in 2014), efficient, trusting, and extraordinarily cooperative people who, precisely because nobody wants to rock the boat, have a per capita number of science Nobel prizes commensurate with those of lower IQ southern Europeans [Solving the puzzle of why Finns have the highest IQ, but one of the lowest number of Nobel prizes, Intelligence, October 2014]. Any “Finnish” innovation is typically from their 5% Swedish minority: Sibelius, Linux, Angry Birds, Nokia…
With the smallest gene pool in Europe (something which predicts hostility to foreigners and cooperation with co-ethnics) Finland was initially a nationalist society. It had “won the Winter War” against the Soviet Union. (A moral victory, at least—the Soviets got part of Finland in the peace treaty, but didn’t enjoy the experience. )Nobody worried about foreigners, because they were insignificant. People happily consumed chocolates called “n***er kissers” with their coffee; children played “Who’s afraid of the black man?” in the garden or “Musta Pekka,” a card game where the loser is the one left with ‘Black Pete,” in the sitting room.
But things were beginning to change. Finland had admitted refugees from Somalia via the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s [Foreigners in Finland, by Olavi Koivukangas, Virtual Finland, (Archive)]. Sudanese began arriving in the early 21st century [Finland – Resettlement of Sudanese refugees, International Organization for Migration, August 21, 2001].
This was greeted with utter disbelief by many Finns and sparked the first feelings of nationalist unrest. A controversial professional wrestler, Tony Halme, was elected for the True Finns, famously arguing that “people who have them [immigrants] as neighbours sleep very little or not at all.” Finland—aping Sweden (which ruled it until 1809) and the other big boys of Europe as it always has done – became slowly divided.
The young and the white-collar proletariat (teachers, social workers, university lecturers) realized that they could advance themselves via the new creed of Political Correctness—anti-racism, pro-Islam, anti-Christianity, pro-homosexuality. The new faith grew in fanaticism. In 2004, there were calls for prosecution of the then-Prime Minister’s father, academic Tatu Vanhanen, whose peer-reviewed research (with Richard Lynn) proving that Africans have lower IQ than white people had been reported in the leading Finnish newspaper, and enforcer of the new morality, Helsingin Sanomat. In 2009, Dr Jussi Halla-Aho, an academic and True Finns politician, was convicted of “incitement to ethnic or racial hatred,” for remarking, in response to local newspaper Kaleva asking whether Finns were alcoholic due to genetic characteristics, whether Somalis were chronically unemployed for the same reasons [Jussi Halla-aho, Finland’s populist hardliner, Digital Journal, June 10, 2017]. His drawing attention to the double standards of what is “racist” led to a fine for “racism.” And for calling Mohammed a “pedophile” Halla-Aho was fined for “disturbing religious worship.” [Finnish Politician Fined for Blaspheming, Friendly Atheist (Patheos) September 9, 2009]
Abandoned by the Left, the Finnish working class, contemptuously known as “the juntti,” found their communities transformed. Helsinki central railway station came to resemble downtown Juba. In the summer of 2005, a young woman in Oulu was held down by Muslim Africans who then cut off her clitoris with a pair of scissors. In the following years, there were a series of gang rapes in this city, all by Muslim refugees. The police commented that Finns simply weren’t used to dealing with crimes like this.
The Finnish “whitelash” has come in two ways. The first was political. In 2011, True Finns rose from a handful of seats to being very nearly the largest party in parliament and, to everyone’s amazement, they repeated this success in 2015.
The second reaction: a collapse in trust between Finns themselves and the gradual erosion of Finland’s egalitarian society and generous social programs. This always happens in multicultural societies. Diversity ultimately undermines support for the welfare state, both by the native poor, who think foreigners are alien free-riders, and by the well-off, who regard the native poor as increasingly alien
This new polarization crystalized in the 2012 presidential election. The rural, conservative north voted for a traditionalist. The wealthy, Politically Correct south voted for Pekka Haavisto, a Green Party non-church member with an Ecuadorean hairdresser boyfriend who is 20 years his junior. The eventual winner: a compromise candidate from the free market conservatives.
But spectacular crimes by immigrants continued to divide society. In 2015, a Somali man hacked two men to death with an axe [Oulu axe killer was previously banned from Tiura bar, Finland Times, January 17, 2015]. In northern Helsinki, a girl was gang-raped by second generation Somalis, reflecting the fact that immigrants are over-represented by a factor of three in such crimes [Finland’s immigration crisis, by Dawid Bunikowski, Gatestone Institute, March 6, 2016]. There seemed to be real momentum against immigration by the time of the 2015 elections.
Paradoxically, however, that year’s “refugee crisis” sparked a move to increase immigration. The new prime minister, a millionaire called Juha Sippilä, went on TV to manipulate his countrymen into compliance with Europe’s virtue-signalling hysteria. He promised to take refugees into his (second) home, (which he didn’t do).
This country of just five million took in over 32,000 asylum seekers in 2015 alone [Asylum seekers protest in Helsinki against Finland’s tightened policy, Reuters, September 8, 2016]. Suddenly, gangs of young Arab men were simply everywhere. They flooded across the Swedish border in Lapland, hearing Finland was more generous with free iPhones and pocket money. They protested outside police stations, demanding better food. They filmed themselves in graveyards, mocking Lutheran ritual. In November 2015, a 15-year-old girl walking home in Kempele was gang raped by a group of under-age Arabs, living in the nearby asylum seeker centre. Finland now has the highest percentage of Muslims per population joining ISIS in the world [How the world’s safest country produced so many ISIS fighters, by Lara Whyte, Vice, August 22, 2017].
Yet the Finnish media uniformly assailed criticism of immigration’s consequences as “racist” [Reports of suspected rape stir up fear and resentment in Kempele, Helsinki Times, November 25, 2015]. Indeed, the national hysteria was such that True Finns, then part of the governing coalition and specifically elected on an anti-immigrant platform, did nothing, despite having the muscle to bring the government down.
Given that Finns were clearly reacting against the Establishment and its plans for mass Third World immigration, why didn’t the Finnish Right strike? The answer lies in the Finnish national character itself. Political Correctness is more dangerous in Finland than elsewhere in Western Europe. Like East Asians (some geneticists argue Finns have relatively high East Asian admixture by European standards), Finns are conformist. They can’t stand disagreement. They’re chronically shy, conflict averse and rule-governed. As I argued above, this may reflect adaption to extremely harsh yet predictable conditions, where cooperative groups are more likely to survive. Society is harmonious and efficient but with a tiny gene pool everyone thinks similarly. You don’t risk being shamed. Indeed, scholars have highlighted the way that Finland has an effectively East Asian “shame culture” [Shame on us: Shame, national identity and the Finnish doping scandal, by Tarja Laine, The International Journal of the History of Sport, August 23, 2006].
This helps to explain why True Finns betrayed its voters. But the party did collapse in the polls. As a result, in 2016 it elected the hard-line Jussi Hallo-aho as its leader, leading to a split [True Finns split holds lessons for Europe’s populists, by Richard Milne, Financial Times, June 16, 2017]. Nineteen careerists, including former leader and current foreign minister Timo Soini, broke off, preventing the coalition government from collapsing [Finland dodges government collapse after nationalists split, by Jussi Rosendahl, Reuters, June 13, 2017]. Recently, the careerists formed a group called “Blue Reform.” Polls suggest it only has one percent support [Finnish populist laments the lessons of office, by Richard Milne, Financial Times, November 16, 2017]. (Hello, Jeff Flake?)
The remaining 17 MPs who stayed in True Finns were soon vindicated. A young Moroccan went around stabbing random people in Turku, motivated by radical Islam [Finland attack: People in Turku arrest man after several people stabbed, by Jack Moore, Newsweek, August 18, 2017]
But incidents like this are not stopping the de-Christianization of Finland: day-care centers have now dropped prayer before meals [Finnish daycare centres drop grace before meals, hymns still allowed, YLE, September 15, 2017]. And recent figures suggest opposition to immigration is actually declining [HS: Fewer Finns against immigration, YLE, December 3, 2017].
Unlike Sweden or indeed many other European nations, Finland has never really been a democracy. After independence and a civil war, the country was essentially a nationalist dictatorship. “Reds” were beaten up and dumped over the Soviet border. Then, after World War II, Finland became essentially a client state of the Soviet Union, following a policy of Cold War “neutrality” under its de facto dictator Urho Kekkonen, who publicly shamed opponents for risking what was left of Finnish independence. He ruled ‘Kekko-slavia’ from 1956 to 1982.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Finnish elite became desperate to be recognized as a Western democracy. They brainwashed Finns into voting to join the EU and it was the only Nordic country to join the Euro. [December 6th, Finland Mourns Lost Independence Gained 100 Years Ago, by Jon Hellwig, Russia Insider, December 6, 2017)
Finns have national low self-esteem. They bolster themselves, like the peasant farmers many were two generations ago did, by being obsessed with rules, formal education (politicians actually advertise their educational qualifications on campaign posters!), and a sense that they are more moral, diligent, and law-abiding than the dodgy “Europeans” of the south. Such a political culture is easily manipulated by its elite.
But there is resistance. Finland has witnessed ‘extremist’ protests at the border [Protesters form human wall against refugees at Finnish-Swedish border, DW, September 19, 2015]; an “extremist” March against Multiculturalism in Helsinki; the formation of “extremist” vigilante gangs such as “Soldiers of Odin,” and illicit signposts warning people to be careful because they’re close to an asylum centre. Helsinki is seeing “white flight,” especially once more than a third of school pupils in an area are non-Finnish. And many Muslims are returning to Sweden precisely because Finns are so much less welcoming than the Swedes.
Yet the consensus politics of Finland means it’s almost uniquely difficult to deal with dramatic, sudden problems. Finns don’t want to be seen as uncooperative. Finnish newspapers are obsessed with how the country is seen abroad, or even by foreigners living in Finland. Hence popular resistance to immigration and defiance of the Political Establishment leads to a furious elite reaction.
So this is how the entire Finnish nation is frozen by fear, blindly hoping they can have the best of both worlds and keep their comfy, conformist, uneventful, egalitarian state while virtue-signalling about multiculturalism.
But as they are discovering, the Third World, if given the chance, will always consume the First.
Email Harri Honkanen.