Chapter VI - The World And We


Translated 29.6.2006
The Doctrine Of Survival And Doctor Ethics


A refresher course on the status of the world

The ecocatastrophy that is facing the world is underway. Its smaller cousins rumble on everywhere. More and more enormous areas of green and productive land are being paved, left under buildings, roads and lots. All the wider parts of the globe are deserted or poisoned barren and unfit for living. Wind- and water erosion washes the humus soil of the most significant grain storages into the oceans. Finite natural resources are in a clearance sale, and also renewable resources, like forests, are depleted at a growing pace. The gas balance of the atmosphere is off the equilibrium, seas are polluted with oil and their food chains enervated. The rapid warming of the climate confronts natural plantlife as well as crops with insurmountable hardships in adaptation. The load of waste and pollution will grow uncontrollable.

What has been said is to us Finns a refresher course, a summary of everyday information. To most of mankind those megatrends of the world's condition and their multifarious subdivisions are more or less unknown, but all the more familiar in so-called enlightened countries on the cool zone of the northern hemisphere. They and their causes are being generally accepted as scientific facts; only estimations regarding numbers and schedules are known to wave within certain limits. I'll pass all worldviews based on belief here, including those rare individual thinkers who deny the emergency of the biosphere even by using rational concepts. There is always someone until the end of the world, who claims that the sun rises from the west and sets in the east, that females conceive and males give birth.

In regards to the audience here, the problem isn't anymore about the volume and availability of information concerning the state of the world, and not its absorption either. It is interesting how well it is understood, how deep into consciousness it reaches. It is interesting what manner of connections an informed individual can construct in his mind from the the world's condition to the everyday life of his society, community and private life; to the process of the reality which also he is shaping. And it's ultimately integral that does - and how - the awareness of the situation in the world, the distress of the biosphere, affect his actual solutions as a decision maker and citizen.



Man - an irresponsible thief

The current intermediate report doesn't bring about a spark of hope. In fact, there is no apparent principal difference between the behaviour of the communities and individuals of the mankind's unenlightened majority and the enlightened, and aware, minority. Everywhere, man is still a full-blooded troublemaker and destroyer of the biosphere. There is only more of bubbling of discussion and rustle of papers in the enlightened part of the mankind. Activity like the working of the UN-constituted Brundtland committee with its recommendations. The minimum demand of the committee after all compromises was, like we recall, that industrial countries cut their energy consumption down to a half in a couple of decades. So, I guess construction, industrial production, traffic and the maintained road network, lighting and household appliances are being narrowed down to a half with a good pace here in Finland too, every other powerplant being shut down?

In reality the Finnish producer and consumer, student and pensioner, farmer, metal worker and doctor hangs fiercely on the dreadful material standard of living that has already decades ago surpassed all rational boundaries, and additionally demands continuous growth of his annual buying power, perpetual and ascending, all the way to the horizon. Even a Finn perceives the contemporary economical paralysis as a stunning backlash and prevailing over it as a national mission, even though he should hold praising masses at all churches as an enlightened man, and pray that the depression would deepen ten times more and further. There is luxury and glitter in every occasion at the exhibition of medical science in '92, there are tons of chlorine-bleached enamelled paper, astounding conference rooms and fabulous presentation halls, airplane trips and hotel nights of five hundred marks.



Will the population explosion be averted, or the knowledge of it?

Lets return to the matter at hand. I apologise, I didn't mean to. The bitter emphasises of an environmentalist have a knack of creating diverging meanderings to the speech. I was supposed to give a lecture of the population issue, value philosophy and medical ethics. They too will come.

Let it be repeated that the base reason, enough in by itself, for the end of the world is the human population that has grown enormous in its numbers, the humanflood. The worst foe of life is too much life, excess human life. A secondary reason that quickens the process of devastation, is the rising load on nature put on by each member of the population. I'll discuss first and foremost the base reason, the population explosion, in this lecture.

Experience shows us that the dire message of the population explosion crumbles at its first steps even in the enlightened world. Logic dimmens and conclusions stray off their way in an imbalanced battle between optimism and realism. Optimism, that most wretched of all miserable characteristics of a human child, successfully draws the graveness of the population explosion forwards in time on one hand, and geographically away from home on the other, off to foreign lands.

For as long as I have actively followed demographical diagrams, say, for forty five years, the population growth of the world has been seen as a critical threat, and as long it has been said that Earth can carry the population of the time only barely, but the growth will become unbearable in the near future. This law of rolling onwards is generally in power even now. What does reality say? Already millenniums ago has man caused irreparable damage on small sectors, diminishing of the globe's green production, shrinking of the biosphere, by creating permanent deserts and half-deserts there where population densities have broken loose into exorbitance. As the most shocking and irrecoverable loss of the biosphere, the amount of species' extinctions has grown from the natural pace already centuries ago and developed into a downfall since decades.

But what is essential is that the severe faltering of ecosystems in the atmosphere, oceans and the earth has begun at about the level of two to three billion people - and at a significantly lower level of the standard of living, or the degree of burdening nature. It has been said that we remain only because the grand systems of the globe's chemistry and physics react, move and shock stiffly, are slow to get going; and as slow to stop and become steady, then. The idea that Earth could permanently bear the current five billion without a dramatic reduction, abandoning of the whole western culture and way of life in other words, is purely absurd, it is child's or animal's faith in future. Likewise the pollution fallouts arrive from abroad in all countries of the world, in a similar manner there would be no overpopulation anywhere in the world, if the opinion of the people or the government of each country would be the standard. Well, there are yet two partial exceptions, China and India, in which the leaders and enlightened minority admit even their own populations to be overly dense. But they are exceptions that affirm the rule - countries, which are ahead the remaining savages of mankind with their ancient cultural traditions.



The reality of the population explosion

A while ago the president of Tilastokeskus [the Center of Statistics] visited me, desiring to hear how a man can endure knowing and being aware of the aspects of the world's ruin until the very end. He told that he had tried to evade the last conclusions in favour of a restful mind, but was afraid that as the retirement age falls upon him, the chance of escaping into work, meetings and haste disappears and there is too much time to think. We had a very serious and personal discussion about depressions and their nature, curing and possible self-treatment, midst the racket of a ceremonial reception. We agreed that the omens of the end of the world - the matters that I'll be discussing in this lecture - certainly do not belong to the sphere of opinions or worldview, but are statistics, facts, arithmetics.

So, what does reality tell us about the dividing of the population explosion? The emphasis of this explosion will be in industrial countries; Europe, Japan, the United States, for decades to come - and thus possibly for all the time left for mankind. Here there is a high absolute density of population and first of all, extremely high degrees of burden by an individual. Measured by the best indicator, energy consumption per capita, values are found that are even twenty times higher compared to a major part of the non-industrialised humanity. Of course, all important indicators such as the using of food and wasting of forests, do not express as vast differences. And naturally the relative dangerousness of non-industrialised populations increases all the time, because their growth is even significantly faster than the population growth of industrial countries. But if the disparity in living standards lasts, they would gain the leading position in wrecking natural systems only in the faraway future.

In the calculation it must be kept in mind all the time that a major share of non-industrialised countries' usage of natural resources and environmental damage is caused by industrial countries. This is, in fact, remembered rather well when discussing world economy or the third world. In contrast, it isn't often realized that the wealthy population and load of industrial countries is most vehemently increased by immigrants arriving from poor nations, whose birth rate is at par with their cultures of origin or thanks to the higher level of social care, even surpasses it. Matti Kuusi tried to remind a long time ago that one must not stare at the numbers of arriving immigrants at the borders, but in their nurseries afterwards.



The beachhead of bullies

Surely the front of industrial countries is not even. Finland could be picked as an extreme example, in which all the numbers indicating consumption and stress tilt about the top positions of the world's statistics. The five million inhabitants of our land represent the pinnacle of overpopulation and distraining of natural resources. Finland is the protruded northern beachhead of mankind's marauding economy. It is a country extremely lacking with resources, where the production of sustenance staggers on climatic limits and the growth of woods is very slow. For the time being, only small populations live everywhere else on the globe north of the 60th parallel, even though the natural conditions might be similar or more favourable - like in both the eastern and western sides of our borders. The upkeep of the gigantic Finnish population is possible only through utmost performance economy, oversized production stakes and foreign trade, which swallows immense amounts of energy, equipment and transportation routes. Also, the leisure activities of Finns are uniquely expansive, wasteful and strain-inducing even in an European scale.

In the aforementioned conversation chairman Niitamo brought up a statistical figure previously unknown to me. It demonstrates the Finnish population explosion in a stunning manner. According to the calculations of statistical researcher Mauri Nieminen, the total amount of Finns throughout the millenniums is 16,5 million - in other words, almost a third of all of them are alive today.

What associations does a number like this bring up? I myself had a thought about our current church's parishes' lamentation of gravesites' costs, and the lugging of gravestones only decades old into the corner of the stone wall, the junk pile of oblivion. And still - when we acknowledge that the figure at hand also includes large groups of first-generation emigrants who have born in Finland, but are buried elsewhere - we contemporary Finns would have only two graves to take care of if we could somehow discover the graves and names of our ancestors since the Stone Age. Honoring forefathers like that would hardly be less sensible a project than the many strange rituals of our contemporary culture.

When I graduated in 1950 - it feels like it happened only yesterday - the Finnish population reached the four million limit. A year ago in January five million was broken. As per my request Mauri Nieminen counted the net emigration of this forty years' period, and that way got 240000 more Finns in addition to that million. The net reproduction of those emigrants in their new countries is not a part of these statistics anymore, but it's apparently relatively much larger than that of the population who stayed home at the same time, because the migrants were mostly of fertile age classes.

During all those forty years I remember, the editorials of newspapers all around have been concerned over the halting of Finland's growth rate, and already a long time ago about its decline. The false start has been astounding: until the last years, the net growth has been a steady 12000 to 20000 people annually, and it firmly continues on. However, it is true that the net regeneration ratio has gone slightly under one in Finland from 1969 onwards, so the growth really would stop in the next decade. Nieminen has even buried the last Finn, as things look now, in the year 3072 by counting on from those foundations - actually quite a theoretical year for the mankind. But I am unanimous with Nieminen in that birth rate is easily manipulated. For instance, if some lunatic government would decide to multiply child benefits, birth rate would skyrocket. The glimmer of light is darkened by the fact that there has been a jump-like increase in birth rate in just the last two years - evidently a phenomenon similar to what has, once again to the utter surprise of population researchers, steeply raised the numbers of children in Sweden for already half a decade.

Fresh facts like these about the birth rate belong to the series of examples, which presents how hopelessly stubborn an animal this human species is. Try talking to them when you see what kind of trivialities really perturb them midst ecocatastrophies. I look at press pictures of those desolately similar junkyard villages of rats and roadkill dogs on the northern plains of Yugoslavia, familiar from my bicycling trips, and I'm not able to raise my brows according to whether it is a Serb shooting Croat or a Croat shooting Serb there now. And then what about Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania! Those thousands of fights for freedom, all following the same formula, with similar heroes and oppressors, oppressors and heroes, in alternating turns! I see only the sole significant war that continues on all the time under that meaningless surface rippling, the one that the man wages against nature and to shatter his own footing.



The value basis of protection of life

From the aspect of philosophy, the doctrine of protection of life - nor the kernel of its message, which I have represented for decades myself - is nothing ingenious or forming new dimensions. In short, its only substance is that one must stay alive so that possibilities keep open, and are left usable. As such it doesn't tell anything about the quality of life. Nevertheless, it is the most important of all the messages and declarations in the world, all other goals are subjected to it; it is topmost in the hierarchy of objectives. Even all the most beautiful of mankind's inner aspirations lose their meaning if there is no life and human species. The saving of life is justified whatever the cost.

The guardian of life does not gather all his power and assuredness from reasoning and logic, however. The basic principle of life protection, the conservation of Earth's life as diverse and lush, is to him also a sacred aim, an incomparably holier matter above all jesting than any thing or goal considered sacred among humans. Anyhow, less and less of anything holy or serious appears at this period of cynical grinning sprouting from despair.

The diversity and richness of life includes both as broad a plethora of species as possible and a large abundance of individuals - as in that as many an ecological slot as feasible is populated and simultaneously as fully as possible. The plenitude of species is absolutely more important than that of individuals when they contrast each other; when some species immoderately discriminates or even destroys other species, practising oppression of species. The latest estimated calculation of the current pace of extinctions of species caused by man is 525000 species of animals, plants and fungi a year, one species per minute. In the opinion of the protector of life, man has no special right to anything like this. It is horrendous sowing of death, compared to which the merits of the human species, the life and human culture of men, are as faint as down in the other cup of the scale.

It's certainly so that we don't necessarily have to discover our relation to the creation for ourselves, to unravel the right to life of man and other forms of life on the globe. Ecocatastrophies are perilous to men in the end, as well. Even though they devour a vast amount of animals, plants and fungi before man, the same avalanche will soon crush man too. Human will eat also himself. Even the most limited of humanists must subscribe to the conclusions of the guardian of life in the name of reason.



The doctors' burden of sin

It is an often used statement that the first ones to blame for drifting to the brink of destruction are engineers and doctors, who together have made the human flood possible. But what does a more specific analysis tell about the trade of the doctor and its justifications? It proves to be very clearly bipartite. Upkeeping the population physically and mentally as healthy as possible certainly is a goal withstanding criticism. If mankind, this band of biosphere's robbers, tyrannizer of species, would itself be sick, wretched and full of suffering, the sensibility of life protection would start being questionable.

Anyway, the most fabulous result of the doctor's trade is the prolonging of human life. In this situation of the world, it has dawned to me that everything that even hints towards progress and advancement is negative and speeds towards the ruin. In a world where the keywords to salvation are stopping, return and regression, the meaning and value of old people is exquisite. Man has been built so that the little wisdom which is included in some individuals, accumulates gradually by age. Disarming elderly people is part of the fateful insanities of the frenzied and struggling time that we live now. Only a slight per cent of old people suffer illnesses leading to dementia, and most people are certainly wiser when 90 years old than in the age of 89 years. Young human is always a green fruit and a crude specimen; both wisdom and sense of responsibility and duty grow only at old age if they are to accrue in the first place, and irrelevancies drop out. If all decision makers of mankind had a lowest age limit of, say, 80 years, much would have been won already. Many harmful delusions, much of poisonous foam would have been left out. The pace of destruction would have been a lot slower.

Thus, a large part of the positive work of medicine has been made void by the miserable soul of this youth-worshipping time. But doctor's relation to population growth, birth rate and child mortality, fetus and the child: it has revoked everything. I am talking about the trade of doctors as a whole, the shape it appears in the winter exhibition. And how it should have always presented itself, as a bearer of responsibility for the whole. Due to its key position, the profession of doctors would always have surplus absolute authority over that it's a tool of the society. It could have held the population policy in its hands to quite large an extent.

Now the trade has no central control: it flexibly divides into the "good" and "bad." At one place, the doctor prolongs the life of a wise elder with his surgeries and heart- and blood pressure medicine. The other, however, is doing irrational and extremely destructive work to save five month old premature infants, regardless of the costs, or ransacking of natural resources. As a sidenote, any doctor's sense of responsibility declines when speaking of the costs of health care. Certainly the pills, intrauterine devices and condoms developed by medicine earn all the fascinated praises they receive. But a blood-brown burden of sin falls on the shoulders of a share of child doctors and gynecologists, or on the whole of the trade due to collegial responsibility. The steep decreasing of child mortality, which is naturally much shunned by the biologist, is a very suspicious matter in itself. And every power-medicine and progressive step of national health should have been followed by absolutely efficient education of contraception and limiting, at the least. Only at the head of steely population planning and family politics could the profession of doctors have claimed the place of mankind's benefactor.



An empty tablet, a white paper

The situation which the Western culture has brought man to, is depicted in a number of ways. We live at the eleventh hour, at the chasm's edge, verging on extinction, the clock is a second to 24. Expressions are each other more eloquent and unfortunately, hold one another more truth in them. Most people take no stand: either they live their lives romping like before, or draw out material good wilder than ever just in case, as long as it can still be squeezed out. A part of even the thinking minority surrenders: let it go, nothing can be done anymore. It is a coherent assessment of the situation, and likely correct.

Then there's this policy of fiddling, these people of recycled paper, filters, catalysators, recycling, solar panels and electric cars; these, whose actions are as long as they are wide. Their doings can be described with the familiar metaphors of a magpie on a tarred bridge, or the leaking scrap boat, which tears from two seams while one is being sealed. They sink almost to the level of an idiot when arranging the birth rates of developing countries. The standard of living and education must be advanced there in the Western way and womens' status must be improved so that after five generations - when it has been a long time since the existence of mankind - birth rates have been halved and multiplied the per capita burden on nature twenty times. These "environmentalists" are pretending to aim for the same as the guardian of life, but cannot grasp what even quitters have realized: how deep the Western culture has sunk. Its societal systems with all their structures and their whole legislation have been subjected to the objective of economic growth and the end of the world, and there is nothing worth ameliorating in them. The most stubborn believe that the junk boat could after all be made waterproof; by casting it entirely into a glass fiber canvas. Too bad its model is worthless for sea travel to begin with, it will drown to the first little waves. As a matter of fact, it will sink already at the wharf, because it has been loaded full of rocks. If one begins to seriously outline a world that shall survive, and not with mere tinkering in mind, a clear tablet or a white sheet of paper is needed. We have to start with almost Adam and Eve.



Life protection and humanism

I am particularly interested in thinkers who, from humanistic grounds, have arrived at conclusions similar to those of a doctrine of survival based on biology. From domestic names, along with Matti Kuusi, Georg Henrik von Wright is the most notable one, who keeps to academically cautious phrasing but seriously ponders the option of humankind's extinction among his scenarios. He - like Kuusi - also puts his prestige at stake in an exemplary manner in his public statements. Anyhow, this time I shall cite his personal letter of gratitude for a book I wrote two years ago: "Johdatus 1990-luvun ajatteluun [Introduction to the thought of the 1990s]." I used the following metaphor in its beginning words, which von Wright refers to:

"What to do when a ship carrying a hundred passengers has suddenly capsized, and only one lifeboat for ten people has been got on water? When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life would try to pull more people on it and drown them all. Those who love and respect life, will take the ship's axe and cut the too many hands clinging to the sides of the boat."

I will point out that a personal letter may be the product of a moment's state of mind and isn't meant to be a measured speech to the public. However, the honest bewilderment of those lines is still useful in cogitating matters. Von Wright writes:

"As you may know, I hold you in high regard as a thinker. At least in this country, you are the most lucid and profound of truth's seers.
It is another thing what practical conclusions one draws from seeing the truth. Perhaps I too would strike off the hands clung to the sides. But hardly for the love of life, but out of fear and to save my own hide. Perhaps it would be a more right solution that we all would drown, as a testimony of the human species' disability to live."

The letter demonstrates how difficult it is for a great humanist to give up the overt praise of human value. I think I'm reading fears from between the lines, which I have encountered at another time as well when discussing overpopulation, and which I call the fears of breaking loose and staining. It is being dreaded that if actions are taken to reduce the world's population, the situation gets out of control and the human life will lose its value somehow permanently. And it is estimated that mankind will somehow be ethically besmeared, lose its self-respect and be no longer able to resurrect ethical values and practices. This fear smoulders regardless of how elegantly the diminishing would occur, even more artlessly and discreetly than the German gas chambers of World War Two, probably mainly by limited nuclear strikes or bacteriological or chemical methods simultaneously in the great population centers of the world - by some transnational body like the UN, or by some small group equipped with high technology and bearing responsibility for the world.

I find those fears to be obvious misconceptions in the light of history. When wars and the contractual slaughter of people have ceased, societies have returned to the normal day to day routine after a brief period of transition. The massive thinning operations of Stalin and Hitler, even the most gruesomely realistic tortures of security polices, detailedly explained to the audience of the world, have not ruined the ethical norms at any rate. Actually, in the block next to the state police's house people are writing poetry and philosophizing, and neighbours helping an ill elder.

We all do currently live the time after the gas chambers and midst local torture practices. But the clearance sale of human worth isn't surely the problem in the whole situation of the world, but its overt praise growing ever more mindless. Hanging on the inalienable right to live of fetuses, premature infants and braindead is a kind of collective mental disease. The same phenomenon is observable in the absurd history of capital punishment. When there were five million people on Earth, death sentence for the last twisted members of the community was self-evident. Now that there are five billion of them, a society after another yields from executing even the most diabolical of criminals; Amnesty International shrieks all the more piercingly against the last countries that have preserved capital punishment. And more and more unrelentingly machineries of rescue services are being developed, so that a helicopter would buzz over every raving mad fisherman, who has ventured into a ten Beaufort storm with a bark vessel, to fish out this unique and irreplaceable individual from the embrace of the waves. Reason drifts ever further.

Legalizing medical death assistance, restoring capital punishment and abolishing the oversized rescue service surely do not significantly sway the population growth statistics by themselves. But in a principal prospect they are extremely important. As long as a distorted practice prevails within them, an insane respect towards the human life reigns: and so long even the possibility of solution to population explosion is amiss, and so all lifeboats sink into the depths.



If man does not grow humble...

It is in fact peculiar that so few thinkers have been able to question the philosophical foundations of our culture. Most of who attempt to perceive the world get badly stuck half-way trying to keep solidarity within species, human rights, individual freedom, equality and democracy as inviolable values. They refuse to realize that the world has not shattered regardless of them, but because of them. The old truth, that thinking is unyieldingly dependent on values and very rarely truly free, applies here in the most dreadful of manners. It ought to be obvious by pure logic that exactly the base values are questionable when a culture is discovered walking towards its doom.

I find myself to be a rarity among thinkers in this central aspect. It is not difficult for me to return man to its place in a harmonious biocenosis. Would the differences arise from the clarity of the human concept? To me, man is an infinitely grand species: with claw and tooth I fight for its survival as well, but its brilliance is evident only in flashes and rare individuals. For that it is enormously destructive as a whole, by creating even such a devastating regime like the Western culture and letting it rumble on through all mankind, there is a multiplicity of evidence enough for me.

I find it almost inconceivable that even an intelligent individual can still, regardless of all evidence, believe in man and majority, and continuously keep hitting his head to the wall. How can he not admit even in this situation that man is possible only - when nature cannot do it anymore - when the discipline, ban, enforcement and oppression of another clear-sighted human prevents it from indulging in its destructive impulses, to commit suicide? How does he justify democracy? Does he not still see that unless man, the Western culture, grows humble and bows very deeply, it will assuredly ransack and scavenge the globe to its bones, no matter how he would change chemicals into another and switch his methods of energy production? How can he not perceive that if we hold to man's rule over nature and preserve the value the human life has in Western nations, only a straight road into the black pit of extinction remains? How can anyone think so insanely that the human life has the same value and mankind, the same morality, independent of numbers? It is lucid to me that everytime a new child is born, the value of every human in world decreases slightly. It is obvious to me that the morality of the population explosion is wholly unlike than when man was a sparse, noble species in its beginning.



The guardian of life is forced to compromise

The harsh reality tells us that neither the thoughts of the public or decision makers in Western countries come even close to the aforementioned problems; not even near to reducing the present population, barely at least curtailing its rights. The little discussion that we are capable of moves about at a level retarded many steps, at the level of birth control.

In some extreme clusters of ignorance and unawareness they have stuck at considering the rights of a newly inseminated ovum or fetus. From my stupefaction, I am unable to take part in that discussion at all. I won't fall back to a defense line as altogether final as that as a protector of life, I'll surrender before that. But I will agree to negotiate about child limits in the ultimate emergency. When there was no jacket, I got at least a vest; when there were no vests either, at least I got a hat. In an emergency the guardian of life parts with demanding evading of the extinction, and researches also the possibilities of delaying it and prolonging life. It is a value in the continuity of life, as well. Everything is tied to time, even though the time estimated to take until the diminishing of sun's energy and the inevitable quenching of the globe's biosphere, ten billion years, is difficult to differentiate from the idea of eternity.

The instructions of life protection regarding birth control are clear and brief. In the present condition of the world childbirth cannot be family politics anywhere, under no circumstances the matter of parents or the individual. Of all actions of man, it is most clearly an undertaking subject to license and the authority of the society, and finally the world government. That how the child quotas are divided among families and mothers may be family, social and rearing politics. It may be that large families have to be supported as well; it is paramount that we do not give way to the idea of equality, which will never bring about anything but misfortune. The average number anyhow must unambiguously be one child per a fertile woman everywhere at least for decades. If a population burden suitable for the globe's capacity is then achieved, the population is stabilized by returning to a quota of about two children.

Other clarities are free contraceptives available everywhere and free and gratis abortion all around the country. Deliberate fine adjustment of the system determines whether forced aborts - which would ensure a replacement child in case of fatalities - or compulsory sterilization are used in supervising the child quota, and also the question of directing sterilization towards different genders. Control is perhaps advisable to be arranged as absolutely tenable, so that killing already born children could be avoided - as commonplace as the practice of childkilling has been still in the near history of humankind.

But all this is perhaps mere speculation. I would like to, for a second time already, to apologise my audience and profess that I forgot. Man cannot neither limit the birth rate or reduce the overpopulation - and the ecocatastrophy won't wait. Man is ingenious by his technical talents, but a mindless animal in any other relation, a driftwood in the merciless and capricious stream of evolution. Few see the individuals it crushes beneath. We aredying to extinction. We are actually dying to extinction, as one species in the series of millions of extinctions.

Or are we? Do we still have one possibility out of a million? Does the aware minority after all have hidden reserves? Will enough individuals nevertheless come about that prove that man can have free will? Individuals who both recognize and fully commit themselves against the turbid majority - and simultaneously for the survival of the same turbid majority? Individuals whose powerful heart is ruled by crystal clear reason?

1992


Translated 3.7.2006
The Core Question Of Life


Ceterum censeo Karthaginem esse delendam. When a responsibility bearer is asked for views to the current situation of the country and world, he must begin with the very basics. Population explosion is the problem of problems, the foundational difficulty of our existence, to which all the large and small decisions and solutions of societies, communities and individuals should be proportioned. The population explosion should be the last thought at evening and the first one at morning. It can never be pondered too much - at least not as long as a happy solution to it looms still in the horizon.

In fact, the population explosion is discussed and written about incomprehensibly little. Even as a separate problem it is a burdensome subject that is preferably passed. Most of the time there is no talk at all about proportioning the meager difficulties of everyday life to it.

When I'm talking about our own northern sphere of culture here, I know bitterly well that things are not better with the rest of mankind. The first worldwide common effort to secure the existence of life, the conference of Rio, was utterly voided when the population explosion could not even be discussed about. Many African and Asian governments still lived in jetblack darkness. Even in that symposium, which was meant to squeeze out the grandest wisdom, enlightenment and responsibility of the time, the Roman Catholic church declared itself as an active and aggressive enemy of mankind and the creation. It announced to object to even slowing down the population explosion, not to mention preventing it. Its policy is still guided by the death-reeking instruction of the Pope and Mother Teresa: the sooner the biosphere is vanquished, the better.

The darkness of the other world does not justify own wrong. Of course the main mission of our foreign politics should be an extremely vigorous and unrelenting pricking of the world's conscious. Nevertheless, our own corners must first be tidied up.

How much better the population politics of our Lutheran-atheistic Finnish society is than that of Roman Catholic countries? To be specific, they differ only in tone; it's calmer, although the direction is the same. Only a minute Laestadian minority in the southern Lapland and general Pajunen's civil organization whipping on for the growth of birth rate possess he shrill note of the Pope - or Ceausescu. At least for the moment, the macabre fact that it is actually a general who's in lead proves fortunate. The old adage about cannon fodder is remembered lively enough and helps most to take distance.

Anyway, the public opinion is repulsively immature here as well. I'll begin with the premise that the attitudes of the press reflect the general opinions. In the rare occasions when population matters are being discussed about, in editorial pages all around are old misconceptions being held to.

Finland is a sparsely populated country, with plenty of room. Every geographer and biologist can tell that a standing spot at a gnawed pine moor, open bog or tundra is not a sensible criterion. Only the ratio of natural resources, production capacity and population is. The fact that half of the people north of 60th parallel are Finns, is being nagged on in vain. Uselessly it's being elaborated that the Gulf stream's calming effect on climate is surely the same in the regions near to our country. Anyhow, they are uninhabited just beyond both the Western and Eastern borders - because they are unable to provide livelihood without support or contributions of production robbed from elsewhere.

In futility, ecologists provide calculations of Finns' amazingly high figures of strain, and how exorbitantly expensive and disastrous for the globe's economy it would be to sustain the Finnish population in extreme circumstances. After all the enlightenment, the editor of Iisalmen Sanomat, Helsingin Sanomat and Suomen Kuvalehti writes that Finland is a loosely populated country with room, and where too few children are born.

The prospect of population growth's decline projects as sunrise after a stormy night of pouring rain in the conceptions of the protector of life. An ordinary human, who is guided by instinct and emotion, who denies reason, loathes duty and skips the future, sees it as a horrendous thing. To spread his dread he even reads the population statistics like the devil reads the Bible. Already since the 1930s, it has been foretold in Finland, along with other European countries, that the population figure will go downhill very soon. Every year it has unshakably risen by the enormous pace of half a percent. The demographical forecasts have failed as miserably as the economist's predictions of per cents of economical growth.

Population prognoses can be cast in many ways. If we'd begin with the Finnish population development of the last three years, the sharp increasing of birth rate - the greatest of tragedies, unmatched, of the 1990s in Finland -, we would say that Finland will be reaching Kenya in population growth in the next decade.

Shortly after the student riots of Beijing's Tian'anmen Square, I held a lecture to students of Tampere and told of a great relief after the responsible government of China finally did seize control and struck back those guzzlers who make noise of freedoms and rights. I shuddered with the thought of a billion more mouths in boasting consumption, half a billion more cars with their emissions and three hundred million more interrail-youngsters to trains, planes and the meeting places of the whole world's youth at the railway stations, parks and camping sites of European cities. I thought of the extra time for the globe's life, that the oldness and wisdom in China still bestowed. But I didn't consider what the medical professor Pentti Tuohimaa broached. He had also observed the situation with shivers, and thought what a frightening population bomb would explode in China if democratic forces would assume power there. The only excellent, and simultaneously extremely unpopular, program of birth rate control in the whole world, would crumble down and a hundred million more Chinese would be born during the next year.

The example is outstanding and can be generalized to everything that is integral in today's state of the world. Everything preserving life is extremely unpopular. If the voice of the people is being hearkened to, there is no hope. Democracy is the religion of death. Only in a firm, aware and responsible government does a fragment of hope lie.

From the history of the faltering of natural ecosystems it can be read that our planet could perhaps bear two to three billion people with a modest standard of living and withstand. Programs of birth rate control are not enough, not in the least, to save the biosphere - and mankind alongside it. There surely are responsible guardians of life, scientists and philosophers from all minorities of the world to execute wide-scale pruning programs of the adult population. But transferring the power is an unsolvable problem. The ferocious resistance of the people could not be broken.

Instead, the procurement of extra time for life, delaying of the ruin must be within the range of possibilities. If birth rate can be forcibly limited in China, it must possible elsewhere as well. And much more so than in China, it is important in industrial countries where the strain of the individual is manifold. It is most essential in the costly arctic Finland, where the individual's stress is the heaviest in the world.

To seize the right of birth giving to the state, contracting and licensing it, is very unpopular, and makes war against the people's sense of justice in a terrible manner. Could the "depression" be a teacher? Every program of saving and loss of privilege battles frenziedly against the people's sense of right. They cry, kick and rage. They kick and rage when child benefits and layettes are thrown into the trashcan of history. But it must compromise and give up, little by little - and of much greater and also more central matters than pensions and social security.

1993


Translated 9.7.2006
The Intolerable Misfortune Of Technology


There is a beautiful graveyard, underneath which grand old trees many friends and acquaintances of mine rest, in the arms of the solemn stone church of Sääksmäki, which dates back to the 15th century. Why man visits the cemetery? To remember and reflect on, to refresh on history, to proportionate small and big values and meanings, to think blue thoughts and to experience peace and quietude.

During the autumn I sought to the graveyard on three forenoons. Only the third visit was successful, happened in a fortunate break. At the first two times a large and speedy tractor raged in the narrow corridors of the cemetery, and rumbled on so that the gravestones and stone wall shook.

Before escaping, I had the patience to see what the tractor was at. It carried withered garlands in its frontal scoop from a grave to a nearby midden. It could hold only a little, about the same as a wheelbarrow. It probably carried dry leaves the next time; I didn't feel up to checking, leaving immediately.

I myself carry lots of stuff daily with both a wheelbarrow and a small wheel cart in my work as well as my large garden; even long trips, even heavy burdens. I am well aware of their subtle efficiency. On the other hand, I'm not familiar with the organization of Sääksmäki's parish. Does the church council hold the power there, or is there - like often in Finland - some economic chief, in whose head all values are muddled? In either case, they are jumbled together somewhere. Furthermore, I'm not really acquainted with the status of the parish's economy. I have read about the great financial difficulties of our whole church, and firings of employees. And what I know, on the other hand, is the price of a tractor's work hour and man's work hour. And the price of a wheelbarrow.

There would be enough examples of the insanity of machines to fill this magazine's annual volume. I'll choose yet one. It too is fresh, from the times of the depression in Finland. I gently walked for a week in July the edges of Tenajoki and there I encountered, among a plenitude of other things, many still vigorous farms. I observed them closely and acutely, and slept in hay barns like I've used to. All of them produced exclusively hay, a share for cattle, a share presumably for the additional feeding of reindeers. None of the farms had over five hectares of grassland. All of them had a somewhat new tractor (the price: 150000 marks) and a few had a wagon for harvesting hay with their compression and unloading systems (the price: 80000 marks).

Some years, I alone harvested the hay from an area of sharply a hectare at my own little property in Kuhmoinen. I meticulously threshed it with a scythe, twisting every tuft of hay the way contrary they had fallen in. The grassland is a garden surrounded by forest, with almost a kilometer of banks and stone sides. Every straw was cut, as well as the sprouts of alder that charge on from the edges. It wasn't enough that I forked the harvest and put it on stakes. The density of the woodland garden caused greatly extra work: the hays had to be fluffed up a few times before lancing even at the best of dry weathers. On a few experimental years I carried the dry harvest to the barn both by pulling with sandwiches made of alder spars and by carrying a pole at a time on the shoulder.

That task wasn't big. I counted then that during a normal hay season a man in his fifties harvests five hectares of grassland by hand; younger do more, of course. I recalled that while watching the bellowing tractors of Teno's men: you wretched man, the quarter million investments of you and the state of Finland alongside with oil money are utter vanity, a hundred per cent scam. You would need a scythe, rake, hayfork, axe, knife and a pile of stakes of Lapland pine. Surely you have to keep on moving a little fifteen hours a day for a month that an entrepreneur works elsewhere as well. And you cannot afford to drink anything stronger than milk or water during that month. But you will definitely have time to sit around a little and watch the flowers and fleeing frogs and a gliding rough-legged buzzard up in the skies, like I too watched the common buzzards of Kuhmoinen and had the time to count the number of offspring in harvest mouse nests. (Embarrassingly I have to confess that I did leave a small hay island for them.) And certainly you will get an astounding monthly pay for your work.

Now there are a few crooks in this equation. At least in the south, the grass has to renewed every four or five years. Plowing and cultivating can't be done with men, we need tractors after all. If farms are five hectares large at the most, one tractor per ten farms is a suitable amount. A farmer's participation share is then ten per cent of the tractor's price. If the tractor is employed all the year in other tasks, that grassland's share of the annual work is probably only a few per cents. On the other hand, the sowing of hay seeds and fertilizer is accomplished fine with a sowing basket, the possible hauling of compost or manure with wheelbarrows. I have firm experience myself of all these options. Still I recommend a pair of horses instead of the tractor.

Another twist is that the worker of Valmet's tractor factory in Suolahti will yell out badly. That turn can be straightened as well, and should be. The farms in Southern and Central Finland that have more than five hectares of fields for hay and five for crops, are in a dire need of men for mowing and forking, and for whittling poles and pegs. Also the demolishing of the factory and clearing the ground for cultivation or forest planting offers opportunities of work for a long time.

My examples out of the broad selection are not random. They clarify the essence of technology the best. In the parish of Sääksmäki two religions shake hands together. There is absolutely nothing to do with reason and wisdom in trusting technology. It is religion, insensible, non-asking, unquestionable. It is the foundation of the most unintellectual and religious culture of the Western civilization, or the world history. However, these two religions offer a potent contrast. The church is - nowadays - gentle, understanding and preserving even with all its faults. The religion of technology on the other hand, is aggressive, lacerating, destructive.

The example picked from Lapland refers to that at the borderlands of the Western culture, where the other so-called primitive culture has recently been absorbed into the main culture, its religion is given the most frantic and unreserved receiving. Within the country it is observable in the extreme technology craze of the remote regions. I remember how in the roadless heartlands of Kainuu and Koillismaa every lakeside cottage had equipped itself with an outboard motor already at the 1950s, when the old civilized Tavastia still rowed the vast open lakes with a rowing boat. According to ethnologists, the whole reindeer economy was about to collapse to the unmanageable expenses of the first exaltation of snowmobiles. Now reindeer herders are migrating from snowmobiles to gliders. Only there where the belief is old, it is already beginning to crack.

The remoteness of Finland is dramatically evident in the settings of Europe. Finns are number one not only in all figures of consumption per capita from energy to paper, but first and foremost in all machinery and automation. The Finnish agriculture is so dully over-mechanized that it spills over from all statistics and diagrams. The way of life and expression of all farming, rural village, a single farm, is like from an exhibition of technology, whereas calmness and tradition still shows at the countryside of all other European countries. In electric finance transfers Finland was at least some years ago the world's supreme leader. All kinds of computer systems and home computers go into our blockheads like knife into butter. That man, who is so rushed and important that he wouldn't survive without phones in cars and shoes, I'd send to the mountains for a year, or rather for five years, to reflect on the values of his life. Perhaps that wouldn't help either. When the mind is dull, it is dull.

Unless you become as children... Technology surely fulfills this condition of religion. It is met the most flourishingly when boys who've remained brats get to work their tunnels and bridges over, beneath and beside each other. Like in Länsiväylä in Finland, the unspeakable up-and-down stairs of Pasila or in Tampere's Lakalaiva. Five years old, I too built exactly similar constructions in a sandbox at summer, and in snow at winter. Other boys tinkered with Lego blocks and meccanoes. But why do adults as well bow to those horrible spinnings of Pasila? Because they too have faith, taking those engineer kids as their priests.

Sometimes technology is justified with seemingly rational reasons. It has also been tried to find evidence for the existence of God throughout times. The foundational argument for technology is that it eases life. Eases and eases, all the more easier invention by invention. Easy, easier, the easiest. In reality man has been a sovereign creature on the globe without rivalry since the stone axe, a thing whose life has been unnaturally and hopelessly cushy. Since then the actual problem of man has been physical ease, meaninglessness, rootlessness and frustration.

Only evolution cannot fathom the derailing of human species into the whirlpool of the technology religion, it doesn't even understand to be puzzled. From human mothers, it still produces creatures bulging with strength, speed and endurance; untiring runners, jumpers, squatters, lifters, twisters and carriers. Now that man has built an article of faith and trembling house of cards of his, the material excess, all the more astounding powermachines and performers are born with the help of vitamins, micronutrients and prenatal clinics. These tall and strong, muscular and sinewy girls and boys are then seen staggering on our streets and yards, full of wasted energy, unneeded, apathetic, pale and desperate.

The misfortune solidifies now that that our religion has plunged its culture into mass unemployment, to that even the best of imaginations cannot come up with any satisfying tasks for individuals amongst the machines, no role in mankind. At this phase of history a new president is being chosen in the republic of Finland. A reporter asks the candidates for a solution to unemployment. All of that bewildered band, the uniform cloned row of believers, those incarnations of all mistakes, are blinking their eyes and answer nothing sensible. None of them are able to cross the limit of the Sacred, to blaspheme god, to say two words: No machines. Even though there is no other solution nor will ever be.

With its every technic invention, celebrated innovation, man has made itself useless, played itself away from the world. At the recent years the progress has been explosive. Man has been successful in obliterating the producer, refiner, transporter, distributor and serviceman. When we accomplish doing away with the consumer, everything is over. Still a short time of clanking of robots. Then a great silence.

1994


Translated 25.7.2006
The World Wars


The abundant rains of Savo's summer and lying in a tent provided to be a boon for all-round education. I happened to read the mammoth "The rise and fall of the Third Reich" by William Shirer, a refreshment course of 1350 pages.

The recent history is undoubtedly better suited as holiday reading, it is lighter than delving into the middle ages or prehistoric times even when human brutality is heavily condensed in the theme. Interest is being enhanced by personal connection to the final events of those processes, however limited the small schoolboy's perspective might be. As if it happened just yesterday, I remember the evacuee spring of 1944 after the massive bombings of Helsinki. I spent hours after school with a new classmate Kaarle Kurki-Suonio at the railway station of Hämeenlinna, noted up the lengthy serial numbers of passing locomotives and for long interludes we competed in throwing accuracy with pebbles, which had the names of German Generals and Field Marshals marked on them, placed by a pole. Surely we were well acquainted with the names of our own Generals too: Oesch, Öhquist and Österman, Blick, Tuompo, Siilasvuo and Laatikainen; but the names Brauchitsch, Walder, Keitel, Kluge, Jodl, Dietl, Rendulic, Rommel or Guderian glowed even brighter - names, whose parts in constructing the catastrophy and fates Shirer now reminds more specifically. The book of Shirer possesses all the faults of hindsight and American English bias. The volume is unbalanced: the rise of the Third Reich and the first stages of the world conquest until Poland are depicted meticulously, but Shirer begins to wear out in the end and hops over. The absence of the Soviet archives from the enormous source material is unforgivable; still the phases of the Eastern front from Stalingrad to Berlin get ill-proportionately few pages. Romania and Hungary are almost left as mysteries.

Anyway, I don't care how the contemporary historian evaluates over 30 years old Shirer: it is tedious to read 1350 pages if one doesn't fully believe in them. I want to believe that Shirer isn't readily surpassed in one book, he is a diligent historian and a personal witness, journalist and author in the same person, and that is for the advantage of the reader. He succeeds in bringing about the whole colossal drama of the play and the infernal glory of the tyranny all the way to being shaken by them. He animates the large gallery of persons and creates new Shakespear-ish fatefulness to the final acts, even though they are mostly familiar already: was executed, shot himself, took poison, then and then, there and there. Amidst all the horrors one can't help but smile at the shameless antipathies and sympathies of Shirer. He can't keep himself from reminding again and again about the foolishness and limitedness of Ribbentrop - compared with the sophisticated criticism of his Italian colleague Ciano.

Emotionally I must agree with the Western-Christian-humanist judgement of Shirer: evil is evil, cruelty is cruelty, eliminating human value diabolical, insanity is insanity. The same polite and established complaining as usual surfaces here as well. How all that was possible, how the world let Great Germany break out so far, what possessed the people of Germany until the very last defeat, why did the Jews surrender, what unnerved the rebels? Shirer's analyses correspond to a certain degree, but the essential explanation seems to evaporate away.

The only new point of view brought by the decades, which wrenches itself away from the frames of Shirer (and Nürnberg), is the global viewpoint of the population explosion. Shirer doesn't even refer to it, and obviously no people of his time do in this context, in spite of Malthus. That standpoint would darken the tale of the Third Reich ultimately jet black. Was that maximal mercilessness, the utter final sale of human life, elimination of all individual protesting, all the tens of millions of victims after all just a model for the future; Hitler being a pioneer, even though wholly not on purpose and unwittingly?

But other thoughts too emerge in the modern reader. The old theory about the recurrence of history was fully absent from my mind, when more and more similarities with the modern history began to spontaneously flood my mind as I neared the end of Shirer's tragedy. Allegories are always bold. They are also built constrainedly, sometimes they limp badly. In this case, however, the correlations are surprisingly lucid between the world conquest of the Third Reich and the current ferocious war of subjugation, termination and sacking that is being waged against nature. I'm not confused by that either that I choose the opposite couples of the allegory from our own society. The whole Western culture wages that war, but it rages on the most sharply in our own outpost and pioneering land.

The first phases of the Third Reich as well as those of the post-World War avalanching exploit of natural resources are grand stories of success. The correspondence is precise between the faith the people of the 1940s Germany and the population of the 1990s industrialized world have for their cause. Germans followed Hitler nonsensically until the very last hopeless end, fought for the last ruined blocks of their capitol city with their schoolboy reservists. Equally unshaken is the faith to industry and welfare in the 1990s, even though the unavoidable signs of defeat are visible to everyone, the straight road into the ultimate ecocatastrophy being recognizable even for a child.

The game was over for Germany in Stalingrad in 1942; would it be analogous to the depression of today? It was followed by a really prosperous period, the summer attacks and victories of 1943, and all the way until the last year of 1945 Germany made triumphing retaliations here and there, and always there remained hope, blind hope. And constantly the same madman's belief into salvation brought by technology withstood, which we see today - and always - around us. All the way until the last hour of the Reich chancellery's collapse it was believed that the brilliant new weapons, missiles and jet engines, fervently designed by engineers would turn the course of war. < Naturally the unquestioning, unscrupulous rooting of nature, the oppression of species, offers to correspond with the concept of the overman of National Socialism. When I once again read the descriptions and statistics of the extreme acts of the overmen, the total slaughterings of the Czech village of Lidice and French village of Oradour, I instantly thought about an analogous utmost act of devastation in the Third World War: clear cutting of the forests. In one day the SS-troops of the forest industry raze hundreds of song thrushes, chaffinches and robins along with their nests and broods, crush almost every living thing all the way down to ant colonies; like the Jews and Slavs were exterminated.

If an ambitious writer would be fascinated in writing an allegorical play about the suicidal war of Great Germany and Finland, corresponding characters would likely be an easy find. The analogy can't find Hitler himself; the author would have to be sated with the collective in its place - still as steadfast, confident and rapturously insane administration of the industry and bank economy. But people like Ali-Melkkilä and Kairamo would be found in the fates of the National Socialistic Party, the inner circle of the SS and the German military, and even more there are discharged and fired people like Wegelius and Kullberg. One corresponding couple is identical. Kullervo Kuusela, who has with terrible vigor drawn, founded and realized plans, programs and commissions, and had hundreds if not thousands of presentations, the unambiguous objective of all of them being the annihilation of spontaneous nature and ruining of the natural way of life of the countryside, exchanging them into machines, pavement and casino economy, would be the obvious Heinrich Himmler. Both had their staff, in concentration camps and forestry sites. Kuusela doesn't himself maneuver the multitask machine, and also Himmler fainted when he once happened to witness the execution of Jewish women. Shirer introduces a small human glint into his horrifying report by telling of some commanders of the Eastern front, who resisted or quietly sabotaged Himmler's orders of treating the Slavic undermen as slaughter cattle. Immediately did my mind turn to think about some rebels in different ranks of the Finnish forestry organization and in the sphere of forest owners, who attempt to countermine the most barbaric of forest treatment instructions.

In my opinion Shirer is the most stirring when he is figuring the true opposition of Nazi Germany; those chapters contained the most of new information for me. I'll admit I momentarily lived with the rebels to the extent that reality and fiction mingled with each other: I was anxious of the attempted assassinations of Hitler, even though I have been aware of their miserable ending for decades. And I confess that it was exactly those conspirators who woke me up to discover the similarity between the second and Third World War, therefore Shirer's depiction from the 1960s contains familiarities passage by passage from our Green alternative movement. The same disheartening hesitation, wavering and mutual difference over slight details of the principles and schemes, and the unfortunate impracticality in carrying them through. The same incomprehensible tendency to abstaining from violence when battling against a dreadful machinery of violence. The same calculations of the main population's support by "realists", or people like Soininvaara, the kinds of Paloheimo hanging last on to the original idea of the conspiracy and still constantly cautiously pondering risks and observing for "small steps in this system". The same fatigues and surrenders.

It is most interesting that Shirer isn't able to track down a single person from the resistance who wouldn't hang on - when presenting propositions of peace to the Allies, for example - to the victories of the Great Germany's initial charge, over Austria, the Sudetes region of the Czech Republic and Danzig. They rebelled only against National Socialism or the person of Hitler - only methods, not against the grandeur of Germany itself. Precisely like the Green Coalition, which ultimately shares the mainstream culture's concept of nature, human and religion of welfare - as long as renewed paper is being produced and bottles recycled. Only the name remains of the Green philosophy, a total alternative.

A dozen years ago we lived those times in Finland with the Green alternative people when an ecological way of life at the countryside, farming collectives, solar panel greenhouses and the like were the topmost issues. A group of Green young came to help me construct a quay to my fishing harbor in Sääksmäki by their own initiative. One of the boys, an ideologist still influencing in Green publications, whose thoughts and writings I hold in high esteem, didn't come along to the beach at all, but remained at the cabin as a servicing correspondent. Others spent an hour with the poles, planks, tools and nails, and then a memory rapidly spread in the group that there was an obligatory important meeting in Helsinki, to which they could just make it in time. I beat poles to the shore for three hours more with one loyal, before we went up to the cabin to eat. To our wonderment we discovered the whole bunch delved in such a stirring debate that our arrival was barely noticed. I remember lively how I recalled then the recollections of Väinö Tanner and for the first time, a warm tide of thoughts rose up for that genuine materialist I so loathed. Tanner does tell how tearingly agonizing the conferences of the Soviet embassy were to him at the 1920s, where one was forced to sit until the early hours and listen to philosophizing about the existence of God. This summer I met again the same group, the circle of von Moltke, of Kreisau, which in Shirer's words "continued perpetually on discussions about the thousand-year kingdom".

After the attempted assassination of July 1944 the police of Himmler then hunted, tortured and executed the whole many-branched opposition, those who acted within the system (people like Lähde and Norokorpi) as well as outsiders; both activists and dreamers and philosophers, the last ones only days before the end. But at this moment, we are still living the year 1942, Stalingrad.

1993


Translated 31.7.2006
Women As The Protectors Of Life


At least in the Western culture, if not throughout mankind, it is an established custom that professions of the nursing trade are predominantly occupied by women. The revaluation of both values and customs is a part of the current cultural phase, and the disproportion of genders in nursing professions, as well, has been questioned in the discussion about equality. Shouldn't nurses and the staff of nursing homes consist of as equally many men? Shouldn't especially the physically demanding tasks in handling patients be actually given to men?

However, change in this sphere of life does seem rather forced. There's a very clear distinction in the favour of women in both qualification and motivation for nursing professions. Whether the appalling readiness of an average man to take care of another is inherent (genetic) or culturally related is difficult to answer, and so is this problem generally at different areas of life. Anyway, the disparity is a thoroughly prevailing fact.

The gender distribution of professional helpers accurately reflects the situation in the whole community, among the laymen and "civilians". Of the kinsmen, friends and acquaintances visiting a patient in the hospital or an elder in the nursing home, whether man or woman, eight out of ten, or more, are women. Very many men know that personal problems are easier to discuss about with women than male friends (and societal problems with men?). And if depression strikes, male friends are swept by the winds. Then again, a close woman at least attempts to help, as measly rewarding, if not even hopeless, as assistance is in the case of severe depression.

There is no doubt of the paradox that the soul of man, underneath covers of various thicknesses, is more sensitive and fragile, more weaker than a woman's is. The frail men of Eeva Joenpelto and many other tough women are not mythology, but realism of the human portrait. I constantly write about typicalities and averages.

In some extreme conditions the strength of woman compared to man receives dramatic proportions. For some time already, news of especially the male population's spiritual collapse, which reflects to the physical level, as well, all the way to the steep decline of the middle age, have arrived here from the modern Russia, which has fallen into a deep cultural crisis.

Subjective observations always convince more firmly than what has been read and heard. So, I got myself last Autumn to some villages of Vienan Karelia along with a small expedition to examine the famed cultural crush with my own eyes.

There are 1500 people in the large village of Jyskyjärvi, both Russians and Finnish-related. I began walking from the place of accommodation at 7 AM. The village was thoroughly asleep even as late as then, as were two young men on the front seats of a Lada, blissfully and symmetrically tilted, temples against each other - on the only road bridge of the village, blocking the main road that leads to Rome through the grand St. Petersburg.

In time, the going led to a cemetery, where I happened to compile a tiny statistic about the dying age of different genders. I didn't make notes, but the material was both thirty deceased men and women from the 1960s to this day. The result was rather shocking: the distribution of men's age stretched from 28 to 63 years, women's from 65 to 83 years. The dying ages didn't even overlap, then, but were consecutive instead. Certainly we saw the odd old man on our trip, but they were so exceptional that none of them hit a sample of this size.

We did find the chain of causes for the degradation of men in interviews, or at least the probable explanations. Alcohol usage that has gotten unchecked, and equally unrestrained smoking impair health until illnesses and death, and first and foremost lead to the overtly common accidents. We were given a demonstration about the domination of alcohol already at the beginning of our trip in Uhtua (nowadays pretentiously called Kalevala), when the expedition was able to find soft drinks from only the third store. There was vodka alright in everyone of them, both shelves full and on the desk, as the first article in the reach of the customer.

On the other hand, the reason for sliding into alcohol is perceived to be the recent history of these Karelian villages: they have been shaken and jerked around in a terrifying manner. There was the war and occupation, the evacuee road - and no kind of settling down after that. Tsars of various names, Josef, Nikita, Leonid; they sometimes drove the villages "lacking in perspective" to be transferred away, sometimes to be razed down, and sometimes permitted return. Ultimately, the whole societal system fell into ruin. At this point the men gave up.

It is however essential in regards to my theme that women did not yield. Small plastic rooms full of cucumber, a cabbage patch on every yard and potato fields until the walls. Everywhere basketfuls of mushrooms, berry pickers filling the roadsides - only women, whereas in Finland the most established of gatherers are men. We did pick up a few spirited and merry Russian women with the enormous buckets they carried and mouths smeared in blueberry up to ears, to our cars and escorted to the village.

There are reasons for the falling of men, but why the women of Russia do not sway into alcoholics and chain smokers? It is just that there is no better explanation for that, and one must just conclude that there the strength of women appears. Women take care of the continuity of life until the very last moments. Even their caretaking isn't exorbitantly abundant; they aren't able to estrange the man from booze or to keep him healthy until old age. But they handle the common food servicing, chop the firewood, warm up the oven and also offer the man shelter from cold. Men live as long as to seed the next generation.

On the brief trip to Viena we saw also the oddity, that the care of woman is not limited to only mushrooms and potatoes, but the flame of culture is being cherished as well. We came upon a village fest, to where a couple of (Finnish) special buses, endowed with a high road clearance, were able to cart people from other villages, as well. There was choral and solo singing, dances and party games at a meadow by the village. One man was among the performers: the player of accordion, relatively sober. A quarter, at the most, of the crowd were men (perhaps Finnish tourists, unfamiliar to us). An exploring journey was befitting, yet again. By walking throughout the village the men were found as well; it was a fair warm day, everyone was indeed outside. Men were found from the boat beach, yards, by the walls of sheds, in groups of half a dozen, lying down, from around a dozen bottles of vodka.

Little boys from almost infants to adolescents tossed about in the groups of men - learning. The future's prediction isn't good.

But the future is inestimable. The wind blows from different directions, many factors influence, even from far away. Suddenly the atmosphere changes, depression turns into increase and in reverse. Shifts and transitions are positive or negative, depending on what angle the matters are beheld at. The current community in Russia, in Russian Karelia, doesn't threaten the atmosphere, earth or waters by thrashing. In that prospect it is a good community. But if I had the outlook of a cultural anthropologist, as I may have in this writing, I'd then wish for a glint of vigour to suddenly flash in the eye of the man of Viena. I'd like the man to saunter by the woman's side to the cabbage field and firewood shed. Forecasting is tricky. But there will never be a future where the woman stumbles and the man does not.

I'll return to the Finnish man. And woman, at the background of everything, with her batons.

I recall the small hours of one autumnal night years back when the phone rang. I had a friend twenty years younger than me, a fishing pal of many years. Jokke was an exuberant man already by his looks, a robust rower, the center of the friends of his age, a terrific joker, making people laugh until their deaths. And an unrelenting fisherman from inland waters to the outer islands of the sea: jigging burbots at nights, snatching perches and pikes at days. And as fragile as the fluff of a goldcrest from within. I guess I was a kind of father figure to him, not a mother figure, I reckon; the father has a role sometimes, a surrogate role.

So, the phone rang at the small hours. Jokke was there, being shocked, having somehow managed just back home through the nightly Helsinki. I was aware that the family was awaiting their firstborn and that Jokke had properly attended a preparation course to be supporting his wife in birthing. The awaited moment struck at evening hours, and they had rushed to the Women's Clinic... But, but... Gradually, by stuttering and weeping, the situation with which my encouragement was needed became clear. Long white corridors, swarming white nurses, the buzz of devices - and a terrible fear of what will happen to his wife. Jokke had panicked, escaped and was now trembling in his home phone in the claws of terror and damaged self-esteem.

Maybe the reader is eager to hear what happened then; an epilogue. Jokke was a loving and tender father, with certain tendencies, however. He could keep on saying the same word to his firstborn son for weeks, and he did realize his will: the boy's first word was "fish". Soon another boy was made, "because in many jigging competitions a family team of three men is needed". So? The fishing team never came. A routine appendix surgery. Then the hospital bacteria, inflammation and death after a couple of days. The great circle of friends was bewildered for a long time, utterly beset with grief and hanging upon a void. The cruelty of life sometimes surpasses all boundaries. His friends were consoled by only that Jokke's wife was known to be a strong woman, and they could be sure that she would pull through and take care of her little sons; not to jigging ices, but forwards in life.

Psychology is teeming with theories and hypotheses. In my subjective opinion, I announce that the man is more susceptible and softer than woman, and likely cries more too, although hidden from others; but is more egoistic in his sensitivity. The man relates to human suffering and disillusionment very sympathetically and subtly when the sorrow and disappointment are his own. He's more apt at being consoled than in consoling. Man, this concrete reinforcer, lieutenant-colonel and councillor of industry, is mother's sonny. What the Creator (evolution) has been meaning with this? Unknown are the ways of the Lord.

Still, the distinction between genders isn't all that enormous. The man is more able than the woman to disregard his friend in troubles, the patient in hospital and the elder in nursery, to bury them under hurry and action. But neither does he forget them; he is empathetic as well, it's just a matter of a degree of difference. The man is more clueless than he is careless. Many other men besides my friend Jokke are confused in the long, white corridors, he can't and doesn't know how to talk, and what to talk about, with a patient and nursed elder. He is even more stupid than evil.

1996


Translated 4.8.2006
Women As The Protectors Of Life II


It is no coincidence that those who demonstrated against fur-farming by sabotage were fox-girls instead of fox-boys. The "official", legal animal protection movement is also strongly a women's movement. There are five women and one man in the administration of the Green Cross. In the governing body of the animal protection coalition Animalia there are seven women and four men. Chairpersons are women. Incomparably the most vigorous and known guardian of animal protection is a woman, Anja Eerikäinen. The starkly acting defender of our original domestic species - and therefore an opponent of overt animal exploitation; milk factory cows strung to their extremes - is a woman, Miina Äkkijyrkkä. And the only philosopher in Finland who has got a doctorate from the field of bio ethics is Leena Vilkka.

It is easy to relate with the frustration and despair of Mia Salli, Minna Salonen and Kirsi Kultalahti in the Finnish society, under which shell of empty phrases the frenzied greed of market economy and the godhood of money rule. In those spheres, such values as animal rights are grinded to dust if they are not being deafeningly shrieked for. The last time we saw how the overpower of the parliament's tough faces knocked out the attempt to ban the atrocious pen poultry farms. For all that, there was a seemingly substantial people's opinion behind it and many subscribers in public statements and broad addresses. It is difficult to gain strengthening to the faith into the success of decent ways of influencing.

All uprisings have always started out smoothly; with writings, meetings, seminaries and demonstrations. When there have not been any results, the most temperamental, those whose heart has been bursting, have begun to defy law. A major part of the ideology's people have always retreated, surrendered or at least waited, when confronted with intense opposition.

An entirely analogical comparison to the case of fox-girls is offered by the latest attempt at revolution in Germany. The thought that enlivened the "red army" was narrower than that of the fox-girls; it kept within the boundaries of our own human species. Justice between different human groups was in its mind, and it battled against the all-engulfing commercialism, power of money and the market forces of human community. But all in all, closeness and adversity to life were pitted against each other also there, and women took the leading positions.

Maria von Trotta (a female director!) has pictured a red couple of siblings beginning from their home background in the magnificent movie "The Siblings". The moderate one stopped at student meetings and demonstration marches, the development of the more passionate one led to be an urban partisan, an armed fighter. Now we know that Gudrike Ennslin and Ulrike Meinhof lost their ideology for decades, at least. Let us hope that fox-girls are victorious. History is familiar with revolutions both crumbled and prosperous, both faster and slower.

I cannot think of any life-affirming, in one way or another, ideology, where women wouldn't have been at least as equally well represented as men were. In other words, the share of women in these kind of activities is much greater than generally in societal action. From the leftist intelligentsia to the radical wing of environmentalism women have been evenly strong - also in the projects of civil disobedience of the latter at Talaskangas, Jerisjärvi, Porkkasalo and Kessi.

Anyhow, the most interesting notion is that women are not only equally strong, but leading many fronts of life conservation - and that the distance to the men of the idea is growing all the time. The phenomenon is probably related to the appearance of women in Western societies on a common level, as well, but doubtfully the leading position of women is as lucid in any other areas of life.

For the first time in the history of our nature conservation movement, the woman Aura Koivisto is currently the most qualified of both writers and thinkers on environmentalism. The two first environmental ministers we had were both amazingly competent, but Sirpa Pietikäinen was sovereign. She was a truly vigorous and headstrong defender of nature; she put her career at risk, but at any rate she received the admiration of the whole country's nature people as compensation.

The doctor of bio ethics I mentioned, Leena Vilkka, is the chairperson of the Coalition of Green Life Protection. The chairperson of the Green League is Tuija Brax, the party's secretary Sirpa Kuronen and Päivi Sihvola the editor of their magazine, the Green Thread. The parliament group of the Green League is the only one with a female majority, even six against three. Marketta Horn, the founder and the first chairperson of the party's conservationists, the Eco Greens, recently proceeded to be the vice chairman. Instead the many other mentioned positions - as well as the majority of the parliament group - have only recently shifted from men to women.

The newly chosen chairman of the little Ecological party is Katriina Bent, and the party secretary is Anneli Jussila. Men edit the magazine of the party, but the best and most clever of ecological columns are written by Anneli Jussila and Marketta Horn. Both of the awesome causerie writers, Anneli Pääkkönen and the nickname Emmaliisa Päreenmäki, are women. As the most witty and original of the people interviewed on the front page of the magazine I recall the sage of development aid, Marja-Liisa Swantz.

After this it may not be astonishing that the head secretary of WWF's foundation of Finland is Meri Saarnilahti after her male colleagues, Laura Hakoköngäs is the activity leader of the Greenpeace's Finnish division, Outi Lauhakangas compiled the book "Civil Disobedience". We may view even all civil disobedience as life-affirming these days, as the set of society's priorities - economic growth, competition, efficiency - is unequivocally cold, savage and destructive of future.

Of the chairpersons of the youth organization Nature League's regional groups one is a boy and eight are girls - like the chairperson of the Wolf Action Group, Hanna Suolahti. More boys teem in the forest activists of the league, but in the latest test of Kuusamo's collective forest the team's base was obtained by and the significant television statements were given by a girl, Mariko Lindgren.

I already told about the leading status of women in green parties. In addition to that it must be said that female members of the parliament have acted for softer values in all parties on average. The latest vote on the nuclear plant is the most fabulous of evidences. By the votes of male congressmen we would already have the permit for the fifth nuclear plant, but the stout "No"-majority of female members gave extra time for life.

As a sworn reader I cannot keep myself from still touching upon the world of journalists. Through decades I've found females to be the most interesting of the reporters of Suomen Kuvalehti. Of columnists, Tuula-Liina Varis is a head taller than her colleagues. Their subjects are close with life, focal, important - whereas the greater part of male journalists report on the superficial and trivial intrigues and twists of the daily politics and economical life. In a similar manner, Arja Leppänen clearly stands out in her favor from her pitiable male associates among the editorial journalists of Helsingin Sanomat.

Biology, the knowledge of life, has progressed enormously the last few years at two areas of emphasis. Genetic research is the more famed of the two; research of animal behaviour with its immense profits less known. There English and American female scientists have developed a method of research, which had not crossed the minds of outsider male researchers. They had infiltrated animal communities as members and revolutionally brought new data to the research of behaviour.

So that I wouldn't be accused of biased selection, the deductive research method, I admit that the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation is the final island where men lead life-affirming operation: both the chairman and head secretary, as well as the editor of the magazine Suomen Luonto, are men. Regardless of that, they do their work well and with warmth!

On the other hand, there are of course women who represent hard values - little Thatchers - in private life and visible positions of the society. But even then a positive glimpse may flash; one doesn't probably encounter thoroughly jet-black people of the chamber of commerce, gravel Caesars or forest councillors from women's world. To my surprise, I just heard that the forest officer of Ilomantsi, Saara Peiponen, who was in time remembered by naturalists as the grim and tough figure of the airplane poisoning campaign of Hattuvaara, had been sincerely regretting of the accidental felling of some slice of primeval forest. And even though Elisabeth Rehn in the cockpit of a Hornet is a nightmarish view of a woman at its worst, in another turn the same person is sympathetic to conservation and raises money to the protection of Vanhankaupunginlahti alongside bird excursionists.

It is an assumption brought forth countless of times in various contexts that the world would be better, drifting slower towards the ruin, if women had the "power"; if political leadership, decision making, government and economic life was in the hands of women. I think reality, the observation material, supports the assumption.

1996


Translated 10.8.2006
Of The Evaluation Of The Book "Into The Ecological Way Of Life [Ekologiseen Elämäntapaan]"


The most important book of the first half of 1996 in Finland is 'Ekologiseen Elämäntapaan'. The most significant one of the last half of the year is 'Europe of Unborn Generations [Syntymättömien sukupolvien Eurooppa]' by Eero Paloheimo. Antti Vahtera's review of the former is mostly positive and insightful. However, it also incorporates severe flaws, which demand correction.

"Greens are specifically inclined to brawl with each other. The worst inner conflicts possess just the little ecological party", Vahtera writes. My interpretation, as seen from within and close, is different. The realization of deep ecologists is an extremely simple construct of thought, in which there is no room for contradictions in the doctrine. Instead, from time to time there are people who entrench themselves under the labels of "green" and "ecology", socialists of several kinds, who peddle with matters completely different than protecting of the biosphere. Discussions had with them are not between "ecologists" at any rate, but between "ecologists" and outsiders.



The strain of Finland and the other world

Vahtera writes about my own article in the book - originally a presentation at the Medicinal Exhibition: "Many of his assertions can not withstand critical evaluation. Is it true that 'in Finland all the numbers indicating consumption and stress tilt about the top positions of the world's statistics'. Based on my knowledge of international environment politics, I can not hold the claim as authentic. The combined stress of population density, traffic and agriculture is multiple compared to Finland somewhere in Central Europe."

Vahtera should have comprehended that I write one or two articles per year, and they are so thought out, thoroughly pondered and researched, that there is no possibility for error. Here are some bits of information for Vahtera as well as others.

There is an incomparably, enormously larger population in Finland than anywhere else on the globe at similar arctic latitudes.

Also population density is greater in Finland than anywhere in Europe. We have a house by every hillock, whereas in Sweden and Karelia, at both sides of our borders, there is thirty to even forty kilometers; in Baltic Countries, Germany, Poland, France, Austria, Yugoslavia, Hungary etc. etc. most often ten kilometers of wilderness of forests, meadows or fields between areas of dense population. (Camping, for example, is incomparably easier elsewhere in Europe than in Finland, which is covered by private yards.) This means a great loss of green, productive area per capita in Finland as foundations for buildings, parking lots, courtyards and private yards, compared to the other world.

There is by far the most voluminous holiday settling of the world in Finland, which includes both almost half a million private cottages, their millions of outbuildings with their torn and bulldozed lots and cleared strands (and with costs rising up to about 200 billion marks, wastage in energy, matter and transportation) and vacation properties of tens of thousands of various communities, some of them under the guise of whatever "residential colleges" and so on. Mangling the globe like this is unheard of at one part of Europe (not to mention the other world), small-scale fumbling at the other.

Of all the world's countries, Finland has the highest consumption, squandering and wasting of forest products (paper etc.). And first of all, the most massive, effective utilization of woodlands of the Northern hemisphere. I'm poor at remembering numbers, but I recall they were that Finland has one per cent of the world's forests and ten per cent of the forest industry. Vestigia terrent: forest industry damages and strains nature incomparably more than any other branch of livelihood.

The distinction in forest industry - and the appearance, landscape and degree of damage of the whole of the country - is astounding contrasted with all other European countries: in them the default stance of a tree is vertical, in Finland it is horizontal. Of course the difference is the greatest with Germany, which is a lovely scenic land, where only in the spruce woods of Bavaria small-scale and very old fashioned forestry is being practised, but in a major part of the country woodlands are practically under the protection of law - even though it encompasses half of the country's acreage. It is almost magical for a Finn to witness with how little damage the numerically tremendous German population fits to a land, if it is directed so - and if the climate is suitable for human living. (Source: my own survey routes of months and tens of thousands of kilometers, speed being 5 to 10 km/h, 1993-96.)



More Finnish figures for comparison

At least when compared with Europe, Finland has by far the thickest and widest road network per capita (and also vehicle) and the greatest waste of productive area as square kilometers of road. There are also the heaviest, most burdening expenses per meter in road constructing in Finland.

Finland has incomparably the shortest duration of buildings of European countries, or the youngest stock of buildings, however it is said. House construction, especially the northern one, is a line of business that takes a heavy toll and damages nature, and in Finland it is the most wasteful in Europe and perhaps in the world.

Finland has by far the largest, the most dense farming equipment in the world; figure of tractors, harvesters etc. per a hectare of field. In its current state, the Finnish agriculture is not only the most mechanized, but also the most ponderous and straining on overall, at least of the European countries. In any case, the ornithologist certainly knows this. The starling is common and abundant not only everywhere in Europe including the shores of Estonia and Sweden, but also just beyond the border in Russian-Karelian villages. Even Åland Islands have more starlings than could fit there. Only in Finland it has almost reached extinction - or more elaborately, the five per cent of the times of older, more gentle agriculture. The peregrine has either endured all the time in most European countries or recently returned to them. The population left to the outback of Lapland does not imply any attempt to go back to Southern or Central Finland.

As for farming toxins, to the grief of Vahtera it must be stated that even though they are being used in lesser amounts per a hectare in Finland - really! - than in many European countries, their fading (half-life) in nature is much slower due to the climate. The same applies of course to the purification of waters, as well.



The bill of Finnish culture is costly for the world

Not only is Finland the most mechanized but also the most automatized of the world's countries. Osmo Soininvaara, who had studied the matter, not too long ago stated that Finland was far ahead the second one of the world's countries in automatic, electrical money transfer, for example.

At least Vahtera appears to admit the record-breaking consumption of energy per capita (the United States and Canada may be ahead, or are they, I can not remember exactly) and writes, as if defending, that "it is mainly explained with the coldness of the climate and long transportation distances". Damn right it is explained with these matters, like many other top positions of the statistics I described above. That is what I am aiming at in my presentation - that the Finnish man is expensive, shockingly expensive, for the world, the globe's biosphere.

Certainly the lands, waters and atmosphere is strained more by hauling a Finn to the sunny beaches of the Mediterranean than by the local people's padding to the same beaches. Is Vahtera too beginning with the premise that this bully-like population, which has struck itself into snow and permafrost, must be secured a similar infrastructure and material standard of living - and a multiple number of buildings and equipment for holidays as extra compensation for the "rigorous" environment - to the population inhabiting regions fit for human? The cost of such Finnish culture is insane, unreasonable.



The old and the wise

Also about old age and youth, "of enlightened youngsters and senile oldies", Vahtera writes conventional rubbish. I do not present some specially ingenious idea in my presentation; I generally abhor and shirk new thoughts, like innovations on the material side, as they always lead to an error. I am only reminding of the self-evidence that a human individual grows wiser and improves quality-wise throughout his life. And that dementia faces only a small percentage of the elderly people. How does Vahtera comprehend the life of a human individual? Why does the man even live over 25 years of age? How could a population, which is at its wisest in younghood and after that grows more stupid year by year, be explained? How could it be possible in regards to evolution?



The meaning of the protection of animals and humans

As Vahtera mentions EU, he swipes off Päivi Rosquist's article of animal protection in a horrible and wretched way: "compared to the other problematics of the union the subject is trivial". Let it be said that the question about animal rights, of the animal's future, is by far the most important of all even in EU. The problematics of mankind (a single species) is trivial.



What to do to 200 billion human kilos?

As Vahtera bones Anneli Jussila's text, he writes: "She however doesn't make a sensible following question: what to do with the people of metropoles, who have to be abandoned - the example of Pol Pot is hardly inviting to be followed."

How has Vahtera read his sources - presumably about the same messages of Western correspondents and news agencies that I have been following?

I have myself had - briefly - the idea that the capitol of Cambodia of the time, Phnom Penh, had bulged during the Vietnam War into a thoroughly perverse entertainment center, which population was mostly composed of whores and drug dealers, and which was instantly on the verge of collapse as soon as the Americans left. Then a group of intellectuals, who had studied in France and were led by Pol Pot, seized power and estimated the sole possibility being the discharging of the population to the countryside, hoes in hand. But the country was immediately attacked by Vietnam, which represented (and likely still represents) not only extreme militarism but also Western hard values. Pol Pot was driven into the jungle, and nothing can be ever said of the working of his societal resolution.

Now, this does not - diverging from my other writings - represent firm facts, but a concept I have gathered from rather lacking sources. Still, I have peeled off the foam of gaping and being horrified from these sources. Has Vahtera been an inferior reader and absorbed only the froth? But it may be that the inspiring gleam of Pol Pot's plan dimmens if sometime a complete presentation of the matter is brought by some qualified and unbiased researcher of history.

Anyway, regarding the people of metropoles and the population explosion overall and other mega problems, Vahtera himself answers in the sound ending of his writing: "The change in the way of thinking has to cross many agonizing steps." He could have added: "... that I haven't myself been yet able to cross." As this is what his counter-arguments are about; an attempt to assure that matters aren't yet so irreversibly ruined (particularly not in the own country) - and that there still is room and time for soft solutions, actually for letting everything as is, to drift.

Vahtera even recommends a "moderate policy". But patience is a quite terrifying attitude when we are midst a massive wave of biosphere's extinctions and the death and end of everything in our sight. The prospects of erosions, ozone, carbon balance, vanishing of forests and dissolving of green acreage are unyielding. And most of all that we all can not fit here.

How do we picture the contradiction between the population explosion and the value of a human individual in our minds? "Every human is worth a song" is not only the mawkish phrase of a song, but as true as it can be. Everyone can ponder upon their own biography, or that of someone they know.

Or we can as well consider the life of the last "endangered" thirty year old lesser black-backed gull of our home lake. From a recently hatched wet weakling to a grownup, a master; a powerhouse that has untiringly scooped the gap between Finland and Australia, or New Zealand, sixty times with its sickle wings, across oceans and lands. Who has sharply mapped into its memory the every island, shoal, pond, the pattern of swamp, field and forest and every human building, power line and felling clearing of its home region and county - and the features of the grand landscapes of vast acreages in Europe, Africa, Asia Minor and Oceania. Whose history contains countless solved problems, coincidences, evaded hazards, hundreds of dramatic storms and cloudbursts; languid, weary heatspells; ordeals and pain, joy, vhim and trivial idling; lost opportunities, missed morsels and embarrassments here, amazing fortune there. Times of fear, crowning moments of pleasure, millions of impressions, millions of moods and their shifts. All in all, a mighty story of success, really a triumph of the learned skill of living.

How can we get the human and gull personalities to fit on the globe? For how many humans and how many gulls there is space, and on what conditions? How do we place our own individual problems, times billion or quadrillion, on the map?

Effortlessly the pieces of the puzzle do not meet each other - not after man created a human mass out of its personalities, sung billions of songs and with them, covered the surface of the Earth into a suffocating coat.

Afterwards, also sorrow grew a billion times. Some choose to bear more of that grief than others, as nothing is distributed equally in the world, is it? I don't see many around me who would lament these matters as much; I mourn, mourn and mourn. And long periods, limply and unproductively, doing nothing. But still I keep my mind clear, figures as figures, facts as facts, assessments of the situation lucid. I try to keep distance to humbug and eyewash, prejudices, attitudes and belief - and to the most dangerous of them all: empty optimism.

1996


Translated 12.8.2006
Light Glimmers In The Population Explosion


The editorial of the last issue of Elonkehä reminded that the meager flashes of light in a black world shouldn't be left unnoticed. In this spirit it is sensible to examine the latest birth rate numbers of Tilastokeskus (Center of Statistics). (We are at the foremost questions here. The fate of the globe's life, the length of its extra time, is in the end determined by the amount of people; it is the definitive problem, ultimately the only integrally important problem on this planet.)

In the various main figures of the ecocatastrophy's progression, Finland is most often number one in statistics and lists compared with other countries, per capita. If EU-countries are taken as comparison, Finland bears mostly the shame of the silver medal in the 1990s birth rate statistics. This arrangement of comparison is sensible, because the strain of an individual is approximately the same in EU-countries.

Beyond the curtain, at the other side of Europe, Poland floats in its own spheres with its flocks of children, but the gross national product, the level of burdening, is correspondingly low (for the moment, may all good forces shield Poland from economical growth!). On the other hand, the birth rate numbers of so-called developing countries are in a whole different league, because the figures of strain are - like the ecologist keeps on reminding - only some percents of those of EU-countries (or industrial countries).

In the year 1997 our country still held the silver medal among the European Union, after the first position of Ireland that has kept stable decades after decades. So, where is the glimmer of light? It gleams as the absolute decline of birth rate, in Finland as well as elsewhere. From this point of view the Finnish population explosion of the years 1992-1995, when birth rate arose to post-war records, is only a bad dream, Finland was then following, with a few year's delay, the almost intangibly sharp peak of birth rate in Sweden when fertility was signified there by numbers 2,14, 2,09... and when Sweden rushed even past Ireland at some year. The figure for fertility means, updated to the year or period in question, the amount of children born per one woman throughout life.

The age of madness quickly passed in Sweden: the fertility of the year 1997 was 1,52. From the level of 1,85 of the horrendous years, Finland has been much more modest in its decrease to 1,75 in 1997, but will clearly keep heading downwards according to the foreknowledge of this year.

The editorial concerning the decline of birth rate in our main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, the head mouthpiece for growth politics, offers perhaps as significant a reason for joy. There the matter is taken calmly and approvingly - and even the universal population explosion is being referred to. This kind of light is a new thing in our press. Perhaps it is a symptom, an omen of insight and understanding that is finally awakening.

Then again, the earlier, totally ignorant voices are still heard in provincial newspapers. The most deluded of arguments are being repeated: who will take care of the elderly when the young age classes are lessening. They seem to pretend to not know that even now all the actual needs of the people, food, clothes, production and distribution of energy, health care and keeping of order are taken care of by 10 per cent (and 0,01 per cent in the future world of robots) of the population. A major share of "employed" people work in the dream world of constrained entertainment, null researches or unproductive and directionless bubbles of information technology or the like.

However, it is a frightening fact that in addition the laws of common mass psychology, birth rate is affected by the family politics of states. Especially in the modern world, where the end of mankind's days also includes the most materialistic period in known history, the number of children is adjusted by the size of child allowances, home care support and similar money rewards.

Instead, religion seems to have diminished in importance in this relation - except for altogether small minorities like the grim throng of our conservative Lestadians. But our other strict religious school, the Jehovah's Witnesses, are already at an opposite line; it's mouthpieces hand out education about contraception and the child amount of the members is particularly tiny. And the incitement by the mighty Pope, "breed and fill the earth", sparks fire only in his own homeland Poland, whereas the birth rate of Catholic countries Italy and Spain (the latest recorded fertility numbers are 1,22 and 1,15) is the lowest in all of Europe. That too is a bright glimmer of light!

Let us hope and pray that our own decision makers would keep their head cool like Helsingin Sanomat do, and wouldn't go on increasing business cycle births in their budgets. And wouldn't forget that the heavy burden of our gnawed country's oversized population is also intensified by immigration, and would tighten the immigration politics. Every child left unborn and every immigrant not intruding into wasteful consumption from a poor country gives extra time for life.

1998


Translated 15.8.2006
The Human Nature And History


Again and again, the fatalistic explanation of "human nature" is offered to be among the reasons for the end of the world. The deeds of mankind are determined by "drives and instincts" and as such, they are inevitable, irreparable.

Of course it is obvious, a truism, that human nature is behind all human actions. But it doesn't make all deeds unavoidable - not deeds of individuals nor communities. The argument that exactly the culture, way of life and direction prevailing at the period of its presenter is inescapable, is intellectually absurd. For example, the known statement of a Finnish prime minister that economical growth, EU, EMU, competition and information technology are the sole option for this epoch and this country, drops him into the pit of bores. In fact, that option has nothing to do with historical inevitability. It is an arbitrary option chosen by him and his kind - a thin group, but amazingly strong and suggestive in their madness.

Even a minute glance at history brings forth a vast spectrum of alternatives. The same human species has created cultures and ways of life in a most diverse manner. Now, at the brink of the world's ruin, the most interesting of them are those preserving and life-affirming cultures, which have had a humble connection with nature, a protecting relation to natural resources. It is notable that they weren't only the kind of compact local cultures that still exist in Africa, Australia and the rain forests of Brazil and Indonesia, but also dominating cultures of their time. In the issue 39/1997 of Elonkehä Satu Hassi presented the neolithic culture that ruled our own Europe a few thousand years ago, which was not familiar with wars and most importantly, controlled technology: a hired hand instead of a master. The article was even titled "War between men and against nature is not in the human nature".

The same urges and instincts of humans do not take sharply different courses only in various parts of the world. Even the same population - Finns, for instance - is at one period infuriated to focus all its aspirations both into killing another man (German, Polish, Hungarian etc. like in the time of the hakkapeliittas, or Russian, like only recently in the 1940s) and getting own population killed. At another period of time - like the 1990s - it takes the preservation of human life to hysterical insensibilities, with incubators and rescue helicopters, without regard for the costs.

A thinker must be unflinchingly exact and open-minded as he researches and balances the cause-effect relations, connections and influences on life of various cultures, different phases of the same culture and morphing spiritual atmosphere. A complete detachment from the confusing spell of the own time, the ability to perceive the tendencies of that time objectively, outside, as comparison, is an unquestionable requirement. Knowledge of history is critical for thinking, but examination of the own time is the most essential of all, as only on it can one write his signature.

What an objective historian of its own time, a researcher of human movements, a cultural anthropologist, discovers in the present of the Western culture? He finds a truly singular spirit of time, way of life and custom, that has broken free of all bounds. The Western culture, pervaded by market economy capitalism, is now unparalleled in greed and frenzy in the history, it has turned even the slightest humility into its opposite; first and foremost in its connection with nature, but also in the relations between humans. So far, it is the unmatched record low of mankind.

Never in history has economy, money, played as central a part in culture as in the countries leading world culture at contemporary times. The vile gambling hell of stocks, exchange rates, basic interests, helibor and prime rates, investment funds, options, derivations, trading income, annual profit or other similar variables; all this rubbish of economical life has never before invaded into the core of society outside of a limited band of crooks.

Never in history has the distraint of natural resources been as panting and raging as now. Almost all of the globe has already been skinned bare. But the very last reserves still remain - still oil in the Barents Sea; still wood in Siberia, Karelia and Pacific islands. And they are being ripped by crooked claws with unparalleled efficiency (the claws of Finns, as always, are even longer and more crooked than other's). There are no limits, no boundaries for construction - suffocating of green earth by another name -, production, transfer and consumption of goods, tourist's bolting from place to another.

Never in history have the leading themes of a culture been such labels, concretely destructive to life and ruining of its quality, as - in addition to money - democracy, individual freedom, human rights. The freedom to consume, the freedom to exploit, the freedom to stomp down. Rights, rights - always rights even when being the most seemingly beautiful: women's rights, children's rights, disabled's rights, ME ME ME. Naked selfishness has a new name, "realizing oneself", and it is the most noble and highest of morals. The words responsibility, duty, humility, self-sacrifice, nurture, care - they are only spat out, if they are met in speech anymore.

With all their mistakes, even such recently buried ideologies as fascism and socialism, which both emphasized communal values and contained restraining norms, were on a higher ethical level. Or Christianity: only a while ago the church stressed fear of God, humbleness and sin, and to counter them; virtue, altruism, responsibility of one's neighbor. Now this run-along, sycophant to earthly power proclaims only forgiveness and mercy... How tremendously distant does the guideline "we came not be served, but to serve" feel - even though it is only decades behind.

Cultural anthropology is familiar with failed, merciless cultures, where fear and terror reigned over the life of a human. They have covered only small areas, lasted only briefly, and they haven't threatened the biosphere of the globe. Now we live the most uncontrollable, terrible and cruelest time in all those countries that hold power over earth.

When such a colossal amount of faults have piled into the culture of the period that the whole human world is one uniform, giant Fault, the hardiness of a thinking and sighted guardian of life is truly put to test. How to dissect, to unravel this chaos, how to fight against some flaw when it tightly connects to another flaw on right and left? The contemporary market economy capitalism; this consequential, clinched shut rivet by rivet, religion of ruin, destruction of the world, extinction, easily feels overwhelming, crushing. Many are crushed, too, throwing in the towel "by their own hand". Even more give up, are paralyzed, move aside; attempt to find a tiny nest of their own, an own little garden, busy themselves with their little bustles, ears plugged. We can all name a long list of these brothers and sisters from among the thinking "greens" and "ecologists".

However, and for all that... The one who anyhow tries to remain coolheaded and to use his energy into changing the course, receives reinforcement of faith from history, and from only there. Enormous, stunning changes have taken place even in the same culture, the same region; sometimes in a positive way, towards the better.

But a reasonable man always takes his models from history. The known history of mankind is already so lengthy that it has all the necessary exemplars for good, as well. The past is always the guideline when aiming for the future. If the future is built from a madman's belief into progress and development, of delusions and scifi-fantasies, the game is certainly over.

1998


Translated 16.8.2006
The World's End Knows No Mercy


Eija-Riitta Korhola is a wise thinker, a true sunbeam in the wretched Finnish discussion (and even better, also in the parliament of EU). In her splendid column (VL nr. 44) she ponders the problem of survival. This theme of themes is close to me - Korhola does refer to that - and I'd like to repeat a few points. I have dealt with them earlier, as well, but audiences do change; not even Korhola can be familiar with all I've written.

The view of the future of wastefully consuming human billions depends on the potency of the imagination of the person in question; is he able to lively imagine the ending days and their most probable procession. I think Korhola has a slight contradiction here. On the other hand, she perceives the atmosphere of our times keenly and obviously correctly: "- what if goodbyes have already been said to goodness? The impression is not born only of horrible and inconceivable news in papers, but the whole cynical period of time". Anyhow, when polemizing against the criticism I expressed against Mother Teresa, she then writes: "Rather even the whole of mankind stepping into the grave, loving each other until the distant, honorable end, than a life and future devoid of love."

It won't go that way, not honorably, but exactly so that the coming ages are - at a fast pace - more and more cynical and cruel. Definitely people won't proceed to the end of diminishing and ruin while hugging each other. The ending stages are indescribably terrible war of all against all, where the amount of suffering is maximal.

My own dream is to evade such an ending, with the aid of both emotion and reason. Logically the only option would be to controllably realize the pruning (of both population and material standard of living: of the strain) before the chaos. In this manner violence could be minimized, and life could go on.

Of course, in reality chaos and a ghastly ending is a far more plausible alternative. My own dream is perhaps only a fraction more realistic than Korhola's is.

I'm not altogether satisfied with the use of the concept "charity" in Korhola's column: I have myself outlined a model of living where brotherly love is being tightly held on to, because without it, the life of any community is intolerable, impossible. But I grasp it by the word: a brother is a human I have direct contact with. I am always absolutely friendly to him, ease his grieves, give advice for the way and rescue from midst the ice.

"Species solidarity", or extending love to faraway populations, is a completely different thing to me. It is forced, fake, against the human nature. It has been established a thousand times that Finns remember Estonia for the rest of their lives, but when 900 drown by a ferry's sinking at the coast of Pakistan, we forget it the day after. Yes, species solidarity is unnatural - fortunately. We don't have to fall into it. Because it is exactly that twisted charity with which we exhaust the natural resources, shatter the systems of earth, ocean and air; nurturing and feeding overly dense populations in all corners of the world, who have squandered the material prerequisites for their own life. And seal the maximum amount of torment and inhumanity as inevitable.

Eija-Riitta Korhola has brought forth the base questions of life. The deepest viewpoint is still amiss. Evolution has developed (or the Creator created, as you will) millions of species of organisms on the globe. They all have their own culture, business life, love life, joys and sorrows. The swelling mountain, at this moment already of three hundred billion kilos of human flesh, is suffocating all these sisters and brothers underneath it - and choking itself only among the last. What is the ratio of matters and meanings, what is the ratio of mishaps?

Yet a little detail: what is the part of someone who is a friend of nature? Does he first suffer the tragedy of his own species in his mind, and then a tragedy a million times larger?

1999


Translated 19.8.2006
No Mercy For The Depressed


I reviewed the country's largest mental hospital of Nikkilä on a summerly bicycle trip. Stately light apartment houses sparsely in a wide forest park; I did not count, a huge number nevertheless. Some remnants of staff apparently lived at the other end of a house, some gym ring of elders at another. All others were utterly empty, an enormous realty worth tens of millions. The same atmosphere prevailed as in those ghost towns of Hungary and East Germany, which the Red Army had left behind and what I have been wandering and wondering the recent years.

I didn't find more about the fate of the buildings while there, as the hospital of Nikkilä wasn't the main theme on my trip. But common sense says that they'll hardly be invented any use for. Who or what would be needing thousands of squares of flats in Sipoo - when it is not even in the community center (the current name for villages) but a couple of kilometers away, in the embrace of woodlands? This wasting is related on one part to that Finnish misfortune where buildings worth billions are deserted around the land, and the same amount is constructed in their place at Great Helsinki, Tampere and Oulu. This insanity propels a life preserver, who calculates values of ecological balance and burden, further into desperation. But another serious aspect in the emptying of mental hospitals is the treatment and fate of mental patients in this country.

The shocking wrong course of psychiatric care is one reason behind it. At us, even all the directions and emphasises of medical treatment vary irresponsibly from side to side by periods of time. Now that outpatient care has been invented as a trendy solution, someone from the dullest head of the line of psychiatrists may even really believe in its superiority versus institutional care.

I myself have no personal experience of other mental illnesses than low spirits, depression, and its treatment - more than anything of that. This disease is actually one of the most severe and ruthless among sicknesses. Someone who has once or more often gone through "severe clinical depression" gets teary-eyed the instant he hears or reads anywhere about someone's depression. And grinning about "woebegones" or "emos" doesn't bring the slightest touch of smile on the face.

It occurred that this deserting of Nikkilä, transferring patients into outpatient care, was right away conversed about with a girl, the guide of Sipoo's old church. The guide commented briefly: "yes, it is an obvious abandonment". I don't know if she had subjective touch or only an empathetic and perceiving state of mind. All in all, a depression patient, who has experienced treatments of various degrees, agrees with the assessment without any reservations.

The causes of dejection are indeed always in the normal spheres of the patient, at home - whether they are related to private life, resulting from the collapse of social relations or other frameworks of life, or caused by existential world pain. Heavy depression cannot ever be cured at home.

On the other hand, a man who has born crushing responsibility of himself, others, sometimes the whole world, experiences an institution to be indescribably relieving, where he for once feels being the target of nurture and caretaking, finally without responsibility. The calmly melancholic, loving climate of the open sections of mental hospitals, where both patients and nurses subtly console each other, is in itself the best possible treatment. A patient who has arrived almost unconscious from anguish, begins to ask himself almost unwittingly that am I justified for this luxury anymore, should the place be given to people even more miserable than me. And he returns back to the world, escorted by merry impressions so that the healing can continue.

Well, institutional care is costly. It is fabulous to be able to get into warmly caring therapeutic gatherings of a most diverse sort in a little group - or anytime alone to a soundproof music room to listen to the symphonies of Beethoven in an immersing leather armchair. But is it more expensive than hospital care of many physical illnesses? Besides, there is more than just the extremities; lavish serving or abandonment of the patient. Certainly there is room to cut the wildest of luxuries if it is really necessary, like with other hospital treatment - and even after that institutional care may still be superb.

As is known, during this decade's years of depression the dismantling of social security was begun in Finland. I recall how I conversed with the environmental minister of the time, Sirpa Pietikäinen, in the years of the deepest depression. We agreed on that the depression was a very positive thing as a whole; it meant saving of natural resources, and lessening of load. And I still remember the agonized expression on Pietikäinen's face when she cried: "but the focusing!" She meant that the reductions in allowances, as is remembered and known, struck teaching, libraries, health care and unemployment security, whereas the benefits of companies and industry, road construction and the allowances of the military remained untouched.

Now when the depression has been almost forgotten and national wealth has risen to incredible heights, social security is still being taken apart at an increasing pace. Now the laws of market economy insist on that society's wealth and flow of money be directed wholly elsewhere. And it is obvious that the market economy demands the mentally ill to be defeated first, those who cannot withstand. Even when cured, they are more unreliable burden than patients with heart diseases or diabetes.

I recall that in the olden times, there was a strange concept and word in language as justice; does someone else remember, too? Under the guise of that idea it would be pointed out that in many groups of diseases, the majority are illnesses of the way of life, or self-inflicted, so to speak. Causes independent of the patient itself hold the largest part in the birth of mental diseases, and most of all, depression: they are a product of the society's toughness and cruelty.

According to the old (obsolete) concept of honor, it would be a severe wrong that the society mauls its own victims aside. It is felt heavily overwhelming also by a protector of life destined with the thought and concern of deep ecology, around who the menace of depression constantly floats about, but who would still like to flutter and wriggle along as a kind of a voice for mankind's conscience.

1999


Translated 24.8.2006
The World And Finland As The Millennium Turns


Man is not a sensible creature, not in the least. The species name it titled itself with, Homo sapiens, the wise handed, could be more like Homo insipiens, the insane handed. Every zoologist, even an amateur, knows, sees and perceives how inexplicably more practically and reasonably animals arrange their life than human does, who is now preparing to receive a new thousand of its strange calendar. Amidst its vast chaos and devastation, it will just barely reach it - but not much further.

Man is a lunatic and not sapiens, but Homo, a handed one, it truly is; that is correct. It is a luminary by its hands, and with that technical ingenuity it has gotten to be the superior bully of everything living, for a while. If only some other animal species was nearly as capable by its hands, and also somehow reasonable in its other life. It would've swiped the human species into the shame and oblivion of history a long time ago already.



Democracy - the seal of ruin

Stupidity culminates in those people who argue, without comprehending a line of history and reading a single sign of time, that man knows what is good for him: "the people do know". From this absurd assumption has a suicidal form of government, parliamentary democracy, born among the tyrants of mankind, the West. It frighteningly looks as if this bubble of bubbles won't burst, and we can abandon all hope as we struggle to the new millennium.

Democracy and public right to vote guarantee that no others than sycophants of the people can rise to the government - of a people who never clamour for anything else than bread and circuses, regardless of the costs and consequences. Even the only possibility comparable to a lottery jackpot, that some intelligent exception would rise to the positions of power, is lost with democracy. This hapless species produces also that kind of rare mutations. Someone like that could control the people and not be led by it, and when necessary, stand up against the people. But the era of hereditary kingship and feudal lords is over, and even the rising of dictators has been made impossible: mankind is carefully preparing for its own death.



Let us examine the human

A sensible man would not plunge on a rollercoaster between booms and depressions, which causes are not in the climate, not in the fluctuation of the production of harvest, caught fish, eggs, meat, wool or cotton, the profit of mountain work or oil drilling, but solely in the human mind. A sensible society wouldn't caress a band of bank managers in its lap, who suddenly forget their decades of university education and skill, and as a brainless horde (in all Western countries) dash off to push billion dollar loans to the people, without guarantees.

A sensible man would not form and maintain factories and businesses, which in one decade (the 1970s) compete with each other by the amount of staff, and hire huge numbers of people whether there's work for them or not, and in another decade (the 1990s) kick out four employees out of five and kill the rest with overtime work. A world of reasonable humans would not know inflation and wouldn't press billions of new price lists and tags every now and then, but would keep the value of money (and bank interest) at the same from one year to another.

And no other than an utter blockhead would all of a sudden begin (knit-browed in negotiations weeks and months long, through day and night, and passionately accompanied, honored with ten-page titles by equally idiotic journalist fools) to combine its workshops, factories and other boutiques with other similar and differing ones, and again into new, massive business giants - although he is well aware that the same businesses and productions function (like before) as well or better in small units. And a sensible creature wouldn't babble the magic words: fusion, synergy, abracadabra, hospotipomiluijaa.



Human, the war hero

Would man wage a single war if he knew what was good for him? Chechnya, Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia, Lebanon, Persian Gulf, Somalia... etc. in an unending, hopeless, tiresome running of bloodshed backwards into the dawn of humanity. If we were rational beings, would the sons of Caucasian steppes and riversides of Don and Volga at the other side, and the sons of Tavastian fields and Turku's marketplaces at this side, be aiming at each other with guns in the snowy forests of Karelia in cold of minus forty degrees?

Yes, and sometimes a ruckus of half a world is set up, and 50 million people are killed and 50 million houses smitten down.



The destructive Finns

The examples of the habits of the standard citizen can be selected from the own country just fine, because all the misery of human can be found in Finland, even accompanied by all the arctic extras - here, at mankind's northern test field of world conquest and clearing. Finland is always the number one in all mischief; usage of raw material, consumption and load. Also wholly own applications of squandering are being practiced.

The fumbling of sauna bathing, unknown elsewhere - millions of Finns in a scalding hot furnace, red and bloated, scratching their skin to rush every other evening -, burns as much carbon dioxide up to the skies as other nations do in warming their houses. In all the engineers' bouts of fury, the Finn always immediately grabs the overpowering world record per capita, whether it was the snowmobile, automatic teller, smart card or water scooter. Just recently a tower of steel almost touching clouds was risen at every hill from Hanko to Utsjoki in a couple of months, without sense, head or tail. The whole skyscape of Finland blinks red light at night, so that bores could tell dull messages to other bores at a terrifying price.

An unique form of monumental wasting is the Finnish vacation housing. 500000 summer villas decorate the strands and isles of Finland (including the tens of thousands of shacks without permits nor having been compiled into statistics). Each have five buildings on average: radiating saunas, smoke saunas, barrel saunas, sheds, outhouses, guesthouses, playhouses, garages, boathouses, barbecue roofs. All told, 100 km² of green productive land has been buried under their foundations (200 m² on average), another 100 km² beneath plantless yards and parking lots, and 2500 km² under cottage roads (5x1000m² on average). Summer cottages have crushed aside 1000000 mammals (a major part being shrews and bank voles) and 1000000 birds (in addition to which hundreds of thousands of birds die to the windows of villas annually), a trillion or quintillion frogs, lizards, insects, spiders. snails, worms, roundworms, white worms, ticks and bacteria, trees, twigs and weeds, grass plants, moss, lichen and fungi. Additionally, the cats and dogs of villas kill hundreds of thousands of animals. The lost acreage of roads still grows from the increments required by cottage traffic and extra lanes in the country's road network. - Yes, elsewhere in the world people have one house - only Norway - another land of bullies - wastes to second homes.



The world champions of squandering

What does a cottage dweller do during the day? He drives around with his motor boat, rolls twice a day to the population center with his car (to fetch beer, 20-50 km) and back. Educators have attempted to nag about the perniciousness of car, emissions, of the decisive effect on the climate change and wasting of earth for decades, every single day. Has it been absorbed? The farmers of the villages surrounding Valkeakoski visit the center once a day (once a week or month would be enough). Never do they arrange a car pool with each other, or take care of each other's bank-, shop- or repair-businesses in turns - or use the blue-grey or red bus of the locality. No, they drive after each other in a line to the city, 20 + 20 kilometers, everyone alone in their car.

These Finns do not drive with their cars and puff smoke from the chimneys of their saunas throughout the year. Nor are they seen in the tens of thousands of communities' vacation cottages or residential colleges, which are not only useless but also empty. For Finns hold all their courses and conferences on cruises (so and so many thousands of liters of heavy fuel oil per trip).

Summer cottages and even cruises aren't the whole of the truth. Two or three times a year they fly to the sunny beaches of south. The price of the trip in the eco(catastrophy) balance, in the shape of burnt kerosene and wrecked ozone, is twice the trips of other Europeans, because the length of the trip is double.

Also building expenses are double because of insulation, and heating costs are manifold - also for the reason that the temperature of Finnish houses (20-25 °C) is higher than in any country of the world, except for the regions of equator. Even the expenses of road building are double because of permafrost. The heavy trucks, with which the Finn has lugged his ridges and shattered rocks into thick mats of roads (and to beaches of cottages), are real powerhouses in damaging the atmosphere. The Finn is expensive, an almost unimaginably expensive pest of the natural economy: an abomination.



The greatest ecocatastrophy of Europe

The acreage of the world's woodlands diminishes tens of thousands of square kilometers a year. Trees of the remaining forests decline rapidly (and transfer into the atmosphere's storage of excess carbon).

Finland, whose forest economy is the largest environmental disaster of post-war Europe, holds the record in the latter statistic. After the clearing of fields that was carried out centuries ago, an even nearly comparable upheaval has not occurred on this continent: Finland's over 200000 km² of forests have morphed into deserts, or bushy prairie at the best. The mean amount of wood in a full-grown forest south of Lapland is 400-500 m³ per hectare. Some years ago the wood reserve of the country was 90 m³ per hectare according to the Forest Industry's (= the Department of Forest Research) own estimation, but it has become evident - for example, along all forest transactions - that there is 10-20 % air throughout the statistic (in farm-specific estimations of forest balance). The actual amount of wood is somewhere between 50 to 70 solid cubes per hectare after the massive fellings of the last years. It is a full 10 % of the volume of natural woodlands.

Slightly more forest than in the most part of the country had endured for a long time in Valkeakoski and Sääksmäki (mostly old spruce woods), but the countdown began in the 1990s. Actual forests, the so-called economy forests, are gone now; the same white opening as fields are at winter. The last tree-filled areas stand out as small islands or tufts midst the wasteland. In terms of landscape, this signifies a larger change than if all the buildings of Valkeakoski and Sääksmäki had been demolished, as there is indeed much more forest floor than settled area. The comparison, however, is lame: if a house burns down, there will be a new one on its place in a year, but it takes 150 years for the forest to come to the clearing.

The fists of devastation have now grappled other types of forest than economic, too. The narrow, rocky woodland girdles of Vanaja's strands, between fields and water, remained untouched until the 1990s; now even their curly rowans, bird cherries and alders are off to the factory. Yard parks, which were still spared in the 1980s, come crashing down - in Ritvala, Huittula, Vedentakaa. Winds blow in the corners of houses, we have returned to the era of wild men, the era when wolves were feared at yards. A harvester at the cemetery of Sääksmäki is the climax.



The green movement came and went

There was a sort of a searching period in the population of the world's educated countries, such as Finland, in the turn of the 1970s and 1980s. Then science brought forth the prospects of the collapse of globe's natural economy: ecocatastrophies. This knowledge was followed by a so-called green wave, green insight. It was pondered, it was discussed, it was considered to move to a saving economy on several sectors of life, to halt the boastful consumption.

But life was defeated. The green insight vaporized and was forgotten, the green movement merged as one with the rampage. You see, business life stood up against, in which circles the most short-sighted, irresponsible, childlike individuals of nations influence; these general managers, councillors of mining and labor union leaders. They promised gleam and glitter, luxury estates for even the deep rows of populace; cars, muscle boats, tropical vacations, supermarkets, where one item out of a thousand is useful. They promised electricity to free man from all the efforts of body and brain - and dazingly thrilling game with stocks, investment funds, derivatives. And the people chose, the magpies chose the glimmering.

No turn occurred in the state of the world, the prognoses and warnings of science, only quickening and steepening of curves. The population explosion, the climate change that heaves the ocean on fertile lowland strands, dries up elsewhere the granaries of Earth unsuitable for cultivation and causes famine; erosion, desertification, ozone loss, the diminishing of drinking water and raw resources, the decrease of woodlands, asphaltation, concretation, pollution, poisoning, the extinctions of organisms - all these rumble on with an increasing pace. People only set these aside, like they evade the thought of personal death in their everyday actions, even though they are aware of its coming.

For the sake of accuracy: at least something happened, even in Finland. The forest industry transferred the pollution of waters into fallouts of the atmosphere. It was an expensive process for the corporations, demanding an immense increase in net sales and forest fellings.



What is "the world's end"?

In the human mind, the end of the world does not mean the ending of the universe, not even our solar system or planet. The globe will stay cycling on. Surely some life will remain after man, at least in the depths of the ocean, which beings take their energy from the warmth of the globe's core, not from the sun. "The end of the world" is recognized as the extinction of the own species, the death of the final individual. There are a few millions of these world's ends in the passing and coming centuries. Mammoth's end of the world is the demise of the last mammoth; the glanville fritillary's end of the world is the death of the last glanville fritillary.

Those who tell of the man's end of the world, which looms in a very near future, the people desperately attempt to call the doomsday prophets, belittling. The gifts of a prophet have, however, not been necessary for a long time. Only the ability to differentiate between unguaranteed optimism and actual reality is needed. The end of the world is a calculatory truism. In fact, only two eyes - and that those eyes are open - are needed to predict it.



Is there anything good in human?

Man no doubt deserves even the most fretted definitions of thinkers: "the cancer of Earth", the terrible mistake of evolution etc. But is there (still) something good in the species, as a part of the biosphere? I think of my own cultural sphere and country.

Still science (standard research, science for the sake of knowledge) and arts are made - those actions, which are the human species' original and different contribution in the animal kingdom. Though, the essential realizations of science have been done long ago, the golden age of visual and musical arts is centuries old. But still something wise and beautiful is being tried to tinker; a grateful sigh for that. And here and there, evermore rarer, some civilized people still lurk about.

There are still individuals, who do deeds of compassion with the fullness of their hearts, among the church, health care and social posts. There are similar people in private life, good in the deepest sense of the word, who brighten and warm the whole human community around them - and who are not swung by the "cacklings of the world".

All of them look after the close spheres of man, apply neighborly love. True greatness is encountered in only those few rare people, who broaden the protection and preservation over the whole of creation, the living layer of the globe. Amid the raging and clamouring rabble, among the frantically accelerating häkkinen's and mäkinen's, still a group of people sworn to environmentalism and guarding of life toss about. A part of them try to influence in clubs and unions, a part alone, each on their way.

It is miraculous that this small and sane core of the people that can combine knowledge and emotion, still manages to try to preserve what is fair and good for as long as possible, is still able to emphasize on patience among the enormous majority of fusses. But these people can battle against the windmills; they cling to the last shreds of nature unraped by man, hang on to the last tatters of forest, try to delay the end, to give extra time for the biosphere, even if only for a second.

These people still ponder, discuss, write, negotiate, attempt to compose saving programs, Natura-programs - which then end up torn to pieces by the landlords' ignorant pack of beasts. It is the greatest wonder of the millennium's turn that there are still protectors, that still faith, hope and love burn within them.

1999/2000


Translated 28.8.2006
War, Man And Kosovo


When two schoolboys enrage to fisticuffs at a break on the school yard, all the pupils on the yard, regardless of age and gender, rush around the fighters to cheer and enjoy.

Man is a stereotypically behaving pack creature. The same laws as at the school yard apply to war, as well. In newspapers, war - nowadays when communication has gone wildly global, a war anywhere in the world - is always the most important, primary news material. The whole mass of six billion gregarious animals roars agitatedly, when a war is achieved somewhere. The pacifist is an eternal loser just like its more broad-minded colleague, the guardian of the whole of the biosphere. The pacifist will have to be disappointed again and again, when the war institution has not died after all, and when it rouses vast joy like before, either open or disguised as terror, by bursting into clear battles.

Also the forgetting mechanism of a pack animal functions stereotypically. When desired, it could be calculated pretty accurately in regards to two variables: in years and months, and in kilometers by the distance to the stage of conflict. We remember the war of Nicaragua only very faintly now, which was the main subject of news - indeed, I can't really say how many years ago, not many anyway. For a long time the Finnish papers or the broadcasting company have not told a glimpse about Nicaragua, the peace there doesn't interest for a column's worth. We don't much hear about Lebanon either, which offered news entertainment for years. And we wouldn't hear even the slightest if it wasn't for Israel who remembers to launch a few guided missiles there at loose intervals, as a little refreshment of memory.

There is also a third variable in the mechanism of forgetting. A war is forgotten the quicker another war is born to quell the fame of the last one. Media should award Yugoslavia with all their prizes for the years long fabulous stream of news. It has indeed arranged (unlike Lebanon at the time, which sustained warfare seemed like a continuous, monotonous bore, at least when viewing from the far North) matters so well that its consecutive struggles can be excitingly perceived as distinct news clusters. The war had been cut finely into pieces so that there is sometimes an appropriately long and clear enough break, and acts are shown distinctly between provinces of different names, in turns.

There was the short Slovenian war, which Slovenia, with all honesty, survived a bit too smoothly and fast to be independent there in the arms of Austria. Then war was being waged between Croats and Serbs, then between Croats, Serbs and Bosnians; the latter ones were categorized very strangely by their creed ("Muslims") and the other participants according to their ethnic origin, as usual. Perhaps the tumult was gotten more interesting that way. It was a nice war for the media and public, anyway; there were horrifying mass rapings and civilian massacres.

It is a part of the senseless stereotypes of war that 18-40 year old men can be freely killed. These killings are awarded with medals and admired throughout the world. Old men, no matter if they are seasoned fighters, are protected as well as boy children until 17 years of age - even though they are of the same population, and nothing never implies that they'd be any worse shooters after growing up, at the latest. The female gender, on the other hand, belongs wholly to the civilian population, harming of which is immense savagery and a war crime according to the international rules. Still, women are a full-fledged part of the warfaring people, the backbone of war. How animatedly do I recall how true the slogan that echoed everywhere, "the home front stands firm", was for the unchecked rights of our national incorporated bank, the forest industry and landlords in the last wars of our country. The weariness, doubt and criticism of the kinsmen from the front who were popping in for a little vacation at the end of the Continuation War, and countering it, the family women's unyielding and absolute will to fight and support, were one of the most powerful memories of the little boy. The faithfulness of the home front was unreserved for the German brothers in arms, and that the little boy unflinchingly learned: I remember my bitter tears when the Germans were then treacherously betrayed.

I must put a reservation at this point. As long as I'm following the stage of battle and the fighting population from the side, I am as helpless as anyone before the mass media. The most phrenetic of all the afterwards uncovered fumblings/frauds of news agencies was the Romanian "revolution" about a decade ago, where the soldiers and police of the government slaughtered tens of thousands of revolutionaries on the streets. Still, as days passed the amount of casualties dropped peculiarly. They stuck at the number of 18000 for a long time; I accurately remember this number because I was belittling it with a friend of mine, and calculated how diminutively small a percentage it is of the Romanian population. But oh the wonder: when the froth of rebellion dissipated, Reuters and the ilk had to gradually admit that the bodycount wasn't 18000, not 1800, not 180, and finally not even 18. Ultimately, only the dictator Ceausescu and his wife were executed in the riot, two powerless old people. And there was no people's uprising or revolution, not even an attempt, but a palace takeover where another similar satrap seized the power. And in the end, not a meter was discovered of that leagues long grid of secret passages, where the secret police of Romania, Securitas, lurked, and of which we could read astounding news for weeks.

I learned enough from that to try approaching news of Bosnia, Kosovo and the like with quite a reservation. Perhaps after the brawl has ended we will receive factual writing of history, and even then only approximately. (It is now being argued very actively about the bodycount of the 1918's red rebellion in Finland.) But when I, fool, now want to tell something about the wars in Yugoslavia, I am compelled to write as if the war news of papers, radio and television were at least half true. In any case, what is certain is that they do not minimize the number of dead and ruins.

This last war in Kosovo, which is seen as sensationally shattering as if there was no similar war in Bosnia, has sparked - again - huge discussion, speculation and searching for the guilty in the faraway Finland, as well. As customary, what is left from the utterly gnawed subject is the phrase "... a black side on each other" - or a black side on all participants. Albanians are as a touching minority in Serbia, as a grand majority in Kosovo, and have invaded there, the core of Serbia, only a couple of hundred years ago and filled the province by their unchecked procreation. In the news photos of Helsingin Sanomat refugee women seem to carry swaddled twins. (As a matter of fact, the Albanian state of Enver Hoxha was an ecological paradise in regards to way of life and living standard, but doubled the populace in a few decades.)

It is also open to interpretations that who started the struggle; the freedom army of Albania armed from head to toe, or the state of Serbia. Yes, other tribes have alternately lived in Kosovo before the Serbs. Does Israel belong to Jews or Palestinians, Karelia to Finns or Russians? These questions are as long as they are wide. They are lucid only to such "ethnic cleansers" as Serbs or fanatics demanding the returning of Karelia.

On the other hand, (at least) two wholly different elements intermingle in the role of NATO, or the United States. There is the sincere and monumentally infantile faith of Americans into a great missionary duty, to the spreading of the only blessing Western democracy, freedom of competition and market economy to all nations. Then, elsewhere is the most cynical rehearsal war of generals, testing of new weaponry. And of course, rejecting Russia offering itself again and again to the propagation of peace, is more cynical than ever - because it is impossible to give a victory of authority to Russia. And then again, war cannot be cut short, either.

I stated that I am beyond distances from the stages of war as a son of the North, and at the whims of news agencies in my ponderings. Not fully so. Just before the butcherings of Yugoslavia, the last years of Tito, I was bicycling around the northern parts of the country one summer. Maybe it is because of this subjective touch that I am so interested in the actually insignificant battles of Yugoslavia.

I haven't been to Calcutta, Cairo or the slums of São Paulo. But I imagine that they cannot be much different from the views in the villages of Yugoslavian lowlands. For leagues, thousands of similar red brick-roofed huts plastered white at both sides of the road, behind them a small pig house, cowshed and a patch of corn, the same old pig fodder plant. Very rarely was there a slim lot inbetween - and there, a waste heap towering at the roofs' height, rumbling to the road. Streets thick with overran animal carcasses, never cleaned off, squashed into map patterns - sparrows, doves, chickens, cats, dogs, sheep, goats, pigs. Rusty signposts - even those few which letters are legible - regularly twisted to the opposite direction.

At the mountains then, even quite low on the hills, the untouched forest comes by; the pygmy owl whistles, nightjars buzz, grey-headed woodpeckers yell, broods of long-tailed tits gallop, the robust fledglings of the goshawk fly shrieking over the road. Unlike some vigorous populations elsewhere along my travel routes, these people have not embanked and scaled these highlands for cultivation, fortunately. There they do not live or move, of them they do not care or fight for. They struggle for their villages that are crammed until suffocation, for carrions and junkyards, their unbelievably desolate monoculture. I can't do anything about it that I see all these Yugoslavian wars as wretched. War is always latent under the surface of nations. But to erupt every now and then it needs a particular reason, often many reasons, even the same fight. The disgusting tragedy of overpopulation is strongly behind the wars of Yugoslavia.

What generalities should be seen in these wars? At least it's characteristic to them that there are negligibly few victims, the population growth of even the warfaring parties plummets hardly for a day. With only a slight exaggeration it can be said that more men fell in one battle of the Winter War than in all Yugoslavian wars put together. What about Verdun, Stalingrad... Or the civilian massacres that churn even the soul of a Finnish blockhead? Some hundred or thousand people. It isn't necessary to think only about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as hundreds of thousands perished in the ravaging bombings of German cities, as well: Dresden was razed along with its people. They weren't war crimes, as they were committed by the great winning nations. Now, both the same bombers of the German cities and bombers of London are bombing Yugoslavia together, hand in hand. It is no miracle that Serbs propagate themselves as multiple heroes and as Davids against Goliaths.

Few people die in Yugoslavia, but matter, buildings and structures are being annihilated even more than that, and proportionately record-breakingly. The pacifist may see positive development here, if comparing to the Second World War.

But the guardian of the biosphere, who estimates the state of the world from the viewpoint of the population explosion and consumption of matter and energy, sees no light. He knows that the most horrible part of war, reconstruction, is still ahead. The refugees will presumably wander back very soon in almost full numbers. Only the group, which has seized the chance and slipped off to countries of a higher standard of living, is amiss from the figure. But the tremendous birthrate has mended even this gap already during the refugee months.

No doubt a crashing and bustling more vast than war will begin soon when the columns of trucks, trains, planes and ships of all the construction companies of the world charge into Kosovo and Bosnia and Serbia and Croatia with their materials and equipment, concrete, steel and glass, pipes and planks and poles, wires and cables, powerplants and transformers, oil, gas and electricity. Also YIT, Ruola, Haka and Puolimatka or their bankrupt's estates rage there in the frontline. Only then the world will truly tremble.

1999


Translated 28.8.2006
An Editor On A Stray Path


The editorial column of Helsingin Sanomat is rather uneven. Alongside good realizations the reader has to witness severe errors every now and then. Sometimes even two adjacent articles contradict each other so that the slapping is heard.

On Monday 30/10 the other of the two subsequent articles demands dropping down the reckless speeds of Tallinn's ships, with a mighty and keen use of words. It is a writing worth ten points.

But the other one deals with Russia's population, and is utterly dimwitted, beginning from the title: "A severe population crisis". It is "worrisome" that the population of Russia is calculated to narrow down from 145 million to 100 million in 25 years. The editor wishes productivity for the Russian economy and money to health care, so that the "dismal prognosis" wouldn't come true.

Simultaneously, Helsingin Sanomat reminds almost daily that joining the European Union (the favorite of Helsingin Sanomat) was primarily a security-political solution ("although only now it can be said in public"). In other words, Finns are afraid, fearing Russia. Are they less afraid of a Russia of 145 million people than one of 100 million? Where's your common sense?

Secondly, and most importantly, we are all aware that the population explosion is incomparably the greatest threat to the lifetime of this tiny planet, a problem beside which all the other difficulties of mankind and the world pale into bagatelles. So, we have to joyfully hope - or pray - for the Russian population to decrease to 100 million, and then onwards to 10 million - and that all other nations would follow the example.

2000


Translated 1.9.2006
"That Bullet Knew Its Place"


On September 11th, some of the tall buildings of the World Trade Center in New York, and a corner of the military's main headquarter's barracks in Washington, were smashed with hijacked passenger planes.

The incidents were unimportant in the scale of mankind, but the reaction they roused in the world was terrifying. Overeaten Western countries, choking to their wasteful consumption, were possessed by incredible shock, panic and chaos, alongside with the United States. This way, the attack indeed gained significance. Still, such overstatements like "the world is off its course", "the world will not revert back" are of course pure rubbish.

Hysteria was born even in Finland: there were writings oozing with blood-lusting fury, a flood of flowers to the embassy of the United States, crisis aid and on the other hand, offers of help from even the governmental level. An observer remembered the perceptive Hannu Taanila's recent list of the states of USA: the last ones being Alaska, Kuwait and Finland.

Never before have foreign casualties awakened as great sympathy, never before has the agony of relatives been underlined like now. And still, it was a truly petty brawl by the amount of victims, if we make comparisons to the recent history of mankind. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed in the bombings of Dresden and Hamburg, masses in London as well, not to mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A million civilians died in bombings, artillery fire and hunger in Leningrad. Or even newer history - where is the mourning flagging for Grozny, Baghdad or Kosovo?

Surely the amount of dead in New York cannot be counted by that messy den; we do remember that we never got to know who after all was voted as the president in the last elections. However, from what I've gathered there were only a couple of thousand dead.

But those who died weren't generally humans, but Americans, and not even just any Americans, but priests and priestesses of the supreme God of this age, the Dollar. The passengers of domestic flights aren't either a valid take of the people, but of a wealthy, busy, environmentally damaging and world-gnawing part of the populace.

The force and pull of money and power, which is apparent everywhere in even governments fawning upon the United States and assuring friendship, is almost incomprehensible.

It took days before something else than being horrified of the human evilness and the hatred of madmen was offered as an explanation in our media for the incident - an analysis, which is still the topmost. Satu Hassi, who complained of the United States' political course, was the first to express distinct stressing - apparently too early, because she had to apologize publicly. In fact, she regretted the timing of the statement immediately in the shocked atmosphere, even though she didn't give up the point itself: the United States should also have a look in the mirror. After that, voices of reason have as well joined the discussion. Even Ulla Klötzer, who was quite clear-cut in rolling on the massive villainy deeds of the United States in Helsingin Sanomat, has received room for columns.

As a matter of fact, the United States is the most colossal aggressive empire of the world history, which map of military bases throughout the world confuses the spectator. Through them, it spreads its economical and cultural world power by profaning, subjugating and silencing. In all continents it finances and arms the governments and guerrilla movements it favors, sometimes one, sometimes the other; arranges their death squads to liquidate dissidents, and wages war by itself when needed. From one year to another it bombs the old proud Iraq, every now and then, as a reminder. It is the most bastardly villainous state of all times. Someone who is familiar with the world and comprehends connections can easily imagine how colossal hate the United States evoke in the whole third world - and also in the Western thinking minority - as corrupted, swollen, paralyzing and suffocating.

On these grounds the assumption may be confirmed, that third world activists were behind the bombings in New York and Washington; people who wage a desperate battle against an overpoweringly gigantic enemy for their fatherland and faith - much like Finns in the Winter War. Regardless of how alien their religion or culture was, they certainly deserve all the sympathy we can give. The United States have a bitter opposition of their own, as well; we do remember the Unabomber, don't we, whose thought-out and sage alternative model of society also Elonkehä presented by translations at a time. But it will hardly have the energy and ability for an operation such as the one that occurred; the skill, competence and courage of which has made the military experts gasp for breath even here - well, after they have first performed the obligatory condemning ritual in the public.

The searching and naming of "culprits" has gained even farce-like characteristics in the United States. The blockhead, who has been entitled president in obscure conditions, defined the kamikaze-flyers as cowards in his first statement... Afterwards he has told that the question is no longer about terror, but war, in which the USA and its 250 million are one side, and the other is a private person, an admittedly noble-featured and evidently determined sheik from the Middle-East, who has to "be caught either dead or alive". He has gotten a large group of madmen hired for atrocities with big money (the only point of view that Bush understands).

Also the tinkerings of the small Finland-state go over to farce's side, such as emergency status of the border guard service after the falling of towers in the United States. Even the smallest will take off of the ground. I am reminded of how after a strike by the brigades of German Reds, large police forces were mobilized to the fells of Lapland to look for a young German, who was revealed to be a hiking student boy.

To stay within the home country, I'd like to give some lessons. It would be desirable that at least all those, who idolize our Winter War, would stop being sanctimonious about violence, generally as well, altogether and ultimately.

It should also be kept in mind that the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is a line drawn in water: the title depends on the observer and varies according to the judgement of history. We do have a pure example: infantry soldiers, who violently stood against a lawful government. They received their guerrilla-/military training far away on foreign land exactly like the Palestinian guerrillas, who struck at the München Olympics, or the Reds of Italy and Germany. For all we know, they were trained in South Yemen or Lebanon. One side of the infantrymen were madcap adventurers, the other fanatic patriots. If our civil war had ended in another way, they would have stayed under the terrorist-label for a long time.

Still, the oppressive measures of the United States against the world's cultures and populations are not the most grave of catastrophes. The most severe factor in its supremacy is the leading position as the cradle and engine of global economic growth. Unbound economic growth exploits and rapes nature and natural resources; earth, oceans and air.

So stand these three: Father, Son and the Holy Ghost: Dollar, Economic Growth, Market Economy. Two Gods clashed against each other in New York: Allah and Dollar.

The servants of Allah sacrificed their own lives and the lives of a couple of Dollar's disciples here and now. The pursuit of the servants of the market economy is to murder the whole creation and mankind as soon as they are able to. The deep ecologist and protector of life, the guardian of life's continuity, would certainly choose Allah when the going gets tough.

Knowing this, the tower of the World Trade Center was the best target of all the buildings in the world, both symbolically and concretely. It was a magnificent, splendid choice.

No matter how great the joy from the bullseye suddenly is, the consequences begin to raise thoughts at once. What are the long-term effects like?

Although human mass deaths are always positive in the light of the population explosion, a few thousand lives are a mosquito's whimper - even then, when quality would replace quantity. But elsewhere the influence seems truly significant at the moment. Economic growth seems to plummet at least a bit in the world. Air traffic, the worst mode of traffic, is being decreased. Foreign trade seems to slow down; destructive tourism and international interaction seem to be growing more difficult. Surveillance and police actions always choke the raging business life. All facts like these give "extra time for nature", to use the title of the late Olli Järvis's collection of essays, cited on multiple occasions.

By the bitter tenets of life, optimism has always proved to be unguaranteed. But, would there be a reason for it this time?

Elonkehä 26.9.2001


Translated 7.9.2006
A View Into The State Of The World, Or The ABC Of The Deep Ecologist - Chapter One


Repetition is the mother of education. Nothing new under the sun. I will refresh some basic issues central to the biosphere. Patience is a virtue.

First of all, the explanation for the world is simple. Matters are always easy to understand when desired so. Very many people have a peculiar tendency to complicate things. Perhaps they think that the world is more interesting that way. A thinker does not complicate matters, does not favor confusion. Thinking is reduction, pruning.

Second of all: the relativist ("on one hand but on the other hand"-people) is wrong. From the same starting point, foundation, premise, only one conclusion can be arrived at. In other words: there is only one truth to each thing.

There are a few important matters, scantily significant equations. There is only one considerable problem in the world: the impoverishment of life, and the lessening of richness and diversity.

Only one remarkable process is going on: mankind and the others of creation battling for living space. Mankind's inner disputes are interesting only indirectly; through to what degree their effects are either preserving or destructive to the biosphere.



Nihilism is not of this world

There are wiseguys who pretend to question the value of life, and tell that the continuity of life on the globe is indifferent. Or that it is a lesser interest than some producer of temporary pleasure that is threatening it (like human rights, democracy in the world of men). There only truth herein is that the continuity of life is an unshaken basic foundation in every creature, including every human individual. When the obliteration of life is tangibly at hand, even every nihilist will straighten up.

There are also know-alls who refer to the universe and the meager significance of our own star. The sole truth of this question is that no animal, not even man, is capable of comprehending the value of the universe. The cosmos, the space, is unimportant. Only our own solar system is reality.

At the upper echelon of matters the subjection is evident: there is nothing above the requirement of the continuity of life, all other interests are below it. As he stresses on factors beneficial to the preservation and continuing of life, the deep ecologist is always above other argumentation.



The useless strategy of man

Even if we gathered phenomena only from the surface of mankind that were conserving and decimating of life, we need some explanation.

Already centuries ago, man has broken loose of the system of nature, the equilibrium of populations regulated by food chains. Man is no longer a part of nature. It has no competition whatsoever with other life forms and - after its laboratories have defeated all notable diseases - no threat of any kind from nature. It is a completely sovereign ruler of the biosphere.

Like other animal species, man has controlled its production of offspring through times, but - unlike other species - wholly inadequately. Prosperous and sufficient regulation is known from only some phases of the early history. Man has also limited his consumption of natural resources, but entirely insufficiently.

Now a new historical age, market economy, has begun in the major part of mankind, where there are no bounds anymore to the clearance sales of natural resources. When also breeding is still uncontrollable, even though population numbers have risen to a horrible, murderous degree, man has reached a stage of development where it will supersede other life forms from the planet with a very fast pace, and will eat itself among the last.



The objection of the deep ecologist

The guardian of life, the deep ecologist will not accept that progress as the end of evolution. He denies the dominating position man has taken for himself. He notes that there are also preserving qualities and substance, humility and abstinence, within the human species. They appear in a part of populations both as customs of the way of life and thinking and outlooks. The protector of life tries to strengthen them so that the progress leading to utter devastation would stop, after all, or at least slow down. The best example of the inclusion of sustaining elements within the human species is the deep ecologist itself.



The world's greatest love

Evolution is not suicidal to the deep ecologist. For him, evolution is perpetual enrichment (until the sun dies out). All the time filling of evermore newer ecological spots and through that, more and more both diversity, plenitude of forms, races and species, and amount of organisms. Constantly more speciation than extinctions of species (more success than failure), more and more of joy of life.

It is this whole that the deep ecologist loves. Therein is the grandest beauty, grandest wealth, grandest love. He does not comprehend the Christian-Humanist love for man, which encloses only a nation or mankind within its clasp even at its best. To him, it is inbreeding, egotism, masturbation.

What is the position of human for the preserver of life? It is an interesting, splendid species, and the deep ecologist fights with all his might for its enduring as a species. But the billions are a threat, not a subject of love.

The development of man to a churning mass species is insane even as just a thought, and its approval inconceivable. Already by its nature; as a large predator heavily consuming with its vital functions and needs, man is possible in the biosphere only in sparse quantities. It must also be remembered that the trait characteristic to human species, self-awareness, requires scanty amounts. The identity collapses from man within masses of billions, value and meaningfulness are lost from human life.


Translated 7.9.2006
A View Into The State Of The World, Or The ABC Of The Deep Ecologist - Chapter Two


The deep ecologist recognizes and perceives that the relations between nature and man are a matter of space. Human rights = death sentence to the creation. Also the existence of human species is in the end a question of room. So, also human rights = a death sentence to mankind. Only quantities are essential. The globe has its size, it will not grow larger. Its resources have their amount, they will not increase. Life may not be mathematics, but its framework is.

The deep ecologist both thinks and observes, incessantly, the surrounding world, mankind and society in their relation to nature. It can be seen that public authorities have already budged slightly towards protection of life (The Kyoto protocol, nature reserves dismissed of economic usage), but those actions are cosmetics in the avalanche of the overall load. And they will remain cosmetic if they still do not touch upon the structures, overpopulation and the base of economy of Western societies.

It is still correct that the worst enemies of life are on one hand excess life, excess human life, and on the other, the legislation and order of societies existing in market economy. The sturdier a society is, the deeper the state of peace; the more efficient the economic growth is, or the ransacking of natural resources, and the quicker other life forms step aside. Everything that sways the lawful societal order, causes chaos and panic, gives extra time for nature and in the end, for humans as well.



War

Wars between men are of great interest to the preserver of life, because they seem to imply possibilities. War is an institution, quickly and all the more often used, loved and worshipped by nations, like a readily existing institution for the pruning of populations.

Still, the rules of wars until now have extremely fatefully embodied guarantees of the continuation of the population explosion. It is difficult for the deep ecologist to not sink into despair: is the ecocatastrophy integrated within the function of man after all?

Wars have, according to their rules, lopped significantly only young males, which are useless material in the breeding potential of the species. Even a massive number of dead males causes a buckle of only one generation wide in the populace, because there are practically always enough of these males left to procreate - alongside with old males dismissed of warfare - with the almost fully spared fertile female population.

Then, the law of large age classes known throughout the animal kingdom has swiftly mended the cut in population, and made the achievements of war void. The patching is even done with all the interests, so that the population grows more in the long run than if there had not been a war.

On the other hand, business life - or war against the creation - is seriously disrupted when people battle with each other: the time of war is always magnificent and life-preserving. But the same disastrous law that applies to the population, holds true with business life as well. War is followed by a frantic season of rebuilding, which enlivens and inspires to technological advancement and raging investments; economy leaps forwards.

Also the most destructive forms of man's procreative activities like tourism, vacation building and bullylike sports, are paralyzed during war along with business life. But after it, the populace will frenziedly "make up for the losses".

It would spark hope only if the nature of wars would morph so that deductions of persons would noticeably target the actual breeding potential: young females as well as children, of which a half are girls. If this doesn't happen, waging war is mostly waste of time or even harmful.



Democracy - the religion of death

Man has learned nearly nothing even when confronted with the end of the world. Still the majority of people do their daily decisions based on what they want, or what pleases them.

The deep ecologist never intermingles the preferences or distastes of man, not of own or others, with matters. He makes his judgements and creates his guidelines by what is feasible - without diminishing the possible richness of the biosphere, endangering its continuity. Democracy listens to the whims of man, the will of the people. The consequences are frightening. The suicidal society that we see around us is what follows.

Democracy is the most miserable of all known societal systems, the heavy building block of doom. Therein the unmanageable freedom of production and consumption and the passions of the people is not only allowed, but also elevated as the highest of values. The most incomparably grave environmental disasters prevail in democracies. Any kind of dictatorship is always superior to democracy, leading to utter destruction more tardily, because there the individual is always chained, one way or other. When individual freedom reigns, human is both the killer and the victim.



The heresy of non-violence

Man has not learned nearly anything: there are people being sanctimonious by opposing violence regardless of the world's state, presumably until the end of it. These people cannot detach from their own preferences, the opinion of the majority (which is disrupted only briefly at times, when it is shifted to the gear of delightful war). Lilting in peace and love must be sweet, there's no doubt of that. But, it is nonsensical and disastrous. When the surface of the world is covered by the smothering shroud of six billion people and all their requisites, pacifism is dead.

Nothing is as much a case of its own, or as unsuitable as an example as Gandhi's teaching of peace is. Mahatma Gandhi was backed by 400000 Indians and opposed by 1000 soldiers of the British colony. That was a fine moment to preach the message of peace. The minority, on the other hand, has no other chance than violence against violence; tougher, sharper, more clever, enormous and fanatical violence; a more steely conviction against no matter how colossally superior power. There are examples of both heroic defeats and successes in history. We ourselves remember a fine example of the success of a tiny minority's violence, the Finnish Winter War. And there's an example a hundred times more brilliant than even that: a recent act of war, where a handful of morally and intellectually superior people managed to severely wound a mighty world power.



The changing moral

The thinker and author Eero Paloheimo, who of all Finns has been the most tireless in reasoning the possible alternative models of saving the world's life, commented the hits of New York and Washington. He thought it nullified all "prattle", like he calls writings, presentations, declarations, demonstrative marches - those methods, which have been the only ones he himself, and the author of this as well, have dared to use. They are as good as nothing. The only thing that is effective, weakens and shocks the imposing organization of world destruction, is extreme violence.

I myself wouldn't go all that far. Babbling is needed in the groundwork; it has to be first told what the question is all about. But if the prattle and groundwork do not lead to any palpable confrontation; if the option of violence or cowardice, sloth and desire for comfort eventually seizes power, it truly is empty and futile.

As the world's ruin advances and the population explosion gains in power, the conclusions and doctrines of not a single thinker and lodestar are permanent; everyone is but a child of their time. The knowledge and teachings of even as grand a philosopher and ethic as Jesus of Nazareth have to be looked against the light of that period's number of people and the overall stress, as well as the frequency of extinctions. And it will be observed that his message and moral is for the most part obsolete, unusable.

The crippling human cover over the living layer of Earth has to be forcibly lightened, breathing holes punctured to the blanket, the ecological footstep of man amputated. Forms of boastful consumption must be violently crushed, the natality of the species violently controlled, the number of already born violently reduced - by any means possible.

It has to be realized that as we have arrived to the third millennium according to our calendar, there is no human individual, only populations. No individual suffering or pleasure, only the pruning and survival of populations. And the innocent animals, plants and fungi, those that still remain.

2002


Translated 9.9.2006
The United States - The Enemy Of The World


There are many positive displays of mankind in the United States; magnificent universities, splendid art life, thinkers, critics - all the way to the distinctly living Amish. But the faint flame of culture flickers even in the most wretched of nations, as minorities never characterize any nation or state. The United States is characterized by the primary thoughts and objectives of the government and president, state bodies elected and supported in a multitude of polls by a huge majority of the people.

We can then use the term United States with full justification, when we establish that superpower to be the greatest threat to world peace since the Second World War. And state that it is creating, and has already done so, an empire, which width and distances from the mother country are unrivalled, already incomparably broader than the bygone British empire and their oppression. Gustaf II Adolf, Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin are kneepant-wearing small boys in this respect.

The whole own continent has been for long in USA's chokehold; it has been quite a while also since Halldor Laxness cursed bases in his Iceland: "wicked devil of Keflavik". Continent after continent and country after country has the United States's military might spun its spiderweb, even in its former southern states immediately after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. If dollars are of no aid, weapons of precision are taken to use, like last time in the furious war of annihilation in Afghanistan.

The struggle with Iraq that is topical at this very moment, does not bring anything fresh to the development, and is merely a new chapter in a serial story. The other world's reaction is most interesting - and at the same time, most shocking. Even the doves of various countries do not speak about the insanity of the whole arrangement; they do not ask, why precisely Iraq. They do not say without mincing words that the globe is full of dictatorships of different degrees and various kinds of killing weapons in all countries, and Iraq is no special case. There is a big host of nations with nuclear weapons, and Iraq isn't even part of them. Why the European does not demand weapons inspections to all countries, first of all of course the United States, the only country that threatens with them, and the only one that has used them?

Herd souls join the delusional babbling of the United States, and think knit-browed how to disarm Iraq without direct war. Why exactly Iraq? What is the specific fault in Saddam? The United States spread so fantastic stories of the cruelties of his government, that even a little child should understand them as awkward propaganda. Of course he is a dictator, a "tyrant" - dictatorship has been that continent's model of governing for thousands of years. He oppresses Kurds, and so do Turkey and Iran; it is the peculiar fate of the Kurds. Iraq and Iran? They have waged border wars, and they are waged in every corner of earth in turns. And Kuwait - everyone who glances at a map can see that that current garbage state of corrupted half-American oil tycoons is out of all the most natural coastal province for Iraq.

Oil has nothing to do with the brawl in Iraq, either. Iraq has sold and will sell oil exactly like (unfortunately) all other oil producers of the world.

An explanation - the sole one - for the special status of Iraq is that a people and a proud ruler, who is bold enough to openly oppose the United States, dwell there. But how even old European countries take part in the choir of the US of A - instead of admiringly rooting for Iraq and Saddam? Even in Finland, that has only recently experienced the Winter War, Lipponen and Halonen come as a good second in fawning the attacking superpower just after the miserable Blair of Great Britain! The world isn't repulsive, it is even more repulsive. No other Olof Palme has appeared in the world politics, who attempted to introduce moral to the relations between nations in a respectable manner. Well, it was actually desperate.

It is said that history repeats itself. The cases of the small-scale world conqueror Adolf Hitler and this George Bush are oddly similar. It was Hitler who was popping Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland's corridor into his mouth, and other nations kept only nodding for a long time. Like Timo Helle has noted, the analogy goes even further: both Nazis and now Americans have created an altogether alike overman myth. At least there's the distinction that Germans did have some proof for their conception.

When the German panzer divisions at last charged against the cavalry squadrons of Poland, Western powers woke up and declared a war of discipline. Germany was caught between fronts, and was eventually put to its knees.

One would wish for the comparison to continue on the same course. The only pleasing solution would be that European and Asian countries would cut all their diplomatic-, trading- and cultural relationships to the United States, and left it boiling in its own mess beyond the ocean. When oil imports would be left on the shoulders of Venezuela, the crusher of the Kyoto protocol, destroyer of the atmosphere, the arch enemy of mankind and the creation, the crater of market economy belching fire and lava, could perhaps cool down a bit.

Elonkehä 26.2.2003