Chapter VI - The World And We
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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,
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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 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
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,
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
"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
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
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
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
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
By the bitter tenets of life, optimism has always proved to be
unguaranteed. But, would there be a reason for it this time?
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
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 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.