perjantaina, elokuuta 04, 2006

Interesting post

This post looks at the history of Finnish independence and some similarities to the problems Lebanon is facing. Interesting read for anybody interested in how nations are built.

9 kommenttia:

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

I didn't see a word about how nations or governments are built. Besides, there was a well-functioning government in Finland when Finnish NGOs invaded Soviet Union - as the post says.

So the post you linked is definitely NOT about how nations are built. It's not even about how and why a national defense system has been established or re-established. It just says that it is re-established, that's all.

The post is full of anecdotes like this: "When Finland made peace with Soviet Union, these NGOs were unhappy, and tried to destabilize the country by, e.g., murdering the minister of internal affairs (responsible for the border security)."

I can't understand where the claim that NGOs were trying to destabilize Finland has come from(?). I know that these NGOs didn't like about each other but it doesn't mean that they tried to destabilize the country.

There is a Wikipedia article about the things said in the quote. If you read it and compare to the quote above you'll get a very much different view about things. The post links also to this Wikipedia article:

I think this one is better if you want to know how governments are built

Iiro kirjoitti...

Mr. Anonymous. Maybe it would be better to comment my article directly.

The article is not about how governments are built but about stability of systems. Running a stable government, with a stable political party system for more than a generation gave Finland the human capital, which is essential to a stable independent country. Of the European states gaining independence in the years 1900-1922, only Norway, Finland, Ireland and Czechoslovakia remained democracies all the way to 2nd WW (and beyond). All other new countries fell to dictatorships of different levels (Baltic states, Poland, Balcanic states,...).

The situation in Norway was somewhat similar to Finland as Sweden-Norway had been a personal union.

My article was short and simplified to point out some similarities to Lebanon. About the attempts to destabilize Finnish political system, a way more complete account can be read from, e.g., Martti Ahti's book "Kaappaus" (Coup d'Etat), 1990. Also the book "Ryssänvihassa Elmo Kaila" (In hate of Russians, Elmo Kaila) by the same writer, 1999, gives valuable background into the inner circle of Finnish "activism" of the 10's and 20's.

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

Iiro, Actually I don't have a huge problem with your article but Mikko's introduction of it:

"Interesting read for anybody interested in how nations are built."

ktel kirjoitti...

The stability of systems is not all about official political parties but about a tradition of influencing your own neighbourhood. Through whatever government there was. That of Sweden-Finland was far from the worst in human history. Government in Finland started early on even if the centralised power was somewhere else than physically in Finland. I get a feeling that you haven't read Finnish history before 1809? I hope I'm wrong :-)

Iiro kirjoitti...

Finland did not have the government offices to run a country, nor did it have a separate economy (own money, own budget, own customs area) before 1809. Of these, the tradition was built in the years from 1809 to 1917.

Of course we had regional governors, own church governance (own bishop and diocese) and county system. These are far from a central government.

Also the stability of political parties was important, so that the people already knew which parties represented which ideas in 1919. Also the parties had somewhat stable politics by that time. Way more stable than they would have been if the party system would have started after the independence.

Mikko Särelä kirjoitti...

I said that the post is interesting for anybody who has in an interest in how nations are built. I didn't say that the post was about nation building. Instead, the post shows one big hurdle that any would be nation builder will have - which is how to help people to learn to cope and use political structures.

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

Actually I didn't see anything about nation building - let alone "how nations are built". Of course I have no control of your understanding of those terms but personally I'll stick to the common definitions.

The post is mainly about a society where government already exists. The army is just temporarily abolished.

The only thing which refers even remotely to *nation-building*, is the on you said:

"the post shows one big hurdle that any would be nation builder will have - which is how to help people to learn to cope and use political structures."

As you can see - that quote doesn't tell *how* nations are built. It's just a note of what should be taken in consideration in nation building. There is absolutely nothing which says how.

That tiny notion in the last paragraph barely makes the post interesting for a would-be nation-builder.

ktel kirjoitti...

yes iiro, but on what grounds, and what laws did finland build up its governmental system the day they finally HAD to becuse of the russian occupation ;-)i might be paranoid about other people's knowledge of history(since so much is interpreted for political reasons afterwards)but i happen to know that finnish students(peruskoulu) don't read any history about the time before 1809 anymore(well some stoneage and stuff, but then a big leap when it comes to finnish history...), voluntarily perhaps but not as part of the compulsory course. That's why i react to any attempt of saying that the russian period was especially good for this country...well, if you believe in self defense as a systematical method, then perhaps. but what happened was an effort to keep the already achieved freedom and wealth, and not become a part of a much more old fashioned way of ruling, the russian one...alexander II was kind spirited too, so finland had its chance(and took it)to get written down something that had been everyday life for hundreds of years before that....

Iiro kirjoitti...

Finnish government system built after 1809 was based on the Swedish system of Gustav III. As the czar (Alexander I) had promised to uphold the old laws of Finland and grant Finland autonomity, there was no other option than building a full government system in Finland - as Russia had a very different system.

Finland was also a testbed for liberal ides of several successive czars who did not dare to test their ideas in Russia, fearing they would open a Pandora's box. Swedish system was also not a very big concession, as the system built by Gustav III after his coup provided the head of the state wide authority over the government.