Some time ago, I saw on YouTube an educational video for future civil activists made by the Finnish Left Alliance chair person Li Andersson. She states in the video that political changes always start at the grassroots level. Statesmen, politicians, and decision-makers serve only as middleman. In theory, that is how it should be in a democratic country, where people have the power. Politics should reflect the will of the people. That is, what the people think is right and reasonable.
This idea was also expressed by Olaus Petri, who wrote The Rules For Judges about 500 years ago and is still on the front pages of the Finnish Law book: ‘The good of the common man is the supreme law; and therefore, what is found useful for the common man shall be deemed the law even if the words of a written law would seem to order otherwise.’
For Li Andersson civic activism is predominantly disobedience and she speaks, as if activism and disobedience had value for their own sake. At the end of the video, she lists clear steps to mobilize activists:
1. Decide,which problem(s) you want to focus on (set your agenda) – what kind of things you want to advance and what you want to achieve.
2. Form a group of like-minded people
3. Act to achieve your goals
As such, these steps seem reasonable as a direct action guidelines. However, I was puzzled when Li Andersson said in the end of her presentation that no one should fall into the most common “blunder” of activists, that is to say to try to increase public awareness of the problems. She thinks that the most important thing is direct action and in particular, to try to influence people in power.
Of course, this is the most effective way to act and the effects are likely to be beneficial to all, when the activist sees the overall picture of things and has common sense. However, this is not always the case. It is possible to form a group of like-minded people to advance any kind of brain fart. Like closing entrance holes of bird houses with duct tape or to “liberate” fur farm foxes to “return” to nature, under the guise of animal protection. For some, the occupation and confiscation of other people’s property does not cause any kind of repentance whatsoever, so even for this kind of actions suitable co-operation partners will be found after some carefree parties by snapping the fingers. And when one gets into the swing, people celebrate around cars that have been turned upside down (if not set on fire) like in the big world.
In Li Andersson’s view, it is a mistake to try to increase public awareness of the problems. Of course, it would slow direct action. However, it would be highly desirable not only to increase awareness of the people, but most importantly to expand own awareness and perspective. In this regard, listening to deviating opinions would be very important. The worst brain farts might not be supported, if activists would understand the consequences of their own actions and the fact that civil disobedience and activism are not insintric values. All activities have a causal relationship and the value of our activities depends on how constructively we work to benefit the whole society.
It seems that all politicians have been taught in a school similar to Li Andersson’s disobedience lesson. Last spring we have been following how an activist and his partners have tried to take over the party set up by Paavo Väyrynen, a veteran Finnish politician. It has brought to my mind developments in the 1990s, when politicians made decisions that made it possible, to seize companies and to rob entrepreneurs’ properties. 60,000 companies were declared bankrupt and 500,000 people lost their jobs. 14 000 – 15 000 entrepreneurs committed suicide. This is a terrible number in a country with only 5 million people.
Our representative democracy no longer represent the people, but the most important thing is direct action that favours big investors, multinational companies and corporations. Infrastructure that has taken decades to build with taxpayers money, which are state’s natural monopolies are sold to foreign investors. At present decision makers do everything to crash the Finnish public healthcare system and in the future private companies should provide health care services. As we know, private companies want to maximize profits, to the detriment of public health. This so called SOTE-reform is implemented by the Prime Minister with “Bolshevist peacefulness” (his own words, I would say ‘in cold blood’) completely against the will of the people.
People are sold capitalism, but companies operate under the rules of socialism, the state and the EU as their dairy cows. The profits are privatized and are transferred to tax havens with the help of policy-makers. Losses are socialized, that means they are paid with taxpayer’s money. When tax evaders are in danger of being caught, an Effective Remorse – law is drafted enabling problems to be wiped under the carpet that makes investigation impossible. That is a similar trick that decision makers in Finland used in the 1990s. In some countries this is called corruption. State suffers the losses, that means, its citizens. The next parliamentary elections are almost a year away, but the sitting ministers are already planning with whom they will not cooperate in the future.
Emmanuel Macron scolded the countries that oppose uncontrolled immigration and Islamization and who “massively protect their national selfishness”. Perhaps Macron and other decision-makers should visit the headquarters: the 4.5 m high Skull Tower in Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia), which is a memorial of the Islamist era. I know one should not be fearful, but one should not be stupid and gullible either. The Ottomans built the Skull Tower for people as a warning that it was not acceptable to rebel against the masters. After driven away the Islamists and after gaining independence, the people built a chapel around the Scull Tower as a reminder of the Islamic oppression.
The United States left the UN Human Rights Council, because of its hypocrisy. Trump mentioned in his speech at the United Nations in September 2017 that “it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the UN Human Rights Council”. In September 2015 I wrote an article We Have No Human Rights. The only right we were born with is freedom and the right to ally with our inner being who thinks with the heart.
It is said that confrontation and sharp expressions have increased in recent years. I think this is a good thing. It tells that people are awakening and insist the protection of their living conditions. Nobody should be afraid to express own opinion. For as Li Andersson says at the end of the video: Indifference is not an option.
Videos:Li Andersson: Kansalaistoiminta / Civic Activism (Tottelemattomuuskoulu / The School of Disobedience) Noin viikon uutiset (Jukka Lindström): Sähkö Trump At United Nations (Full Speech)