30 November 2022

Finnish Winter war showed the way to help Ukraine

Exactly 83 years ago Soviet Union attacked Finland without any warning. Or actually, Stalin´s troops shot some of its own soldiers in Raivola, and used their death as a false excuse for the attack. 

Finland had had a brutal civil war just 21 years before, and Stalin - the head of the Soviet Union - thought that communists would join them, and therefore it would take just few weeks for Russians to get in Helsinki. That did not happen, although soviet army did its best for 105 days, killed ca 26 000 Finns and lost itself some 126 000–168 000 soldiers as dead or missing. 

Not to mention the loss of 260–500 aircrafts and 1 200–3 500 tanks by Russians. Such material losses were gigantic compared to losses of the Finnish army: some 20–30 tanks and 62 aircrafts. And still they did not make their way to Helsinki. And the western great powers did not provide any countable help despite several requests.  

Whatsoever, after 105 days Finland made the biggest mistake independent Finland has ever made. Namely, a small group of Finnish leaders decided to agree with Russians on a peace treaty with extremely unfavorable conditions. 

That was because Hermann Göring of Germany - at the time still an ally of Soviets - had secretly promised Finland that it would regain its losses during a becoming war. The agreement included a cover story - only partially true, but still commonly believed in Finland - that the Finnish army would have been collapsing in any minute. That was, however, not the case - not in the front, and definitely not in the light of  western powers finally being ready to help. 

But western reaction was too slow, and as a consequence, Finland joined operation Barbarossa in 1941, although its military lead refused to join the German attack against Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) despite Hitler´s demands. And ultimately Hitler failed there and everywhere. 

However, while Germany´s military power collapsed by the end of the war, the Finnish army managed to stop the Russian mass attack in the Battle of Tali-Ihantala in 1944 - with altogether some 35 000 Russian and Finnish casualties - and succeeded in making a separate peace, which saved Finland´s way of life as a democracy, but doomed its leaders to suck up Russians for half a century until their communist great power collapsed. 

* * *

During the last few years Finnish Winter War has become common knowledge throughout the world due to its many similarities to Russian´s unjustified attack against Ukraine. And there is a lesson to be learned. 

Namely, at this time the western nations must remember, that heroic defenders under unjustified attack must be supported against dictatorships as long as it takes. That will direct history towards a fair future, and strengthen global values against wrongdoing. 

For Ukrainians the western support will build up the first step towards a western way of life. That is, less corruption as well as more human rights, economic freedom and sustainable society. But we must remember to continue the support even after the war - encouraging and demanding Ukrainians to change their eastern attitude towards more western one at the same time they keep the best parts of their own cultural heritage. And rewarding them as soon as they qualify a true member of the Western world.

26 November 2022

The change in the demographic structure of Helsinki

The Capitol of Finland - Helsinki - is not a huge city but rather a relatively big town with its ca. 660 000 inhabitants. It means that approximately 12 percent of Finns live in their Capitol.

According to current predictions, the population of Helsinki will grow up to 700 000 people in the following six years. But that will not be due to a baby-boom or even Finns moving from countryside, but mostly via immigration from abroad, which will be responsible of two thirds of the increasing population.

Even today, Helsinki may be considered somewhat multicultural town as only about 83 percent of people speak Finnish or Swedish (the official languages of the country) as their first language. Russian is the most common foreign language and is spoken by almost three percent of the population. That is followed by Somali, Estonian, Arabic, and English speakers with 1.8, 1.6, 1,3 and 1,1 percent share of the population. 

The figures above indicate, that most speakers of foreign languages have moved to Helsinki to work in Finland (e.g. Russian, Estonian and English speakers). In other words, they are contributing to the welfare of the city dwellers and whole country. 

However, in 2021 the number of people speaking domestic languages moving out from Helsinki was higher than the amount of those moving in. The reasons are unclear but may have to do with increasing possibilities of remote working, COVID-19 pandemic or increased violence in the streets of Helsinki. 

The big question in the future will be, what kind of immigrants Helsinki will attract in future. Will people move into the city due to its working possibilities or are they only looking for the benefits of the relatively liberal social welfare-system of Finland. And - as has been seen during the last few years - will they instead of working contribute to the criminal records. And thus reduce the quality of life in the town?
The answer cannot be provided yet, but it is clear that the immigration policy of the next Government of Finland will direct the development. The key question to be decided by voters in spring 2023 is, whether Finland will support possibilities for private enterprises to hire highly educated foreign workforce or if it rather opens Finland´s borders to masses of uneducated asylum seekers from the developing world. 

Interesting though, according to recent news, almost one third of Ukrainians - who escaped Russian aggression - have plans to live rest of their lives in Finland. They are hard working, and have not caused similar problems as people from Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan who looked for protection in 2015 using the war in Syria as an excuse. 

Whatever will be the outcome on the politics of the next Government in 2023-2027, its will have a major impact on the future of the Capitol area of the country. In the best case, Helsinki may in future - largely due to the positive contribution of immigrants - be seen as an excellent option for people looking for sufficient income and decent living in a safe environment - but in the worst case the Capitol may develop towards a town with poor street safety but high taxes to support living of increasing non-working population. 

These two scenarios will provide the road make to the future of Helsinki - and ultimately the whole of Finland. Therefore, elections of the Finnish Parliament in 2023 are more important than normally. And voters should use their right to give their support to candidates only after a serious consideration.

Previous thoughts on the same topic:
Finland after the Russian war in Ukraine

20 November 2022

Strong statement or intellectual dishonesty in COP27?

A historical decision was made in COP27 meeting in Egypt. According to that, wealthy countries will pay for developing ones from damages attributable to the climatic change, which is considered to happen due to the wealthy nations.

The decision was made, and I can only accept it. I would, however, like to hear if developing countries are willing to give up those modern things, which were created along the development that led to the compensations decided. That is: vehicles, flights, internet, phones, electricity etc... 

I think that would be a great sign of their willingness to refuse from such a negative developments, that their innovators are expected to pay for their existence. In others words, staying in each nation´s own innovations would make a strong statement on their willingness to stick in a sustainable way of life. 

If no one shows any willingness to give up those harmful innovations, I am afraid that the decision of compensation made in the COP27 meeting looks like intellectual dishonesty and only a new way to transfer money from north to south. Which may or may not be well justified due to some other reasons. 

19 November 2022

Finland after the Russian war in Ukraine

My home country, Finland, is a country with a large geographic size but small population. It has been part of Sweden for ca. six hundred years and thereafter a century as an autonomous part of Russia. And now independent for a bit more than 100 years. 

During our history we have learned that independence is highly valuable. And we have defended it with huge sacrifices during the Second World War - and learned there how important it is to have well equipped defense forces. 

As a sign of these lessons, Finland did not reduce its investments to military forces after the collapse of Soviet Union and kept its system of conscription. Then President Putin of Russia lost the last remains of his intelligence and started a war in Ukraine. 

Finland reacted immediately. We bought up-to-date GMLRS-rockets from USA and just yesterday decided to increase our artillery capacity by material from South Korea. And even before that, we applied a membership in NATO. 

We cannot predict the future in detail. However, the fact is that even if - or when - Russia will have to accept its weakness against western weaponry and withdraw from Ukraine it will remain a threat to its small neighbors, Finland included. 

Therefore, the future of Finland´s policy should be a combination of uncompromising loyalty with its western allies and - at the same time - a constructive force between Russia and West. All of that supported by a highly capable army. 

Having said the above, I remind our decision makers about the importance of economy as a precondition of the future. Right now the left-center coalition government of Finland has almost destroyed our economy. Its public debt increases rapidly although responses of the public sector are growing due to the aging population

That combination can only be handled by a strong productive private sector and efficient public services. Therefore, the most important task of the next government after the elections next April is to fix the policy made under the lead of our beautiful prime minister. It means, building up incentives for private economic activity combined by a removal of unnecessary usage of taxpayers´ money. 

12 November 2022

Alexander Dugin calls for Putin´s murder

Alexander Dugin has said that Vladimir Putin should be killed for his failures in Ukraine. This is important, as Dugin definitely is not anyone, but a man sometimes called "Putin´s brains". 

That may be exaggerated, but we should note that he cannot be considered nobody. Instead, he is a man having background as an advisor to two Chairmen of the State Duma, who has served as the head of the Department of Sociology of International Relations at Moscow State University as well as acted as chief editor of the pro-Kremlin Orthodox channel Tsargrad TV. 

Therefore his demand is much more serious threat to Putin than anyone in the Russian´s weak opposition. And his request to kill the war loser is deadly serious threat to the future of the President.

Unfortunately, Mr. Dugin is not among those, who would withdraw Russian troops from occupied areas or make a peace with Ukraine. Instead, he would support any means to change the Russia success in its illegal and unjustified war against it neighbor, although it is unclear, whether that would be a realistic option for him or the Russian army.

7 November 2022

China is betting on scientific excellence

There are two great powers in the world. That includes both military and economic strength - and the two powers are USA and China

Still today USA is much stronger in its economy and also in military force, although statistics still claim Russia would be in the second place in the latter dimension - a claim shown to be wrong by Ukraine. Therefore it was interesting to read about ideas of Xi Jinping in China.

According to the article, Xi opened the Communist party meeting - where he was nominated to his third period as a president of the country - by saying that "regard science and technology as our primary productive force, talent as our primary resource and innovation as our primary driver of growth". That is: China has become to a situation, where they aim to increase their technological readiness above all other countries in the world.

Actually they have been looking for that already for quite a while. During the last years their intention has been to increase the R&D intensity by at least seven percent every year, and if that continues until 2035, it could reach the average of 2,7 percent for countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development from the current 2.4 percent of gross domestic product. 

There are, however, obstacles in China´s way towards the leading power of the world. Russian attack to Ukraine has warned political West from relying too strictly on Chinese products, which may reduce monetary income and investments to Xi´s empire. And at the same time, restrict the spread of western innovations to China. 

Even more difficult obstacles might appear from the Chinese cultural tradition restricting criticism towards elder colleagues, which decelerates the spread of novel innovative ideas. Also the decrease of Chinese population due to former one child policy may increase burden to people in working age and cause serious instability in the society. And that would certainly affect negatively also the scientific realm. 

Despite all these obstacles, in my opinion Xi´s decision to bet on scientific excellence is wise. Even if any of the fears turns real, scientific approach is the the best option to find solutions. 

That should also be remembered in the USA, where many universities have fallen to a crisis caused by ultraliberal ideology ("wokeism") questioning even many scientific facts and demanding their replacement with politically correct beliefs. Even though the purpose of liberals may be good, they have forgotten the fact Chinese have realized: a stable, competitive and ultimately fair future can only be built on scientific truth. 

5 November 2022

Advice to participants of the COP27 climate implementation summit

The climate implementation summit COP27 is starting tomorrow in Egypt. I just want to remind - or advice - its participants on two facts. 

The first one has to do with the climatic change and its scientific basis itself. To do that, I remind that the mathematical models predicting a climate crisis have one clear output: that is, the arctic north of the globe will warm up more quickly than the rest of the world. 

According to that, the area of arctic sea ice can be expected to melt in an accelerating rate. However, the minimum size of the ice was observed already in 2012 - that is ten years ago - and right now its size is largest in relation to time (November 4th) since 2015. Obviously, the arctic north is not warming right now. 

So, before major decisions to restrict people´s life, I would like to see a scientific explanation - compatible to the current climate models - for these observations. Or alternatively, a new model, that predicts a hiatus for the warming of the arctic north right now.  

Second, the threat caused by the climatic change is caused by an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in atmosphere due to the use of fossilized carbon sources. Therefore, if any action will be decided to stop the warming, we should rather focus on giving up on the use of fossilized carbon than to concentrate on carbon sinks, which will halt the global economy and almost certainly be used by world leaders only to lengthen the fossil-based era. 

With these two facts I wish to the participants of COP27 good luck in finding sensible decisions that - at the same time - reduce the risk of intolerable global warming and allow better life for all people in the world. 

Previous thoughts on the same topic:
Fair policy will build a strong Union
Heat wave in Europe contrasts with the coldness of the Arctic sea
G-index challenges the theory of the global climatic change