What took them so long?

I had this unthinking impression that all of Scandinavia was far more liberal and progressive than the US, and I generously included Finland in that category (yeah, I know, it’s not actually part of Scandinavia proper, but it is one of those Nordic countries). But I just learned that only today did the Finnish parliament approve same-sex marriage.

The US is only 35/50ths of the way to marriage equality, so it’s a bit hypocritical for an American to chastise Finland for taking so long, but come on — we expect you guys to set an example and lead us to a bright egalitarian non-religious socialist future!


  1. azhael says

    I’ll proudly rejoice on the fact that my country did so almost 10 years ago and was the first one to achieve full legal equality in all areas (suck it, Franco). We aren’t getting a lot of things right at the moment so let us milk that for a while longer xD

  2. Usernames! ☞ ♭ says


    Parliamentary Speaker Eero Heinäluoma tightened security ahead of the vote, calling for calm on what has been a polarising subject both inside and outside the chamber. However there were no reports of disruptive behaviour – with one Yle correspondent describing the scene as having a Carnival-like atmosphere.

    Um, I don’t know how they roll in the Nordic lands, but people generally riot/stage mass protests a) when the government takes away/denies basic rights and b) when their favorite sports team wins the big match.

  3. Camcaran says

    The reason it has taken this f*ing long is because every government since forever has included the christian party, so that the government would have majority of parliament members. And the christian party wouldn’t take part in forming the government if the marriage laws are on the agenda.

    Now few years ago we had new legislation which made possible for regular citizens to make initiatives to the parliament, by collecting 50 000 signatures (online). That way it was possible to bypass the christian party’s blockage.

    And yes… we do have a christian party… And it’s leader is our minister of inner affairs…

  4. Camcaran says

    Our parliament has very strict rules of behaviour. No applauding/booing, chearing, hugging or celebrating is allowed even after a vote like this one.

    Also saying that someone is lying is prohibited. You have to use euphemisms like “they are telling changed truth”. And they have strict rules on what kind of clothes parliament members can and cannot wear and all sorts of regulations like that.

  5. odin says

    “Scandinavia” is rather poorly defined, even in the Nordic Countries. There’s quite a few people who use it synonymously with ‘nordic countries’. The strictest understanding, on the other hand, is only Norway and Sweden.

    Incidentally, did you know that Denmark and Sweden have been at war with each other more often than pretty much any other pair of states? Ah, those peaceful, liberal nordics. ;)

  6. John Pieret says

    In case you hadn’t heard, there were Federal District court decisions this week overturning SSM bans in two more states, Mississippi and Arkansas.

    Just keep chippin’ away …

  7. twas brillig (stevem) says

    but [Fins] generally riot/stage mass protests a) when the government takes away/denies basic rights

    I well support such responses to such actions. I continue to be totally dismayed at the claims (here in USAstan) that gay-marriage takes away *something* from the right of heteros to marry. I am still amazed that the conservapoids think everything is a zero-sum game. That whenever a right is granted to a sub-population it can only come from being taken away from another subpop. EG, giving women the right to vote… oops, bad example: expanding the voter base does indeed reduce the percentile magnitude of each vote. Back to love issues: Do they really think that love is purely random? That if same-sex marriage is allowed, that people will just marry the next person they bump into? No, it don’t work that way, Conservs. I’d think, that since they are always talking of love as holy and Gawd-given, they would understand that love is not a random event… yada yada yada.
    [yikes, I be goin off the rails … ] /rant

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Yes,but today we sublimate the aggressions into sports! This is BTW the closest thing to religion these days.
    Re . past intra-nordic wars: Since the Norwegians invest more in providing services in sparsely populated regions, I think Sweden should give back the formerly Norwegian counties Jämtland and Bohuslän. Scratch that, give them Lapland as well ( envisions Norwegan oil money invested in keeping the small towns viable).
    — — — — —
    Swedish conservatives have a small nasty faction centered around the Timbro think thank, apart from that they are often what I consider reasonable. Most politics is about local issues and it is possible to work with them without getting into arguments about , I dunno, weird things Mercun conservatives obsess over. They do not consider LED lights to be communist, for example. Gay marriage? Yawn. Openly atheist politicians? Been there, done that.
    They advocate private solutions, but from a very different starting point from anglo-saxon conditions where only a tiny bit of public services are public-operated.

  9. AMM says

    The Nordic countries aren’t all that good with trans issues, either.

    Trans people in Norway and Denmark have reported that those countries are very restrictive, both in terms of who may transition, and in terms of recognizing gender changes. Those who aren’t “trans enough” for the government are SOL. I don’t know about Finland or Sweden.

  10. freja says

    @9, AMM:

    Actually, trans people in Denmark currently have no obstacles when it comes to legally changing genders, except a 6 month waiting period. All they have to do is inform the authorities of their wish, wait, and then receive new ID with a new name if they wish. The biggest obstacle to LGBT+ rights in Denmark is not opposition, but indifference. Because there isn’t much opposition, there aren’t that many activists or public debate either.

    I saw some of the debates about trans rights in news shows over here, and even calling them ‘debates’ is a stretch, because it was mostly interviews with trans people, experts, and/or activists talking about how terrible the laws were, requiring a physical sex change and psychiatric evaluation for anyone wanting to transition. People said “We don’t even sterilise rapists, but we still require it to change gender”, and no one disagreed that it was terrible. It was just such a niche issue that few people cared. Then the law changed from being among the most regressive in the western world to among the most progressive, it got a few notes in the papers, everybody I talked to about it said “Sure, why not?” or “About time! Were we really this intolerant about it before?”, and that was it.

    The same with gay marriage. We’d had registered partnership before (giving much the same rights as marriage), but after a change in government, the minister of equality and church said the state church would now be required to perform gay marriages. A few social conservatives spoke out, but they were mostly ignored, and people treated the whole thing as a formality that should have happened years ago. The same when princesses became equally eligible to ascend the throne (before, princes always preceded princesses unless the previous monarch only had daughters). Few people seemed really against it, but it was treated as pretty much a non-issue.

    It also works the other way. Bestiality is de facto legal in Denmark, not because most people are actually in favor of it, but because no one bothered to make a law about it. If harm can be proven to the animal, the perpetrator can be procecuted for animal cruelty, but the sex itself isn’t forbidden. Many Danes pride themselves on being laid-back and difficult to offend, but it also lends itself to a distinct lack of moral outrage on both sides of the political spectrum, at least about anything concerning sex (except paedophilia).

  11. goon says

    We (Finland) have had “registered partnerships” available for same-sex couples since 2002, so this isn’t as big of a deal as it might seem at first.

    However, I’m very happy that the conservative a-holes (Christian Party and True Finns) lost this battle. The vote was too close though. But that has to do with the fact that our parliament is packed with old people.

  12. azhael says

    We (Finland) have had “registered partnerships” available for same-sex couples since 2002, so this isn’t as big of a deal as it might seem at first.

    Yes, it is. There is a huge difference between separate but equal and actually equal.

  13. odin says

    azhael @ 12

    But is it a question of ‘separate but equal’? The question of marriage, as opposed to ‘registered partnership’ is a purely religious formality, at least in the system I know. So I suspect that this isn’t a question of legal rights, but solely regarding the ceremony…

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The question of marriage, as opposed to ‘registered partnership’ is a purely religious formality, at least in the system I know.

    Religion doesn’t play a part in this. Marriages are recognized by the state, and give the couple certain rights. And what is more important, at least here here in the US, is that marriage is recognized by other states. Civil unions, not so much, until the courts got involved.

    Cases occurred where one person in a civil union got sick while visiting parents, the parents could prevent the partner from visiting even in the hospital even with the civil union which wasn’t recognized by the parent’s state, whereas if they tried that with a legally married spouse, they would get the book thrown at them, and ignored by the hospital.

  15. odin says

    Nerd of Redhead @ 16

    Religion doesn’t play a part in this. Marriages are recognized by the state, and give the couple certain rights. And what is more important, at least here here in the US, is that marriage is recognized by other states.

    Registered partnership in Iceland, which was introduced in 1996, grants all the rights and duties of marriage; the only distinction is religious sanction. It is unclear to me whether Finland’s system is the same – but the fact that the phrase ‘registered partnership’, which is a near-direct translation of the Icelandic name, is used makes me suspect that it is. I am perfectly aware that the situation is different in the United States. But the conversation wasn’t about the sitation in the United States.

  16. freja says

    @16, Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls:

    Religion doesn’t play a part in this. Marriages are recognized by the state, and give the couple certain rights. And what is more important, at least here here in the US, is that marriage is recognized by other states. Civil unions, not so much, until the courts got involved.

    I don’t know about Finland, but my Danish law student friend told me that, as a rule of thumb at least, they (law students) were told to insert a mental bracket after each instance of marriage with “(or registered partnership)” and married with “(or in a registered partnership)”. It wasn’t so much “separate but equal” as “equal except for the symbolic value”. I didn’t even know we didn’t have official legalised gay marriage growing up, because gay couples were referred to as spouses in everyday life around me.

    It might complicate matters if you have a state church (which I believe Finland does too), because I don’t think state churches are allowed to discriminate the way regular churches are, though individual priests usually get to make personal choices. So you can’t have gay marriage without telling the church it has to perform those marriages for everyone who’s a member (and I’m not sure the church is allowed to throw anyone out who pays their church taxes), and in the 90s, that might have been too much for some of the more heavily religious people. Registered partnership was a compromise giving the most substantial benefits of marriage to gay couples while still letting the church retain its more traditional definition of marriage. Now that homosexually is becoming even more accepted, it’s no longer such an issue.

    Of course, this is mainly speculation on my part, since I’m no expert. Just don’t confuse Nordic registered partnerships with American civil unions.

  17. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But the conversation wasn’t about the sitation in the United States.

    And why should it be any different in Finland? There must be a difference, otherwise, why would the government bother, unless they recognized the symbolism in inclusivity.

  18. goon says

    The differences between a registered partnership and a marriage in Finland are
    1. In a RP you don’t automatically get a common last name. You can have the change made later, but it costs a little.
    2. RP couples can’t adopt a child together. One of them can adopt, and later the spouse can also adopt that same child.

    So, the change is mostly symbolic. It’s now called a marriage for everyone.
    Like Nerd of Redhead said, religion doesn’t play a part here. I’m sure the church will start to wed same-sex couples in the near-future though. They are constantly losing members so they’ll do anything to keep them.

  19. ike says

    The initiative parliament passed is not about religon (pace odin @15), nor is it about civil union versus marriage (pace Nerd @16). This doesn’t affect religious organizations in any real way; churches and other religious organizations will still be free to be as reactionary or as enlightened as they want as to whom they will let marry. Also, “registered partnerships” are legally recognized with much, but not all, the rights of marriage (e.g. your spouse in a registered partnership will have the same inheritance rights as your spouse in a “traditional” marriage, you’ll have the same rights to visit and take care of their affairs in case your spouse gets hospitalized, etc.).

    What the initative is about is amending legislation to fix the current situation where we have a separate law for registered partnerships, like goon noted @11, and another law for “traditional” marriages. The current legislation gives less rights to couples in registered partnerships e.g. in cases of child adoption, may force these couples to reveal their sexual orientation when dealing with authorities (there may be a separate box to tick for those “in a registered partnership” and another one for thos who are “married” on offical forms), and poses other bureaucratic hurdles that separately and in themselves could be considered fairly minor, but which taken as a whole pretty much scream out loud that it was the deliberate intent of the legislators to give the “registered partnerships” a status of “marriage lite” at best. So the current situation is definitely one of “separate but not equal” like azhael @ 12 says, and this is what this initiative is intended to fix. I agree with goon @ 13 that the current situation is not as bad as it could be, but we sure as fuck need to get rid of the deliberately humiliating and othering aspect of these laws as they stand.

    To be clear, it’s not written in stone yet that the initiative will actually become legislation; it now has to go through the committee apparatus of our parliament, and the finalized proposal for legislation actually has to be approved by the next parliament (we have elections coming in the spring of 2015, and legislation is slow – the current parliament will not have time to finalize the legislation before its term will end). In all likelihood, though, it will become law as legislative initiatives approved by parliamentary majority are rarely voted down these days. However, a lot depends on the outcome of the next elections, so, fellow Finns, please make sure you vote, and please try not to vote for any reactionary shithead! Today’s voting record will be a good guide to who the rotten apples are across the political spectrum.

  20. petrander says

    About 15 years ago, when I seriously got interested in engaging creationists online, I did some research on creationism in Europe. To my surprise, there was a HUGE amount of creationist activities in Finland, compared with the rest of Europe. On closer look, the percentage of the population that was invested in religious fundamentalism, though still a minority, was very much larger than I was used to in Western Europe and Scandinavia. Could this perhaps explain this delay on gay rights? Could Finland once again be the odd one out?

  21. Olli Pehkonen says

    Not to make excuse for my slow home country, but it should be noted that this was a vote by the parliament. The comparason to the USA is not completely fair, since as far as I understand, gay marriage is not proceeding due to the parliamentary process in the USA. But rather a legal technicality, where gay couples challenge in court discriminatory marriage laws that are being passed, and this way bypass a parliament that is unwilling to grant them equality. This Finnish case is a matter of the parliament, where old and conservative people are overrepresented, standing up and saying “we want gay marriage” (though by a narrow marggin over the opposition).

  22. Minnie The Finn, Fluffy Pink Bearer of Loose Morals says

    I was on my way to drop in to the Lounge to gloat but I see that you’ve already covered the news, PZ =)

    As others have pointed out, the new law will not change the status quo much, but the principle behind this all is what matters. Also, it will only be a matter of time before some churches will start officiating wedding ceremonies for those so inclined. It wouldn’t be my choice, but soon everyone will be able to decide for themselves.

    So, Happy Thanksgiving from the Frozen North to y’all =)

  23. JPS says

    Finland may count as an at least sort-of Scandinavian country. As I understand it (and it’s been decades since a Swede explained this to me) a large portion of the Finnish population is — or at least was — ethnic Swedish.
    It is from this Swedish-Finish population that my 100% Swedish grandmother emigrated in the very early 20th century. She denied any Finish background even though she probably never set foot on Swedish soil. It was to the point that only a day or so before my parents left to visit Scandinavia in the ’70s that she reluctantly told them where to visit in Finland to find her heritage (but my parents had already done their homework).

  24. says

    Because of the damn Christians!

    We actually have four parties where Christianity play a big part:
    1. Christian Democrats – all of them voted “no”
    2. Center party – 30/36 voted “no”
    3. True Finns / Finns party, conservative leftist party witch is mainly focused on immigration issues but most of them are devout Christians – only one of them voted “yes”.
    4. National Coalition Party where almost half of the representatives(16/28 ) voted “no”

    We have quite secular society and most Christians that are members of our Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, are not that keen to even participate Sunday mass. Archbishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland actually gave a supportive statement to same-sex marriage.

    But those Finnish Christian who take their fate seriously are fundamental, adamant and annoying.

  25. odin says

    Nerd of Redhead @ 19

    There must be a difference, otherwise, why would the government bother, unless they recognized the symbolism in inclusivity.

    There was a major hullabaloo here in Iceland a few years back over legislation which changed the title to ‘marriage’ and required the state church (yes, we have one of those) to perform the ceremony. That was a symbolic change, and yet it was a huge thing in the local news cycle with big announcements and all that. (Although only in Icelandic, not in English.) I seem to recall it making it into international news because one of the first couples to take advantage of the law was the then prime minister and her partner, though. So, yes, I can perfectly see it being largely a symbolic change – which, from the accounts given here, seems to be the case.

    And, yes, the issue with the forms having a special box for ‘registered partnership’ existed here as well; my understanding is that it was really more of a lack of realisation just how widely the religious institution of marriage is given a special role in the governmental bureaucracy than anything deliberate – but who knows?

  26. Dog Almighty says

    Reason: despite the fact that Finland is included among the Nordic countries, it is culturally actually quite far from them. While Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland are culturally very similar, Finland is more Eastern European, and along with that comes more conservative values. As a result of being so different from the rest of the Nordic countries, Finland always makes decisions regarding human rights about 5-10 years later than the rest of the Nordic countries. That’s how long it takes for progress to reach Finland. Finns do not want to hear this, because facing up to it is quite embarrassing for them, but that’s just the way it is.

  27. Dog Almighty says


    You’re correct. In Finland a significantly larger part of the population is fundamentalist faith-heads than in other Western European countries. While the proportion of these fundies is not massive in Finland – by no means a majority – it’s still significant enough to slow down progress in these kinds of questions. It’s also the reason why we have more creationists here than in other Western European countries. And of course, this is not a black and white issue. It’s not like Finland is just divided into two groups; the fundamentalist minority who is straight out Bible thumpers and liberal people like in the Scandinavian countries. The large majority between these polar opposites is shifted more heavily towards conservative values than in the rest of the Nordic countries. The huge block of “ordinary people” – and at the same time the majority of the voters – who might widely support gay rights in other Nordic countries, is less keen on voting for gay rights in Finland.

    It seems like this comes as a surprise to a lot of foreigners, but Finland is clearly more conservative than the rest of the Nordic countries. So not only is it geographically an Eastern European country, but it also belongs to the eastern cultural sphere ideologically.

  28. says

    Bigot’s tears are a sweet nectar… I’ve enjoyed despair on TV from both Christian Democrat party leader Päivi Räsänen (minister of interior, for crying out loud!), and especially nationalist Finns party leader Timo Soini, who purged his disappointment by attacking Finnish Evangelic Lutheran arch bishop Kari Mäkinen, who was happy to see the result.

    Link in Finnish, rough translation of relevant paragraphs:

    The arch bishop said on Facebook he was overjoyed for rainbow people. Soini wasn’t too happy for that, but commented

    -It shows complete disregard of the sacrament of marriage, although it’s no longer my business as a Catholic.
    -I left the Lutheran church in 1988. Unfortunately, they’re still going downhill. This is the last time I’ll comment on the national church’s business.

    Sour grapes or something? And I still can’t decide which is stranger: that someone who poses as The True Finn is Catholic, or that he’s a Millwall fan. Hmm.

  29. Olli Pehkonen says

    @dog almighty
    Your comments at #28 & #29 are probably very misleading to anyone who is not Finnish. You make it sound like Finland is almost like Russia or Romania. That is totally false. The only major cultural differences between Finland and the other Nordics is the language. Other than that it’s very similar, with just a touch of conservative seasoning.

  30. odin says

    Dog Almighty @ 29:

    despite the fact that Finland is included among the Nordic countries, it is culturally actually quite far from them. While Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland are culturally very similar, Finland is more Eastern European, and along with that comes more conservative values.

    This is somewhat misleading, actually. For the first part, Iceland is nowhere near as culturally similar as the other three are internally – politically, for instance, the other three have been dominated by social-democrats for the better part of a century, while Iceland’s conservative party has rarely been out of government. Add to that the Faroe Islands, which are a true haven for conservative asshattery. From what I’ve seen, there’s little question that Finland fits better in with the Nordic countries than it does with most of Eastern Europe. ‘course, that might also have something to do with the Swedes running all over the place and leaving a fair bunch of their colonial overclass behind… *cough*

  31. azhael says

    In the case of Spain, before there was equality, the existing “registered partnership” was not equal in rights. Regardless, at the time when marriage equality was being fought for, the new and revised “registered partnership” became a very transparent, and often openly stated “yeah, yeah, you can have your bloody rights, as long as you don’t get airs that you are like us”. As usual, people went fucking testerical about not being able to discriminate even if it was symbolically.

    People who weren’t LGBT, even close friends of mind, very progressive and supportive just didn’t understand, no matter how hard i tried, why it was so important to not be “separate but equal” and i would often have to hear “i don’t get why this isn’t good enough? why make such a stink for a silly name?”.
    In most cases this was caused because many people still have the very silly idea that marriage is a religious institution and my atheist friends thought it was about being recognized by the church, something i couldn’t possibly give less of a fuck about. However, there was also an element of apathy…of the “this is not my problem, as long as you get your rights, who cares?” kind. I finally managed to convince some of them of the importance of real equality by explaining what marriage actually was and suggesting that we have equal rights but a different name for mixed-race couples, non-fertile couples or the non-religious, because the feelings of bigots and hateful arseholes matter more than they do. That worked quickly (which was fucking annoying i must admit).

    People are quick to dismiss the difference as symbolical…but it’s not, it’s real, and it matters. I don’t want to just be allowed to have my rights as long as i’m thankful and don’t protest when others remind me that i’m a second class citizen. Those rights should have always been mine, so fucking give them to me and apologize for ever pretending that you had a reason to take them away.

  32. David Marjanović says

    True Finns / Finns party, conservative leftist party

    …What do you mean by “conservative leftist”?

  33. chigau (違う) says

    Things being what they are, I only just now watched randay’s #31 video link.
    (it has translation to english captions)
    it is BRILLIANT
    The Helsinki Complaints Choir

  34. Dog Almighty says

    @Olli Pehkonen

    As I said “Finns do not want to hear this”. Finnish people have this illusion that they are very similar to the other Nordic countries, but they don’t even understand how different Finnish culture and their mentality is compared to the rest of the countries. Yes, the language plays a major part which also affects the unity. The other Nordic countries simply get each other on a different level because of the shared language. But on top of that Finland does lean far more to the east when it comes to culture, which isn’t entirely surprising considering its history.

    A Dutch social psychologist named Geert Hofstede has extensively researched cultural differences. Without going into the numbers, the short story is that there are different so called cultural dimensions that can be compared between countries. Firstly, he Nordic countries are very similar to each other when it comes to preference for power distance ( it expresses the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally). All countries like fairly small power distances, with Denmark tolerating them clearly the least.

    Finland is also similar to Iceland and Norway when it comes to preference for individuality (it can be defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of only themselves and their immediate families), while Sweden and Denmark prefer it much more. However, when it comes to masculinity (this dimension represents a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success. Society at large is more competitive.), Finland is clearly more masculine than the rest of the Nordic countries. Here Finland is closer to Russia and Estonia while the other Baltic countries are actually closer to the rest of the Nordic countries.

    When it comes to uncertainty avoidance (which expresses the degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity; how a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known.), Finland is again closer to the Baltic countries. Iceland and Norway are again a little bit more similar to Finland, while Sweden and Denmark are much more closer to each other than the rest of the Nordic countries. When it comes to pragmatism (to which extent cultures encourage pragmatic values oriented towards rewards, including persistence, saving and capacity for adaptation) Nordic countries are very similar, with only Sweden being slightly more pragmatic than the rest. And in the final dimension, indulgence (how much a society allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human drives related to enjoying life and having fun), only Norway is similar to Finland, with the rest of the Nordic countries preferring indulgence somewhat more. Overall I would say that Norway is closest to Finland out of the four other counties according to Hofstede’s research, but Finland still stands out as the odd kid since the other four countries are more similar to each other than they are to Finland.

  35. Dog Almighty says

    @David Marjanović

    It’s socially conservative but has left-wing economic policies. What it means is that its values are conservative (against gays, against all kinds of “new” ideals like “environmentalist mumbo-jumbo”, respect religion, defend the motherland, no to immigration, no to the EU, keep Finland and its decision making process independent, etc.), while the socialist leanings are seen in that they want to defend the little guy, poor people, elderly, children, blue collar workers, and keeping jobs in Finland (and only for Finns). Basically it’s the same attitude which the many national socialist parties (like the Nazis) of the past had, but a light version of it. The Finns Party hates the leftist parties because they perceive the left’s values as too socially liberal which will destroy the “authentic values of Finland” (whatever they are) and mix in all kinds of new scary thoughts, especially immigrant related. The left is also seen as the party of intellectuals and the Finns Party is for the “common man of the streets” and intellectualism is not a part of being a regular dude. On the other hand the Finns Party hates the right for being too pro-big business and elitist. They feel the right’s obsession with being business oriented and profit maximising once again hurts the little guy and their own little businesses, and the elitism makes them too fancy for regular Finns.

    This resembles very much the attitudes of the Nazis, and there are many parties like this that have popped up all over Europe during recent years. One example is UKIP in the UK which is at the moment very popular. These kinds of parties attract voters from both the left and the right. The workers who have previously voted for the left and are disappointed with rising unemployment and what they see as jobs disappearing abroad and into the hands of immigrants see the Finns Party as their saviours. The people who have previously voted for the right are disappointed that the right is not conservative enough when it comes to values and drift over to the Finns Party which promises to protect true Finnish values. Another move borrowed from the national socialists is the need to control what is “correct Finnishness”, what the true values are in Finland, and what kind of art and what kind of historical people represent Finland the best.

    Oh, only now did I figure out there is a Wikiepdia page for the Finns Party. it’s a pretty good explanation of what the party stands for.

  36. odin says

    Basically it’s the same attitude which the many national socialist parties (like the Nazis) of the past had, but a light version of it.

    Fascism has always been rhetorically about “protecting the common man” while in actual practice doing its damn best to ensure the power of the elite. The nazis added the heavy racism into that mix. But it’s worth pointing out that traditional right-wing rhetoric also sells itself as being in everyone’s interest. The only difference is that fascists sell themselves as a revolutionary movement that’ll bring change (reversing the ‘bad things’ of the last century or so) while conventional conservatives are predicated on the notion that nothing much really needs to change, it’s enough to just slowly turn back the dial. The only “socialist” thing about NSDAP was in the name, as should be pretty damn obvious from the fact that the first people they targeted for extermination were anarchists, communists, trade unionists and social-democrats.