Yesterday, I was on Facebook. Some group I belong to, was comparing the economic situation of the 99% to that of, Canadian students. I lived in Canada, for nearly two years. So their statement of comparison linking the two groups as two things that are alike, was so hysterical to me. It shows just what a deficit in education we have in America, that we don’t know anything about the actual circumstances of our neighbors. Whats more disturbing, is that we lack a sufficient grasp of history to make a proper comparison between the plight and situation of the 99% with a group that actually is like them.
Finland, had a very bloody and terrible revolution some years before it had it’s wars with Russia. It fought itself in one of perhaps the most violent and bloody revolutions in history. The tenant farmers, a group of very modest means little to no proper education, and no way of earning any money rose up. They rose up against a ruling elite class that would just take their homes at will and worked them to death in exchange for the roof over their head. They had no unions to protect them and they were essentially endentured slaves. They had no healthcare coverage. Even children as young as 12 worked. No labor laws…. And even if you were up to date on your rent payments and or work exchange for your roof, if your wealthy landlord didn’t like your attitude or the look on your face he could give you the boot. There were no societal protections for these people. The 1% had everything. But all that would have changed had Finland gone to be part of Russia, and become a communist nation.
The farmers, lacking in education did not know the dangers of communism. All they knew is they could not sustain under such opression. They had no retirement money to set aside for themselves. They had little food. No education…. And when they were done working for their rich employers for their roof, they would then go home and work some more on their own small farms from which they would try to eek out a little money each month with which they would buy butter eggs and some coffee.
This is the world in which Jussi Koskela, a fictional character from Under The North Star, was born into. It is a world his son’s changed. They changed it by writing over what was with their blood and tears. It was a new world then, that their sons would protect from the Russians when they invaded.
Under The North Star is a Finnish tragedy. It tells the story of untold horrors that happened in Finland only a few generations ago. I think anyone that calls themselves the 99% should read this trilogy by Vaino Linna, which has been translated and is available in english. It is a beautiful story for all it’s tragedy. And educational about history of a country that few people can identify on the map. A country, that was torn apart in what is actually a very similar way to the way the USA is right now. A better comparison can be found in there. Rather than comparing us to a bunch of students with free healthcare and student loans that are on average less than half the amount of what the standard American loans are for students. Comparing us to Canada, which actually has a social system which supports it’s weakest members and saying we are like them is outrageous. Because if we are like them, then what the hell is the 99% protesting anyway?
This is one of the best trilogies I have ever read. Vaino Linna, poses some very beautiful questions to Finland and to each reader as well as the world asking them what kind of society they wish to be. A violent one? A happy one? What is the purpose of violence? He asks many fabulous questions with these books which he later follows up with the most famous of his works. The Unknown Soldier. The story of, Jussi Koskela’s grand son.
These books are easily available on Amazon. Make sure you check, for the other 2 books in the trilogy. They are listed under “books commonly bought together.”
Finland is a wonderful country with many fabulous writers. Writers such as the writer of the book Purge, which is available in english and I would highly recommend.
The Seven Brothers, a bunch of bumbling idiots, who can’t read and are so sacriligious to burn down their own sauna, something like three times. This is a great book full of unbelievable amounts of humor. One of pretty much 2 required reading books that Finnish students read in highschool. It is similar in nature to Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn, only much more funny.
The Unknown Soldier, Vaino Linna. If you read Under The North Star, you should really read this too. Because under the North Star, was meant to answer the question, who is the unknown soldier? What is his background? It humanizes those that go out into a world of violence and come back dead, or altered for life. It aproaches the subject of war and violence in a beautiful way, and asks some really fundimental questions. It is in large part because of this book, that Finland, has been disinclined to enter into any armed conflict in modern history. They have adopted the position, that unless they themselves are under attack they will not use violence. Yet, it was Finland, that truly deserves credit for winning the cold war for not just the United States, but for Russia as well. And they did not fire a single shot.