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My nationalistic pride

Discussion in 'World History' started by SkidiWili, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. SkidiWili

    SkidiWili Grand Inquisitor

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    As I was studying history of World of last century I realized how ignorant I had been about my country. Finland, my home country, has a history, which one can be proud of.

    I always considered Finland as a western country, always comparing with other western countries like France, GB and so on. We have bit less in everything, we are supposed to be like them, like a western country which we are, I thought. But a realization struck me. Finland is an eastern country.

    In 1917 the revolution in Russia happened. Finland gained independence along some other countries. After this one could say that Finland was balancing between two devils for a short, event rich, time. Devils with names Stalin and Hitler. Germany which has always been more or less friend of Finland gave Finland to Russia in the secret part of Molotov-Rippentrop treaty.

    The Winter War, the Soviet juggernaunt rolled to Finland. Marshall Mannerheim, without argument the greatest war hero of Finland, had foreseen this and had mobilized the military of Finland. Finland having barely 4 million people, had no large army. The weapons of the army were few and there was little or no heavy equipment like tanks, planes etc. But Finland held.

    Second war, Continentual war, was fought few years later. This time equipped with German weapons, like Panzerfausts(not much heavy equipment tough), Finland launched attack at SU alongside Germany. Another hero of the war, president Risto Ryti, made a deal with the Germans. Finland would fight to the very end alongside Germany and the president personally guaranteed this. Bit diplomatic trickery, one could say, and it was that. Even as the president guaranteed the deal personally it wasn't legal. It would have needed the confirment of parliament for it. Later president resigned and peace was made with SU.

    Technically Finland had lost the wars with SU. But considering what the SU had thrown at Finland, and what had happened to the other states that had gained independence in 1917, Finland was a victor.

    During the events from independence to the end of WWII Finland had fought, defended and earned its independence. Finland was a democracy, a democracy which had a long common border with SU.

    Cold War. Finland won the Cold War. Political, economic, militaristic pressuseres of CW could not defeat Finland. As west(=USA) poured monetary help to all its allies, and east(=SU) enforced its socialistic ideologies to its allies, Finland was on neither group. Finland never received any monetary support from west, nor Finland never was a socialistic state(we had a communist party tough). With political geniuses like Urho Kalevi Kekkonen(had he born in either USA or SU, he would have taken over the world) Finland remained neutral trough the whole affair. A great policy in this not black/white world.

    Year is now 2002. Finland has one of the best basic educations in the world. Finland offers basic means of life to its whole population, healthcare, education, monetary support, etc.(Actually bit socialistic trait, in most western countries some of those are done by companios after money). Our main income is industry, as some might know Nokia cellphones. Finland is one of the most computer oriented countries and so on. We didn't end up like many eastern countries did. No western money was poured here. Our history is a political masterpiece, something to be proud of.
     
  2. Mikoyan

    Mikoyan Digimortal

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    I am proud to be part finnish and that my great grandfather fought in the winter war. But does not this thread really belong in the history forum?
     
  3. duke o' york

    duke o' york It don't mean a thing....

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    No offence skw, but this sort of thing should probably be in the history forum. I know that it's not only a historical discussion, but I believe that you'll get far more historical responses than to the other points made. To be honest, too few of the other fanatics know enough to say any more than "Yes, Mannerheim did well and Nokia phones are really well made". Most debate brought about by this thread will concern history in my opinion.

    I am not fond of patriotism. You didn't choose the country in which you were born, and although it is a noble thing to try to improve life for those who share the same national boundaries, and maybe many great things have been done in the past in the name of your country, that is all they are. The truly great and noble actions seek to improve life for everybody in the world, regardless of national boundaries. These discoveries and actions are worthy of celebration, far more than those dictated by the desire for advancement of a single state.
     
  4. Benz

    Benz Chieftain

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    I don't know much about Finland history but, from what I know mister SW, you are right to be proud of it.

    However, you know that nothing is all black and white. It is scary to think that Finland was the ally of Hitler, but in the context, it is understandable. SU was not friendly either, I think the decision was more strategy than the support of Hitler's vision.

    Education, health care and so on, these are very important values and I agree with you that Finland has one of the best. I recently posted a link to UN's site about that. I remember it because my "state", Québec, was very close. Our society has many similar path to yours in these topics. On the dark side of the medal, Finland has the highest rate of suicide and we are following you very close too. Nothing is perfect you know!

    I also have alot of things that I am proud of about my state and there is other things I don't.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    duke,

    I already talked about it in another post so, I'll be short. I think nationalism is a tool. A tool does have intentions, you do. You can do bad nationalism like the Nazi did. Or you can do good nationalism by showing up the world a good manner to manage your politic.

    SW was not saying this to pretend he is better than anyone. That is important. Some nations pretend they are the best and they beleive so much themselve that they think they should change their neiborhoods like them. Usually, the strongests are the worse in that matter.

    Our world is going right ahead to globalization. How do we deal with that? Should we let the stronger can control the smaller? Should we stay each other in our yard? Should we eleminate the small sovereignties for the benefit of the biggest? I say no way, big time! The protection of the small sovereignties like Finland, Norway and so on are very important. There is several domains where these society perform way better than the biggest. If we do not respect that, the biggest will destroy this quality and lower it down to its level.

    Every society has its own values and choices. I recently had a discussion here in this board with few americans about the health care system. To me, it was more important to give access to every citizen. To him, it was more imporant to have the better cost performance. We do not give the same level of consequences to one side another. I respect the americans choices and I expect no less from them to respect mine. I am proud of what we are doing but, if I see something better in the neighborhood's yard, be sure I will take a look very closely and maybe do the same.

    Most of the time, we do not realise that it can be better until we see someone else doing it.

    Like Finland, we have in Québec one of the best rate of successfull students, but we also have one of the highest rate of suicide. It would be very interesting for us to compare our situation with them and with another country that has a better result. Of course, this country has something to be proud of and something to improve like everyone else. As long as you don't think you are the best in everything, it is ok to be proud of what you are and you must be ready to realize that you can be wrong even at what you beleive in so hard.
     
  5. Vrylakas

    Vrylakas The Verbose Lord

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    SkidiWili, Finland did have some price to pay with its position in the Cold War though. I recall reading about Swedish scientists complaining angrily that their Finnish colleagues weren't being very truthful about radiation levels during the early stages of the Chernobyl disaster, fearing Soviet wrath. (Gorbachov took a week or so to decide whether to admit to the world that there had been an accident.) Soviet Bloc Poland was more forthcoming in the initial stages with radiation data than the Finns, or so claimed the Swedes at some conference on Chernobyl.

    I don't mean to pick on Finland, and I think a Finn has as much to be proud about as anybody else in Europe (or anywhere). It's just that I'd want to temper your burgeoning pride with a reminder that all human countries and endeavors are laced with failure and shortcomings as well as successes and achievements. No country is beyond reproach. The Brits have a negative saying, "My country, right or wrong!" and that pretty much sums up the cause of most of Europe's troubles over the past century. Absolutely nothing wrong with being a Finn or being impressed with Finnish accomplishments - so longt as you're also aware of Finland's shortcomings (like having I believe Europe's highest rate of alcoholism outside Russia, for instance). I think I'm with the Duke o' York when he said:

     
  6. TheDuckOfFlanders

    TheDuckOfFlanders the fish collecter

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    I am a human ,plain and simple.
    Belgium is just another name for a boderline within i live.
    Flemmish pride is abbundant in my country ,and although my name is TheDuckOfFlanders , im no part of flemmish nationalism ,cuz actually my name is sarcasm onto the flemmish nationalism ,that has is root's in an altered perception of our history inflicted by our regional gouverment's to promote anti-walonian sentiments.But ah ,that's just a part of the rediculous politic's in my tiny country.
     
  7. Adebisi

    Adebisi Chemical Engineer

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    edit
     
  8. Case

    Case The horror, the horror

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    Gee I'm glad Australia is an island nation.
     
  9. Simon Darkshade

    Simon Darkshade Mysterious City of Gold

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    Yes, so much easier for me to rule it:mwaha: :mwaha:
    My viewpoint on nationalism is quite the opposite to the sedition preached by Ducky;), although I will concur that the politics within his country are ridiculous.

    Nationalism can be manipulated for good or for ill; there is nothing inherently wrong with it. That much is common sense. In my opinion, though, anyone who does not feel some loyalty/love/affinity to their own Reich...oops, country is rather silly. Our countries may do good and ill, but without proper belief and dedication, there will be more of the latter (with probably some other country doing it to you)

    Rant concluded.
     
  10. Stefan Haertel

    Stefan Haertel Title

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    [Q]I am not fond of patriotism. You didn't choose the country in which you were born, and although it is a noble thing
    to try to improve life for those who share the same national boundaries, and maybe many great things have been
    done in the past in the name of your country, that is all they are. The truly great and noble actions seek to improve
    life for everybody in the world, regardless of national boundaries. These discoveries and actions are worthy of
    celebration, far more than those dictated by the desire for advancement of a single state.[/Q]

    Wonderfully said. I agree wholeheartedly.
     
  11. Benz

    Benz Chieftain

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    You may not choose where you are born, but you can choose the path you want your society to take. If you don't, you let someelse doing it for you.

    Trying to change the world... what a beautiful goal!

    Yeah but, what if you are wrong and the way you want it, is bad for the others? We don't all have the same values. Sometimes, it is not that simple to say who is right or wrong. That is why the respect of each others sovereignty is very important.

    ----------------------------

    Well Adebisi,

    It is a kind of bloody story. At least, Finns survived. Many other small nations had not this chance or, they still are dominated by another bigger nations. Sometimes it is a "soft" domination and sometimes it gets worse.

    Do you feel your country will not have enough power within the new European confederation? Or do you think you will benefit more from it?

    Is Finland still have some minor conflict issues with Russia or Sweden?

    ------------------------------

    Duck,

    I mostly agree with you. I think it is very important to have a good critic regarding our nation. It oftens help more than only reminding what we have done good so far. ;)
     
  12. Adebisi

    Adebisi Chemical Engineer

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  13. allhailIndia

    allhailIndia Chieftain

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    It may seem that "small" nations have no future unless they have a big ally close by or remian as slave states to a superpower. But the fact is that behind every great civilization and empire, there was a small nation made up of a brave and hardworking people with a vision.
    Take Rome for example. They had to struggle against several smaller tribes and even if they won against them, there were always the mighty Greeks, the rich Carthaginians and the fierce Celts to contend with. But the Romans had a vision. THey wanted to be Perfect in what they did. Be it laying roads or building the Colosseum, they were determined to make it perfect. THis was what made Rome a great empire, not its Legions, not its Ships.
    Any country can be great and powerful if the leaders have a vision and the people unite under one leader to make that vision reality.
    Who knows, Skidiwilli may be that one to bring about that change, the one to lead Finland into glory
     
  14. Adebisi

    Adebisi Chemical Engineer

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    No, I will be that one!
     
  15. allhailIndia

    allhailIndia Chieftain

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    That's the spirit Adebisi and I shall soon meet you on the battlefield as the Overlord of India. :rocket:
     
  16. kittenOFchaos

    kittenOFchaos Chieftain

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    allhailindia...did you play alot of A&A on "thezone"?

    (would have pmed but you don't seem to allow it)
     
  17. SkidiWili

    SkidiWili Grand Inquisitor

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    Now, that sounds scary... ;)
    I wouldn't call myself as patriotic or nationalistic. I wouldn't die or kill for my country that is. To live for one's country is the best thing he can do. The fact is that I was ignorant, bit ashamed to be a Finn. A small, non-excistant country in the north Europe...

    But I now understand what it means to be a Finn, what paths our history has taken to come to this position. We have been lucky, we have had great leaders, and I believe that things could be much more worse than they are.
     
  18. Hurricane

    Hurricane Sleeping Dragon

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    The Russians don´t get too much credit in this thread, but that Finland was annexed by Russia in the early 19th century was actually a great streak of luck. With the quite free autonomy Finland was granted by the Czar, Finland could slowly develop its nationality and start up an own administration, from own money and postal service to own decision makers. Helsinki, which had been nothing more than a ****hole during the Swedish era, got a university and new churches and buildings were built.

    This gave Finland a 100-year experience of self-ruling, which made the proclamtion of independence (in 1917) a much easier affair than for example Chechnya today or most of the African countries. Still, the country suffered a severe civil war, with atrocities on both sides. Many of them are still not very good researched (the winner writes the history, as always).
     
  19. Adebisi

    Adebisi Chemical Engineer

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  20. willemvanoranje

    willemvanoranje Curitibano

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    I am both Dutch and German, and I am a patriot, I'm proud of my country. I think that one has to be proud of where he comes from, no matter if he's American, German, from Andorra or Afghanistan.
    However, this doens't mean that I think less of other nationalities or whatever. I have both German and Dutch nationalities, maybe that influences a bit, but I will never say that a French guy is less or a Enlgish person sucks because he's English.
    I repeat, one should be proud of what hgis country and countrymen achieved in the past. All countries have done great and awful things in the past. Holland faught 80 years (1568-1648) for its independence from Spain and became the first western nation where there was freedom of religiona and no one could be prosecuted or whatever for having a certain religion or whatever.
    But Holland also did bad things, you can name the colonial times and slave trade, but I'm talking about the war in Indonesia after WW II as well. The Dutch government sent a lot of troops to make sure Indonesia (or Dutch-India as it was called back then) stayed a Dutch colony.
    We all have things to be proud of and to be ashamed of, but no matter what your country's history is, be proud of where you come from.
     

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