In Finland, a new government represents how compatible neoliberal and far-right politics are. The Left must answer the challenge by opposing austerity in addition to racism.
Tatu Ahponen lives in Tampere, Finland. He is a member of the Left Alliance and former deputy member of the party council.
Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin’s center-left government lost this past weekend’s elections. Her administration had great promise — but it failed to take the measures that would have delivered real material gains for working-class Finns.
Since 1945, Finland has sought cordial relations with its vast Russian neighbor. But Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has emboldened champions of Finnish NATO membership — and made things harder for left-wing critics of the military alliance.
In Finland, 70 percent of preschool children attend a full day care service supported by the government. There’s absolutely no reason why countries like the United States can’t do the same.
In Finland, high-quality free school meals are provided to all children between six and sixteen as a public service. Students in the United States and everywhere else deserve the same.
In recent years, the air of optimism surrounding the European Union has been replaced by continual crisis management. Yet the pandemic, the financial crisis, and Brexit have all spurred even further integration — and the Left lacks a coherent response.
Lots of myths and half-truths circulate about Nordic countries like Finland. But make no mistake: socialists and militant workers built the Finnish welfare state — not an enlightened or pro-business elite.
Finland’s millionaire prime minister sought to reorganize the welfare state along the lines of a private business. But his hard-line policies and failed assault on health care have revitalized the Finnish left.
The Communist Party of Finland was founded 100 years ago today. Its fate was tightly wound up with the Soviet Union across the border.
The Finns rose to become one of Europe’s most prominent right-populist parties. Then they joined government.