Finland: The fascist speech of Niinistö at the opening of the Parliament

We publish this unofficial translation of an article of Punalippu.

The outgoing president Sauli Niinistö held the opening speech of the parliament for the last time on Wednesday 7th of February. In the public discussion most attention has gained his statement on economic policies, which is completely in line with his earlier positions, although sharper in form than earlier in his presidency. Less focus has been put to the through and through fascist character of his speech.

Fascism is the answer the of the bourgeoisie to the crisis of the bourgeois democracy. Therefore any fascist has to start from stating this. The parliament is the typical institution of bourgeois democracy, and thus the crisis of democracy is the crisis of the parliament. In the speech of Niinistö: “I do not believe that anyone would raise their hand to support that we should continue like this. All hands probably would be raised for that let’s make the economy work. And this has been supported many times in these years. And yet here we are.” Can it be more clearly expressed that parliamentarianism is in crisis?

The typical form of organization of fascism is corporativism. Thus Niinistö presents corporativism as the solution: “A quick comparison to the Nordic countries shows that Finland is stalling badly and permanently. This will not change by seeking culprits and keeping in the trenches. It might change if we put the naked truth to the table and throw away prejudices and the usual phrases. For the basis we could decide the conclusion that dynamic economy and the basic security of work life do not exclude one another. Then we just have to push through. Would the Parliament be ready to lead this type of work exceeding Parties and parliamentary terms?” He proposes that the parliamentary groups should put aside their struggle and come all together to form a consensus exceeding Parties and parliamentary terms – can it be said more clearly that one supports corporativism?

Jumping quickly from one topic to another, Niinistö also speaks of laws and the own legal order of the bourgeoisie with completely the same arguments as the fascist Lapua movement in its time: “The laws have been the sword and shield of the Finns for centuries. Now this sword is attempted to be turned against ourselves. Russia is using humans as an instrument to weaken the border security of Finland, to shake the internal order and to create discord. On this we seem to agree… The challenge is however hard and twofold: how are we protected by the laws and then again how we protect them. The soon-to-come spring might challenge us in both of these points. It might be that exceptional times require exceptional thinking. At the same time, we must protect the core of the legal order.”

Correspondingly the Lapua movement thought that the communists were using the legal order in their advance and thus this legal order had to be taken down, to protect the same order. As is known the legal order promoted by the Lapua movement was ”secured” by imprisoning 23 legally elected members of parliament who had not broken any existing law but to whom retroactive use of law was applied to.

This is the legacy Niinistö wants to leave to the parliament and to the next president.

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