Communist Party of Finland
to Meeting of Communist and Workers parties in 2023 Izmir
I would like to thank the Turkish Communist Party for making it possible for all of us to gather here in Izmir. It is very important that we are able to hold these meetings and come together to discuss the state of the world and the communist movement.
I shall now give you a few comments in regard of political turns in Finland, which is reflected not only in the open militarism and right-wing extremism of the reactionary government led by Petteri Orpo of the National Coalition Party as Prime Minister, but also, among other things, in the anti-communist initiative to ban the symbols of communism.
Current security policy of Finland, which is built on NATO and bilateral military cooperation agreements, is self-deception. It is absurd and dangerous to claim, as our government is doing at the moment, that increasing military tension would make it possible to someday ease tensions between Finland and Russia. This same category also includes the European Union's sanctions policy against Russia, the price of which is particularly high for border countries such as Finland. Both of these only increases confrontation and do not contribute to the prospects for peace.
A particularly disturbing idea in the current Finnish political discourse of our country is the argument for using NATO's nuclear weapons as an "umbrella" as a deterrent to peace. Committing to armed security during times when risk of use of nuclear weapons increases does not serve as a step to prevent nuclear war but towards it. The increase in militaristic rhetoric and accelerating armament is disastrous for the future of humanity and the planet, obscuring the human suffering and environmental destruction of war.
True lasting peace cannot be based on weapons and the threat of them. There needs to be an in-depth debate on how to prevent horrors such as the wars and what could be the Communist initiative in this regard.
The CPF believes that the least we can do as an international community of communists is to demand the initiation of a ceasefire and peace negotiations in Ukraine and other crisis areas by the UN and other international actors. This has to be done at the same time as we demand NATO to pull back its initiatives to threaten China on Pacific region and other western forces such as France to withdraw their presence in Africa and other regions. Armed colonialism has reached its limits and must be moved to thrash pin of history.
Peace is a common task for all of humanity and an absolute prerequisitefor our ability to solve other burning problems that threaten humanity's existence, such as climate change and biodiversity loss.
Unfortunately In addition to NATO membership, the Finnish government also acts in other ways, which increase military tensions in our neighbourhood. In addition to the fast-swelling defence budget, which has inflated to record levels, it is currently negotiating on a bilateral defence cooperation with the United States. Finland and the United States Defence Cooperation Agreement, which includes a license specifically designated areas of the Finnish army, airfields and other common areas agreed facilities and areas would let The United States, if it so wishes, has free rein to operate within these regions without regard to Finnish laws or policies.
We in the Communist Party of Finland are still defending the idea that our country must continue to, in spite of NATO membership, try to form friendly and trusting diplomatic relations with Russia and all other countries. This still requires that Finland does not allow offensive weaponry on its own soil and guarantees that Finnish soil is not used to attack any other country.
Anti-communism getting stronger
In addition to its NATO orientation, Finland's current government, led by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo of the National Coalition Party, has shown itself extremely eager to cut back on social services and further erode the foundations of the Finnish welfare state model. Coalition party is now getting austerity politics in Finland to levels we have not seen since 1990´s.
In order to obtain a sufficiently broad basis for a majority government, and to be able to full fill these political aims, Petteri Orpo also included the right-wing nationalist True Finns Party in his government. The True Finns has a large number of openly far-right politicians, whom party leader Riikka Purra has not been afraid to put in very high positions.
The government has met with very strong and widespread opposition, above all because of its inability to distance itself from racism or the extreme right. The first minister in this government was forced to resign just a few weeks after his appointment for precisely these reasons, and the government became embroiled in internal discord after some of its auxiliary parties, in particular the Swedish People's Party, demanded action to curb the extreme right-wing line.
In response to these demands, the government decided to draw up a report listing a series of measures it allegedly intends to take to tackle the activities of the extreme right, both within its ranks and in Finland more generally. One of these proposed measures is to see whether it would be possible to ban the use of communist symbols to spread the idea of communism.
Although it is quite probable that this proposal will lead to nothing more than a statement of how difficult it would be to justify, enforce or control in practice such a ban, its introduction in general is an indication of political change.
Equating communism with Nazis is, of course, a very popular argument in right-wing debate. It seeks to demonise communism and undermine the credibility of communists. In Finland, this has not been widely accepted since the heyday of fascism in the 1930s. After that time this idea has always been rejected when it has been rising.
The fact that this can now be discussed politically without provoking strong rejection, especially when put together with the rise of militarism, the removal of statues of Lenin, the right-winging of society and the dismantling of the welfare state, indicates how the Finnish political field has broken away from the moderate line followed earlier, in which the activities of the communists have not been easy, but have not been completely excluded from the margins.
The political debate that has now begun does not bode well for the Finnish left or communists, but it is particularly unfortunate for Finnish society. The best achievements of the labour movement are to be eroded once and for all and replaced by ruthlessly tough right-wing politics. At the same time, trying to restrict the Communists' scope for action makes it easier to achieve this objective.
We will therefore monitor the situation closely and count on the solidarity and support of all of you if initiatives to ban communism proceed in our country. We will then also ask you for help in rejecting these extremely reactionary ideas.
communism is not a threat to the world, but the only way forward from destructive capitalism.
Long live the Turkish Communist Party!
Long live the world's communist movement!