Friday, September 1, 2023

Finland's far-right governing coalition to criminalize communist symbols?

Finland's ultra-conservative government has decided to implement a policy that would “combat racism”, following multiple racism and neo-Nazi scandals that have rocked the administration in its early months.

The governing coalition’s parties agreed on the content of a statement submitted to Finnish parliament that calls for “non-discrimination in Finnish society,” according to a press release, and for new legislation to work toward that goal.

However, there is something more on the content of the proposed legislation: The criminalization of Communist symbols! More specifically, the press release reads: 

“Acts motivated by hate against Jews, Muslims, Christians and other religious groups will be prevented and Holocaust denial will be criminalized,” the release says, adding that the government would also explore “the possibility of criminalizing the use of at least Nazi and Communist symbols to promote ideology.” 

The statement comes two months after Minister of Economic Affairs, Vilhelm Junnila resigned after 10 days on the job over revelations that he had joked about Nazi symbology at a far-right political event back in 2019. His successor also was revealed to have sent racist messages, as was the deputy prime minister.

But what's important here isn't the political and ideological orientation of the Finnish government. It is the attempt to equalize Communism with Nazism, implementing the shameful and unhistorical theory of the “two extremes” which, after all, consists an official policy of the European Union.