The brutal Finns

Sunday, October 14, 2007 at 23:26 | Posted in Finland, History, My other blogs, odd | Leave a comment
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My barely noticeable Finnish blog is getting record hits today on a post I would never have expected to attract any interest outside the small number of regular readers. I just caught a short note in the Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter citing Professor Jerzy Sarnecki (University of Stockholm) that it is a “long time fact” that Finns are more violent than other Nordic nations. The good professor explains this with the legacy of the civil war in Finland.

It does not seem to bother Professor Sarnecki that the civil war took place for almost 90 years ago in a society totally different from that of today. He does also not seem to put any importance on the fact that Finland was very much involved in World war II, fighting against Russians on two occasions (1939-1940 and 1941-1944) and against Germans (1944-1945). He just takes it for granted that the “brutal nature of the society” has been carried out through generations dating back to the civil war of 1918.

The professor quotes research, too, at least sort of. He has apparently studied violent crime statistics in the capital cities of four Nordic countries. As one commentator from Sweden points out, the numbers would have been less flattering for Sweden if the third largest town Malmö had been studied rather than Stockholm.

Another comment from Finland points out that while statistics show a decreasing tendency of homocide, the statistical number per capita is indeed higher in Finland compared to the rest of the Nordic countries. However, these incidents are most commonly connected to extensive drinking which is why ordinary citizens have little to be afraid of while carrying out their everyday activities. The actual probability of being mucked up in broad daylight is very small in Finland.

The topic has been picked up in a couple of forums in Finland and by bloggers in Finland, Sweden and Germany. Nobody seems to take this monster piece of pseudo science seriously which it does not deserve either. My personal guess is that the goal of displaying Finns as violent savages has been established before any “research” took place. Suitable statistical numbers were sought and discovered to support the established goal.

It is of course none of my business how the money of Swedish tax payers is being spent. That said, I do believe there are serious scientific projects in Swedish universities that could have used the money spent on this nonsense.


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