Jussi Halla-Aho’s and The Finns Party’s model of freedom of speech resembles more the Russian model of freedom of speech than western model

According to the Finns party (Perussuomalaiset), freedom of speech includes the right to use strong and personal language, and one shouldn’t get upset over trivial matters. However, Finns’ party Jussi Halla-Aho filed a criminal report against comedian Iikka Kivi when he referred to him as a fascist on X. So, the staunch defender of “freedom of speech” seems to struggle with actual freedom of speech. This criminal report reveals a lot about the true goals of The Finns party and Jussi Halla-Aho.

In practice, the situation is that according to the persujat (Perussuomalaiset), one shouldn’t call a duck a duck, even if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has been historically proven to be a duck. Unless the duck is a leftist, then it can be called a pig if one wishes, in such a beautifully circumvented manner. Those who defend all human rights (eww, like the Persut) can be insulted as communists, threatened with death, and so on.

Read also: Why fear communism when the only real threat to democracy is in the government? This is how the far-right destroys democracy.

The Halla-Aho case reveals much about the true goal of Finns party in Finland. It is not about securing freedom of speech or democracy.

In the freedom of speech of The Finns party, only a few can participate in the discussion

The The Finns party have long championed “freedom of speech” on social media. In their model, freedom of speech allows hate speech to thrive, and anyone with a different opinion can be insulted without grounds using various derogatory terms. Additionally, it is acceptable to threaten the life and health of those with differing views. In this model, in reality, very few can express their opinions freely, and hate speech restricts other human rights, such as lowering the threshold for racism, discrimination, and violence against minorities. Persecution of minorities has traditionally been associated with fascist states.

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The freedom of speech model according to The Finns party bears a striking resemblance to Russia and other fascist countries, where there is only one truth that cannot be criticized. The media is also taken over to propagate their own agenda, and there is no sign of investigative journalism. Notably, The Finns party advocate for cutting Yle’s funding and seek to silence dissenting journalists.

(Next, those criticizing The Finns party will probably be reported to some central authority. Perhaps even teachers will have a list compiled if they dare to teach researched information instead of True Finn propaganda? Well, we’re unlikely to go into such communism.)

However, in the freedom of speech for The Finns party, it does not include the freedom to criticize them or to label politicians based on their actions with specific terms. Those in power should not be criticized by the people or the media.

During the summer, the media finally reported on the racism within The Finns party. It had consequences and was a foretaste of future developments. Initially, attempts were made to silence and target the media and journalists who disagreed with the ruling party. At the same time, the credibility of the media was attempted to be undermined. Prime minister Petteri Orpo merely watched and reiterated that the government program was good.

Now, it’s the turn of ordinary citizens more broadly, and previously, crowds have already been incited against those who dare to speak out. There are so many smear campaigns that it’s not even worth listing. Researchers have also become targets because they hold different opinions. Coincidence or not, but this is also the case in numerous fascist countries.

Next victim: the judiciary?

In Finland, like in many democracies, the doctrine of the separation of powers is in place, which traces its roots to the thoughts of the French philosopher Montesquieu. According to this doctrine, the state’s power is divided into three separate branches: legislative power, executive power, and judicial power. This doctrine aims to prevent the concentration of power in one entity (as is often the case in fascist countries) and thus secure the freedom, democracy, and just society of the citizens.

Is it a coincidence that The Finns party have been trying to blur this doctrine and make decisions in town parliaments for years? If the case of Halla-Aho and Kivi goes to court, we can expect a proper show.

I believe that the judiciary will face a strong army of critics and disruptors if the matter progresses. In other words, the “defenders of freedom of speech” will wage a tough campaign to overthrow democracy to ensure that only those with the same opinions can be safe and heard. Whether coincidental or not, parallels can be found, among other places, with Russia.

Read also: Jussi Halla-Aho’s racist updates play directly into Russia’s hands

Perhaps The Finns party’s actions are deliberate. Halla-Aho’s request to investigate Kive’s tweet could be a message to all citizens – if you bring up issues, you may suffer. The judiciary can be harnessed to chase those with different opinions.

If it looks and sounds like a duck, maybe it’s a duck

In The Finns party’s freedom of speech, freedom of speech ultimately means that you can say anything if it pleases those in power and words do not criticize prevailing politics. No objections can be made against the government, or there are consequences. Ordinary citizens and journalists practically experience extensive smear and harassment campaigns.

These principles have been used in quite a few fascist countries, as well as in the communist countries that The Finns party fears so much. But when you can’t call a duck a duck, it remains to be seen how each interprets what name to use for The Finns party.

Those in power must endure tougher criticism based on actions and words. If those in power cannot be criticized based on their actions, what kind of Finland might it be? Certainly not a democracy.

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