margaret and nelson and jaak

SDE party member Jaak Allik has stepped in some Esto political doo doo by saying that Russia has never attacked Estonia (actually, it was in the context of Russia attacking only Estonia — he {correctly, I think} points out that most Russian conquests of the windy peninsula took place as part of larger continental wars involving many countries) But it’s a great opportunity to ramble on about history because this is an election year [Estonian municipal elections will be held in autumn] and Allik’s party SDE is doing well in the polls, and what better way to drag them down, then to Question Their Patriotism? Allik is the son of Olga Lauristin and Hendrik Allik, both of whom were Estonian Communists, so, of course, there are quips about his traitorous genes.

Which brings us to the recently deceased Margaret Thatcher, who is being celebrated and villainized. Thatcher famously called {the now universally beloved} Nelson Mandela a “terrorist” — one of the charges against her from those who do not remember her leadership fondly. But in the early 1960s, Mandela did co-found a militant organization and led a bombing campaign against government targets. So these are our choices? British conservatism or the South African Communist Party?

Nobody is a hundred-percent pure, nobody is a hundred-percent good, nobody is a hundred-percent honest. As human beings we all bear the sins of our ancestors on our souls. Fingers may be pointed, spin round like weathercocks, but the British people elected Thatcher, and the South African people backed Mandela and later made him their president, and Jaak Allik may be the son of Communists, but there are plenty of people who are the sons and daughters of even less savory elements. We are all Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela and Jaak Allik. They are just individual manifestations of our conflicted and often irrational psyche, the varying consciences of a giant that so desperately wants things in the world to be well and in order, but somehow always manages to screw things up.


22 thoughts on “margaret and nelson and jaak”

  1. I find this new found love to Tacher, rest her soul, a bit unnerving. Ilves even went as far as to say what a great supporter of Estonia Tacher was. I was like, what?!? When it all kicked off in Berllin, she actually rang Gorbachev and begged him to send in thr troops. The way she treated Mandela, the Northern Irish, trade unions and gay rights campaigners was utterly inappropriate. Luckily nearly ALL her policies of her time have been overruled since.

    We shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but the level of hypocrisy is unbelievable.


  2. The terrorist was not Mandela but his wife. She did some horrible things.

    I've met Mandela at the party hosted by Saudi Prince Bandar. Nice mellow guy. Did not seem to mind that this pompous a-hole Bandar smoking a big fat cigar right next to him. Nobodoy else was smoking in the room. The guys just needed attention. Making sure everyone knows who is the boss. If you dont know, you can tell by the smell …

    That's my most vivid memory of that night.

    Mandela on the other hand, did not bother to dress up for a black tie event. LOL So they were even, I guess.


  3. But people voted for her. She won three elections.

    That's because she discovered that people like to kick the poor. Then it was a sin, but she said it was ok. It's human nature. Being poor is your own fault and you deserve your fate. It's strange how many people I meet in Belgium, Poland, Estonia, everywhere, who think like this. And often they have rich parents who gave them a lot of opportunities. I know people whose parents gave them a house and a car, paid for their education and at the same time they are angry because people get unemployment benefits. I only take such crap from people who struggled themselves. But people who have rich parents who help or helped a lot, should shut up, they don't know what they talk about.


  4. Alliks case is actually intriguing. I mean MRP is real, so there was intent. War happened, and Soviets were allowed to cherrypick a list of countries by the Great Powers. And Estonia was on that list. So, Allik is either demented, or, he chooses to believe in his version of the events.

    The thing that interests me, is how the self-proclaimed Guardians of the Republic also recent champions of free speech, in light of Nools “beliefs”, will see this. Surely by their logic this is also a freedom of speech issue. So, maybe someone would be kind enough to ask Liisa Pakostas views on this? At least for the comedy value, if anything else. lol


  5. War happened, and Soviets were allowed to cherrypick a list of countries by the Great Powers.

    The Soviet Union was a great power, and once it made that pact with that other great power, they could invade whatever country they wanted that was on their border. No other great powers allowed them to do this, the other great powers had big problems of their own. If Portugal would have been a neighbour of the SU, they would have conquered Portugal, they didn't single out Estonia because they had issues with Estonia, they didn't gave a shit about Estonia or the Estonians. There could have lived hobbits or martians in Estonia and they still would have taken it. It's geopolitics, Estonia had the wrong location. Estonians should not think they were so special that someone would single them out to conquer and destroy them for the sake of doing it.


  6. I never said they singled Estonia out. I said Estonia was on the list. Location was one common denominator, among others. Geopolitics does not mean that they didn't attack us, as Allik said it. Germans wanted to take over Europe, that's geopolitics too, but it doesn't mean that they didn't attack the Poles and the French and the Estonians. There's a difference there, you see. The Soviets attacked us, so did the Germans. The Soviets also attacked the Poles, so did the Germans. The fact that the event as a whole is known as WW2, does not mean that hostilities by a country towards a country did not take place. Do you know what I mean?

    What do you think, Giuostino, was Pearl Harbor a geopolitical event (like some Japanese would still describe it, believe it or not) or was it an aggressive hostile act?


  7. Allik said that there weren't any hostilities, just “geopolitics”. Which is utter nonsense. The tanks were real, the bullets in the heads were real, gulags were real. The way Allik came across as was like, they didn't meant to hurt us, or us specifically. But the pain was real, and it was caused by real people. Estonian State was demolished, private property was nationalised, horrors of occupation left their mark.

    Allik was very inconsiderate, even cold by analysing “the event” from that perspective. And that caused an uproar.


  8. People in power or close to power forget or refuse to remember (two different things) – as Frank Herbert (of Dune fame) said “We pay for the sins of our ancestors.” and “Don't make martyrs.”

    Both of these simple comments have slipped past the tyrants and their supporters of the past.

    I wonder what acts of redemption will be demonstrated by those who were in power or close to the centres of power during the dreadful communist era in Estonia?
    What will Alliks' act of redemtion be? Does he need them now?

    Has the Conservative party moved beyond Maggie Thatcher?


  9. But the Soviets were not the Russians. Putin tries to rebuild Russian nationalism on the back of Soviet propaganda, but it's a reinvention, much like the reinvention of WWII as an ethnic conflict between Estonians and Russians.

    The Soviets aims in Estonia were ideological: crush nationalism, collectivize agriculture, raze Estonia and rebuild it into a component of the Soviet system. The Red Army was red, it was the army of an ideology — Communism. Red Army soldiers of every ethnicity brought with them Communism, not Russian nationalism. Stalin saw the Red Army as the vehicle by which the revolution would spread, after attempting to build it in one country for two decades. He was a Communist. Have you ever spent time with real Communists? They believe that they have a master plan for humanity, this plan is absolutely correct, and in the face of that plan, human life is trivial.

    Unfortunately, many of the terrible things done to Estonians in Estonia were done by other Estonians in service to that ideology. The Estonians are the proud owners of Nazi Hjalmar Mäe, Communist Olga Lauristin, et cetera, et cetera.

    The thing that keeps us from admitting this is German war guilt. We refuse to admit that the ideas that fueled Nazi German war crimes were popular all over Europe (and still can be heard today, from those believe some ethnic groups are superior in intellect to others). Like it or not, we bear collective shame for what happened, as humans.

    What I am trying to say is that we own Hitler, we own Thatcher, we own Nelson Mandela, we own Jaak Allik. We own Nazism and Communism. It wasn't some other guy or nationality, it was us. There were Americans bankrolling Nazi Germany. Obviously, many people in Roosevelt and Truman's administrations believed in what Stalin was telling them. Trying to wriggle out of that ownership is cowardice. I mean, if the Estonian rightwing wants to beat up on Allik as some kind of traitor, they would be best to recall that their own ideological antecedents gutted Estonian democracy in the 1930s, and many Estonian right-wingers served in the administration of Nazi-occupied Estonia.

    We can play the “You're Johannes Barbarus, you're Hjalmar Mäe” game until the end of times. It won't get Estonia anywhere.


  10. It's not a blame game. German threat to Poland was real. Among other countries they wanted Poland too, and the fact that they picked Poland first does not indeed make Poland “special”, but the Germans sure thing went out to get them. Not all of them would have been ethnic Germans of course, but German enough to go ahead with it. Exactly the same thing happend in Estonia. There was Soviet threat, also they threatened us literally (there were letters, phone calls), they did attack us, they did take our land and there were us and them. Of course not all Soviets were ethnic Russian, and not all victims of their crimes in Estonia were ethnic Estonians. But that country attacked our country. There were collaborators in France too, but that does not mean that Germany did not attack France, or posed threat to the French prior to the occupation.

    People will only move on, when they get closure. That is very important in all of this. Closure. And all it would take would be the countries involved owning up to it. Some have already done, with others we'll wait and see.


  11. Conservatives in Britain have come a long way, Ants. But there are some worrying developements. For example there is no free higher education in England anymore. Their recently proposed “bedroom tax” remains highly controversial. And their approach to the unemployed, remains questionable if not scary, if you'd ask me. Long term unemployed are being made to work for their benefits. They are piloting this in Scotland at the moment, and to me this is way too Soviet approach (for example if you're a 55 year old accountant and couldn't find any work because of your age, to receive your 67 pounds a week they will make you to work in a factory or as cleaner and if you refuse, they'll cut you benefits). They also want to go ahead with Trident, a 100 billion pound investment to an army component (weapons of mass destruction and nukes) designed as a deterrent against Soviets originally. But many think it's way over the top. On a positive note they do move with times and are open to debates. When the Queen recently signalled that she is preparing her Chruch for equal marriage, Conservatives welcomed it. The Queen also made sure that Kate's and William's baby will be heir to the throne, no matter what sex or other circumstances, which also Conservatives support. Conservatives also support the reform on house of Lords. So, it's a mixture of things. Although there are fractions within the party, the fact that it's okay and they are able to overcome these, shows me maturity. It's been a journey to them, since Thatcher, they haven't yet arrived but they might as well be on their way. The next general election will be about Europe, ant Tories have got a lot of support on that matter. As long as they beat UKIP, I'm happy. 🙂


  12. Just an off topic one for Temetsa. Estonias GDP is at 70% of EU average, at the same time labour costs are at 30% odd. Estonians love their averages, could you care to elaborate in light of those two figures?


  13. The numbers for GDP per capita are in purchasing power parity (PPP), to eliminate the influence of price differences when comparing GDP. If a bread costs 2euro in Finland and 0,7euro in Estonia, PPP assumes that a bread is a bread and the value will be set equal in both countries, PPP does this for all products. If country A's production consists of 4 breads and country B's also 4 breads, but if prices in country A are double, it will seems like country A has a higher output, which is not true. PPP solves this problem.
    I made a table with GDP per capita for Estonia and Finland at market exchange rates (in dollars) and also in PPP's (international dollars, a fictional currency that assumes that the same good has the same dollar price everywhere). You'll see that the difference in PPP is smaller, which means that Finland is not so rich and Estonia not so poor as you would conclude from the market exchange rate.

    This doesn't account for the total difference in labour costs, other factors are: lower taxes on labour, less bargaining power for labour,…


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