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Chivalry, Mimesis and Machiavellianism: Inquiry into the Interwar Finnish Political Imaginary on Russia

Anni Kangas

Abstract
The article examines the Finnish political imaginary on Russia during the period from 1917 to the late 1930s. Political imaginary is characterized in pragmatist terms as a mimetic process whereby new knowledge emerges in problematic situations on the basis of previous knowledge and experience. The empirical section consists of an analysis of a set of political cartoons published in Finnish satirical magazines. On the basis of identifying a chivalric language game on the surface of the cartooned text and probing how it is actualized in various situations, this paper suggests that the Finnish political imaginary is informed by a Machiavellian paradigm of thought, which also provides an element of continuity to Russias place role an object in Finnish political debates. Keywords: pragmatism, semiotics, mimesis, Peirce, Finland, Russia

This article examines the Finnish political imaginary on Russia during the interwar period. It focuses on Finnish practices of knowledge production on Russia from 1917 to late 1930s i.e. from the moment when Finland became independent from the Russian Empire to the imminent outbreak of the Finnish-Russian Winter War in 1939. Research material is provided by a set of political cartoons published in Finnish satirical magazines as well as by a collection of parliamentary documents. These practices of knowledge production disclose how certain experiences and attitudes towards Russia emerged in Finland during the early years of independent statehood. On the basis of identifying a chivalric language game on the surface of these practices and probing how it is actualized in various situations, the analysis proceeds towards reconstructing a Machiavellian paradigm of thought as the underpinning element in the Finnish political imaginary on Russia. This interpretative exercise is motivated by the intuition that some of the key elements of this political imaginary are still present in contemporary Finnish ways of making sense of Russia, albeit in an altered form. Towards the end of the article I will also briefly speculate on the idea that with the coming of age of a new political generation, we may be witnessing a paradigm shift in Finnish political imaginary. Whilst the paradigm of thought established during the formative period of independent statehood revolved around an understanding of Russias geographical proximity as a matter of Machiavellian necessit, this idea has increasingly been challenged by the new European Union (EU) bred generation of politicians and the public. The emergent way of thinking contests the idea of the FinnishRussian relationship as a special relation and seeks, instead, to portray Finlands EU membership as the determining element of political life, thus giving priority to EU-Russia relations over Finlands relations with its eastern neighbor.

Political Imaginary as Mimetic Activity


With the notion of political imaginary I have in mind a process whereby new knowledge emerges in problematic situations on the basis of previous knowledge and experience.1 It refers to a form of activity which is fundamentally mimetic. Taking this road of inquiry

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involves challenging the misinterpretation of mimesis as a crude form of literal copying which is set in opposition to aesthetics.2 In my understanding, mimesis is not to be reduced to a narrow or fixed conception of knowledge as the imitation of nature (cf. Halliwell, 2002: 1213, 2123). The mimetic approach to action and knowledge that I am proposing draws inspiration from the work of American pragmatists such as Charles S. Peirce, John Dewey, and William James. They asserted not only that all thinking ought to be examined as a matter of practical and worldly problem solving but also that the new or innovative necessarily emerges on the basis of previous knowledge and experience. In a pragmatist reading, mimesis is motivated by mind-independent reality without being determined by it (Halliwell, 2002: 23). This point can be expanded with the help of Charles S. Peirces understanding of action as a cyclical doubt-belief process. While Peirce does not explicitly discuss mimesis, we find him suggesting that the action of thought is prompted by an irritation that the world conjures up. In a surprising and expected situation, beliefs that have guided conduct lose their efficacy. This causes doubt and instigates a struggle to attain a state of belief. In the course of this struggle, a complex issue becomes settled for the moment being (Peirce, CP: 5.370375; see also Kilpinen, 2000: 37, 5859). When it comes to Finnish-Russian relations, the somewhat surprising independence of the country from the Russian Empire in 1917 which was followed by a bloody civil war in the spring 1918 can be thought of as a moment of such doubting. These events constituted a political crisis which prompted practices of political imaginary on Russia to intensify. In this sense, the epoch at hand is not just any period of time but a formative moment in the Finnish political imaginary on Russia (Ringmar, 1996: 456). While the pragmatists primarily focus on thinking or action of thought I use the term imaginary. With this choice of words I would like to give the image-based or iconic dimension of the practices of knowledge production its due attention without committing myself to the dualism between aesthetic and mimetic forms. Furthermore, my intention is not to privilege the visual in the way that the burgeoning literature on the visual or pictorial turn does (e.g. Mitchell, 1995; Mirzoeff ed., 2002). Let me illustrate what I have in mind with an excerpt from an issue of The Economist which tries to make sense of the foreign policy of the then President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. According to the magazines editorial, the Soviet Union is dead and communism long buried. But Mr Putin wants you to know that the Russian bear is back wearing a snarl with its designer sunglasses (The Economist 2007). Although expressed in words, these signs have a strong iconic aspect to them. Iconicity establishes a connotation heavy moment which enables mimesis in the sense that the passage simultaneously engages with previous habits of thought concerning Soviet conduct in world politics (aggressive bear) and present knowledge of the integration into world markets and growing wealth of the successor state of the USSR (designer sunglasses). In Peircean applications of pragmatism, visual and verbal signs form part of the more general process of semeiosis, provisionally defined as knowledge production by way of transformation of signs. As an instance of semeiosis, the editorial of The Economist is intimately tied to experiences of the world; on the one hand, it is a response to a challenge that the new, post-communist Russia poses to our political imaginaries; on the other hand, it attempts to solve this challenge by way of sign transformations as a result of which the familiar symbolic sign of the Russian bear ends up wearing upmarket shades. Indeed, signs
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represent an attempt to operationalize actual practices whereby challenges that the world conjures up are solved. In the words of Anne Freadman, signs matter in practice because signs are the matter of practice (Freadman, 2004: xxvi). In my attempt to carve out and reconstruct the paradigmatic element in the Finnish interwar political imaginary on Russia, I work on the presumption that the practices of knowledge production entail a unity of what Peirce refers to as the iconic, indexical and symbolic dimensions of semeiosis. Iconicity refers to the ideational aspect or connotation heavy moment in the experience of the interpreter. It is also the precondition for mimesis as it reminds us of the ways in which semeiosis remains indebted to a broader social or cultural context for its functioning. To exemplify, no matter how creative a gadget, a weathercock set up to make sense of the ways of the winds imitates all the previous weathercocks by way of some idea of weathercock-ness. Indexicality evokes an existential connection or a factual state of affairs. To exemplify, the weathercock is the index of the direction of the wind but the existence of the wind is not dependent on either the weathercock or anybodys observation. The direction of the wind is an observer-independent or extra-discursive phenomenon which motivates this particular instance of semeiosis. Symbolicity, for its part, evokes the interpretative aspect of culture, habits, or acquired laws. In the same way as the bear frequently stands for Russia, there is a habit of using weathercocks as symbols of the direction of the wind in certain cultures, which prompts people to set up weathercocks when faced with the practical problem of the wind (Peirce, CP 4.531).3 It must be emphasised that Peirce conceived of his pragmatism as a method of thinking or an interrogative framework rather than as a system of philosophy or a theory (Peirce, CP 5.212).4 Therefore, notions of icon, index and symbol provide an interrogative framework for actual research practice. They enable asking questions about the complex interaction of a variety of factors that contribute towards political and social reality.

Three Aspects of Political Imaginary


The notions of icon, index, and symbol rely on specific ontological assumptions. Peirce claims that events emerge as a unity of three modes of being firstness, secondness and thirdness. Whilst the categories designate different aspects of reality, they can also be turned into categories of analysis to outline three aspects to the Finnish political imaginary on Russia: the prepolitical (firstness), political (secondness), and superpolitical (thirdness). I shall be arguing that the prepolitical aspect of the Finnish political imaginary on Russia consists of a chivalric language game. It is made up of the signs of the Knight, the Beast, and the Maiden that proliferate in the research material i.e. a set of political cartoons and parliamentary documents from the interwar period. The mode of being of the prepolitical aspect is firstness. The political aspect of political imaginary (secondness) engages with the way in which the prepolitical element actualizes itself in the context of problems that the world conjures up. Whilst the prepolitical level is amenable to inquiry through iconic aspects, attention must be given to the aspect of actual political debates. Analyzing the political aspect, in turn, enables disclosing the superpolitical element of the political imaginary. The mode of being of the superpolitical dimension is thirdness. It consists of habitual ways of relating to a specific object, in this case to Russia or FinnishRussian relations (Peirce, CP 8.328).
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In actual practices of knowledge production these three aspects of political imaginary are intimately intertwined. The articulation is conducted by a researcher for analytical purposes. The analysis proceeds from the prepolitical aspect, through the political aspect towards the reconstruction of the superpolitical aspect. In concrete life, however, the direction and mode of determination are different: the superpolitical element constrains and enables the flux of politics on the level of actuality and set limits to how the flux is apprehended in phenomenological experience. This is to suggest that mimesis works both ways between the three layers of the political imaginary: from thirdness to firstness and firstness to thirdness.

Chivalric Language Game


The point of departure for the reconstructive task is political cartoons in the inter-war period. These depicted figures of not only knights, but also of beasts that the knights are fighting, and maidens that they are protecting. The Finnish political imaginary on Russia seems to have a repertoire of recurrent archetypical symbols, the unity of which can be designated as a chivalric language game. I have chosen to use the notion of a language game in order to emphasize that recurrent signs are connected to one another by family resemblances; there is no essential quality that would necessarily be common to them all but they are united by overlapping and criss-crossing similarities (Wittgenstein, 2001: 5154). Beyond this, the chivalric language game also provides access to the generative, superpolitical element of the Finnish political imaginary on Russia. The superpolitical element as the generative mechanism in the Finnish political imaginary on Russia can be reconstructed by way of immersing oneself into the empirical reality of specific instances of knowledge production. The catch is to analyze how the chivalric language game, as the prepolitical element of political imaginary, is actualized in concrete contexts. This yields a thick description of a set of Finnish political cartoons and parliamentary documents from 1918 up to the end of 1930s. The notion of thick description familiar from the writings of Gilbert Ryle and Clifford Geertz is intended to distinguish the analytical task of this work from logics of analysis that operate on the basis of atomistic social ontologies and, in order to grasp an event, search for antecedent events. The interrogative framework of Peircean semeiotics comes in handy for the task of reconstructing thick descriptions as it enables disclosing a complex interaction of a variety of factors behind observable phenomena. Maiden In political iconography, the symbol of the Maiden serves as a territorial symbol for the Finnish political unit and also refers to the idealized shape of its political community pure, untouched, and integral. The Maiden is also an essential component of chivalry defined by Maurice Keen with reference to the knight fully armed, of martial adventures in strange lands; of castles with tall towers and of the fair women who dwelt in them (Keen, 1984: 1). Furthermore, this feminine symbol functions as one of the key mnemonic mechanisms within the Finnish political imaginary on Russia (Lotman, 1990: 104). Relatively long texts that have to do with purity and impenetrability have been stored within it. In this sense, a gender game intersects with the chivalric language game. It makes available a set of meanings
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which are conventionally associated with the category of women or femininity. Whilst the chivalric language game is detached from real-life knights and princesses, the gender game too is disconnected from actual male and female bodies. It forms part of a more allencompassing structure of signification (see also Fierke, 1999). Within it, the function of the Maiden is to point out what exactly the Knights ought to be protecting from malevolent, intrusive forces from the Beasts. The Maiden actualizes that to which one can point and say, it is crucial for the survival and success of the political community (Buzan et. al., 1998: 36).5 When actualized in the context of the interwar Finnish political imaginary on Russia, the female symbol forcefully articulates the sense of irritation brought about by the dramatic political changes of 1917 and 1918. In a situation where the old markers of certainty had dissolved and the durability of the newly independent political community seemed uncertain, the symbol of the Maiden served, firstly, to identify what was problematic in the present situation and, secondly, to call forth heroic Knights capable of redressing the situation. The image to the right is an extract from a drawing published in the bourgeois Tuulisp magazine in the summer of 1918. The bestial forces endangering the Maiden are embodied in the figure of the double-headed Russian Eagle (Tuulisp, 1918). The image of an endangered female figure sends a message about the vulnerability of the newly independent state and the bestial vulture links this condition to the previous position of Finland as a constituent element of the Russian Empire. It is thus a par excellence example of how new knowledge emerges on the basis of previous knowledge and experience as well as how symbols provide reservoirs for such knowledge. The idea of Russias proximity as something detrimental is at the very heart of this drawing which mimics Eetu Istos famous painting Attack (Hykkys) from 1899. The end of the 19th century had been a time of troubles in the Finnish Grand Duchys relationship with its metropolitan country. Istos painting served as an expression of the dissatisfaction and fear of the Finns in the face of Russification measures. Russification refers to a set of policies aimed at the determination of Finlands autonomous position at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. Among other things, these policies involved making Russian the official language of Finland and incorporating the Finnish army into the imperial one. In this context, the double-headed animal came to stand for the aims of the Russian administration. The Maiden with the book of law represented the thought that constitutional argumentation guaranteed Finlands autonomous status.6 Heeding Lotmans suggestion that symbols are mnemonic mechanisms, a belief in the incompatibility of Finnish and Russian interests appears to be embodied in the constituent symbols of the drawing. In the cartooned re-enactment of Attack dating from 1918, the basic plot of the Maidens fight against the bestial animal persists, but the Eagle has undergone some
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interesting sign transformations. The iconic and symbolic levels of the drawing remain largely the same but the subject of the drawing i.e. its indexical aspect changes. The Eagle of Tuulisp does not stand for Russia solely but also for two contemporary Finns Oskari Tokoi and Akilles Manner. The faces of these two men have replaced the bird-heads in the original painting. The symbol of the Eagle conventionally associated with Russian administration is made to function as an index of the members of the Finnish Red Guard. The drawing is thus linked to domestic political debates but remains intimately intertwined with the question of the significance of Russian neighborhood for Finland. It serves as a reminder of Russias involvement in the Finnish civil war and develops into an argument that cooperation with the Russians was prone to have problematic outcomes. The encounter of the Maiden with the Eagle is a rhetorically powerful interpretation of these events. It portrays the Reds efforts as something perilous for Finnish self-preservation and, consequently, strips their actions of political legitimacy. Besides evoking the qualities of a desired kind of a political community and the need to protect them, the Maiden also embodies an alternative plot-possibility. According to this plot, the ideal qualities of the Maiden become lost as a result of either external forces or internal weaknesses. From the point of view of an inquiry into the political imaginary of Finnish-Russian relations, the interesting question is how such an understanding of the female aspect is connected to politics. In political cartoons, the Maidens encounter with some male figure and the concomitant loss of her ideal qualities - usually functions as a catalyst for the unfolding of the plot. In the image to the left, the development of such a plot takes place in Biblical terms (Tuulisp, 1920). The female figure calls to mind Eves seduction by the serpent, an act which made her responsible for breaking the rules of the divine Arcadia (Genesis 3:22). This is thus another instance of semeiosis where previous knowledge is embodied in the symbols that make up the drawing. When the drawing is analyzed with the help of Peircean sign distinctions, it is possible to point out the topical political challenge that the drawing attempts to solve on the basis of such previous knowledge. At the political level of analysis (secondness), Eve functions as an index of Finland engaged in peace negotiations with the Soviet government. Such an actualization is motivated by the events which led to the signing of the Tartu peace treaty between Finland and Soviet Russia in October 1920. Condemning their actions, the drawing suggests that Finnish peace negotiators were not firm enough in their dealings with the Soviet Russians. The fact that the Soviet counterpart is represented by a snake with the facial features of V.I. Lenin emphasizes the message that the Finns were being fooled into something with catastrophic consequences. Unlike the previous Maiden who seeks to protect herself, the
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Maiden here does not refuse contact with the Beast but seems to be consenting to his proposal. Although it would also be possible to evoke nakedness to call to mind such idealized qualities as innocence and purity, this is not the case here. In an attempt to associate willingness to negotiate out as incompetent statecraft, the Maiden is depicted as a nave and clumsy character. It is on the basis of such iconic, indexical and symbolic dimensions that the drawing develops into an argument which condemns the peace treaty. It suggests that accepting the treaty would be comparable to the fall from paradise caused by Eves biting of the apple (note also the inscription on the apple, rauha, Finnish for peace). Keeping in mind the task of attempting to reconstruct the paradigmatic superpolitical element to the Finnish political imaginary, it is worth taking note of the fact that beyond what takes place along the prepolitical and political aspects, both of the drawings analysed above seem to revolve around the double question of evaluating the significance of Russias proximity for Finland and determining the most suitable way of managing it. The image below, published in the Garm magazine in December 1934, continues this discussion. The Fallen Woman thematic is actualized to challenge an interpretation according to which the Soviet Union was a model for an ideal society for which cooperation with the eastern neighbour should be encouraged (Garm, 1934). By evoking the thought of sexual recklessness, the drawing develops into a warning against dangers associated with admiration of the Soviet model. This instance of knowledge production, by way of sign transformations, was prompted by the political challenge that the alternative political model continued to represent to the established order. More specifically, it was motivated by the visit of Swedish author Moa Martinson to Moscow.

Impressed by the Soviet way of life, Martinsson had written a series of articles which praised the achievements of the Soviet system. This sparked a comment from the conservative Swedish language satirical magazine published in Finland. The symbol of the Fallen Women provided a convenient means for bringing Martinsons admiration of the USSR out as something detrimental. In the drawing, Moa Martinson is portrayed as an undignified, light-minded woman who is being sexually exploited by a Soviet muzhik. The drawing also suggests that Moa Martinssons admiration of the Soviet way of life was based on a scam. The inauthenticity of Martinssons Soviet experience is called to mind by contrasting the abundance inside to the scarcity outside which the three hungry faces behind the window call to mind. Beyond Moa Martinsons case, the drawing develops into a more general condemnation of the view that the Soviet Union provided a model for an ideal society. Similarly with the previous two drawings with the Maidens, the drawings key point of contention relates to whether the proximity of (Soviet) Russia should be regarded as a
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blessing or a curse and how this situation should be approached. It is this question that largely determines how the plot potential of chivalric signs is actualized. Beast The Beast is another key element in the chivalric plot. Its function is to identify an existential threat against something valuable and, on that basis, to set the scene for the unfolding of heroic deeds. While the bear might be the most familiar Russia-related bestial figure, the Beast may equally well take a human form. In the previous drawings, it was represented by the animal symbols of the eagle and the snake as well as by the unscrupulous Soviet official taking advantage of a vulnerable woman. Indeed, the iconic qualities of the sign determine whether a figure counts as a beast or not. It is the brutal appearance of the male character that enables distinguishing him from the figure of the Knight. It is worth emphasising that the beasts of the Finnish political imaginary on Russia are rarely simply Russian or find their slayers in something which can be said to be Finnish. They rather stand for things Finnish or Russian in some specific respect or capacity.7 This results from the fact that symbols form part of attempts to solve some specific challenge thrown up by the world. Accordingly, they must be examined in the context of actual political debates where competing policies are being evaluated. The doubleheaded eagle with the facial features of two Finnish revolutionaries sends a message quite unlike the serpentine Lenin or the immoral Soviet official. Indeed, as the Beast does not provide a fixed formula of interpretation, it would be something of a simplification to argue that in the Finnish political imaginary, Russia equals the Beast and to make conclusions about anti-Russianness or enmity on that basis. Instead of taking that line of inquiry, it makes sense to try to come up with a thick description of the process whereby the bestial symbol is used as the interpretation of something Russian. In August 1920, the Swedish-language satirical magazine Hovnarren issued a cartoon which displayed a bestial bear in the company of four human figures potential Knights (Hovnarren, 1920). Elements of the chivalric language game were thus evoked to solve the dilemma that the growing might of the eastern neighbor across the border posed for Finnish foreign policy after the Bolsheviks had secured victory in the Russian civil war. The image to the left pictures a German soldier lying lifeless on the ground further specifying the character of the challenge. The defeat of Finlands former ally in WW I sends out a message that there is no one to turn to for protection against the growing might of the eastern neighbor. Conversely, the iconic features of the representatives of the Allies suggest that they were not to be trusted for the protection of Finlands independent status. The Allies are evident anti-Knights.

The British and French Prime Ministers are, indeed, pictured as antitheses of chivalry; they call to mind qualities such as untrustworthiness and selfish greed. The victors of World War I are so absorbed in enjoying the fruits of their success that they ignore the
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threatening scene unfolding behind their backs.8 The Finnish soldier is left to deal with the challenge alone. The Beast serves to bring out the Knight in the soldier in such a way that recalls the epic battle between David and Goliath. On the superpolitical level, the drawing refers further to the thought that Finnish-Russian relations unfold in a challenging geopolitical environment, a familiar storyline in Finnish foreign policy discussions. The way in which the Finnish communists magazine Paukku used the chivalric figures of the Beast and the Knight is quite different (see image to the right). What seemed to irritate Paukku was the dominant conception of the Soviet Union as a paradigm for brutality and ruthlessness (Paukku, 1922). The caption Black East, White West points to this idea while the message of the drawing is in contrast with it. The drawing thus resorts to satire in order to challenge the idea of Soviet Russia as an embodiment of Eastern despotism opposed to Western liberty (cf. Smart, 1997: 165).9 The man in the cage stands for post-WW I Germany which, undergoing economic hardship, had applied for a postponement of payments that the victors of the war claimed from the vanquished. Frances response to the request was negative. This inspired Paukkus cartoonist to manipulate the familiar interpretation whereby the human figure with a sword and a uniform turns out to be the Knight. But in Paukkus drawing, it is the Soviet Russian bear that in virtue of its iconic qualities comes to display humane qualities while the French figure is bestially brutal. Whilst public opinion of bourgeois White Finland considered the proximity of the Soviet Union as a curse of geography, this drawing provides a powerful alternative vision to this view.

In March 1921, the labor movement magazine Kurikka thematized the bear symbol in a drawing (see image above) which seeks to make sense of rapid changes in Finnish239

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Russian relations (Kurikka, 1921). The drawing is motivated by the fact that at the same time as Finnish-Russian commercial operations were intensifying, the Soviets incriminated Finland for instigating turmoil in areas which had been ceded to the Soviets in the Tartu Peace Treaty in 1920 and for supporting the rebellions in the Russian naval base Kronstadt. A double-standard seemed to be at play in the Finns position vis--vis its former metropolitan country. On the one hand, the Finns appeared willing to cooperate and, on the other, seemed to promote conflict (Korhonen, 1966: 50). The drawing has turned to a set of chivalric symbols to make sense of this seemingly contradictory situation. Compliance and confrontation are juxtaposed as alternative interpretations of how to manage the intimate proximity of (Soviet) Russia. Compliance is embodied in the figure of the capitalist with his top-hat whereas the joint sign composed of the soldier and the lion stands for confrontation. In addition to being an example of the way in which the bestial imagery is envisioned for the purposes of present political debates, the drawing thus points further toward the more general way of thinking which underpins this specific act of knowledge production on Finnish-Russian relations. In September 1926, the bear found its way to the pages of Kurikka (see image to the left) (Kurikka, 1926). At the heart of the drawing is the tension between the possibility of endorsing an intimate relationship between Finland and Russia and containing any forms of Russian influence. The statue of Tsar Alexander II, erected on the Helsinki Senate Square in 1894 as a sign of the gratitude of the Finns, calls to mind the former option and the Pax Russica interpretation of Finnish experience within the Russian Empire. From this perspective, Russian rule enabled Finland to acquire political subjectivity and to prosper materially. It also facilitated the development of the Finnish national movement at the expense of the Swedish speaking elite (e.g. Palmgren, 1948; Apunen, 1984: 2025; Meinander, 2006: 93). In the drawing, however, the statue of the Emperor is packed in a wheelbarrow and being carried away with a set of other symbols that call to mind the possibility of harmonious relations between Russia and Finland the palm leaf as a symbol of peace and the bear that does not appear bestial but plain friendly. The drawing refers to the right-wing activists attempts to remove from Finland everything that served as a reminder of the status of the country as a constituent member of the Russian Empire. Any Russian influence within the country ought to be actively contained. However, the statue of Alexander II was never removed but the bucket of tar hanging on the wheelbarrows refers to perhaps the most famous accomplishment by this group of activists, the tarring of the Orthodox Resvoi Chapel in Helsinki in the spring of 1919 (e.g. Karemaa, 1998: 143).

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For much of the interwar period, the key puzzle prompting the practices of political imaginary was whether to see in the eastern neighbor a beast or not. The figure of the Human Beast (see image to the right) forms part of Kurikkas attempt to deal with it (Kurikka, 1920). More specifically, the drawing is a comment on whether the Finns should take part in the Russian civil war and help the Russian Whites in their battle against the Bolsheviks. The caption of the drawing identifies the giant as the White General Wrangler and the two smaller figures as Finland and other Border States (Kurikka, 1920). Taking up the interpretive scheme which brings out the Russian Whites as beasts clearly suggests scepticism with regard to the policy of cooperation which was being promoted by certain groups on the political right. But the drawing is not anti-Russian as such. Its pun is embedded in the Generals clothing. Wrangler is not clad in a military uniform but in a Russian peasant mans chemise which functions as a mnemonic mechanism. Like the statue in the previous drawing, it calls to mind the time when Finland was part of the Russian Empire. However, the story that unfolds from it is quite different. Instead of calling to mind the developments within Finland, it stirs up memories of suffering and oppression. It has this capacity because it was customary for political cartoons dating from the previous period of Russification to use a similar peasant mans chemise to indicate the chauvinists within Russian administration who demanded tighter integration of the Grand Duchy to the metropolitan country (Immonen 1987; Apunen 2001; Valenius 2004). On this basis the cartoon conjures up the following argument: It would be foolish for the Finns to further the victory of the Russian Whites; with their victory, the Russian Empire would be restored and the countries that had become independent as a result of the disintegration of the Russian autocracy would again become subjects of the paternalistic policies of Russia.10 Knight It is convenient to start probing the symbol of the Knight with the help of a drawing (see image below) which was issued by Fyren in 1920 and which is essentially a comment on the very same set of developments in Finnish-Russian relations as the previous cartoon. While the previous cartoon from Kurikka displays General Wrangler as the bestially gigantic peasant man, Fyrens Wrangler is a chivalric hero. Clad in his military uniform, he stands tall on the cliff with a sword at his side.

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The caption of the cartoon The Knight and the Deserters explicitly avails itself to chivalric terms. This time, the chivalric language game is actualized to castigate the official Finnish decision to avoid involvement in the war. The configuration suggests that such non-involvement is an anti-heroic deed. It does this by way of displaying the Maiden as a coward hiding from the battle with a Russian deserter.

Reminiscent of the cartooned signs that stand for Russia but do so in some specific respect or capacity, Fyrens Maiden also functions as an index of something more exact than Finland or Finnish. Her outfit the national gown and the old-fashioned bark shoes function as another mnemonic mechanism. They refer back to the end of the 19th century when such clothing had been used by the conservative Swedish language press to identify their political opponents, the Old Finns (Ylnen, 2001: 53). Accordingly, the outfit serves to exclude some sections of society from the scope of the cartoons criticism and to put the blame on the ruling, primarily Finnish-speaking, centrist factions who were not only reluctant to take part in the raids against the Bolshevik ruled city of St. Petersburg but also willing to negotiate a peace with the Bolsheviks (e.g. Proceedings of the Parliamentary Session 1919: 13271391). Whereas those who promoted the interventions saw them as an act of chivalry, the government decision was based on the view that they would have been an unwise example of hot-headed adventurism.11

The bark shoes also play an important role in the drawing above which was published by Kerberos in September 1918 (Kerberos, 1918). It has been prompted by a debate on the form of government to be adopted in independent Finland republican or monarchical. It is quite easy to identify the larger figure as an advocate of republicanism. The figure has not only pierced the crown with his lance but the bark shoes now serve to
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associate him with the Finnish-speaking Agrarians who formed the core of the republican group in the parliament together with the Young Finns (e.g. Virrankoski, 2001: 757). The contention over how to organize the government was linked to the question of how to create a durable state out of a newly independent country that had just emerged from a civil war.12 The thought of the republican mode of government as crisis-prone is transmitted, firstly, by showing the advocate of republicanism as an anti-chivalric character; he appears badly equipped to fulfil the traditionally masculine task of defending the nation. He is a ragged and unshaven creature with a hat over his eyes. Secondly, the drawing implies that there is a link between the republican mode of government and the civil war. A smaller figure who is marching in the footsteps of the advocate of republicanism has his reference point in the experience of the violent conflict between Finnish Reds and Whites. Thirdly, the made in Russia label attached to the bayonet of the smaller figure suggests that in addition to taking issue with such domestic developments, the drawing is also an instance of knowledge production on Russia. It is motivated by the idea that Bolshevik Russians were to be held responsible for having instigated the Finnish Reds to attempt a revolution. Even without the label, the contemporaries would have been likely to interpret the bayonet as a sign of Bolshevik influence. It was generally thought that the Reds had acquired weapons from the Russians (e.g. Hjelt, 1919: 92). During the civil war, the novelist Juhani Aho contemplated on what solidarity might mean in the relations between Finnish socialists and Russian workers and came up with the following answer: I guess that solidarity should be understood as assistance in weapons (Aho, 1918: 8). This thought was often extended so as to suggest that not only the instruments of revolution but the revolution more generally had been imported to Finland from Russia. As a consequence, it argued that monarchy would function as a cure capable of making Finland resistant against Soviet Russian influences. During the epoch of Russification from 1899 until the Finnish independence in 1917, the shield with the inscription lex had functioned as the symbol of constitutional legalism, considered as the Finnish asset in holding back Russian influences. Now, this traditional Finnish asset has been pierced by a bayonet. It was promoted as an effective tool of containment as a tower of strength by the Young Finns and the Swedish Parties whereas the Old Finns spoke in favor of cooperation and adaptation to changing circumstances (Korhonen, 1963: 1723; Soikkanen, 1983: 65). This suggests that the key point of contention in the drawing relates to the more general question of openness vs. containment of Russian influences.

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The previous drawing contains no knights or other heroes but is linked to the chivalric language game by way of a negation. In the cartoon to the right, a knightly figure occupies the central position. The robust and vigilant Finnish male with widespread legs and a weapon in his hand is, indeed, an embodiment of heroic masculinity. The drawing portrays the Finnish-Russian border region as a harsh environment in need of heroic knights. The wolves furnished with (presumably) red stars are the Beasts of this configuration. In indexical terms, they stand for the Soviet army and call to mind the possibility of Soviet expansionism as they wander across the Finnish border towards Scandinavia. The drawing was published by the conservative Garm magazine in the winter of 1936. It is a comment on the governments announcement in December 1935 that the country now pursued a non-aligned policy with a Nordic orientation.13 The announcement is the irritant prompting this specific instance of semeiosis. The point of the drawing is to condemn the choice. The Nordic allies of Finland are depicted as figures incapable of undertaking knightly deeds. Norway is represented by a tired old man peacefully smoking his pipe while Sweden is personified by a young lady immersed in observing her beauty in the mirror. This situation leaves Finland with the task of saving the European north from external invasion and influence. The parliamentary parties as well as the public generally approved of the Nordic orientation, but some representatives of the political right remained suspicious of whether the Scandinavians would be able to stop the spread of the Marxist poison and thus promoted the Southern orientation in its widest sense (Soikkanen, 1983: 93). Garm was sympathetic towards the German regime and supposedly would have favored the German orientation which was being discussed in Finnish politics in the mid1930s. The Soviets also took a note of this. Their doubts were quite poetically expressed in an article published in Pravda in September 1935: German mermaids emerge from the pale waves of the Baltic Sea and whisper to the enchanted Finns that the task of their country is to save the world from Bolshevism (Korhonen, 1971: 129). Nordic non-alignment was presented as an act of making distance from Germany and convincing the USSR that Finland harbored no world-saving intentions (Wasastjerna, 1962: 201; Korhonen, 1971: 130). As a comment to this discussion, the drawing revolves around the choice between two different ways of managing Russias proximity active containment and prudent restraint.

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The thought that Finnish-Russian relations unfold in particularly difficult surroundings also forms part of Tuulisps cartoon (see image to the left) published in February 1919 (Tuulisp, 1919). The drawing is dominated by the dark background and populated by all the three key elements of the chivalric language game: a flock of rats as the Beast, a frightened female figure as the Maiden and a potentially knightly lion. The lion is also the heraldic animal of Finland appearing, for instance, in the countrys coat of arms. Although it is an animal, the lion symbol thus stands for such knightly qualities as bravery and fierceness. It is connected to the chivalric language game by way of a convention. The lion is typically depicted on the side of the Maiden and expected to protect her from the potentially intrusive Beasts. Tuulisps cartoon has manipulated this structure for the purpose of making sense of current events in Finnish-Russian relations. Seeking protection from the chaos and havoc of the civil war Russian refugees presented a moral dilemma for Finland. As refugees, it was felt they were entitled to protection. But as representatives of the former metropolitan country they simultaneously seemed to challenge the newly independent states sense of independence. The image of a flock of rats defying the natural obstacle of the river as well as the man-made obstacle of barbed wire transmits the thought that the refugees represented a problem which was difficult to manage. Unlike the knightly lion, the lion of the cartoon appears as an antithesis of chivalry. Instead of protecting the Maiden he seeks protection on her shoulders. The drawing develops into a critique of the way in which the refugee problem was being handled. It is motivated by the Agrarian Partys Santeri Alkios motion of censure concerning the presence of Russians in Finland. In it, Alkio suggested that the governments lenient policy with regard to the refugees jeopardized the well-being of the Finnish state.14 In the drawing, the thought of existential danger is transmitted by the loaf of bread in the lap of the Maiden. It refers to the famine which, at the time, was plaguing both Finland and Russia and thus further emphasizes the thought that the Russian refugees represented a threat against Finland. The symbol of rats was, indeed, well-suited for expressing the type of threat which was associated with the proximity of civil-war ridden Russia. If the bear and the eagle evoked the might of Russia or the power of its administration, the rats called to mind a different kind of challenge. That is, instead of suggesting overwhelming force, autocracy, or military conquest, these parasitic, disease-carrying animals unfold an apocalyptic plot of contagion, destruction, and decay. There is something uncontrollable pertaining to the pack of parasitic animals on the basis of which the drawing comes to highlight the importance of knowing how to manage the bordering entropy. The image of the refugees as an uncontrollable flood or an unrestrained mass of water was also evoked in parliamentary discussions. To exemplify, Tekla Hultin of the
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National Coalition Party argued that the subjects of Russia are flooding into the country (Proceedings of the Parliamentary Session, 1918: 389). When the refugee problem was made sense of in these terms, the humanitarian discourse was easily silenced and the problem was turned into a question of national survival. As a counterargument against Prime Minister Lauri Ingmans claim that it made no sense to embrace all the Russians as Finlands enemies, the Agrarians Santeri Alkio ventured that the governments humanity and humaneness were inappropriate for dealing with this issue [which] we have to approach as a question of pure realpolitik (Proceedings of the Parliamentary Session, 1918: 388, emphasis in the original).

Machiavellian Paradigm of Thought


So far the analysis of the key elements of the chivalric language game the Maiden, the Beast and the Knight has primarily involved a movement between the prepolitical and political layers of political imaginary. The way in which the chivalric language game is actualized for the purposes of dealing with the challenges conjured up in the context of interwar Finnish-Russian relationships has been examined with the help of an interrogative framework, which Charles S. Peirces sign theory makes available. This has meant analyzing the way in which signs are transformed and replace one another in actual instances of semiosis. The focus has been on firstness and secondness while the question of thirdness i.e. the question of the way in which firstness and secondness are intertwined has been given relatively little attention. That is, the superpolitical layer of political imaginary has not yet been properly examined. The superpolitical layer of political imaginary refers to the generative mechanism within the practices of knowledge production. This mechanism both constrains and enables what can be said of a specific object such as Russia. Reconstructing it is a matter of articulating the limits of what can be reasonably said about something. If an argument does not follow paradigmatic contours, it becomes easily silenced and marginalized. Reconstructing the superpolitical element may seem a difficult task as apparently contradictory interpretations of Russia and its proximity proliferate in the analyzed cases of knowledge production. Certain ambiguities in the Finnish political imaginary with regard to the eastern neighbor were also taken note of by Finnish parliamentarian Vin Voionmaa. In a book published in 1919 he argued that the relations between Finland and Russia are unique for the reason that they are not always of the same kind but are quite confusing. Over here, one hears full-mouthed talk about the Russian hereditary enemy and sees monuments being erected for Russian emperors (Voionmaa, 1919: 325). Both these approaches vis--vis Russia enmity and adulation were also present in the cartoons just analysed. My key argument is that it is possible to overcome this ambiguity by reconstructing a certain paradigm of thought as the superpolitical element to the interwar political imaginary on Russia. As we are talking about tacit underpinnings i.e. habits of a culture which are relatively difficult to communicate to outsiders15 the scholar needs to invent some vocabulary for its articulation. I suggest that a suitable vocabulary can be found in the writings of Niccol Machiavelli. More specifically, the superpolitical element in the Finnish political imaginary on Russia can be articulated in Machiavellian terms. The use of quotation marks is intended to highlight that he stands first and foremost for a certain way
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of interpreting the basic dynamics of international political life a phenomenon due to which Machiavelli sometimes appears more Machiavellian than he really was (Olson and Groom, 1991: 7).16 In the examined practices of knowledge production, no matter how contradictory, Russia emerges as an object of knowledge within a grid of thought which revolves around the notions of necessit, virt, and fortuna. Indeed, the key contention in the analyzed cartoons relates to whether the proximity of Russia/the USSR is primarily a matter of good or bad fortuna. The crucial point, therefore, is to determine what counts as virt capable of managing this volatile wheel. This tension between the geographical context and the way of dealing with it largely shapes how the plot of maidenness, beastness and knightness unfolds in a given context. These questions seem to establish limits to what can reasonably be said about Russia in the interwar Finnish political imaginary. For its part, the notion of necessit goes to the heart of the whole paradigm. The necessity of Russias intimate proximity supplies a determinate element to the contingent interplay of virt and fortuna. It refers to a sense of geographical necessity, something essential of which is captured in post-WW II president J.K. Paasikivis famous slogan, there is nothing we can do about geography and which has recently found expression in Minister of Defence Kari Hkmiess speech which sparked debate in Finland as it claimed that given our geographical location, the three main security challenges for Finland today are Russia, Russia, Russia (Hkmies, 2007).17 Furthermore, in addition to being a characterization of what one starts with, Russia as necessit provides momentum for igniting virt into action (Meinecke, 1965: 2; Boucher, 1998: 137). If necessit is the determinate element to the interwar Finnish political imaginary on Russia, the Machiavellian notion of fortuna well captures the sense of volatility and polarity which pertains to subsequent characterizations of Russias proximity. It is talked about in terms which resemble the wheel of fortuna oscillating between good and bad luck. The way of thought where Russia figures as a source of bad fortuna becomes actualized not only in Voionmaas reference to the Russian hereditary enemy but also in such characterizations where Russia figures as a potential military aggressor or occupier, the origin of undesired socio-political change, or as a hotbed of social, political, and environmental ills. The erection of monuments in honor of Russian rulers is certainly an actualization of the good fortuna conception, one motivated by the above mentioned Pax Russica interpretation of the benefits of Russias closeness physical or political.18 It is also quite easy to identify examples of the politics of making good fortune out of the necessity of Russian proximity in more contemporary practices of knowledge production on Russia. Consider, for instance, the Finnish Northern Dimension Initiative, which in the 1990s evoked the physical closeness of Russia to emphasise the importance of the small, northern member state of the European Union. Or think about the contemporary discussions on the lucrative business opportunities that developing markets of the post-communist Russia offer to Finnish companies.19 Confronted with the volatility of fortuna, the Machiavellian notion of virt does not really refer to moral goodness but to skill and capability or the qualities of a virtuoso (Berlin, 1989; Walker, 1989: 3637). Accordingly, the proximity of Russia easily ignites discussion on the need to manage or handle it so as to minimize bad and maximize good fortuna.
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Essentially, these discussions revolve around the choice between pro-active and cautious conduct in dealings with Russia. When combined with the good fortuna conception, pro-activeness as virt may mean erecting monuments for Russian rulers or other demonstrations of political loyalty, one example of which are Moa Martinssons writings promoting the superiority of the Soviet system. It may also involve acting humbly towards Russia in order to secure commercial interests as was the case in the cartoon which displayed a businessman with a top hat bowing in front of the bear of Russia a composition which mimics the character of the bowing Fennoman designed by political opponents to critique the so-called Old Finns for perilous political compliance vis--vis Russia during the epoch of autonomy (e.g. Jussila, 1979: 11; Salokorpi, 1998: 1617). Conversely, when combined with the bad fortuna conception, pro-active political conduct as virt may translate, for instance, into demands to strengthen Finlands territorial defences against the influx of Russians be they refugees or soldiers. It may also mean organizing the government of the country so as to make it immune against Russian influences or removing any reminders of the common past. This way of thinking also forms part of the Finnish political imaginary on Russia in the early 21st century; it is possible to point out ways in which the association of Russian closeness with bad fortuna motivates arguments for pro-active policies; such policies may take forms as different as human rights activism or promotion of Finnish North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership. This position is often challenged by views which see virt in cautious and prudent political conduct. It is realized in arguments according to which Russias proximity is best managed by way of less pro-active and uncompromising measures. In the cartoons analyzed, this came to mean not taking part in Russias civil war, entering in peace negotiations with the Soviets or promoting Nordic non-alignment in foreign policy so as to alleviate Soviet suspicions. More recently, the politics of prudence have formed part of arguments against the integration of Finland into Western economic and political structures. During the Cold War, in the context of discussing Finnish trade and integration policies, such prudent measures became known as the policy of wait and see. This policy was connected to the question of Soviet proximity in the sense that entering the European integration processes was argued to make Finland part of international conflicts played out between the blocs (Hakovirta 1975, 407; Rehn 2003, 230; see also Patomki 1991, 81). It was claimed that cautiously observing what was going to happen instead of making any active moves was the best way of managing the challenging environment. In recent discussions, the thought that cautiousness and prudence are best ways of managing the proximity of Russia may, for example, be realized in arguments that speak against Finlands entry into NATO on the basis that it may somehow irritate Russia or that suggest that Finland should not be at the forefront in criticizing Russia for its human rights record.20 Although the Machiavellian paradigm of thinking was reconstructed on the basis of an analysis of a set of cartoons and parliamentary documents dating from the interwar period, my aim was to point out some continuities with the contemporary political imaginaries. The interwar period was in many ways a unique time but it seems, indeed, that the Machiavellian elements capture more persistent habits of interpreting Russia in Finland. A propos, I cannot resist the temptation of ending this paper with a note on how the EU membership and the Europeanization of Finnish policies has recently come to challenge the thought about Russias proximity as necessit and the associated idea of a special relationship. Finnish foreign minister Alexander Stubb can be seen as one of the
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challengers. He has openly spoken about his lack of familiarity with Finlands eastern neighbor and argued that the way to Moscow from Helsinki now passes first and foremost through Brussels (e.g. Turun Sanomat, 2008). This has also involved marketing his desire to modernize Finnish-Russian relations and to destroy, what he refers to as old myths, such as the image of Finland as a bridge builder between the EU and Russia (e.g. Turun Sanomat, 2008; Stubb, 2008). These few examples illustrate some paths for further research, which could examine how the reconstructed superpolitical element fares as a mechanism of continuity in the Finnish political imaginary on Russia in the long term and to see where moments of paradigm shift can be located.

Notes The notion of political/social imaginary is conventionally associated with Cornelius Castoriadis whose psychoanalytic treatment of the term differs from mine (see Castoriadis, 1987). 2 Let me illustrate how this understanding of mimesis has been circulated in two disciplines International Relations and Geography. In his argument for the aesthetic turn in international political theory, Roland Bleiker contrasts mimetic and aesthetic forms of representation. He links mimesis to the disciplinary mainstream and argues on this basis that mimesis is an attempt to represent politics as realistically and authentically as possible, aiming to capture the world as-itreally-is. In a book entitled Geographical Imaginations, Derek Gregory suggests that if the critique of realism has taught us anything, it is surely that the process of representation is constructive not mimetic, that it results in something made, a fiction in the original sense of the word (Gregory, 1994: 8). 3 References to Charles S. Peirces Collected Papers follow the standard procedure of listing volumes and paragraph number. In the formula CP v.p. v stands for the volume and p for the paragraph number. 4 With the notion of theory I have in mind an epistemic attitude which Helena Rytvuori-Apunen referring to Stephen Toulmin calls theory-centred knowledge. In this view, the ultimate foundation of knowing resides in the reasoning capabilities of the human mind which can lay the foundation for universal, decontextualized knowledge (Rytvuori-Apunen, 2005: 159). 5 The approach suggested here bears some connections to Buzan, Waever and de Wildes securitization theory which is premised on the speech act theory (Buzan et. al., 1998). 6 The idea of the law as the prime guarantee of Finnish independence also crops up in research material from the interwar period. To illustrate, in 1919 Santeri Alkio argued that when a Finnish citizen living through the present difficulties searches for an outlet for her citizenry, the restoration and implementation of respect for law is one of her primary civic duties. In the law, she must see the guarantee of the centuries long existence of her fatherland and the precondition for the freedom of her ancestors (Alkio, 1919: 44). 7 I have in mind C. S. Peirces definition of the sign or representamen as something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity (Peirce CP 2.228). 8 Reference to such anti-chivalric qualities is motivated by topical events: tempted by the trading opportunities in Soviet Russia, Great Britain quit operations against the Bolsheviks and removed its military forces from North-Western Russia in order to build better relations with the Soviet government (Holsti, 1963: 110111). 9 Richard Pipess work is an example of the way in which this idea continues to live on in Western political imaginaries on Russia. In his recent book, Russian Conservatism and Its Critics, Pipes claims that
1

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in Russia, the relationship between the ruler and the ruled, state and society is bound to be characterized by repression (Pipes, 2005: 126). 10 The caption reads: If Wrangler won, he would lead Finland and other Border States through the storms like a father his children. 11 This becomes obvious, for instance, from the exchange between General Mannerheim, who had lost the presidential election in the summer 1919, and President Sthlberg. Mannerheim had written a letter to Sthlberg in November 1919 insisting that the fate of St. Petersburg was in the hands of the Finns. Sthlberg remained convinced that Finnish involvement would not have been an act of heroism but an example of mere adventurism (Hentil, 1999: 138). 12 See for instance the Swedish Peoples Partys Furuhjelms argument, voiced in a parliamentary debate over the mode of government, stating that because of the continuous danger from the east, it was the duty of Finland to protect itself by adopting a strong government with a monarch in the saddle. Only in this way would the country become free from the inside and secure from the outside (Proceedings of the II Parliamentary Session, 1917: 12901291). 13 See in particular the Prime Minister Kivimkis address in the parliament on 5 December 1935. Kivimki argues that since the interests of Finland first and foremost demand the preservation of neutrality, it is natural that Finland orients itself to the Scandinavian direction to which our country is connected more than elsewhere in virtue of its geography, history, economic policy, culture and similar world views that have come these factors. ... Among the key tasks of the Finnish foreign policy is to cooperate with the Scandinavian countries in order to guarantee the shared neutrality. (Proceedings of the Parliamentary Session 1935: 25092526, esp. 2514; see also Korhonen 1971: 131; Soikkanen 1983: 7797). 14 According to Santeri Alkio, it made no difference whether someone was a member of the bourgeoisie or a Bolshevik. As Russians they were automatically a threat to Finnish survival. The aim of those entering Finland as refugees, Alkio suggested, was to bring Finland back into a union with Russia. On this basis, he argued against allowing Russian refugees into the country. Prime Minister Lauri Ingman had a different view on the refugee problem; he distinguished between the Bolsheviks and the representatives of civilized Russia and on that basis argued against Alkios anti-Russian view (Proceedings of the Parliamentary Session 1918: 380-318, 384386). 15 On connections between Peirces pragmatism and Michael Polanyis notion of tacit knowledge, see Mullins, 2002. 16 My use of the term Machiavellian actually comes close to the way in which Alexander Wendt uses the terms Hobbesian, Lockean and Kantian to distinguish between three cultures of anarchy, each constituted by a specific understanding of the relationship between states (Wendt, 1999). 17 Hkmiess speech, delivered in Washington D.C., prompted an intense debate in Finland on whether he actually meant that Russia is a threat i.e. a source of bad fortuna and whether such an interpretation would be out of line with the official foreign policy of the country. The official line was summed up in an argument by President Tarja Halonen, according to whom Russia is a positive challenge for Finland (YLE News, 2007). 18 According to this interpretation, the status of autonomous Grand Duchy enabled Finland to acquire political subjectivity and to prosper materially. It also provided conditions for the Finnish national movement to develop at the expense of the Swedish speaking elite. For interpretations, see Palmgren, 1948; Apunen, 1984: 2025; Meinander, 2006: 93. 19 For a relatively recent example, see Prime Minister Matti Vanhanens speech which alludes to J.K. Paasikivis famous slogan there is nothing we can do about geography, and continues this works,

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of course, also in reverse so that when the Russian economy blooms, Finland is in a good position to benefit from this growth (Vanhanen 2005). 20 Illustrative in this respect is a row between the Chair of the Green Leagues parliamentary faction Heidi Hautala and the then-Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Paavo Lipponen. The disagreement was an outcome of Hautalas criticism of the state of Russian democracy which she voiced at the festive session of the Finnish Parliament, organized to celebrate its centenary. Suvi-Anne Siimes, then representing the Left Alliance, made an interesting interpretation of this disagreement. She argued that Lipponens critique against Hautala only makes sense with a view upon the Finnish tradition of political subservience vis--vis Russia and took the exchange between Hautala and Lipponen as a conflict between two traditionally competing strategies vis--vis Russia (Siimes 2006). In other words, Siimes took Hautalas words as an illustration of contemporary activism unfolding under the conditions of normative principles, such as human rights standards, and treated the words of Lipponen as an illustration of the policy of prudent accommodation.

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