Monday, July 6, 2015

conscription in retrospect

Ah. Tomorrow. For many young men, it's a terrible day. For some young men, it's a much awaited one. For all those young men, it's a start of something new. Tomorrow, a new batch of recruits enter Finnish conscription, military service. They'll walk, run, crawl. They'll sweat, freeze, thirst and hunger. For 6, 9 or 12 months, they'll do more than ever before, but achieve nothing. Last year it was our turn, now it's the slightly younger men's turn to toil.

I didn't DO anything in the army. The only win I had during those six months was getting out of there in only six months, and going through a minimal amount of shit during those months. By most and my own account, I was lucky.

While not actually achieving anything, I gained some perspective. I met kinds of people I wouldn't meet otherwise. I realized I've lived in a social bubble all my life, a bubble where everyone thinks like me (Naturally, that's the best way there is to think. If I didn't think so, then I'd be thinking otherwise, wouldn't I? Yeah.).

I don't hang out with anyone who's openly racist. I don't hang out with any homophobes. I don't even know people like that. But in the microcosm representation of Finland that is the army, I met those people, the conservative and anti-liberal. The kinds of people who vote for the wrong kind of political parties. And I lost a lot of faith in, well, Finland, and it's people. Suddenly I understand why the Finnish political machine seemingly isn't making any progress. Why it is backpedaling, even, considering the recent elections. Because the majority of Finns don't think like me.

This is not a political blog. But the military made me see that the backward political state Finland is in right now is a democratic representation of a backward people. The fact that our government is democratically chosen is naturally an obvious statement, but it is also an extremely distressing and sad realization.



  1. I couldn't possibly agree more.
    Very necessary comment, I know.

    1. No comments are unnecessary comments!

      PS. This blog entry is only four minutes older than your comment. Cheers for the instant feedback!


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