Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, Scientist, and Renowned Polymath Jared Diamond Discusses the Derisive Term 'Finlandization'
Is the first country that you discuss in the book. Outsiders uses derisive term called finlandisation to describe the nation's relationship with the soviet union. Now russia you confess to being a little bit guilty of this yourself during. I think it was one of your earlier first visits to that country. Why defense take offense at the term finlandisation. And what is it. That non-finn seem to misunderstand. Sure finlandisation is a a nasty word. It's a blaming word that non-finns particularly germans and other europeans and americans applied to finland after world war tooth in world war. Two finland got attacked by the soviet union whose population is about forty times that of finland. The finns fought fiercely. Lots of them got killed. But finland managed to retain its independence but finns learned a lesson from the war against russia. Which is. let's make sure we're not going to get into that mess again. And what we'll do is. We'll talk constantly with the russians at every level from the president downwards so that the russians are not suspicious of us. will they'll know what we're thinking The russians will know that the anoc can be surprised by making an alliance with some other country attacking finland by the back door. Finland's learned learned and they were very careful not to offend the soviet union when the soviet union vade hungry. The finns kept their mouth shot. Okay germans and american set that is that's a lack of courage should speak out against the soviet invasion of hungary and finish. His response was if we speak out. That's gonna have no effect on the soviet union but we learned that we cannot offend the soviet union. Because hundred thousand dollars got killed from making that mistake. That's finlandisation namely a small country being very careful about large country when i first went to finland. I'm embarrassed to say that that one my my best friend in finland who was a veteran of the winter war. I told him so. Why being so careful about russia because if you get into trouble the united states and britain france will protect you. Oh god there's nothing worse i could say. Because the finns had been deserted by all their allies and the finns learned that awesome viable is going to depend upon ourselves. That's finlandisation it worked finland. It's not gonna work for the united states and so there was a sense that they couldn't afford to be brave and speak out against the soviet union as much as others would have liked because they were realistic and they knew that no one else may come to our aid. If we do. Why do we want to get one. Hundred thousand people killed again. Eighty thousand about children driven into exile. No big and be. We're not gonna be stupid again. We can be careful. We will talk constantly with the russians will remain a liberal. Democracy will remain a rich country investing heavily in education. All the we're going to do differently is we're going to talk constantly with the russians. So that they will trust arson and interestingly the united states after the fall of the soviet union sadly in the nineteen nineties while the soviet union was there in a big threat. The united states was talking constantly with the soviet union but with the fall of the soviet union we began to take russia less