The word revolution, according to Merriam-Webster, can be defined as “a sudden, radical, or complete change”. A revolution can be political, socioeconomic, intellectual or technological. Revolution can be seen as positive or negative, depending upon whose eyes are making the observation. While to some, a particular revolution may offer hope, to others revolution is seen as a threat. Finland has had its share of revolutions, both large and small. The Club War of the 1590’s, the Finnish Socialist Worker’s Republic of 1918, The Mäntsälä rebellion of 1932, and the electoral uprising staged by the Rudimentary Finns in 2011, are all examples of peasant uprisings in Finland which can be interpreted in radically different ways, depending upon your own personal worldview.
Finland could use any number of small-scale revolutions in the near future. Please allow me to make a few humble suggestions.
Proposed Finnish Revolution #1: Boycott restaurants that don’t prepare their food on-site
I’ve always had my suspicions concerning particular national chain restaurants and their kitchen operations. These suspicions were confirmed by an article that was recently published on the YLE ( the Finnish Broadcasting Company) website. In a nutshell, the article states that most of the meals served in the kitchens of said restaurants are produced in factories and then reheated and arranged on plates by Food Warming Technicians before being served to the customer (Ravintolaruokaa valmistuu einestehtaissa, Yle.fi). Apparently these corporate practices exist because consumers like their food to be uniform and consistent and served quickly? Served quickly? Have these corporate shills ever eaten at their own restaurants incognito? With the chronic understaffing which is the norm in the modern corporate environment, quick service doesn’t exist even at the fast-food level in Finland. Let’s show our support for the personal touch by doing our occasional dining out at locally owned restaurants, – establishments with personality that choose to employ cooks who actually know their way around a kitchen.
Proposed Finnish Revolution # 2: Do something, almost anything with the VR Group
Let’s face it, when it comes to customer service, VR sucks. Winter comes as a surprise to the Finnish State Railway year after year and trains struggle to keep the timetables. Executives remain baffled as to why trains designed for use in southern Europe are physically challenged by the icy climate of the subarctic. New ticketing systems are introduced before the sales infrastructure is equipped to deal with them. One set of trains – the Intercity 2 operates without restaurant cars, and will continue to do so, at least for the next few years. Conductors are overworked to the point of stress-induced illnesses until they have no option but to go on sick leave. Tickets are ridiculously overpriced when you consider that our society claims to encourage its members to use mass transit. Perhaps the most annoying thing about this lame-duck company is that it’s very operations are reliant on our tax money. I’m not suggesting that we privatize the rail system, but there must be some way that it can be made to operate more efficiently and economically in a way that it would benefit its owners – meaning we the taxpayers. This revolution should not be achieved through cuts in quality or means of service, but through a comprehensive long-term plan with a bit of common sense thrown in.
Proposed Finnish Revolution #3: Let’s take over the S Group
If you have one of those green bonus cards you are a shareholder in the S Group, the monstrously huge cooperative retailing association that has woven itself into the fabric of Finland from north to south and in between. If you are a shareholder you have the right to vote in the elections for the Council of Representatives. Through participating in these elections, which virtually nobody does, we could have a say in how the cooperative operates. As the S Group states on its own website “You can actively affect the development of your own cooperative by standing as a candidate in the Council of Representatives election or by fielding your own candidate. The Council of Representatives is the highest decision-making body in a cooperative. It decides on, for example, the cooperative’s profit distribution.” By fielding and voting for our own candidates, we could put a stop to the cancerous spread of the lifeless and mind-numbingly identical service stations, hypermarkets, and chain restaurants that are ruining our landscapes and cutting down on our options in more ways than one.
Proposed Finnish Revolution #4: Take care of the dreadlock problem
How about we all agree to get rid of the dreadlocks already? They look ridiculous and they don’t smell that great either. You will never be Bob Marley, an orc, or a warrior in Braveheart. Think of the potential reductions in strained neck injuries! Hat sales will increase as more and more people are able to wear headgear other than shapeless wool sacks. Underemployed hairdressers will be experience an increase in clientele. The list of potential positive effects of this proposed revolution just goes on and on.
The most effective revolutions are rarely carried out through violent means. Change is inevitable whether it be for the better or for worse. As members of this society, whether temporary or permanent, we all have the ability to implement this change through peaceful transition, either at the ballot box, or through creative discussion with acquaintances, friends, and peers. What sort of Finland would you like to live in?