Time To Short Nokia

March 31, 2008

Turns out Finland doesn’t have free speech. Since that’s the engine of innovation and growth, Finns are headed back to reindeer herding.

Gates of Vienna reports:

Last Friday the Finnish TV network YLE published the following brief news item:

A blogger in Finland has been fined for writing offensive material about Africans.

A court sentenced the 30-year old Espoo resident to a fine for inciting racial hatred. It found that the man’s writings on the Internet constituted illegal propaganda.

The judgment ruled that the man slandered Africans by comparing them to animals. In his defense, the man said that laws governing freedom of speech protected his right to express his opinion.

Inciting racial hatred — hets mot folkgrupp in the Swedish version — is the catchall offense used in Finland to suppress politically incorrect speech.

Consider how modern economies would fare without free speech:

– Suppliers would suppress negative consumer reviews, so free markets would collapse.

– Governments would suppress aggrieved voters, so democracy and hence capitalism would be replaced by Fear State collectivism.

– Scientific criticism would be silenced, so growth of scientific knowledge would stall.

– Without the freedom to dissent from perceived state abuses, people would take up arms.

So without free speech you get what Finland was until 18 years ago – an impoverished communist hellhole.

Shame to see it revert.