Suomenruotsalaisten joukkopsykologiset tulkinnat Suomen sisällissodasta


  • Petteri Pietikäinen


sisällissota, joukkopsykologia, sosiaalipsykologia, suomenruotsalaiset, punakaartit, sosialismi


The first treatises to use terms from crowd psychology to describe the “Red insurgency” were published immediately after the Finnish Civil War of 1918. Between then and the early 1920s, several authors in Finland used the notions of suggestibility and mental epidemics from Gustave Le Bon and other crowd psychologists to warn about the dangers of socialism in their interpretations of the aborted revolution. This article focuses on how crowd psychology was used in the aftermath of the Civil War by those Finnish authors whose mother tongue was Swedish. In their interpretations of the war, these Swedish-speaking Finns shared many assumptions with those authors whose mother tongue was Finnish, but there were also some differences. What united the two linguistic groups was the common belief that Russians and Russian Bolshevism were not only a threat to western civilization, but that socialists were inciting “class hatred” among workers; what distinguished them, however, was the inclination of the “Swedes” to draw a racial, biological, and psychological line between the linguistic groups. They associated Finnishness with socialism, collectivism, and a strong susceptibility to indoctrination: Finns were seemingly unaware and uncritical of their fascination with ideas. In the historical setting of the Civil War, Swedish-speaking Finns applied crowd psychology not only to socialists, the Reds, and the working class, but to the whole of the Finnish-speaking population with its particular ethnoracial characteristics.