Transcendental Titans

Revolt Against Modernity

Tag: Estonia

Springtime in Tallinn

Alexey Bogolyubov – Port of Tallinn, 1853

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Scandza Forum in Tallinn, Estonia. In his opening address to the conference, organiser Frodi Midjord stated that he had chosen Tallinn as a venue because it showcases the best of Europe, architecturally, culturally, and demographically. In this respect, the location was most certainly well chosen – with an unseasonably pleasant sun shining on the Hanseatic jewel of the North, surrounded by friends old and new, it was hard not to feel a sense of optimism and camaraderie as we strolled the medieval cobbled streets of the City of Spires. Yet I must admit that I returned to Estonia for the first time in several years with trepidation in my heart, because while the Spring sun framed the beauty of the land, a catastrophic political storm has been brewing, and it is just now making its destructive landfall.

Estonia is a small country, small enough that the first person I encountered upon leaving my apartment was none other than Martin Helme, leader of Estonia’s Conservative People’s Party (EKRE). He was on his way to the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) to continue a marathon unprecedented political deadlock, in which the EKRE and several other opposition parties are running a continuous filibuster to stymie the policies of recently re-elected Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and her liberal Reform Party. On the surface, the ostensible disagreement seems politics as usual; Kallas is attempting to increase taxes and cut services amid Estonia’s skyrocketing inflation and ailing economy. Yet this is no ordinary political disagreement, but a battle for the very soul of Estonia, because the platform of the Reform Party is one which seeks to radically and irreversibly transform the nature of Estonian society.

Amid the medley of economic bills there are proposals to implement new hate speech legislation, to legalise same sex marriage, and to continue to encourage immigration to Estonia, which in 2022 saw its lowest natural birth rate in a century and highest levels of migration to date. Even the nature of the constitution and electoral system has been called into question, with Martin Helme contending that Estonia’s entirely online voting system has been rigged, and with the government potentially planning to end the current opposition in the Riigikogu by extraordinary legal means. Kallas and her Reform Party thus represent the most fanatical embodiment of the neoliberal cultural terror machine, trampling on the freedoms, rights, demographics and even the architectural and cultural heritage of the nation.

This story is perhaps par for the course in most Western states, yet it takes on a particular poignance in Estonia, this tiny nation in which there are fewer than a million ethnic Estonians, who have for millennia struggled for their sovereignty and ethnic continuity. The Estonian constitution states that its aim is to “[…] guarantee the preservation of the Estonian people, the Estonian language and the Estonian culture through the ages.”[1] By this token the Reform Party and Kallas represent a metaphysical sickness, a betrayal of the tribe, which in times of old would result in being cast into the deep swampy bogs of the primeval land.

The rapidity with which Estonia is changing prompts the question, why has this happened now? It is tempting to answer that both the individual and the moment have coincided. Kallas is the daughter of former Estonian Prime Minister and later European Commissioner Siim Kallas. Kallas herself has an impeccable degree as Eurocrat, serving as a member of European Parliament prior to her election. There is no doubt she is motivated by living a life dominated by liberal technocratic values. Yet the on-going war in Ukraine has also allowed her to mobilise the historically informed Estonian national neurosis about a potential Russian invasion, and enabled her to describe her opponents as simultaneously Hitler and Putin. It may simply be the case that many Estonians dislike her policies, but they have chosen to trade freedom for supposed security, hoping multinational institutions such as the EU and NATO will shield them. Whether this is true or not is up for spirited debate, but it is undoubtedly the case that liberal politicians are exploiting this issue as the Trojan horse with which to fundamentally change Estonian society.

This is not the full explanation, however. In truth it is likely that if it was not Kallas and the Reform Party implementing this agenda, another party and politician would have taken up the cause. Estonia has been targeted for the very reasons that brought we dissidents to gather there this weekend. For our enemies, it is unacceptable for a homogenous, peaceful, and traditional European society to be allowed to continue to exist unmolested. The problem with beauty is that it attracts envious eyes and envious empires, and throughout Estonian history imperial domination has come from a dizzying array of powers and ideologies. Swedes, Danes, Russians, Germans, have all sought to remake Estonia. The Teutonic Knights imposed Christianity on Estonia by the sword, and the Soviet Union attempted to subsume it into its warped vision of egalitarian utopia. It is now the turn of the hegemonic neoliberal empire to try and remake the Estonian people, and if they succeed it may well be the definitive end for a tribe that has survived innumerable wars and privations.

If we are being honest with ourselves, we cannot entirely say that a shadowy cabal has imposed this fate on the Estonian people. Many of them are collaborating, not for security and safety, but out of pure avaricious greed; a gold lust that has infected the heart of a segment of the population. They have willingly cast down the peasant built Estonian cabins and erected glass cathedrals to capitalism; they have eagerly severed their roots to the tree of life. In Estonia’s hour of need, this flock of Iscariots have thrown the gates open, for nothing more than a few pieces of silver. These app-brained cretins have sold their birth right for cheap taxi rides and immigrant delivered fast food. They will not only be answerable to St Peter, but to every Estonian who has ever lived and sacrificed and died; in the final account to their ancestors, they will be found wanting. Spiritual oblivion awaits them.

Yet this is not a tale of national lament. Estonia is being made an example of precisely because of its spirit of resistance. It is not incidental that the speeding up of the processes of national destruction accelerated once Estonia elected Martin Helme and his EKRE Party to government in 2019. By doing so, Estonia drew the eye of Sauron and the ire of globalist elites. Most recent polling data suggests that the EKRE is now neck and neck with Kallas’ Reform Party. The battle for the soul of the nation has only just begun, and we must never underestimate the Estonian people’s will to survive and control their own destiny.   

It may well be that far from being a tale of woe, Estonia will be a beacon to ethnonationalists around the world because in a small country, it is possible to make big changes. The problems of the UK and the US often seem so massive, so impersonal, and so intractable that a single individual or small group cannot effectively make a difference. Of course, ultimately our aim is to retake all of our homelands, but from small stones come avalanches. It is popular amongst some sections of the right to deride ‘petty nationalism’ and to dream of a united European imperium, or the repurposing of institutions such as NATO and the EU for our own ends. It is said that small nations will always be prisoners of geography, simply the weak suffering what the mighty may do to them. But this forgets that small tribes are the indivisible building blocks of great institutions and that if things have gone wrong in the organisation of our world, then perhaps the solution is not that of monolithic institutionalism, but of tribal confederation.

Estonian identity is not to be found in elaborate palaces or awe-inspiring castles. There is nothing on the scale of Neuschwanstein Castle or Belvedere Palace here. The essence of being Estonian is found in the taste of black rye bread, the appreciation of the uniqueness of the Baltic quality of light and the skyscape as its orange hues light up the bay of Tallinn; in the quiet excitement and kinship of hearing the gentle lilt of the Estonian language being spoken when abroad. It is found in the music of Veljo Tormis and Arvo Pärt, which stems from introspection in Estonia’s ancient birch forests. This conception of national identity may seem quaint to those who extol only the Faustian conquering martial European spirit, but these indelible shared experiences may well form bonds strong enough to withstand yet another attempt to reforge the people by an alien and destructive ideology.

In his address to the Scandza Forum, former EKRE MP Ruuben Kaalep noted that Estonia’s national epic Kalevipoeg ends with the prediction that the mythical king of Estonia will one day return. Well, each Estonian that now stands against those who would destroy the tribe in his own way represents the return of the king, regardless of his social station. By resisting he demonstrates a royalty of a noble soul, which contrasts against the degenerate merchant spirit of those who seek to trade away the nation.

This weekend’s gathering also demonstrates that Estonians do not fight alone. All European and European founded nations face the same fundamental problems and destructive processes. Whether you live in Tallinn or Toronto, we are all engaged in the same struggle. Much is made of the difference and conflicts between branches of the European family, but throughout our history on matters of true importance we have co-operated as much as we have competed. England’s Canterbury cathedral was designed by a Frenchman, and this is often the case for many of our greatest architectural treasures. Innumerable European nationalities fought and died in the struggle against Bolshevism. The modern conception of liberal internationalism is of course a negative and a destructive one, but the antidote to it is a network of nationalists operating internationally.

Herein lies the ultimate value of face-to-face events, especially in the lonely and atomised post-Covid world. History belongs to those who show up, and while speeches may give food for thought, they are often soon forgotten, but the bonds of fellowship made can endure a lifetime. It is heartening to meet other informed, serious patriots whether they are Finnish, Icelandic, American, Swiss, Faroese, or British. Ultimately Estonia’s fate will be decided by Estonians – but it is nevertheless encouraging to see how many others from around the world are willing it on to succeed in its mission to remain a country to be emulated and envied, rather than to be pitied.

The unjustified denial of entry to Europe of Jared Taylor to address the conference, and the conviction of James Allchurch in the United Kingdom for the crime of nothing more than podcasting are sobering reminders of both the seriousness and stakes of our cause, as well as the fate that will befall Estonia if it surrenders its freedoms. But I remain steadfast in the belief that in this small nation we can strike a mighty blow against the forces of darkness, if we all redouble our efforts to preserve our people and heritage, we can not only save Estonia, but all of our nations.


Big Trouble in the Little Baltic: How Capital Wrecks Nations

As the world continues to convulse in economic and military strife, the tiny Baltic nation of Estonia is unlikely to be topping the thoughts of policy makers or the global public. Yet sometimes by looking at the small details of world politics, we can gain huge insights into the coming macro trends. By nature, commentators on the Dissident Right tend to think in sweeping concepts such as imperial glory and the battle for global hegemony, but there is another quiet form of nationalism; the simple will of small nations that wish to be left alone to pursue their own destiny, without revanchist ambitions or jingoistic pomp. While great powers struggle for domination, the minor nations of the world seek only to survive in a hostile and ever shifting political landscape. They have looked on in horror as Russia attempts to redraw the borders of Ukraine by military might, acutely aware that they could be next.

It is thus perhaps unsurprising that Estonia has been one of the most ardent supporters of the Ukrainian cause, donating well over 300 million Euros to it, nearing 1% of its total GDP, while also incurring an inflation rate of 21% in part by refusing to accept Russian oil and gas. At first glance, the reasons for pursuing this policy of solidarity seem altruistic and self-sacrificial, one small nation supporting the independence of another second-tier power, viewing it as a joint struggle against the forces of Russian neo-imperialism. Indeed, prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the ‘Narva scenario’ whereby Russia would weaponize the 90% ethnic Russian population of the Estonian city of Narva as a pretext to dismember the Estonian state was often discussed as Russia’s logical next step in its expansionist programme. It is a common belief that only the shield of EU and NATO membership has saved Baltic independence, and even this is tenuous protection.

Before the outbreak of current hostilities, RAND Corporation war gaming exercises posited that a Russian invasion of Estonia would be limited only by logistical concerns, with the Estonian capital of Tallinn estimated to be under threat a mere 60 hours after a hypothetical invasion began. With this existential threat in mind, it seems unsurprising that Estonia has been one of the most Europhilic and slavish adopters of the liberal order, with the current Prime Minister Kaja Kallas being a former EU Commissioner, a total embodiment of prim and proper adherence to global norms. At the same time, Estonia now has its first billionaire, as the country markets itself as a glittering tech and banking hub, with a new business district dominating central Tallinn’s skyline. E-Estonia as the government touts it, is thus a model citizen of the new world order and has become so in part because it believes its survival depends on being such.

Yet this raises troubling questions about the nature of sovereignty and survival. Both the Dissident Right and liberal policy makers view the most pressing threats to survival as external. For the rightist, it is immigration that destroys nations; it seems irrefutable that changing a nation’s population will irrevocably change its character. And for the liberal, if a nation falls under the dominion of a supposed rogue state like Russia, for all practical purposes it ceases to exist. But I wish to make the case that nations are not destroyed from without, but instead are in fact first destroyed from within.

Estonia is a nation with a history of millennia of invasions and occupations, from Teutonic crusades to Swedish imperial domination, as well as centuries of Russian and Soviet rule which killed in excess of 30% of the country’s entire population, scattering a huge diaspora to the four corners of the earth. And yet Estonia is still here, free, and independent. The bill of nationhood has been paid in blood, whether in the doomed peasant uprising against Teutonic rule on St George’s Night in 1343, or the equally catastrophic total mobilisation of the Estonian population to repel the oncoming Soviet onslaught in 1944. To be Estonian is to be imbued with a pathological and irrepressible will to be free, a kamikaze tribe who has again and again thrown itself into battle against totally unwinnable odds, and remarkably endured despite unspeakable hardships. Invasion then, seems an unlikely final end for the Estonian people, who have demonstrated time and time again an unshakable determination not to be remade, by empires or by ideologies. Amid the vast expanse of birch trees and bogs, a quiet and seemingly unimportant people simply wish to be left to their insular introspection.

But in every nation, there exists a segment of the population who survive not by resistance, but by collaboration. In each branch of our European family, there are rotten apples, driven by avarice who view survival not in collectivist, but individual terms. When the invaders come, they accommodate and embrace them, whether those invaders are foreign powers or economic migrants. Estonia may now be free, but sometimes the greatest disaster in life is to be granted what we most desperately desire. Those on the Dissident Right often view demographic integrity as the benchmark of a nation’s well-being, assessing changes in the percentages of native and foreign populations as relative indicators of health and sickness. This is a flawed metric, however. Mass migration is the late stage of a disease that has metastasized. It is the outward expression of a culture and people in decay, but the rot sets in far before the first immigrant has ever set foot inside a nation’s border.

It is common to explain away the willingness of some segments of our people to sell out their nation by stating that foreign and malevolent actors control their minds; that the machinations of evil cabals poison the hearts of the weak-willed. This is sadly a naïve interpretation of the world. It is true, we have many enemies constantly working to subvert and destroy our people, but they can only be successful because greedy and misguided individuals from within our ranks open the gate for them. And once the gate is opened, it is rarely ever closed again. The resulting change occurs within the relative blink of an eye, catching the patriots off guard and unprepared.

If one were simply to take demographics and national homogeneity as the gold standard of a nation’s health, Estonia could be said to be, by contemporary Western standards, a relatively well nation. Despite its large Russian population, mass emigration, and anaemic birth rates, the core population remains Estonian. Mass public displays of nationalism are encouraged, whether at the hugely popular Song Festival held every five years, or at the flag waving celebrations of Independence Day. Those living in Western countries where such mass displays of ethnic solidary are at best suspect, and at worst de facto banned may be envious. But make no mistake, Estonia has changed.

In 2002, Estonia unveiled a monument to Estonian members of the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS who fought against Soviet occupation, sparking international outrage. In 2011 a criminal case was launched against the organisers of a marathon on the island of Saaremaa that wished to ban black runners, while a year later in 2012, the deputy-editor of the Estonian paper Eesti Ekspress had to apologise after running a mock ad for weight loss pills featuring images of concentration camp inmates. These disparate incidents are not expressions of hate and supremacy, but rather indicate that Estonians took the notions of free speech and sovereignty in a spirit of almost childlike naivety, safe in the belief that it was their country, and they could do, and say what they want. They are time capsules from a nation with no experience of liberal thought and speech policing; a nation which threw off Soviet totalitarianism and was joyfully revelling in an atmosphere of unbridled freedom. But no nation is an island.

In 2017 a Wikileaks document highlighted the US embassy was promoting diversity in Estonia. But this foreign intervention pales in comparison to the de facto coup that was organised in 2020. Martin Helme, then Finance Minister and leader of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) cast doubt on the integrity of US elections, leading then Prime Minister Jüri Ratas to resign on unrelated corruption charges, collapsing the government coalition and thus thwarting Helme’s plans to hold a national referendum on defining marriage as exclusively between a man and woman, which would have headed off the potential legalisation of same sex marriage in Estonia. In the West we are of course by now no strangers to deep state chicanery, but for Estonia this represented the crossing of the Rubicon, the conclusive and definitive end to that brief belief that in a free and largely homogenous country, a people can pursue their own self-determination.

This coup however cannot be blamed entirely on the intervention of Western powers, to examine what had changed in the Estonian psyche it is necessary to look at another scandal which is not political, but artistic. In 2019 the video game Disco Elysium was released, proving to be an unexpected critical and commercial success, designed by Estonian Robert Kurvitz with the backing of the Estonian ZA/UM cultural collective. Unlike most modern video games, it was a triumph of narrative, originality, introspection, and humour – a piece of art totally Estonian in nature, that was a meditation on the human condition, shot through with a deeply Baltic sense of place. While the team that created it are speculated to harbour leftist sympathies, its artistic merits transcend any reductionist evaluation. Like all great works of art, it is open to interpretation.

In 2022, it was revealed that Kurvitz and his team had been fired from the studio they founded, and there is now an acrimonious and on-going legal battle between Kurvitz and the financial hyenas who have taken control of both the studio and its intellectual property. While the full details of the case remain opaque, it reveals that Estonia has reached the apogee of liberal statehood, it not only has a corrupt homegrown political class willing to topple governments to thwart the will of the people, but it also has a predatory financial class who will gleefully crush art for profit. The simple wooden peasant cabins that were the backdrop of Tallinn’s sleepy streets have been demolished now, replaced by modern high-rise buildings. The first immigrants can now be seen working in fast food restaurants in the capital, while the new tech elite push for a loosening of citizenship and migration rules to bolster the labour force. One only must look to the Republic of Ireland to see how quickly the transformation will take place.

But while the corruption and greed of those who would willingly sell out their countrymen runs deep; their machinations are not completed yet. This is not a lament, but an appeal. The best cure for the scourge of liberal multiculturalism is preventive, to never let the case develop in the first place. Estonia is travelling down a dark path, from which there will be no return. Thousands of years of struggle will be lost, more assuredly than in the case of foreign invasion if the traitors are allowed to continue to dominate the nation. Do not allow them to fleece your birth right with honeyed words promising security and prosperity. Instead embrace the raw-boned folkish peasant tenacity of those forest dwelling Estonians who since time immemorial have refused to be remade; refused to collaborate with any occupiers foreign or domestic despite the insurmountable odds.

As a dislodged Estonian, the product of centuries of those stubborn and sturdy tillers of the earth, I am calling on the great Kalevic tribe to once again pull off another superhuman act of collective defiance. Together we can sweep the Eurocrats and land rapists into the dustbin of history. They will be righteously judged in the hall of our ancestors who they have betrayed, valuing our people only in terms of shekels and dollars. And to all those nationalists who are unconcerned with the fate of foreign and tiny nations, far from their thoughts, it is time to reconsider your duty. The avarice corrupting the heart of the Estonian elite is the same one which tempts Polish politicians to import Filipino workers; the exact strain that has poisoned the Emerald Island and so noticeably darkened Dublin. If we are true advocates for our people, we stand with them everywhere, united as one unbreakable front, casting out those who would betray us, those who would let their people suffer for nothing more than mere personal enrichment. Capital may wreck nations, but only if the people allow it to do so. We will never allow it. Eestlane olen ja eestlaseks jään!