Communist Party of Finland
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Communist Party of Finland
(CPF; Suomen Kommunistinen Puolue), founded on Aug. 29, 1918, at a conference of the Finnish Social Democratic organization abroad; the conference was held in Moscow and included participants in the Finnish Revolution of 1918 who emigrated to Soviet Russia after the revolution was defeated. Among those who played important roles in the creation of the CPF were O. W. Kuusinen and Y. Sirola. The CPF operated underground in Finland until the fall of 1944.
At first the CPF underestimated the value of work in legal organizations, the parliament, and municipalities. These shortcomings were quickly overcome with the aid of the Comintern, of which the CPF was a founder (in 1919). In the early 1920’s the CPF carried out important work in creating a network of mass workers’ organizations in the country and developing the left-wing socialist movement. The legal Socialist Workers’ Party of Finland (SWPF) was established with the participation of the CPF in 1920. In the 1920’s the CPF was active in the struggle for the economic interests and political freedom of the workers, the struggle against the country’s subordination to the imperialist powers, and the struggle for peace and friendship with Soviet Russia. After the SWPF and other left-wing workers’ organizations were banned (1922–23), the CPF led the working class in large-scale economic and political actions in the years 1924–27. (The seventh conference of the CPF, held in 1930, pointed out the necessity of expanding the mass antifascist struggle in the country.)
In the early 1930’s the Finnish bourgeoisie smashed all left-wing workers’ organizations and imprisoned hundreds of Communists; T. Antikainen, V. Pessi, and other leaders of the CPF were arrested and convicted.
Proceeding from the resolutions of the Seventh Congress of the Comintern (1935), the Sixth Congress of the CPF (1935) called for the creation of a united front against reaction and fascism and declared that the party was ready to cooperate with all champions of democracy and peace.
During the wars against the USSR, into which Finland was drawn by the country’s reactionary forces in 1939–40 and 1941–44, the CPF struggled actively for the cessation of military action and the establishment of neighborly relations with the Soviet Union. In accordance with the armistice agreement signed by Finland and the states of the antifascist coalition on Sept. 19, 1944, the CPF and other Finnish democratic organizations received the right to operate legally. The CPF headed the struggle for a democratic and peaceful path of development for Finland. Achieving considerable influence in the country’s trade union, cooperative, and workers’ sports movements, the CPF grew into a mass party in a short space of time. In October 1944 the Finnish Democratic People’s League (FDPL) was founded on the initiative of the CPF and left-wing Social Democrats. The CPF began to participate in parliamentary and municipal activity within the framework of the FDPL. Communists were members of the government of Finland as representatives of the FDPL from 1944 to 1948 and from 1966 to 1971. The CPF made an important contribution to the formation of Finland’s postwar foreign policy, which was aimed at the development of friendly relations with the Soviet Union. In the parliamentary elections of 1972, about 440,000 voters (17 percent) cast their ballots for the FDPL electoral bloc. In the FDPL parliamentary faction, which in 1972 numbered 37 deputies (out of 200), the CPF had 33 seats.
|Table 1. Congresses of the Communist Party of Finland|
|First ...............||August 1918|
|Seventh ...............||Helsinki||October 1945|
|Eighth ...............||Helsinki||August 1948|
|Ninth ...............||Helsinki||Nov. 1–5, 1951|
|Tenth ...............||Helsinki||Oct. 2–5, 1954|
|Eleventh ...............||Helsinki||May 29-June 2, 1957|
|Twelfth ...............||Helsinki||Apr. 15–18, 1960|
|Thirteenth ...............||Helsinki||Apr. 12–15, 1963|
|Fourteenth ...............||Helsinki||Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 1966|
|Fifteenth ...............||Helsinki||Apr. 3–6, 1969|
|Extraordinary Congress ...............||Helsinki||Feb. 14, 1970|
|Sixteenth ...............||Helsinki||Mar. 31-Apr. 2, 1972|
|Seventeenth ...............||Helsinki||May 16–18, 1975|
The program documents of the CPF proceed from the necessity of realizing Finland’s transition from capitalism to socialism by peaceful means; they pose the task of creating a broad antimonopolistic front of democratic forces for the struggle against the domination of capital; such a front would also lead to the struggle of the working people for the improvement of their living conditions. These guidelines were further developed in the detailed proposals of the Seventeenth Congress of the CPF (May 1975) for the program of cooperation among democratic forces. The CPF addressed the proposals to the Social Democratic Party of Finland and the Center Party. The Seventeenth Congress adopted the declaration On Principles of Consolidating Party Unity, which, in fact, is a CPF program document for the near future.
Delegations of the CPF participated in the international Conferences of Communist and Workers’ Parties (held in Moscow in 1957, 1960, and 1969). The CPF approved the documents adopted at the conferences.
Under its rules (adopted in 1957), the CPF is organized on the basis of the principles of democratic centralism. The supreme party body is the Congress; in the intervals between congresses party work is directed by the Central Committee and the Politburo of the CC. The chairman of the CPF is A. Saarinen. The CPF has about 42,000 members (1975). The central organ (jointly with the FDPL) is the newspaper Kansan Uutiset; the theoretical organ is the journal Kommunisti. (See Table 1 for a list of the congresses of the CPF.)
REFERENCESIz istorii Kommunisticheskoi partii Finliandii. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Finnish.)
Hyvönen, A. Suomen Kommunistisen puolueen 50-vuotistaival [Tampere, 1968.]
F. G. FEDOROV and S. V. SMIRNOV