“”If there were a button I could press, I would sacrifice myself without hesitating, if it meant millions of people would die.
|—Pentti Linkola. No, he didn't accidentally leave out a word in that sentence.|
Pentti Linkola (1932–2020) was a writer, ornithologist, fisherman, and radical environmentalist from Finland. The hardest of the hard greens, he believed that human population should drop to a small fraction of its current numbers to curb consumerism.
And the 2004 Madrid bombings:
Asked why he wasn't a terrorist himself, he simply admitted that he lacked the bravery and skill.
Linkola opposed democracy, comparing it to a free-for-all in a huge supermarket, and said that he preferred dictatorships, as they are reigned by other values than consumption. He strictly opposed not only immigration, as it tends to increase consumption, but also education of women in developing countries, again for the same reason.
Linkola was an atheist and opposed Lutheran Laestadianism in particular. Laestadianism forbids contraception and its followers usually have large families, which Linkola thought should be criminalized. He was also supportive of conscientious objectors.
Influence (or lack thereof)
The perpetrator of the Jokela school shooting, Pekka-Eric Auvinen, was a fan of Linkola's texts and quoted him several times on his website he left behind. Linkola claimed Auvinen to not have been particularly motivated by him:
“”In all likelihood there was no philosophical angle to [the shooting]. If it had been more planned out and more efficient, then possibly.
Linkola's international reach has been limited by the fact that he didn't know English, so his thoughts have been mainly promoted by followers and through translations instead.
Comparison to Unabomber
Linkola is often compared to Unabomber (Theodore J. Kaczynski), an American terrorist, who attempted to contact Linkola by letter in 2014. (Linkola never read or replied to any correspondence sent in English and he made no exception in this case.) While the similarities in their views are obvious, they are by no means equivalent:
- Both "retired to the nature" from academia, which is an obvious commonality. Unabomber was a hermit and a recluse, who rejected society, had no family and lived alone doing odd jobs. Although such claims are often mistakenly attached to Linkola, Linkola was gainfully employed all the time, had a wife and kids, was well sociable and fun company to be with, and even had affairs with multiple women.
- Unabomber got his manifesto published only by coercion, while Linkola was an accomplished author and speaker.
- Unabomber framed his quest as a quintessentially American "struggle for freedom and individual liberties". Linkola had absolutely no problem with restricting personal freedoms and openly supported a fascist dictatorship that would enforce his Green policies.
- While both are known for their radical anti-technology stance, Unabomber was mostly concerned with the social impact of technology, while Linkola was concerned about the environmental impact.
- Apparently, Linkola couldn't distinguish between Fascism and Nazism
- "kyettävä fasisminkin uudelleenarviointiin ja tunnustettava se palvelus, minkä tuo filosofia jo 30 vuotta sitten teki vapauttaessaan maapallon kymmenien miljoonien ylensyövien eurooppalaisten kuormituksesta, niistä kuuden miljoonan lähes ihanteellisen kivuttomalla, elinympäristöä haittaamattomalla tavalla" (Pentti Linkola: Toisinajattelijan päiväkirjasta. WSOY 1979)
- Luonnonsuojelija Pentti Linkola on kuollut, Yle Uutiset 5 April 2020 (in Finnish)
- A Linkola fansite
- New Deep Ecology Book: Pentti Linkola's "Can Life Prevail?", PRLog, 8 April 2009