|Founded||29 August 1918|
|Split from||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|Youth wing||Young Communist League of Finland|
|National affiliation||Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL)|
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The Communist Party of Finland (Finnish : Suomen Kommunistinen Puolue; Swedish : Finlands Kommunistiska Parti; abbreviated SKP) was a communist political party in Finland. The SKP was a section of Comintern and illegal in Finland until 1944.
The SKP did not participate in any elections with its own name. Instead, front organisations were used. In the 1920s the communists took part in the Socialist Workers' Party of Finland (1920–1923) and the Socialist Electoral Organisation of Workers and Smallholders (1924–1930). Both were banned by the state. In 1944, a new front, Finnish People's Democratic League was formed. The SKP controlled these fronts but they always had a prominent minority of non-communist socialists.
In 1918 the Reds lost the Finnish Civil War. The Social Democratic Party of Finland had supported the losing side, and several of its leaders were exiled in Soviet Russia. Some of these exiles founded the Communist Party of Finland in Moscow.
The SKP was illegal in Finland until 1944, and members could be imprisoned. After the Continuation War, the SKP dominated the Finnish People's Democratic League, which was founded in 1944 as an umbrella organization of the radical left.
The Cold War era was the high point of Communists in Finland. Between 1944 and 1979 support of the Finnish People's Democratic League was in the range of 17%–24%. Communists participated in several cabinets, but Finland never had a communist Prime Minister or President. In the mid 1960s the U.S. State Department estimated the party membership to be approximately 40 000 (1.44% of the working age population).with the SKP's main rival for domination of the political left being the Social Democratic Party of Finland. The competition was very bitter in trade unions and other leftist organizations.
The SKP received substantial financial support from the Soviet Union during the Cold War ( Rentola 1997 , p. 177). Internally, SKP was divided, with a Eurocommunist mainstream and a hardline Pro-Moscow minority, called the Taistoists after their leader, Taisto Sinisalo. The word "taisto" also means "battle" or "fight"; the double connotation made this slur, originally launched by the largest Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat , stick. Soviet threats to withdraw support were the main reason why reformists didn't expel the Taistoists from the party leadership or membership.[ citation needed ]
The events of the Prague Spring followed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia had strong repercussions on the SKP. With the SKP's leadership strongly denouncing the Soviets' invasion, the internal disputes became fiercer than ever. While a de facto Eurocommunist majority held sway, the Taistoist minority decisively stood by the Soviet Union and the Brezhnev doctrine.Gradually this led to a disintegration, and in practice, the party now consisted of two parallel structures, and gradually lost ground in terms of public support. The most hardline-leader of the party, Markus Kainulainen, led a group that even opposed Soviet policies after the Perestroika had begun.
In 1985–1986 a large number of Taistoists, hundreds of party organizations with thousands of members, were expelled. They regrouped as Communist Party of Finland (Unity) (SKPy) which later evolved into the current Communist Party of Finland (1994).
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s led to ideological conflicts: bitter internal disputes plagued the party. Bad stock-market investments made during Aalto's term of office resulted in financial bankruptcy in 1992. The SKP never recovered. A majority of the party members, with other member-organizations of SKDL, formed the Left Alliance in 1990.
SKPy, originally the faction of the party expelled in 1985–1986, outlasted its parent and registered itself as the Communist Party of Finland in 1997, but has failed to regain the former Communist Party's parliamentary representation. In the elections of 2007 it won 0.7% of the vote; in April 2011, it won 0.3%.
The youth wing of the SKP was the Communist Youth League of Finland (SKNL, 1925–1936). After World War II young communists were active in the SKDL's Democratic Youth League of Finland (SNDL). The SNDL was member of World Federation of Democratic Youth.
Democratic Alternative was a political party in Finland. Deva was formed in 1986 by expelled members of the Communist Party of Finland and its mass front Finnish People's Democratic League. In 1990 Deva disintegrated and its members joined the Left Alliance, a merger of SKP and SKDL, founded earlier that year.
Socialist Workers' Party was a political party in Finland. The STP was founded in 1973 as split from Social Democratic Union of Workers and Smallholders (TPSL). STP emerged from a group that did not approve of the return of TPSL to the Social Democratic Party.
Hertta Elina Kuusinen was a Finnish Communist politician. She was a member of the central committee (1944-1971) and the political bureau of the Communist Party of Finland; member of Finland's parliament, the Eduskunta (1945–1972); general secretary (1952–1958); and leader of the parliamentary group of the Finnish People's Democratic League.
Finnish People's Democratic League was a Finnish political organisation with the aim of uniting those left of the Finnish Social Democratic Party. It was founded in 1944 as the anti-communist laws in Finland were repealed due to the demands of the Soviet Union, and lasted until 1990, when it merged into the newly formed Left Alliance. At its time, SKDL was one of the largest leftist parties in capitalist Europe, with its main member party, the Communist Party of Finland, being one of the largest communist parties west of the Iron Curtain. The SKDL enjoyed its greatest electoral success in the 1958 parliamentary election, when it gained a support of approximately 23 per cent and a representation of 50 MPs of 200 total, making it the largest party in the Eduskunta.
Communist Workers' Party – For Peace and Socialism is a political party in Finland. It was founded in 1988 to secure the existence of an independent Marxist–Leninist party. Since it was founded, it has not gained seats in the Parliament of Finland, and as a result it has been removed from the Finnish party register and re-registered multiple times.
The Communist Party of Finland or New Communist Party of Finland is a political party in Finland. It was founded in the mid-1980s as Communist Party of Finland (Unity) by the former opposition of the old Communist Party of Finland (1918–1992). SKP has never been represented in the Finnish parliament, but the party has had local councillors in some municipalities, including the city councils of major cities such as Helsinki and Tampere. SKP claims 2,500 members.
People's Democratic Temperance League was a temperance organization linked to the Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL). KDRL was founded in the 1970s as the previous temperance movement attached to SKDL, the People's Temperance League was taken over by the so-called Taistoists, the orthodox pro-soviet wing of the Communist Party of Finland. In the early 1990s the KDRL changed its name to Kunnon Elämä.
Karl Harald Wiik (1883-1946) was a Swedish-speaking Finnish Social Democratic (SDP) leader. Elected to parliament numerous times between 1911 and the time of his death and Secretary of the SDP for more than a decade, Wiik is remembered as one of six radical SDP members of parliament expelled from the SDP in the aftermath of the Winter War with the Soviet Union.
Socialist Unity Party was a left-wing political party in Finland. The SYP was founded in March 1946 by socialists working inside the communist-dominated Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL). Most of the founders were former members of the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP). The SYP had many known politicians in its ranks but it never became a mass party. In 1955, the party split from the SKDL and was disestablished soon afterwards.
Taistoism was an orthodox pro-Soviet tendency in the mostly Eurocommunist Finnish communist movement in the 1970s and 1980s. The Taistoists were an interior opposition group in the Communist Party of Finland. They were named after their leader Taisto Sinisalo whose first name means "a battle", "a fight" or "a struggle". Sinisalo's supporters constituted a party within a party, but pressure from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union prevented the party from formally splitting. The term taistolaisuus was a derogatory nickname invented by Helsingin Sanomat and was never used by the group themselves. Although they were sometimes identified as "Stalinists", this was not a central part of their orthodoxy.
Taisto Jalo Sinisalo was a Finnish communist politician, MP of the SKDL (1962–1978), leader of the Communist Party of Finland’s hardline pro-Soviet faction and vice chairman of the party (1970–1982). After the SKP split in the 1980s, Sinisalo became the first chairman of the Communist Party of Finland (Unity) (SKPy).
Social Democratic Union of Workers and Smallholders was a political party in Finland. TPSL originated as a fraction of the Social Democratic Party of Finland, headed by Emil Skog and Aarre Simonen. Skog was the former chairman of SDP and was in dispute with the incumbent chairman, Väinö Leskinen. The party was founded in 1959, had seats in the parliament in 1959–1970 and was dissolved in 1973. It was generally identified as being politically between SDP and SKDL.
Left Group of Finnish Workers was a socialist political party in Finland. The party was active in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The group was founded by activists who had previously cooperated with the Communist Party of Finland (SKP). Niilo Wälläri, Eino Pekkala, Erkki Härmä and Kusti Kulo were some of the well-known leaders of the group. The group had supporters mainly in the southern industrial cities of Finland.
The Social Democratic Party of Finland, founded as the Finnish Labour Party, shortened to the Social Democrats and commonly known in Finnish as Demarit, is a social-democratic political party in Finland. The party is currently the largest party in Finland's parliament with 40 seats.
Eurocommunism, also referred to as democratic communism or neocommunism, was a revisionist trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties which said they had developed a theory and practice of social transformation more relevant for Western Europe. During the Cold War, they sought to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It was especially prominent in Italy, Spain, and France.
The Left Party is a socialist political party in Sweden. The party originated as a split from the Swedish Social Democratic Party in 1917, as the Swedish Social Democratic Left Party, and became the Communist Party of Sweden in 1921. In 1967, the party was renamed Left Party - the Communists; it adopted its current name in 1990. The party has never been part of a government at the national level, though it lends its parliamentary support to the Swedish Social Democratic Party-led government in the Riksdag.
Aimo Anshelm Aaltonen was a Finnish construction worker and politician. Aaltonen was born in Pargas. He became a communist as a young man and went to the Soviet Union in 1930, where he studied from 1930 to 1933 at the Communist University of the National Minorities of the West in Leningrad. Shortly after he returned to Finland, he was arrested on sedition charges and spent ten years in prison. In 1944 he was freed as a result of the Moscow Armistice of 19 September 1944, which led to the legalisation of the Communist Party of Finland (SKP). Aaltonen served as the chairman of the SKP from 1944 to 1945 and again from 1948 to 1966. He was the deputy chief of the VALPO from 1945 to 1947. He was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1945 to 1962, representing the Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL).
Eino Nikolai Kujanpää was a Finnish construction worker and politician. He was born in Tammela. He became a communist as a young man and in the late 1920s he went to the Soviet Union, where he studied at the International Lenin School and at the Communist University of the National Minorities of the West. He returned to Finland in 1936, was soon arrested and spent the years 1937 to 1940 and 1941 to 1944 in prison for political reasons. He was freed in 1944, when the Communist Party of Finland (SKP) was legalised as a result of the Moscow Armistice of 19 September 1944. He was then elected to the Parliament of Finland, where he represented the Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL) from 1945 to 1951.
Ville Pessi was a Finnish metalworker and politician. Pessi hailed from a proletarian family. He became involved in leftist politics in 1919. He joined the Communist Party of Finland (SKP) in 1924, when it was still illegal. Pessi served as secretary of the Socialist Youth League 1925-1927. He was twice sent by the party to the Soviet Union for studies. Soon after he came back to Finland he was arrested and spent the years from 1935 to 1944 in prison. He was freed as a consequence of the Moscow Armistice of 19 September 1944, when the SKP was legalised. He was the general secretary of the SKP from 1944 to 1969 and a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1945 to 1966, representing the Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL).
Markus Kainulainen was a Finnish communist politician. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Finland (SKP) and served as a Member of the Parliament of Finland from 1975 to 1979 and again from 1982 to 1983, representing the Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL). After the SKP split in the 1980s, Kainulainen at first joined the Communist Party of Finland (Unity) (SKPy). The SKPy split in 1988 as well and Kainulainen was one of the leading organisers of a new party, Communist Workers' Party – For Peace and Socialism (KTP).