About Us

New History Association

Written by Pia Länsman

The New History Association was founded to support publishing, discussion and research based on the lifework of the Finnish philosopher Matti Puolakka (1947–2018). We believe that the significance of his philosophy will be epoch-making for disciplines that explore (pre)history, the history of philosophy, and humankind’s survival strategies.

In his will, Matti left the editing and publishing rights of his entire literary and audio-visual heritage to our association and instructed us to set up a foundation to manage the publication of it as soon as financially possible.

The Human Path Debating Encyclopedia (DE)

Matti considered the concepts of the Human Path Debating Encyclopedia and the Citizen’s Truth Forum to be the culmination of his life’s work and its most important practical application. He hoped that the DE interface could be coded in time for him to publish his views in it, but it did not happen.

We are now looking for funding for the web design and coding of the DE. We plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign as soon as the most important texts on Matti’s philosophy have been published in English. For now, if you consider that these ideas have value, not necessarily as ready-made answers, but as a vision and relevant questions, you can support our publishing work by purchasing our program bulletin or buying books or other products through our website.

Recommended Quotes

Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.

Editors Editors on a philosophical walk.
Editors on a philosophical walk. Maaret Savolainen (left), Matti Puolakka, Pertti Koskela and Heli Santavuori. © New History Association.

Publishing

Our publications as well as articles and videos from our Finnish website (humanpath.net) will be gradually released in English (see below).

We are currently working on a book project that will delve deeper into the basic phases of human history. You can read a summary here: The evolutionary phases of human history. The first part will be published in English later this year. It covers the period from the birth of the Homo genus to the birth of human society and modern humans about 60 000 years ago.

Research Centre

The highest practical dream we have shared with Matti is a research centre to be run jointly with, e.g., universities and cultural organisations in different countries, following the principles of the Debating Encyclopedia in its discussion and research. Such an international centre would combine scientific and artistic creativity with start-up entrepreneurship, vacationing and leisure. Establishing the research centre is an integral part of our plans for the future.

A research group in Suomenlinna.
A research group on Finnish history on a summer trip to Suomenlinna. There was a prison camp in Suomenlinna after the 1918 uprising. PHOTO © New History Association.

The story behind the ideas

An important part of the Puolakkaist philosophy is the idea of fiction that combines art and science: non-moralising reflections of one’s own life experiences through a scientific definition of human nature. We believe that this could become a new genre in literature.

Many members of our association have been involved in ideologico-political movements and scientific research projects led by Matti since the 1970s and 1980s. Together we are working on his biography. We are also writing our own memoirs.

It is also the association’s mission to tell – in both scientific and artistic form – the story of how these ideas were born. It forms the background for our demand that the injustices in recent history and present-day Finland are rectified. However, we believe this will only be possible once a Truth Commission is established in Finland.

More about our background in the following articles:

Activities

So far, we have been active on a small scale. Our research groups focus on philosophical topics and on recent Finnish history, the development of the EU, and world-historical trends in global politics and cultural history.

We have organised public events at the annual meetings of the Finnish Social Forum in Helsinki. Small-scale meetings are held regularly. In them, we often combine different forms of physical exercise or cultural content with philosophical discussions.

On the attached demo record, Pertti Koskela’s song “To my palefaced queen” (in Finnish). The vocalist is Matias Toivainen, who suddenly fell seriously ill and died in the spring of 2019. The band consists of Estonian musicians. The portrait of Pertti Koskela is painted by Inari Heinonen, also a member of the Association.

Board of the Association

Päivi Kaunela

Research & poetry

Sinikka Littu

Research & Cultural history

Reima Ukura

Research & philosophy

Contact New history assosiation

editors (at) newhistory.fi

Uusi historia ry
Reg nr (Y-tunnus): 2678671-8
Helsinki, Finland

DONATIONS

FI96 5721 1520 3352 53
BIC OKOYFIHH

Contact

editors (at) newhistory.fi

New history association – Uusi historia ry
Reg nr (Y-tunnus): 2678671-8
Helsinki, Finland

Donations

FI96 5721 1520 3352 53
BIC OKOYFIHH

Follow us
FEATURED IMAGE

The New History Association organised a discussion at the Finnish Social Forum in spring 2019, entitled “Can we learn from history”. © New History Association.

Coming up in English

”A Proposal for a New History of Humankind”

”A Proposal for a New History of Humankind” is a book series we will publish soon. In it, the Puolakkaist philosophy of history is presented by going through the latest empirical research on both prehistory and historical time. The article The Evolutionary Phases of Human History is a summary of the book series.

An excerpt is coming up from Part 1 of the book series, from the chapter ”The Birth of Society”. It analyses the debate within sociology on the need for a definition of society and shows that without the Aristotelian-Hegelian way of defining society the main phases of the human path cannot be elucidated.

The first part is written by Pertti Koskela. Heli Santavuori will contribute to the writing of the next sections. A broader editorial team is involved in editing and checking the text of all publications.

Our publications in Finnish

Only humans have history – thoughts of a man who defined the human being

The book contains excerpts from Matti Puolakka’s writings, messages and diaries. It gives an overall picture not only of Puolakka’s philosophical lifework but also of him as a person and a friend and of his exceptional destiny as a Finnish dissident. The book is edited by Heli Santavuori with the help of other long-term friends and associates of Puolakka.

The quotations of Puolakka’s writings published on the website are from this book. There are plans for an English edition.

Kindle edition on Amazon.

Will the European Union be saved? - The systemic crisis of the EU, the nature of the era and the emergence of a global society

The book systematically reviews the breaches of law and treaties in the EU and their consequences. We do not support Fixit and do not want the EU to disintegrate, but we are pondering: what could save the EU?

In addition, there is a study of how the essential criterion of membership – the rule of law – was actually not cared about at all in Estonia’s accession negotiations.

The EU enlargement to the east was carried out according to the same formula in all candidate countries. The consequences are now being felt throughout the EU. Estonia has although been able to correct some of its illegal practices. 

Link to Amazon.

Päivi Kaunela: Under my skin is our meeting place

Päivi Kaunela’s poems provide an in-depth reflection on human life. Experiences of catharsis, love, fear, sadness, and a sense of tragic happiness. The poems are beautifully unadorned. They touch on the most profound human emotions and are therefore timeless.

Since her youth, Päivi Kaunela has closely followed Matti Puolakka’s philosophical lifework in the sharp turn of the era. She works, e.g., in research groups on Finnish history and is currently writing the history of our circle of friends as a part of a memoir project.

Link to Amazon.

News magazine

We publish a News magazine that is freely available on our Finnish website. We have published thematic issues on topics such as the specific features of democracy in the USA and the period of Finland’s independence. Every now and then, the Newsletter articles are also published in English on these pages.