The members of the editorial team are board members of the New History association as well as Matti Puolakka’s long-time friends and colleagues.
Matti left behind a vast amount of material, most of which is spontaneous dictations and half-finished edits – naturally all in Finnish. He didn’t have a chance to finalise his writings, in particular the latest ones. He was looking for an idea and did not always bother to correct occasional slips or to finish his texts editorially. His thoughts also evolved over the years, some perspectives and theses turned out to be erroneous while others deepened. For him, developing philosophy was thus a process of constant self-criticism and a rebuttal of his earlier views.
He relied on extensive literature and research material of various disciplines in his summaries. Prehistoric discoveries across the globe were necessary and important to him. But what matters the most are the conclusions drawn from them based on historical and social philosophy. As he often said: “The first human is found by thinking, not by walking!”
Editorial Team meeting. PHOTO: Uusi historia ry.
We were involved in discussions with Matti and edited his texts, but he was a dissident as a philosopher in the deepest sense of the word. He revolutionised his own thinking and went against the current not only in the society but also within his circle of friends. His views often arose in situations where he had to confront his friends’ attitudes, prejudices, scepticism and even outright sabotage. These facts have been documented in numerous speeches and writings. In his circle of friends, he was always generous in giving credit to those who – in his opinion – contributed creatively to the development of ideas during the discussions. He was conscientious in such matters, too.
We believe that this very significant and unbelievable story will be told, and future generations will study and wonder about it even after we are gone.
These are the premises for our editorial team to publish edits of the Puolakkaist philosophy of history on our website as well as articles illustrating the concept of the DE from various angles – e.g. from the perspective of today’s threats to the civilised debate culture. Democracy depends on how well these threats are repelled.
Some of the articles may be independent studies or speeches, but they are also based on joint discussions and Matti’s view.
There are bound to be flaws in our edits. We hope that they do not prevent the reader from discovering the originality, consistency and relevance of the views expressed. We hope for a lot of feedback and discussion on all the texts, and above all on the concept of the Human Path Debating Encyclopedia.