About Us

The Editors

Written by Editors

The members of the editorial team are Matti Puolakka’s long-time friends and colleagues.

Matti left behind a vast amount of material, mostly extempore 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 ideas 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. Thus, he lived the transition from one era to another also on the level of thoughts.

In his summaries, he relied on extensive literature and research material of various disciplines. New findings on prehistory across the globe were important to him. But what matters the most are the conclusions he drew from them based on the philosophy of history and social philosophy. As he often said: “The first human is found by thinking, not by walking!”

Recommended Quotes

If you think you are stupid, you most certainly are not!

We were involved in discussions with Matti and edited his texts, but as a philosopher, he was a dissident in the deepest sense of the word. He revolutionised his own thinking and went against the current not only in society but also within his circle of friends. His views often arose when 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 discussions. He was conscientious in such matters.

We believe that this very significant and unbelievable story will be told, and future generations will study and wonder about it.

These are the premises for our editorial team to publish edits of the Puolakkaist philosophy of history on our website and articles illustrating the concept of the Debating Encyclopedia 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 the writers’ independent studies or speeches, but even they are based on joint discussions and Matti’s view.

There are bound to be flaws in our edits. We hope they do not prevent the reader from discovering the originality, consistency and relevance of the views expressed. We hope for a lot of feedback, criticism and discussion on all the texts.

Editorial Team

Pertti Koskela

Pertti Koskela

Vice President, Chief Editor

Pertti’s Blog (in Finnish)

Pertti, alias Pertsa has been a long-term friend and associate of Matti Puolakka since the early 1970s. He has conducted extensive research on, e.g., Finlandization, Finnish history, the reasons of the EU crisis, economics and prehistory. Our book “Will the European Union be saved?” is mainly based on Pertsa’s research, although it has other authors, too. The first part of the upcoming book series (Proposal for a new history of humankind) is written by Pertsa.

Pertsa has also written psychological literary studies on our experiences. He was given the honour of delivering a memorial speech at Matti’s funeral.

Pertsa had a rock band in the early 1980s (Pertsa ja Väärä osoite). It performed at our events and released a record that still attracts interest, for example, in punk circles. Pertsa’s song lyrics have been praised. A demo record as an example here.

As a side job, Pertsa translates fiction from English to Finnish.

Pertsa speaks Finnish, Swedish, English, German, and Estonian.

Heli Santavuori

Heli Santavuori

Editor, Designer

Heli’s Blog (in Finnish) and Homepage (also in English)

Heli has been a member of our circle of friends since the early 1970s. She participates in the research work on Matti Puolakka’s philosophical method and archaeological theory. She is the editor of our websites and the designer of the layout of our sites and printed publications.

Heli has edited a book consisting of Matti’s speeches, messages and notes, “Only humans have history”, with the help of other members of our Association. She was also the editor-in-chief of our Program Pamphlet. It is published on these pages. Besides, she is the editor of our newsletter.

As a side job, she has published exercise guides on classical ballet (Ballet for Everybody: The Basics of Ballet for Beginners of all Ages) and pilates. She has also published an interview book on the experiences of a Finnish man, who had served in the French Foreign Legion in the Algerian War, and written romantic fiction in several magazines.

Heli speaks Finnish, Swedish, English, and French.

Pia Länsman

Pia Länsman

President, Editor

Pia’s Blog (in Finnish)

Pia has been a member of our circle of friends since the late 1970s. She was a key figure in the the Finnish Solidarity-with-Poland movement, , founded in the early 1980s on the initiative of Matti Puolakka. Pia organised visits of Polish Solidarnosc activists to Finland and was a member of the editorial board of the movement’s bulletin.

In the early 2000s, she chaired the NGO “Peace for Chechnya” and a smaller group dedicated to supporting demands for free trade unions in Russia. It arranged, e.g., a visit of Oleg Shein, a Russian politician and trade union leader, to Finland.

Pia has participated in editing of  our newsletter and Matti Puolakka’s writings on our site.

 She has been the president of the New History Association since its official registration in 2010.

Pia enjoys gardening, swimming and photography. 

Pia speaks Finnish, Swedish, English, Polish, and Russian.

Editors

A lantern is a joint avatar of the editorial team. Diogenes was “looking for a human” with a lantern in his hand, and so are we. The editorial team makes use of the work of the New History Association’s research groups and other active members. Contact: Editors (at) newhistory.fi