Abstracts for Akadeemia 8/2007

Maire Liivamets
In what kind of Estonia would I like to live?

The winner among adults of the president’s essay contest In what kind of Estonia would I like to live? (2007) emphasizes the continuity of Estonia based on so-called soft but still eternal values.

Tiiu Vadi
We were students in Tartu. I

From 25 to 29 March 1949, the Soviet occupation regime carried out its largest repression in Estonia’s history. About 20 700 people were deported to West Siberia and North Kazakhstan in cattle cars – 80 per cent of them women, children, and the elderly. The violence was aimed at breaking the resistance of forest brothers (anti-Soviet guerrillas) and destroying the class of farm owners (or kulaks, as the Soviets called them). This measure contributed to the collectivization of agriculture and suppression of rural populations under Soviet rule.

Farmers’ children who were part of the intelligentsia were also under threat. The author depicts the fate of deported students. In the first part of the article, she describes after-war Tartu and the university, the night of deportation, the journey to Siberia, and life on the collective farms of the Cherlak district in the Omsk region, where the students from Tartu were initially settled.

Urmas Salo
Readiness of Estonian defence forces for war and possibilities of resistance in 1939

This article weighs Estonia’s chances of military resistance to the Soviet Union in 1939. Would Estonia have been able to put up as efficient resistance as Finland did in the Winter War of 1939-1940 or stop the Red Army at Narva as the German troops did in 1944?

The aim is to study whether the Estonian defence forces would have been able to fulfil the task set to them – to defend Estonia’s borders for at least one or two months.

Among the Baltic States, Estonia made relatively the best use of its human potential for national defence. In 1939, the general plan of mobilization envisaged that in the case of war, Estonia would put up an army of 104 364 men, or 9.2 per cent of its population. Considering the number of deployable reservists, Estonia’s maximum military potential could have been estimated at 150 000 men, but there was a shortage of heavy armaments and equipment.

In the 1930s, the Estonian defence forces lacked manpower. As of 1 September 1939, 12 572 people, or 80 per cent of the necessary number, served in the defence forces. Covering troops were weakly staffed. Together with the units of the National Defence League (Kaitseliit), the covering regiments were able to deploy approximately 3300 infantrymen and up to 200 cavalrymen to the fronts of Narva and Petseri. Combat readiness was somewhat better in the navy and in sea fortifications (coastal defence).

By the late 1930s, the structure and armaments of the defence forces had become rather outdated. In their firepower, the Estonian infantry regiments and the cavalry regiment were weaker than the Latvian, Lithuanian, and Finnish, as well as the Soviet regiments. There were no infantry fire support weapons or anti-tank weapons. The most severe problem was the lack of effective anti-aircraft defence. Estonia was late with modernizing its national defence; only a small part of the national defence modernization plan that was approved early in 1938 had been realized. Mobilization was planned to be carried out in three days. Partial mobilization, or calling up of reservists for training after the outbreak of World War II, was abandoned as this was believed to give the Soviet Union an immediate reason for attacking Estonia.

Estonia’s main strategic task was to defend its border positions along the Narva River in the north-east and on the line of the Optyok River-Izborsk-Lake Velye in the south-east that were considered the most essential for fighting back the overwhelming enemy. However, the construction of necessary border fortifications was late. Major works started as late as in the summer of 1939, but unlike in Finland, no volunteers were recruited when the threat of war was growing.

In late September 1939, if mobilized, Estonia’s nearly 104 000-strong army would have been somewhat smaller to the Soviet military grouping of 136 000 men. However, only 60 000 Estonian troops would have been standing on the eastern border. The Red Army greatly surpassed Estonia in the number of cannons, tanks, and military aircraft. Estonian forces in the crucial sections of the border were insufficient; the stretches to be defended by regiments and battalions were too long. Estonian troops should have proceeded to the front line immediately after formation and received the attack on poorly prepared positions.

Estonia’s military defeat in the autumn of 1939 was determined by the Soviet Union’s great superiority in manpower and weapons and the possibility of bringing in fresh troops. Although Estonia would have been able to fend off the assault at the Narva front, its fate was determined by the breakthrough of the overwhelming forces of the Soviet 8th Army at Petseri front and their advance towards the north.

The experience of defence battles in the Winter War and of the German army in 1944 show that in 1939 the Estonian defence forces were too small, with insufficient combat capacity, and poorly armed. It can be said that the Estonian defence forces were prepared for a war of the past, similar to the Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920). Without military help from other countries, Estonia would not have been able to stop the advancing enemy on its eastern border for one or two months.

In order to put up stronger resistance, Estonia should have enlarged the size of its wartime army, called up reservists for retraining and, by recruiting volunteers, sped up the building of border fortifications.

Tõnu Raid
How fast did the message of St George’s Night Uprising travel? Could the Estonians’ kings have reached Paide in time?

Estonians have long considered St George’s Night Uprising (1343-1345) an essential and cherished historical event. Chronicles have given different accounts of its motives. On the night of 23 April (St George’s Day) 1343, the people of Harju County (North Estonia) started an armed rebellion. They destroyed manors and the Padise monastery; their forces (10 000 men) laid siege to Tallinn. Thereafter the rebels’ army of Lääne County (West Estonia) surrounded Haapsalu. The rebels killed the Germans they managed to catch and elected their own authorities of power – the four kings. They also established diplomatic relations, seeking help from Swedish authorities in Finland. It is noteworthy that when the Estonian kings came to Paide for negotiations, the Master of the Order had them treacherously killed. St George’s Night Uprising attracts interest and provokes thought even today. There have been opinions that the Teutonic Order itself initiated the rebellion in order to get the whole territory of Livonia (present-day South Estonia and North Latvia) under its rule. Many essential aspects of the events of St George’s Night have been discussed in the context of the whole Baltic Sea region and Northern Europe.

The current study attempts to shed light on several practical problems in the development of events that have not been treated earlier. The author analyzes the information obtained from old maps and the studies of many authors on the situation of medieval roads and the speed of movement on them in order to check if the message about the uprising could have travelled back and forth within the time span specified in Hoeneke’s chronicle.

One can conclude that in the first half of the fourteenth century there already existed a main highway through the whole of mainland Estonia, and the chronicle, representing the position friendly to the Order, keeps silent on several essential aspects when describing the events.

Jaan Sootak
Friend, citizen, opponent, and enemy. Who is present-day punitive law directed at?

Penal law in a law-governed state is founded on the principle of guilt, which means that nobody can be punished if they have not committed an offence. This statement means that the offence should receive an ultimate assessment expressed in a guilty verdict or some other act by a competent state organ as stipulated in Subsection 1 of § 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and Subsection 2 of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law). In the Estonian Penal Code, imposition of punishment is regulated by § 56, which says that punishment is based on the guilt of the person. This describes the severity of the offence attributed to the accused and gives reasons for the punishment that denounces the offence. However, the state cannot adequately react to crime if the danger posed by the person remains outside the scope of justice administered on the basis of the offender’s guilt. This does not concern only mental patients but also mentally capable persons who pose a greater threat than their guilt and who continue to be dangerous after the term of punishment ends. Such a situation brings about the need of imposing a punishment greater than their guilt (a dubious solution from the viewpoint of the law-governed state) or imposing other sanctions in addition to the punishment. The latter – the dualist system – means imposing two legal measures on the person – punishment and security detention (the article analyzes how this is done in German penal law). The need for the dualist system is increasing, as – primarily because of the spread of organized crime, e.g. drug-related crime and terrorism – a growing number of persons cannot be sufficiently influenced (reintegrated into society) by punishments proportional to their guilt. As it is difficult to treat such persons within the framework of traditional “penal law for citizens” (Bürgerstrafrecht), a special area has appeared in jurisprudence – “penal law for the enemy” (Feindstrafrecht). This is characterized by toughening of guilt-based punishments, imposition of other sanctions involving deprivation of liberty (spread of the dualist system), and a decrease in the procedural guarantees of the accused. Thus, the penal law for the enemy does not mean any hyperactivity on the part of the state but a reaction resulting from the situation in society.

Henri Bergson
An introduction to metaphysics

Having presented a general view of his method, Bergson explains its underlying principles.

I. There is a reality that is external and yet given immediately to the mind.
II. This reality is mobility. All reality, therefore, is tendency, if we agree to mean by tendency an incipient change of direction.
III. Our intellect, when it follows its natural bent, proceeds, on the one hand, by solid perceptions, and, on the other, by stable perceptions. But, in doing that, it lets that which is its very essence escape from the real.
IV. It is clear that fixed concepts may be extracted by our thought from mobile reality; but there are no means of reconstructing the mobility of the real with fixed concepts. Dogmatism, however, insofar as it has been a builder of systems, had always attempted this reconstruction.
V. In this it was bound to fail. The demonstrations which have been given of the relativity of our knowledge are therefore tainted with an original vice; they imply, like the dogmatism they attack, that all knowledge must necessarily start from concepts with fixed outlines, in order to grasp with them the reality which flows.
VI. But the truth is that our intelligence can follow the opposite method. To philosophize is to invert the habitual direction of the work of thought.
VII. Metaphysics, which aims at no application, can and usually must abstain from converting intuition into symbols. Liberated from the obligation of working for practically useful results, it will indefinitely enlarge the domain of its investigations. Though mathematics is only the science of magnitudes, though mathematical processes are applicable only to quantities, it must not be forgotten that quantity is always quality in a nascent state; it is, we might say, the limiting case of equality. The object of metaphysics is to perform qualitative differentiations and integrations.
VIII. We often take the logical equipment of science for science itself, forgetting the metaphysical intuition from which all the rest has sprung. From the overlooking of this intuition proceeds all that has been said by philosophers and by men of science themselves about the “relativity” of scientific knowledge. What is relative is the symbolic knowledge by pre-existing concepts, which proceeds from the fixed to the moving, and not the intuitive knowledge which installs itself in that which is moving and adopts the very life of things. This intuition attains the absolute. Science and metaphysics therefore come together in intuition. A truly intuitive philosophy would realize the much-desired union of science and metaphysics.
IX. The whole of the philosophy which begins with Plato and culminates in Plotinus is the development of a principle which may be formulated thus: “There is more in the immutable than in the moving, and we pass from the stable to the unstable by a mere diminution.” Now it is the contrary which is true. Aristotle believed he could adequately explain the mobility. And this is not an isolated fact in the history of science. Men of science have fixed their attention mainly on the concepts with which they have marked out the pathway of intuition. The more they laid stress on these residual products, which have turned into symbols, the more they attributed a symbolic character to every kind of science. And the more they believed in the symbolic character of science, the more they indeed made science symbolical. Gradually they have blotted out all difference, in positive science, between the natural and the artificial, between the data of immediate intuition, and the enormous work of analysis which the understanding pursues around intuition. Thus they have prepared the way for a doctrine which affirms the relativity of all our knowledge.

Gilles Deleuze
Bergson, 1859-1941

Bergson’s name is associated with the concepts of duration, memory, life-force, and intuition. One of Bergson’s idiosyncrasies is that his teachings have organized intuition into a real method that can be used to eliminate fake problems and to pose real ones, and by this method, they are posed in terms of duration.

The whole dynamics of Bergson’s thought is concentrated into Matter and Memory in a triple fashion: difference in nature, coexistent stages of difference, and differentiation. Bergson shows us, first of all, that there is a difference in nature between the past and the present, between memory and perception, between duration and matter: in all cases psychologists and philosophers have proceeded from a badly analyzed mixture. Thereafter, he shows us that it is not sufficient to speak about the difference in the nature of matter and duration or the past and the present. The question is what the difference in nature itself means; he shows that duration itself is the difference; that it is the nature of difference that it includes the matter as its lowest, the most loose stage, an endlessly rambling past as well as itself, constricting into an extremely dense, tightened present. Finally he shows us that if stages coexist in duration, then, at each moment, duration is what differentiates itself into the past and the present, or in other words, the present divides in two directions, one of which proceeds into the past and the other into the future. In Berson’s oeuvre, these three stages are marked by the concepts of duration, memory and life-force. Bergson’s project to reach things again, by abandoning critical philosophies, was not entirely new even in France, as many aspects in this general understanding of philosophy coincide with English empiricism. His method, however, was deeply novel, like the three main concepts that inspired it.

Tiit Tiidemann
Theory of Inventive Problem Solving as a way of thought

Industry and economy of the Western world is under pressure as the East is able to produce cheaper goods and, by now, even the quality is good. In order to gain at least temporary success and to survive competition, creation of new products is essential in all spheres of life. To meet world standards, i.e. to come up with inventions, help is sought from techniques of creative work. In recent decades, TRIZ (Russian Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch, in English also known as TIPS – Theory of Inventive Problem Solving), USIT (Unified Structured Inventive Thinking), and other similar theories have become popular in the world. The creator of TRIZ is Genrich Altshuller, an engineer from Baku; it has found followers in all developed countries.

The article provides an overview of the structure and principles of TRIZ: how to find the systemic contradiction in the task that inhibits the creation of the new, how to use a set of established tools to overcome the contradiction, proceeding from the development laws of the system and the law of ideality. It shows how psychological inertia can be overcome with various systematized trains of thought, like nine windows, smart little people, means of separation of the temporal and the spatial, standard solutions, substance-field analysis, and step-by-step algorithm of solution. Solution starts from formulation of the ideal result and functional analysis of its elements. If possible, one should find and use the resources at hand, from within the system as well as from the environment outside, so that the system itself would solve its problem.

TRIZ is best suited for solving tasks of invention, but it has also found application in economy, education, and research. An example of a successful, purely TRIZ-based company in design and product creation is CREAX, from Belgium. TRIZ is applied by many well-known companies around the world.

The article also provides an overview of the problems of TRIZ training. The best is intensive training where the methods for solving the problems of a concrete company are acquired under the supervision of TRIZ experts.

Alar Kilp
John Locke on government

In Two Treatises of Government (1689) John Locke aims at providing justification of resistance to illegitimate government. What makes the use of power illegitimate? Both in the state of nature and in the state of society, any use of absolute power or the use of power without right will bring along a state of war, where the subjects have not only a right but also a moral duty of resistance. Legitimate use of power is always in concordance with the law of nature, which is a universal and objective measurement of political legitimacy.

The law of nature prescribes the rights, powers, and duties of individuals in the state of nature, which form the basis of the rights, powers, and duties of the legitimate government in a commonwealth. The fundamental law of nature prescribes the preservation of every human being and of humankind. For attaining that end, it gives to every individual an inviolable right to life, liberty, and possessions, and a right to punish those who violate the law of nature.

Society is formed in order to achieve the ends prescribed by the law of nature more efficiently than it could be done in a state of nature. The state of nature lacked a public and impartial judge, known and promulgated laws, and power to enforce the decisions of the judge. The other reason for forming the society concerned the unstable protection of private property. Private property emerged according to the principles of the law of nature long before society was formed. Possessions and controversies among individuals increased when individuals consented to the “invention of money”. Thus, the transition to money-exchange economy increased the need for the formation of society.

Society is formed by agreement, consent, and compact between every person who is willing to end the state of nature. Thereafter the majority of the community forms a legislative body, which has the supreme power in a society. Government is formed on the basis of trust to protect the inviolable rights of the members of a commonwealth. Powers of both legislative and executive organs are limited by trust. In the case of violation of that trust, their respective powers revert to the majority of the community. The law of nature, however, sets also limits to the power of the majority. Even the trust of the majority and the consent of the people are illegitimate, unless they are within the bounds of the law of nature.

Published 23 August 2007
Original in English

Contributed by Akadeemia © Akadeemia Eurozine


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