Talk:Anders Chydenius

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Historical revisionism?[edit]

The article uses modern concepts like anarcho-capitalism, night watchman state, and globalisation in context of a 18th century thinker. What are the scholarly works that discuss similarities between Chydenius's classical liberalism and anarchocapitalism, supporting the historical revisionism in the article? Or is this alleged similarity of ideas speculation/original research by some Wikipedia author? jni 07:56, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Chydenius proposed that the crown would not interfere in Lapland in any other way than providing a judge. Lapland was then very poor, and he thought that in freedom it would prosper. Of course, it may be that he wanted to turn the whole Sweden a nightwatchman state but knew that it would be politically unacceptable, whereas he could use the poorness of Lapland as an excuse, which would then make Lapland a good example for the other parts of the country. Since we can never know this, the only fact is what he proposed and the open motives he gave.

Chydenius was also an active politician[edit]

He represented Ostrobothnia in the Swedish Estates and successfully pushed for free trade and abolition of town priviledges. But if I remember correctly, Chydenius lost personal support due to very radical ideas outside the sphere of trade politics regarding human rights, freedom of speech, etc. To name Chydenius an anarchist or capitalist is however straight forward possible. Many modern ideologies can trace their origins in Chydenius original ideas and none of them can claim him as their own.

Chydenius was certainly not anarchist. Chydenius was economically and socially liberal during the 18th century which admired classical absolut order in both economics and social life. This combined with his activity in politics led him to confrontation with the established society in wide variety of fields. This is not a sign of anarchism, but merely resebles the relationship anarchist has with any form of society, liberal as well as coservative.

User: 10:34, 18 Jan 2005
It is possible that Chydenius was a minarchist (not anarchist/anarcho-capitalist), at least very close (hence "economically and socially liberal"), but he seemed to be motivated by the good of the poor much more than the other politicians of his time. Then almost any regulation was against the poor and freedom would have been good for the poor. Of course, in the long run the same may or may not be true today but it is not as obvius.


It is said in the article that Chydenius was Finnish. But as far as I know, he lived whole his life in Sweden and he was of Swedish ethinicity. So why Finnish? /Aaker

Chydenius lived in Finland - Finland was then a part of Sweden. Unless we should categorise all the people of Finland as Swedes until 1809 - and those från 19th century, should they be called Russians? it seems much more reasonable to say he was Finnish. / Habj 04:22, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Chydenius was born to Swedish parents in Sweden, and grew up there. He then studied in another part of Sweden, Åbo, which is now a part of Finland. He was no doubt Swedish. I will edit the categories. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Redeem (talkcontribs) 13:20, 28 April 2006.
According to that text (as well as other sources), he grew up in current Finland (Ostrobothnia) which then was a part of Sweden. It says nothing about where his parents were from. Nationalencyklopedin, an encyclopedia not only in Swedish language but initiated by a Swedish governmental committee, mentions him as "finländsk" (Finnish). Of course he was an important figure of Sweden at the time, but it makes more sense to categorise him as Finnish - or possibly double categorise him, if that is normal practise? I also added the category "Finland-Swedes" which is a bit troublesome for people who were Swedish subjects all their lives but still in this case it makes sense (grewing up in Österbotten there is not need to assume anything else than that he was a true native Swedish speaker). // Habj 01:42, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Here is the record of his birth:
You will note that it gives his birthplace as Sotkamo, (I edited the article to reflect thefact). Sotkamo is currently Finland, and then was Sweden. In the (to my mind) insubstantial question of what category tags apply, I won't stick an oar in. -- Cimon avaro; on a pogostick. 04:27, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The comment below was posted on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography#Nationality

Is there a convention for classifying nationality of subjects of biographies? The specific case I refer to is Anders Chydenius (see the talk page for a discussion). Chydenius was born in what is now part of Finland when Finland did not exist as an independent country (it was part of Sweden). His mother tongue was (almost certainly) Swedish, so he has been put in Category:Finland-Swedes. Although this is uncontroversial, there is disagreement over whether he should be classified as a Finnish politician, priest, economist etc. or as a Swedish one. I tried to find a guide to this on the Manual of Style and this page but there doesn't seem to be any. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have a guide, because such questions must come up all the time on historical biographies. Tamino 05:44, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Copied by Tamino 05:46, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Language: He grew up in a Swedish-speaking home [1] so the Finland-Swede category should be uncontroversial.
Ancestry: The Chydenius family is from Egentliga Finland (Finland Proper?) [2] [3], and Anders' mother Hedvig nee Hornaeus, was born in Houtskär in Finland [4].
I agree there must be many similar cases when it comes to defining nationality of historic people. If he should not be called Finnish, no one who lived before 1917 could be called Finnish which would be very strange... the article could well have a section explaining his position in Sweden and how he although Finnish can be "the father of Swedish liberalism" , we can not expect all readers to understand that. // Habj 10:37, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Anders Chydenius was - and is - Finnish[edit]

During the Kalmar Union, what we now know as Sweden, was - to a large extend - run by Dades. Practically all important functionaries and officials in charge of the governing of the Swedes were Danes and Germans.

Despite of that fact, we like to call the people who then resided in the area of the modern-day Sweden, Swedish. Similarly, we call the Finnish people Finnish, regardless what union they might have been members of: Kalmar Union, the Swedish Empire (a.k.a. Sweden-Finland), the Russian Empire, European Union, etc.

What language someone spoke - or speaks -, must not play a role in this particular type of consideration either, nor how they dress/ed, behave/d, walk/ed or talk/ed.

Typically, even today most Finns know how to speak Swedish, at least a little, and in a lot of cases they speak several languages. In earlier times - and, to a large extend, up to date - one has had to have spoken Swedish in Finland, if they wished to be able to land to a job of any greater importance, be it governmental, social, teaching, religious or community related work. However, the language skills did not make anyone more Swedish or less Finnish, of course.

In the old days, besides acquiring the right language skills, many Finns - at one point - saw it useful and even fashionable to acquire a foreign - or foreign sounding - name for themselves, to be used in their work and educational life. Latin sounding versions/translations became popular: Alopaeus, Chydenius, Hackzelius, Sibelius (later) ... Cadolin, etc. Also Swedish names gained popularity later on. Thus - for instance -, the Swedish sounding family name of the popular Finnish TV personality, Arvi Lind, was not originally Lind.

Again, - just like in the case of one's language skills - a person's name, whether chosen by distant ancestors and inherited, or self proclaimed, makes no difference in terms of his/her nationality.

Before Swedish language rose to its later importance in Finland, Latin, not Swedish, was the language of academia, and - until the Protestant Reformation - was also often the language of the state administration. Hence, the notion of Swedish dominance is misleading for the 14th-15th centuries, and also to some degree for the 16th-17th centuries. Thus, it ought to be emphasized, that up to the 16th century, French and Latin were the languages Finnish students most often used for their higher education, and to a large extent later as well.

It is equally important to remember, that the words Finn and Finland were used to describe the Finnish people and the land they lived on already before the nation of Sweden was established, by known historians and others (including the Romans, the Pope, the Scandinavians).

The earliest documents of Finnish student life can be found from over seven centuries ago. In 1313, monks sent from the bishopric of Turku/Åbo to study at the theological college Collège de Sorbonne of the University of Paris participated with the other students and teachers in signing a petition to the Holy See, demanding that the college should be exempt from the debts of the University.

By 1420, the students of Turku formed one of the largest foreign groups at the Collège de Sorbonne, seven times the size of the student group from Uppsala. In 1435, Olaus Magni from Turku (not to be confused with the Swedish ecclesiastic Olaus Magni, who lived a hundred years later) became the rector of the college.

Fire has destroyed most of the early literature that must have been produced by the churches and monasteries in Finland. However, the first known Finnish author was Jöns Budde, a Franciscan monk who lived in the Brigittene monastery at Naantali, Finland, in the middle of the 15th century. He chiefly translated from Latin to Swedish, and became the first known author to translate the Bible into Swedish.

It is sometimes pointed out that the promotion of the popular languages, Swedish and Finnish, was a policy of Gustav Vasa, the very Swedish king most often perceived as the national symbol for Sweden and "Swedishness".

Most would agree, that the Finns speaking Swedish are no less Finnish, than the Swedish people of Finnish genealogical or linguistic background are Swedish, whether they are of the Tornedalean Finnish stock from the Viking Age, or descendants of the Forrest Finns (in Värmland, etc.) from half a millennium ago, or descendants of the over 700 000 Finns who moved to Sweden in the late 20th century after the hardships brought by the World War Two (even more, including the war time immigration).

Anders Chydenius might have spoken Finnish, Swedish, English, Latin and French - and perhaps more. We do not know, nor should it matter. In the eastern Finnish Sotkamo, in Kainuu, his family had deliberately chosen an environment, which could have not been more Finnish.

The most distinguished Finnish and Swedish sources agree about Chydenius' nationality:

Nationalencyklopedin, an encyclopedia not only in Swedish language but initiated by a Swedish governmental committee, portrays Chydenius as "finländsk" (Finnish).

The official Anders Chydenius website's Chydenius biography (page: "Who was Anders Chydenius") begins as follows: "The Finn Anders Chydenius was one of the most notable …"

- - 01:24, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

It is concretely clear that there is all the proof and a wide consensus about Anders Chydenius being Finnish, and no evidence about him being anything else.
However, although there are a range of historic writings pointing out that the Scandinavian royals are of a Finnish descend (this of course does not include for instance the French Bernadotte, who migrated to Sweden, and his descendants), we have chosen not to call them Finnish.
Ca. 1230 AD, the introduction to the Orkneyinga Saga, the section Fundinn Noregr (Founding of Norway) discusses Fornjótr, the King of Kvenland and Finland, and his descendants, including the conquest of Norway by his son, Nórr (source: KVENLAND / KAINUUNMAA, 1986, page 61 - the Icelandic and Finnish spellings of the original text re included -, Professor Emeritus Kyösti Julku).
Based on the detailed information given in this saga, the ruling families of Denmark, England, Normandy, Norway, Orkney Islands and Sweden descend from these Finnish/Kven kings.
See also:
We have not began questioning the nationality of those royals as a "controversial" matter. Why would we allow anyone question the nationality of Anders Chydenius, when he is clearly Finnish, provably.
Riksföreståndare 03:15, 7 December 2006 (UTC):
It is concretely clear that there is all the proof and a wide consensus about Anders Chydenius being Finnish How can there be consensus if I disagree? According to your logic Gustav Wasa would become a Russian if Russia conquered Sweden. And why isn't Tycho Brahe called Swedish? He lived in present day Sweden. And why isn't Imanuel Kant called Russian?Aaker 18:45, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Because he was Danish. The Swedish were - and are - called Swedish (not Danish), although the Danes (also Germans were filling many important jobs) were really running Kalmar union and Sweden.
We cannot use you as a source, but those official sites, and other similar sites and literature we can. If you disagree with this type of info, it is up to you to bring some evidence, detailed appropriate sources, to prove all those others wrong. Quite hopeless, don't you think. - - Cheers 09:48, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, what makes Danish? Maybe the fact that he lived in Denmark as well as Chydenius lived his entire life in Sweden. Chydenius himself once stated: "Fädernesland utan Frihet och förtjenst är et stort ord af liten betydelse!" In the work "Hwad kan vara orsaken, at sådan myckenhet Swenskt folk årligen flytter utur Landet? (1765), s. 53. (Chydenius 1880, s. 25)". Which is this "Fädernesland" (Father's country, Patria) do you think? And isn't it strange that wrote about the Swedish people (Swenskt folk)? As far as I can understand, he counted himself as one of them.

An other citation:

"Ingen af Swänska snillen har kunnat mindre tro sig, at någonsin blifwa känd i sitt Fädernesland såsom Auctor än jag." In this statement, taken from his autobiography, "Sjelfbiografi" he clearly identfy himself as a Swedish intelectual (Swänska snillen).

So which are my arguments to call him Swedish? 1. Just because something happens later doesn't change past, just because Scania later became Swedish does not make Tycho Brahe Swedish and just because Königsberg later became a part of Russia does not make Imanuel Kant Russian, the same principle should be used in Finland. 2. He lived his entire life in Sweden. 3. He considered himself as a Swede. 4. If the language doesn't matter (which I think it does), it would not change anything except that all inhabitant in Finland before 1809 should be called Swedes. Peace! Aaker 18:58, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

"1. Just because something happens later doesn't change past, just because Scania later became Swedish does not make Tycho Brahe Swedish and just because Königsberg later became a part of Russia does not make Imanuel Kant Russian, the same principle should be used in Finland." Exactly! Finland has always been (well not by that name, but otherwise) approximately there where it is now. Then it was governed by the Swedish, then by the Russians, and then, to this day, by Finns. Nationality of the people is Finnish, and has always been. So, Chydenius was Finnish. (talk) 23:27, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
You are right up to here: Nationality of the people is Finnish, and has always been.. "Nationality" is not a clear cut concept. In the common use, it's simply which state you are a part of, and then he was Swedish, because the Finnish state didn't exist yet. Sometimes you mean ethnicity. And then he was...Swedish. Sorry. His nationality was clearly Swedish. But, as you point out, he was born in Finland. And that makes him Finnish as well. So he was Swedish, and Finnish, and so was everyone born in Finland at this time. The question "Was he Swedish or Finnish?" is simply wrongly put. He was both. And in addition he was a Sweden-Finn. :) --OpenFuture (talk) 09:12, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's also interesting that the IP is ignoring the fact that about 15% of the population in what is today Finland were ethnic Swedes at the time. And provinces like Österbotten was as much a Swedish province as Närke at the time.
Ethnicity was a very complex thing in Sweden-Finland and Finland in the past. Most of the ancestors of the Swedish-speaking Finns were Swedish centuries ago. As for Chydenius, he was born and raised in Finland, so it is quite ok to call him Finnish. And geography: you should write the names of the cities in Finnish, at least the ones in which the majority is Finnish-speaking. Also it is rational to write 'Finland (then part of Sweden)' , it's easier for the reader to understand where the place is. Jr888 (talk) 12:52, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the place names should be in Finnish. Kasper.rosvo (talk) 06:19, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
The correct usage in English text is to use the language that is in majority in that place. Kokkola is for example wrongly referenced as Gamlakarleby in the article, while using Jakobstad is correct since that city has a swedish-speaking majority. -- (talk) 12:27, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
This is not an article about present time were present Finnish names should be used. In this article the names that were used at the time when the person lived should be used. Närking (talk) 07:27, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
All Ethnicity is always complex. You however are trying to make it over complex by not admitting that somebody who lived his whole life in Sweden and spoke Swedish and came from a Swedish ancestry was Swedish. And yes, he lived his whole life in Finland. Also. He was Finnish. AND Swedish. And so was everybody who lived in Finland then. It's really that simple. The only reason not to acknowledge this is blind nationalism that refuses to even acknowledge that Finland (rightly or wrongly) used to be a part of Sweden. --OpenFuture (talk) 14:15, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
You can also compare it with Ukraine for example, that had large minorities of Poles and Russians. For example Mikhail Bulgakov was born in what is today Ukraine but he was an ethnic Russian born in the Russian Empire and just because Joseph Conrad was born in what is today Ukraine doesn't make him Ukrainian (even though the majority of the population there were Ukrainians just like today). Närking (talk) 09:34, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
You should also read the things in this discussion written on 7 Dec 2006, especially: " The most distinguished Finnish and Swedish sources agree about Chydenius' nationality:

Nationalencyklopedin, an encyclopedia not only in Swedish language but initiated by a Swedish governmental committee, portrays Chydenius as "finländsk" (Finnish).

The official Anders Chydenius website's Chydenius biography (page: "Who was Anders Chydenius") begins as follows: "The Finn Anders Chydenius was one of the most notable …" " Jr888 (talk) 12:58, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, he was Finnish. *And* Swedish. Please try to understand that it's not an either/or situation. --OpenFuture (talk) 14:04, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

And adding to the debate. What about that Ostrobothnia wasn't a part of what was then called Finland? Me knowingly Finland at the time was Finland proper, Uusimaa/Nyland, Hämeenmaa/Tavastland and(i think) Savo/Savolax. And Finland was a duchery just as the province of hälsingland(In Sweden) is today. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skandinaven (talkcontribs) 08:41, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Adding IPA pronunciation to the introduction[edit]

Please see this discussion I have initiated at Wikipedia:WikiProject Finland. Hopefully we can refrain from an edit war in the meantime. --ざくら 20:32, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

I suggest that we follow the same principles as with articles about other Finland-Swedes.Aaker (talk) 17:49, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

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