Ilmari Susiluoto : A Finnish Dissident – The Northern European :: UpNorth – Jukka Mallinen

Jukka Mallinen: A Finnish Dissident – The Northern European :: UpNorth

[original title, which I believe is incorrect: Jukka Mallinen: A Finnish Dissident]

by Jukka Mallinen

Ilmari Susiluoto (left) and Jukka Mallinen (right) 2015. Photo: Aleksi Poutanen, Aamulehti

Juuso Salokorpi (editor): The Arithmetic of the Greatness of Ilmari Susiluoto

Helsinki. 2020. 413 pages.

The twists and turns in the career of Russian researcher Ilmari Susiluoto (1947 – 2016) are themselves a reflection of Finland’s traumatic relationship with Russia. He was an independent researcher and a presidential advisor who became mired in the bureaucratic politics of Finland’s relations with its Eastern neighbour.

Well-known Russian scholars, Soviet trade veterans and journalists take a retrospective look at his career in a memoir titled “The Arithmetic of the Greatness of Ilmari Susiluoto”. The book has been edited by Juuso Salokorpi, Ilmari’s cousin and schoolmate, who was once an international banker in Moscow and London.


In the mid-19th century, Susiluoto was a board member of the Helsinki New Left Schoolboys and Schoolgirls
Society. Several Finnish left-wing politicians and intellectuals emerged from this famous association. But he
maintained (kept) his intellectual and critical freedom, when most of this group betrayed the ideals of “the generation of 1968” accepting communist ideology or careers in service of advancing finlandization.

In 1982, his book, “The Origin and Development of System Thinking in the Soviet Union” which focused on the early

Susiluoto’s “The Origins and Development of Systems Thinking in the Soviet Union: Political and Philosophical Controversies from Bogdanov and Bukharin to Present-Day Re-Evaluations “

stages of Soviet cybernetics, a policy that was internationally regarded as being bold and innovative,  was even noted by Alec Nove in “Soviet Studies”. The issue of cybernetics was politically sensitive in The Soviet Union, because it was invented by Lenin’s opponents Anatoly Bogdanov and  Nikolai Bukharin. They presented an alternative to Stalin’s “barrack style” communism with early Soviet cybernetics, and predicted Norbert Wiener’s theories that appeared in the West, 50 years later.

The challenges of a planned economy provided a peculiar perspective on cybernetics. Cybernetic socialism was accused of being too technocratic. Bogdanov’s and Bukharin’s theory of equilibrium threatened the party’s leading role.

continues in source:

Jukka Mallinen: A Finnish Dissident – The Northern European :: UpNorth