From Meta-Politics To Mass Murder – A New Right-Wing Extremism
scandinavia / denmark / iceland |
opinion / analysis
Friday August 26, 2011 03:58 by Mathias Wåg - Förbundet Allt åt Alla http://alltatalla.com/ maltemark at gmail dot com
It is horrible. The massacre on Utøya and attack in Oslo’s government district is the worst right-wing terrorist act directed against the Scandinavian labor movement. How could it happen? How could such an extensive and long-term terrorist plan go completely unnoticed by the security police?
Let there be no mistake about it, this was a political deed, politically motivated and directed against political targets.
The first official reaction was the opposite: to depoliticize the terrorist attack, as an outcome of madness or evil, directed at everyone, at ”open society” as a whole. To be met with the same kind of crisis management like a tsunami, with appeals for calm, sadness and national cohesion.
Also in Sweden the prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at his press conference appealed to the need for cohesion, national unity, rather than focusing on what political threats were aimed at us, since such a discussion would only benefit the uttermost ”extremists, living in symbiosis with each other”. Extremists, a totally non-political force, a form of hooliganism lacking motives.
Why does it hurt so much to analyse this new right-wing extremism? Why aren’t we even allowed to pin the epithet ”right-wing” to it?
Security police analysts sitting in TV sofas have assured that they have a good insight into the ”white power milieu”. And still, they could not foresee this.
These two aspects are interrelated. They are part of the same blindness. The search light has been directed in the wrong direction. We do not have one extreme right-wing anymore, but several. The new form of right-wing extremism that has taken shape in Europe over the past five years did not emerge from the periphery. It did not emerge from the neo-Nazi groups or white power milieu (a designation that neo-Nazi groups themselves stopped using ten years ago, when the white power music scene fell apart). It did not emerge from the street-fascist movement that the security police routine-like monitors.
The terrorist deed came from within established right-wing populism, the extreme right today considered to be housebroken, euphemistically called ”immigration-critical”, ”islam-critical”, ”xenophobic”. It has much closer links to the Sweden Democrats than to the Swedish Resistance Movement or the Free Nationalists, the heirs of the white power scene. This new current is an extreme right-wing acting on a European level rather than nationally, being pro-Israel and pro-Zionist rather than anti-Semitic, islamophobic and culturally racist rather than rooted in racial ideology, seeing the cultural struggle as a major venue, and disguising its rhetoric in a supposedly ”anti-racist” language rather than an onerous and stigmatized extreme right-wing rhetoric.
It increasingly appears that Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre of young leftists was planned far in advance and the target selected with care, to provide maximum shock effect in the community and maximum circulation of Breivik’s opinions, summarized in the 1500-page copy and paste manifesto ”2083 – A European Declaration of Indepence”. The diary part of the text shows how the terrorist action was planned in detail, making it one of history’s most documented acts of terrorism. The massacre was only a means, to draw attention to Breivik’s worldview and provoke more terrorist acts. Instead of focusing on those in power with high positions, he chose to focus on the grassroots, those without personal protection. A ”quantitative” act of terrorism rather than a ”qualitative”. The number of dead young people would give his deeds greater impact and shock effect than a single act of terrorism directed against the ”heart of power”.
Breivik’s views, as expressed in the manifesto, are well-entrenched in the two pillars forming the base for the new European extreme right-wing: counterjihad and cultural struggle.
The CounterJihad-movement has arisen from the straggling Islamophobia that has grown since September 11th 2001, inspired by the conspiratorial Eurarabia-theories. In the past five or six years, a network of European blogs has been created, gathered under the label Counter-Jihad. The leading ones have been Gates of Vienna, Brussels Journal from Belgium and Fjordman from Norway.
In April 2007, the network came together for a joint meeting in Copenhagen, ”UK and Scandinavia CounterJihad Summit”. The meeting was organized by bloggers Gates of Vienna and Fjordman, to bring together and coordinate the new movement, supported by Anders Graver Pedersen’s Danish network Stop Islamisation of Denmark (SIAD). In addition to a load of bloggers from Norway, Denmark and Sweden, one sole Scandinavian party participated with representatives: Ted Ekeroth from the Sweden Democrats. This event was followed by annual conferences in Brussels in 2007, Vienna in 2008, Copenhagen in 2009 and Zurich in 2010.
Gates of Vienna summarizes the movement’s goals in a brief manifesto:
”The goals of CounterJihad are:
1. To resist further Islamization of Western countries by eliminating Muslim immigration, refusing any special accommodations for Islam in our public spaces and institutions, and forbidding intrusive public displays of Islamic practices.
2. To contain Islam within the borders of existing Muslim-majority nations, deporting all Muslim criminals and those who are unable or unwilling to assimilate completely into the cultures of their adopted countries.
3. To end all foreign aid and other forms of subsidy to the economies of Muslim nations.
4. To develop a grassroots network that will replace the existing political class in our countries and eliminate the reigning multicultural ideology, which enables Islamization and will cause the destruction of Western Civilization if left in place.”
The main ideologist and organizer of the network is the Norwegian pseudonym Fjordman (Peder Jensen), who also guest writes at Gates of Vienna and Brussels Journal. Breivik calls the ideology he accedes to the ”Vienna School of Thought”. Most of Breivik’s manifesto is directly copied from Fjordman’s texts, and Breivik declares Fjordman to be his favorite author. After the terrorist deed there have been speculations about the link between the anonymous Fjordman and Breivik. Ted Ekeroth has himself on his blog vouched for Fjordman, that Fjordman and Breivik are separate people. At Gates of Vienna Fjordman argues that he never met Breivik in person.
Godfathers and financiers of the Swedish branch of the CounterJihad movement are the brothers Kent and Ted Ekeroth of the Sweden Democrats, who conducted a series of anti-Islamisation conferences. Their Anti-Islamisation fond finances the movement’s conferences. Member of Parliament and international secretary of the Sweden Democrates Kent Ekeroth is also signatory for the bank giro for the important Swedish movement-blog Politically Incorrect.
If the CounterJihad bloggers’ role in the first place has been to conduct a ”cultural struggle”, more political initiatives have emerged from the movement as well. Anders Graver Pedersen’s SIAD has tried to create a European equivalent through Stop Islamisation of Europe, SIOE. The CounterJihad movement and SIOE have also shown great interest in the emergence of the militant movement English Defence League from the British football hooligan scene. Through a combination of Facebook, social media and provocative violent demonstrations in front of mosques in connection with football matches, the EDL quickly grew into a major mass movement and is described by the British police as the biggest threat to internal order in the UK. EDL’s ideologue Alan Lake was invited over by Kent Ekeroth to his Anti-Islamisation conference in 2009 and in the summer of 2010 the Swedish equivalent, the Swedish Defence League was formed by a bunch of SD-backers.
Breivik showed great interest in the English Defence League and on the Norwegian forum Document.no he has advocated the start-up of a Norwegian counterpart to strike at the Norwegian anti-racist organizations. On the forum he describes how he has been using the EDL’s Facebook group to spread his propaganda material, has had chat contact with several leading EDL:ers and helped them formulate ideological texts. Breivik and the EDL have shared the same fascination and identification with the Crusaders as a symbol of the struggle against Islam.
Norway’s central forum for an anti-Islamic debate is journalist Hans Rustad’s Document.no, founded in 2003. In the past year, the association ”Documents venner” (Friends of Document) was formed, organizing seminars with big names from the CounterJihad movement (as Roger Scruton), but also personalities like the Swedish provocative artist Lars Vilks. Breivik has been an active writer on the forum and also participated in the seminars. At the forum, he advocated the line that Rustad’s site should become the basis for a cultural conservative newspaper and tried to promote the creation of a Norwegian EDL or a Norwegian version of the Teaparty movement. Document.no has collected Breivik posts here.
The CounterJihad movement has thus in only a few years evolved with ramifications into the parliamentary camp, a ”culture struggle” current through the blog networks, a militant street branch – and now with Breivik received their first terrorist expression. You cannot view these different expressions individually, but assess them on the basis of the entirety they form and the interactions that occur between their various branches. What distinguishes the different branches is one of degrees, not one of species. Their basic analysis and world view is the same, the only difference between them is the perception of temporality, how imminent and urgent the threat of Islamisation is. The ”moderate” elements believe that the war against Islam has not yet broken out, that there is still a chance to reverse the process politically and curtail the expansion of Islam – while the militant elements (both the street militant as the EDL or the terrorist one with Breivik) consider the war to already be upon them, the political class to be corrupt to the core and time to be too short for anything but direct acts of resistance. 2083, the main title of Breivik’s ”terror manifesto”, alluding to the year in which Islam will have won the war and it will be too late to act – an allusion to when the Ottoman Empire stood at the Gates of Vienna 400 years earlier, and ”threatened the European civilization” last time.
Islam should not be seen as a religion but as an ideology, according to the CounterJihad movement. They equate Islam, Communism and Nazism as three forms of totalitarian ideologies. The Marxist ideology is considered guilty of having opened up the doors for the process of Islamization, with the goal of destroying the Western world.
The way the left is seen is taken from the French New Right (Nouvelle Droite
) and their discussion of cultural struggle and meta-politics. According to this view, the Left in 68 tried to challenge capitalism and lost the battle for the political and economic power, however it managed to take the cultural power. Economic ”hard” Marxism collapsed with the collapse of real socialism, while ”soft” Marxism was able to keep its grip on the institutions producing knowledge and ideology: education, research, culture and media. Through their controling of the production of ideology the Left achieved a cultural hegemony, the privilege of problem formulation and thus set the framework for the fundamental values and norms which since then have shaped all politics. The root to this ”soft”, infiltrating Marxism, ”cultural Marxism”, which made its ”long march through the institutions”, the New Right saw in Gramsci’s theories of hegemony and the Frankfurt School. The concepts of cultural Marxism, multiculturalism and political correctness are used parallelly by the New Right to describe the same phenomenon.
In Sweden, the theories have mainly been put forward through the Nordiska förbundet, their bloggportal Motpol, the community Nordisk.nu (where Breivik had an account) and their publishers Arktos. The ”metapolitical” struggle, the struggle for the problem formulation, words, concepts, norms and values are seen as the precursor of politics, and the blog authors and ”trolls” of the comment fields as a vanguard in this cultural struggle. The fight against ”political correctness” and the underdog perspective that unite the extreme right (and parts of the established right) are in the theory of the New Right formed to a coherent political project.