Sunday, July 24, 2011
After Utøya: the politics of a monster
Is Anders Behring Breivik just totally fucking nuts? Perhaps it is easier to comprehend or accept if he is. Definitely that is how Finland has dealt with its mall bomber and school mass murderers - just freaks, nothing to learn here, please move along. Surely Breivik was in some way mad, but there was an awful lot of careful method and planning for his ultimate act of madness. And therefore we have to look at what he has said, the politics of his dispicable actions. It is not enough to just say he is mad.
Even as I write this, what looks like his 'manifesto' and is coming to light, and the translation of the collection of his comments on a Norwegian "immigration critical" website show exactly the political background that he comes from. He is a product of the "Counter-Jihad", the transatlantic anti-Muslim, anti-immigration movement. He quotes leading 'thinkers' of the Counter-Jihad like Fjordman and leading blogs like Gates of Vienna. This is a specific political trend that isn't classic "far right", in terms of fascists and neo-Nazi. For instance a BBC article on the Norwegian far right completely misses this point. It isn't the old far right of Jew hatred and hating non-whites. It is a hatred of Muslim immigrants who come from a different culture and an ever-spiralling hatred of European politicians and general people in European societies who feel that actually we can live perfectly well in countries made up of people of different colours, religions, political persuasions and the like.
I've written about this movement here and elsewhere for a few years now. I always feared their impact on European electoral politics, sowing distrust and fear in diverse societies. But this is just sick; they have bred their own monster - not just a fire-bomb against a Mosque wall, or an angry street protest hurling abuse at British Asians - but a man who killed almost a hundred kids from his own fucking country because he didn't like their politics.