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PORTSIDE  July 2011, Week 4

PORTSIDE July 2011, Week 4

Subject:

Anders Behring Breivik is Not a Fundamentalist Christian, He is Something Worse

From:

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Reply-To:

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Date:

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 20:58:32 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (242 lines)

Anders Behring Breivik is Not a Fundamentalist
Christian, He is Something Worse

by Carlos A. Rivera-Jones on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at
6:33am [cross-posted from facebook, with permission,
sent in by Ethan Young]

The New York Times has repeated the lie that Anders
Behring Breivik, the butcher of Oslo and is a
fundamentalist Christian. He is not.

The New York Times' thesis is that he is somehow a
mirror image of Al Qaeda, a disaffected Christian
turning the tables on Islamic fundamentalism. He is
not.

He is the vivid, brutal, expression of a bubbling
right-wing political movement of the post 9/11 era,
emerging not from fascism or neo-fascism or from
"revolutionary nationalism", but from the unholy
marriage of Austrian School economics and
paleo-conservative cultural identity Romanticism -
think Goethe, Scifi/Fantasy novels, and von Mises spawn
a child.

Those of us who follow the right, the real right, the
ideological right, not the administrative right or the
hooligan right, not a single word of what Breivik wrote
in his manifesto or his video comes as a surprise. It
is part an parcel of this world-wide scene of
pan-nationalists, who decry "hate ideologies" like
Nazism, Islam, and Marxism, while speaking of a common,
mildly anti-racist, pro-Zionist, politically incorrect
world of "European tolerance in isolation" - yet
harboring violent fantasies of retribution and
domination. Fantasies Breivik has merely acted upon,
but are not unique to himself.

A well known, and not by coincidence Norwegian, blogger
by the pseudonym of Fjordman has been giving expression
to these ideas since the early part of the last decade.
He was widely read in those circles, and even quoted by
"respectable" figures of the right. His preocupations
were the same as Breivik (multiculturalism,
imperialism, islam), and a chilling fact emerges:
Breivik's manifesto's title is "2083 A European
Declaration of Independence", while a widely circulated
islamophobic article by Fjordman from 2007 is titled "A
European Declaration of Independence". I know the
connection is hard to make, but give it some thought...

Glenn Beck, in the United States, has used formulations
from this scene, in particular when he decries
"progressives of both parties" and talks of "political
correct multiculturalism" and "cultural marxism" and
adopts the liberal-left's mis-guided ideas on
totalitarian equivalencies of Fascism and "Communism"
to use them against neo-liberal globalisation,
"cultural suicide" and multi-cultural nanny states.

The difference between the populist libertarianism of
Beck and the ideology which Breivik represents is that
in the United States, this movement is indeed
fundamentalist Christian, populated by sects of
millions that would seem strange to an Europeanist of
the sort Breivik is. Those people are the actual mirror
image of Al Qaeda, or more correctly the Taliban, and
they don't need to go around putting car bombs and
driving planes into buildings because they have the US
Armed Forces do that for them.

They do find themselves allied against the common enemy
of Islam and share economic values to an extent, but
are very much different ideologically.

(When going incognito on the right-wing IRC channels
and message boards a few years ago, a regular told me
that he loved European anti-islamic sites because "they
were liberal[meaning left-sounding] but not pussies
against the hajjis" and so "they made for great stuff
to go for Christian moderates", when I commented they
had nothing against gays, I got a smug "nobody is
perfect".)

This is what the New York Times misses, even if it has
it right in their face: Breivik self-describes as a
moderate Christian.

In this temrinology, what this mean is that while he is
a believer, he is not a theocrat. The concept would be
familiar to Catholics world-wide, because it is the
tradition of being a sinner knowing full well that your
sins will be forgiven. It is was what allowed Central
American death squads to murder a Bishop and then go to
mass the next Sunday, for example.

This is a clear break with fundamentalist Christians,
steeped in Calvinistic theocratic values as they are.
Breivik preoccupation with Christianity is as a force
against Islam, who he sees as the main enemy. His
Christianity is contingent to its ability to deliver
Europeans (and he widely construes the European
identity, including Jews and Browns - unthinkable in
most neo-fascist circles) from the new horde of
Eurabia.

In his video and manifesto, he clearly identifies with
the figures of the Crusades, in particular the early
figures that actually fought a Muslim invasion of
Europe. That is why even being a Protestant, he calls
for Catholicism, not out of religious fervor, but
because last time the Church of the Pope stopped Islam
in its tracks (unlike, say, the Orthodox patriarchs).

He doesn't use fascist imagery, nor does he use any
source commonly identified with the far-right. His
sources are pedestrian conservative and small business
capitalist. He even used the infamous The Economist
"Eurabia" cover.

This is him telling us: I am not a facist. I am normal.
I am you. I have brown friends. I have gay friends. I
defended them from bullies. But I am mad as hell, and I
can't take it anymore.

He is the crisis of the neo-liberal State, and its
imperialist project, in its reactionary terrorist
expression. He is the voice of the white male who finds
himself a minority, an dlosing not just the percieved
privileges of gender and race, but the very real
privileges of being in the center of an imperial world.

The New York Times' declaration exposes the failure of
social-liberal thought to explain the contradictions of
the world. When we need to describe someone as
something he is telling us he is not, it usually means
that there is not space for that identity in our
carefully constructed worldview. The New York Times
needs to tells us he is a "christian fundamentalist" to
avoid the real questions his action raises.

Questions such as the emergence of a new reactionary
wave in Western countries, the effects of the moving of
the centers of economic growth and development from the
West to the East and the North to the South, the peril
of the White supremacist empires of the 20th century...
more importantly, the boogie-man Islam, that sedative
that the international bourgeoise feeds as placebo to
its formerly well-fed and pacified working classes so
that they don't realize that capital has pulled the rug
from under their feet, and all these mythologies about
patriotism and common struggle against foreign perils
were all lies - the bosses are quitely shipping their
capital to what we are told are our mortal enemies.
When a lie cracks open, you can either see it and
respond against it knowing it a lie, or we can
zealously embrace it against all evidence. Breivik
embraced the lie: clearly a smart person, he willfully
ignored any other explanation for the ills of the world
than Islam and its "Cultural Marxist" enablers, and he
embelished this lie with a mythology of knighthood,
literally quixotic, and more tragically into a
justification for his murder.

And the lie he believes in is no different than the lie
many of his generation have  killed, maimed, and been
killed and been maimed for in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Even the embelishments are not unique.


Breivik is figthing for the clash of civilization ideas
that same system he attacked fed him. The New York
Times is, not surprisingly, unwilling to accept its
responsibility in that system - in their view only a
"fundamentalist" could do such an atrocity in the name
of politics - it seeks to continue framing the debate
in a modified version of the clash of civilization, one
were us moderates have to fight "fundamentalists" of
both religions. Yet, Breivik's heinious crime is no
different than what the New York Times asked that
American soldiers do in Iraq when it beat the loudest
drums of war in its history. He is not the chicken
coming home to roost. He is the chicken who never left
home.

We are yet to see if this iceberg means something
world-changing, or if it will remain in the sub-surface
only to give us a murderous jolt. After all, I am sure
Geert Wilders abhors this crime as much as the next
person. What is clear is that the same problems that
affect and preocupy the radical left in the Western
world are being felt by the ideological right, and that
their response will not always come packaged in the
usual packages of State collusion, fringe parties and
street hooliganism, but might take forms such as
Breiviks, and perhaps even other forms of violence. It
is too early to tell if this action will have a cooling
effect in this particular ideological space - similar
to what McVeigh unwittingly did to the then exploding
militia scene - or if it will be a spark that lights a
prairie fire. What is clear is that we have to sit down
and think long and hard about how to respond to these
movements, now that they have shown their teeth...

Sources:

NYT Article (behind paywall if you have reached your
free limit)
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/world/europe/24oslo.
html

2083 A European Declaration of Independence (Breivik
http://www.scribd.com/doc/60739170/2083-a-European-
Declaration-of-Independence

"Fjordman" - A European Declaration of Independence
(2007)
http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=
25508 (there are unsubstantiated reports that Fjordman
is indeed Breivik, but this is in doubt and wouldn't
harm my point, as Fjordman has been given so much
credence, he even has a long-standing wikipedia page in
both English and Bokmal(norwegian) wikipedia)

___________________________________________

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