NOTE: THIS DIARY HAS BEEN EDITED TO CORRECT AN ERROR IN IDENTIFYING THE AUTHOR OF THE ARTICLE ON ANDERS BREIVIK — CALIFORNIA STATE AT LONG BEACH PROFESSOR KEVIN MACDONALD. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE (COMPLETELY UNINTENTIONAL) ERROR.
One unfortunately predictable aspect of the recent terror attack in Norway apparently perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik, is how members of the American right have applauded his philosophy (if not specifically his actions), once they have had a chance to read even parts of Breivik?s 1100-page manifesto on the web, entitled 2083 A European Declaration of Independence . Writing on DailyKos, DowneastDem quotes Kevin MacDonald, a Professor of Psychology at California State at Long Beach, writing on the conservative eZine Alternative Right, as calling Breivik:
…a serious political thinker with a great many insights and some good practical ideas on strategy (e.g., developing culturally conservative media, developing youth organizations that will confront the Marxist street thugs, gaining control of NGOs)… There is certainly great revulsion at the murder of young people. However, I suppose it is possible that in the long run European elites will understand that the glorious multicultural future will not be attained without a great deal of bloodletting and realize they have to change their ways. Indeed, one of his insights is that in the long run “the multicultural neocolonial regimes will either have imploded or have become very Stalinist.” I agree.
Professor MacDonald also goes on at some length, chastising Breivik for not putting enough emphasis on the nefarious part that Jews, especially those of the “Frankfurt School,” as well as “Jewish media control” have played in imposing what he calls multiculturalism and anti-Western political correctness on Europe and the United States, all of which he traces right back to Karl Marx (i.e., communism/socialism).
The thing I find striking is, as DowneastDem points out on DailyKos, is how much of Breivik’s manifesto sounds like something written by Newt Gingrich, Michelle Malkin, or Jonah Goldberg in his Liberal Fascism (yes, the far right fantasizes that anything to their left is really fascism). Breivik has larded his treatise with learned references to the writings of George Lukacs, Theodor W. Aderno, and Max Horkheimer, accusing them of committing intellectual treason against “Western Civilization,” and this led DowneastDem to provide a quote from Andrew Breitbart”s Righteous Indignation: Excuse me While I Save the World:
“With their tentacles affixed to the institutions of higher education, the Frankfurt School began eking its way into every crevice of American culture. Horkheimer’s “critical theory” became a staple of Philosophy, History and English courses across the country. Horkheimer himself took the show on the road, from Columbia to Los Angeles to the University of Chicago.”
George W. Bush’s “clash of civilizations” is right out of the catechism of the American neocons, of course, part of the very same philosophy expressed by Breivik. I expect every rightie conspiracy theorist in the USA is lapping up Breivik’s “reasoned” analysis of the sad condition of the world, and nodding right along with his solution: end the treason, de-capitate the liberal leadership and cut down their rising generation of leaders (the victims of his terror were apparently all members of Norway’s ruling Labor Party and/or youth leaders—- like, say, Obama’s staff and the Young Democrats at a DFA training camp).
Numerous observers have pointed out repeatedly how the American right has continued to escalate their rhetoric of violence; even a casual visitor to their web sites picks up on the negativism, the coming doom, the panting after Armageddon. Then there are the more restrained but still fearful financial newsletters and rightwing economists who foresee the imminent collapse of Western civilization because of the costs of the welfare state and big government. They gleefully anticipate riots in the streets, bloodshed, and chaos (“it’s going to be like Greece, only worse”). They advise every man to protect his wealth and his family by hiding out in some minor country and/or stockpiling ammo and canned goods, prepared to defend himself against the greedy non-producers of the world who want to continue to live off his riches, and steal his goodies (directly or through taxes).
The talking points of the Republican Party and Tea Party are only a slight cut above the dismal cesspool of gloom just described; Mr. Boehner’s letter to his Republican caucus bemoaned how Obama’s reckless spending was going to ruin the prospects of Mr. Boehner’s grandchildren, but “Obama refused” to reduce his reckless spending.
The right has a garrison mindset, a Maginot mentality. Violence in response to every problem is the only answer they can find: “I’ve got mine, and I know you want to take it from me, so I’m justified in killing you before you can kill me.” Anders Behring Breivik’s murderous binge was, in that sense, a pre-emptive strike against what he, and those who think like him, consider to be native-born traitors to Western, Christian civilization, the rotten leaders who are betraying our cultural values. Killing them unto the second and third generation is doing God’s work, and can be considered a strategic decision, fully justified. The lunatic fringe is not confined to American politics.
It is true that the world is changing, the world dominance of the Europeans and their cultural offspring like the United States, is in a steep decline, hurried along by the ever-more-rapid recurring collapses of the American financial system. We’re far from gone, but we are in the midst of tectonic social and political changes. The rightwing in Europe as well as in Canada and the US are anxious, looking for scapegoats, and frantic to protect their pelf. They cannot understand why everybody doesn’t seem to see the danger they see, and realize how, well, dangerous it is. It must be a conspiracy! The way to deal with a treasonous conspiracy is to cut off its head before it can do any more damage.
And so we arrive at rightwing terror.
UPDATE: For a sample of other discussions with/about “conservative” and rightwing commenters in response to Breivik and his philosophy, see below. Most genuine conservatives (in contrast to far right reactionaries) do not condone the murder of children, “however” (as MacDonald says) they definitely relate to his philosophy, and, some more than others, show a sneaking satisfaction that he put his philosophy into action, a sort of “there, you liberal buggers, see what happens when you don’t do as I say? Maybe now you’ll ‘change your mind.'” The Islamophobia, misogyny, and virulent hatred of contrary views are such that anyone familiar with rightwing diatribes, e-mails, conspiracy theories, skinhead militias, and even statements from Bachmann and Gingrich, or rabid evangelicals instantly recognizes the sentiments. Breivik himself at one point flat out says something to the effect “we are not alone, we have many like-thinkers in the United States, inluding large numbers of the Republican Party.” The non-rightwing in the US have for some time complained about the increasingly violent rhetoric and images employed by the rightwing, warning that inevitably some unstable nut would act upon the rhetoric. Quibbling about who has said what now is just a smoke screen, CYA-ing big time from the conservatives. Here are a few links: