The Other Face of Terrorism

“When was it that multi-culturalism ceased to be an ideology designed to deconstruct a European culture, traditions, identity and nation-state?” Those are the words of Norwegian right-wing extremist turned terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. Now here are the words of a young, but becoming increasingly popular, blogger, “Multi-culturalism, once beyond question, is now increasingly under attack for the damage that it has done to a sense of a common national identity, allowing people to embrace alien ideologies at total variance with a [ ] way of life.”  I deleted the name of the nation in order to protect the young blogger’s identity.

After reading excerpts from Breivik’s manifesto and dozens of pages from his online comments I was struck by the common themes I have read from Islamophobic bigots like Pamela Geller, Tea Party Terrorists, and even a young blogger that has gained some degree of popularity.

For several years now, I have been deconstructing right-wing extremist arguments in order to expose the dangerous, racist, bigoted, fear and hate mongering that underlines their rhetoric. In the aftermath of the Norwegian massacre, it is important to look at the extreme right-wing’s central premise that multiculturalism or “cultural-Marxism” is such a great threat to civilized society that it must be rooted out at all cost. Thus, providing crazies like Breivik the justification to blow up government buildings and go on a shooting rampage in a park full of liberal-minded teenagers.

The New York Magazine noted that large parts of Breivik’s manifesto was actually plagiarized from none other than Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. However, Kaczynski’s screech was specifically directed toward “leftism”. Breivik tweaked Kaczynski’s words to declare multiculturalism to be the root of all evil. The New York Magazine provides the following example:

“For instance, Kaczynski wrote: ‘One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.’

Breivik’s manifesto reads: ‘One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is multiculturalism, so a discussion of the psychology of multiculturalists can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of Western Europe in general.”

Breivik uses the words “multicultural” and “cultural Marxism” interchangeably. If you really want to understand Breivik’s right-wing ideology and don’t want to spend the next week reading his 1500 page rambling Kaczynski lifted manifesto, Breivik sent out a 12 minute video in which he presents a four part synopsis of his beliefs. It is important to remember that much of what Breivik is saying is now openly embraced by many, extremely vocal right-wingers both in Europe and in the United States.

For the sake of brevity, I will mostly address part one of the four part synopsis. Part two has already been somewhat addressed in previous articles. The four parts are titled:

1)      The Rise of Cultural Marxism

2)      Islamic Colonization

3)      Hope

4)      New Beginning

According to Breivik, after WWII, the Soviets began spreading their Marxist ideology into the West. He explains, “The Marxist were allowed to infiltrate school institutions and media companies.” By 1968, a full blown, non-violent Marxist revolution had taken place in both Europe and the U.S. and they began a full-fledged communist plot to indoctrinate our children.

As a result, according to Breivik, left-wing, Marxist liberals began persecuting cultural conservative, Christ loving nationalists. He claims conservatives and nationalists have been subjected to a form of  “political correctness” in which folks that speak-out for “monoculturalism” are called harsh names like “fascist”, “racists”, and “Nazi” in order to silence their voices. Of course, as my grandmother would say, “If the shoe fits, wear it”.

Breivik goes on to say that the Marxists, who he believes should be severely punished and deported to Russia, have been involved in an unholy alliance with hippies, gays, environmentalists, peace activists, and a host of other left-leaning groups which he describes as “suicidal humanists” and other right-wingers have labeled “useful idiots.”

You see, according to Breivik, and many on the extreme right-wing, this liberal group of “useful idiots” opened the door to allow Marxists and Islamic Jihadists to invade and ultimately colonize and enslave the entire Western world.

What the right-wing and the Breivik’s of the world are pushing for are nation states that represent a utopian view of a culturally pure nation. The extremist right-wing view believes the “suicidal humanists” are allowing for the “demographical genocide of your own culture and people.”

Breivik’s ultimate message is simmered down into four points. What the right-wing extremists are envisioning for the world? Here is Breivik’s list:

1)      Unity not diversity

2)      Monoculturalism not multiculturalism

3)      Patriarchy not matriarchy

4)      Isolationism not imperialism

My young liberal bashing blogger friend highlights the anger and hatred the right-wing has for the left. Here is another passage from the young blogger:

“This is a small, vulnerable democracy fighting for its very survival against some of the most reactionary, obscurantist and misogynist forces on earth, the very antithesis of the western tradition of liberalism and freedom. Yet these obscurantist forces command the support of socialists and ‘progressives’ in the west, a group for whom my sense of contempt is absolute; people who advance such things as gay rights and the rights of women in [ ] who suddenly become blind to these causes in Baghdad.”

Of course the “obscurantist and misogynist forces” are the Islamic Jihadists. The fact that the “progressive” movement actually does speak-out against the treatment of women in Baghdad, in the Middle East, and throughout the world is completely dismissed in this bloggers statement. Women’s rights in Islamic countries are not new nor ignored in liberal, progressive human rights organizations.

But this statement goes to show the vitriol and hate that has been fomenting amongst the extremist elements of the right-wing. The fact that young, popular bloggers are now openly expressing similar hatred as the far right-wing mass murders, should be a warning bell to all. I warned this young blogger she should not be stoking the fires of such hatred, but she just blew me off.

Yesterday, The Nation magazine republished a 2009 article by Gary Younge, a Alfred Knobler Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute and a New York correspondent for the Guardian.  I find Younge’s article and point to be spot on and therefore I’m provided an extended excerpt:

“There are a handful of nihilistic young Muslims keen to bomb and destroy and a far larger number sufficiently disaffected that they are prepared to riot. There are also many Europeans keen to see equality and meaningful integration, defending civil liberties and opposing wars against predominantly Muslim lands.

But the primary threat to democracy in Europe is not “Islamofascism”–that clunking, thuggish phrase that keeps lashing out in the hope that it will one day strike a meaning–but plain old fascism. The kind whereby mostly white Europeans take to the streets to terrorize minorities in the name of racial, cultural or religious superiority.

For fascism–and the xenophobic, racist and nationalistic elements that are its most vile manifestations–has returned as a mainstream ideology in Europe. Its advocates not only run in elections but win them. They control local councils and sit in parliaments. In Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France and Italy, hard-right nationalist and anti-immigrant parties regularly receive more than 10 percent of the vote. In Norway it is 22 percent; in Switzerland, 29 percent. In Italy and Austria they have been in government; in Switzerland, where the anti-immigrant Swiss People’s Party is the largest party, they still are.”

Gary Younge is right to point out that there are currently two faces of political terrorism plaguing the West. There are the right-wing Islamic Jihadists and then there are the right-wing fascists/hard-right nationalists and anti-immigrant groups (like the Knight’s Templar Europe group Breivik believes he is involved in). Both groups are arming themselves and willing to do grave harm to all those caught up in the middle. Both groups are using hateful rhetoric and ideology to feed into each other’s delusions and creating a self-fulfilling downward cycle of evil.

Hope and new beginnings do not occur through violence and terrorism. It does not happen as a result of divisiveness and deranged beliefs in monothinking and monoculture. There is no, nor have there ever been, such a thing as a monoculture. Culture, whether you are from a culturally diverse nation like the U.S. or an isolated indigenous tribe, changes with time and over generations. We can’t go back in time.

The right-wing extremist attacks on the West and liberals are rooted in a belief system based on so called “traditional” values. Both the Islamic fundamentalists and the cultural/national fundamentalist feel their world is being attacked by a liberal agenda which conflicts with the more traditional values they treasure. In order to combat the influence of liberal ideology, both the Islamic Jihadists and the white right-wing nationalists have been engaging in campaigns to mass murder and mayhem.

What can we do? Well, I have only one suggestion. Liberals and progressives need to educate the mainstream and their right-leaning friends about the dangers of far right-wing fear and hate mongering. We should encourage other writers not to promote Islamophobic bigotry, or any type of bigotry for that matter, including anti-Semitic language or gay bashing. Bigoted rhetoric only helps stoke the flames of hatred and leads a group or some lone wolf crazy to justify unthinkable acts of violence.

Call it political correctness if you like, but hate speech, no matter where it comes from should be shunned in a civil society. It is one thing to want to share and pass on certain traditions one believes are important. Often, these traditions hold valuable life lessons and add to the richness and texture of one’s own identity. However, to force onto others a selected understanding of the proper traditional values and demand others assimilate to such values is in essence denying the individually of others. This is what the totalitarians do, whether they come from the political left or right.

Breivik’s hard-line nationalist/Islamophobic rhetoric is every bit as extreme and totalitarian as the Islamic Jihadists waging their war on the West. We need to reject both as they wish to deny diversity of opinions, beliefs, and ultimately the individuality of others. We need to reject those that say there is only one way a culture must be defined. We need to reject those that insist on the patriarchal way or the highway to Hell.  We must to reject those that believe violent attacks on innocent civilians are a necessary way of achieving political goals.

We need to realize the world is now the melting pot. As each and every one of us becomes more and more connected, there is no way of stopping the influences of multiculturalism. Instead of scorning our differences, we need to learn to understand, accept, and even embrace our differences. The right-wing whines about “political correctness” when liberals scorn bigotry, fear, and hate mongering, so be it. If the shoe fits, wear it.