Monday, July 25, 2011

Norway attack warning for us all

The killing spree in Norway was not a one-off attack by an “evil madman” but a conscious act of terrorism that will reverberate around Europe as the continent’s growing social crisis unfolds.

Anders Behring Breivik may have acted alone, but his thinking reflects a modernised fascist ideology that views existing political establishments as the enemy for undermining a “way of life”.

In Norway, the target was the ruling Labour Party – which is synonymous with that country’s establishment – and its future leaders, who were at their annual summer camp on the island of Utøya.

He described members of Norway’s Labour Party as “traitors” because of their alleged support of “multiculturalism and Islamisation.” According to his 1,500 page manuscript written in preparation for his murderous attacks, Breivik regarded himself as a crusader in a war against a “Marxist-Islamist alliance”. He described himself as a “martyr” and “resistance fighter.”

Norway’s Labour Party, according to Breivik, were “traitors” for encouraging multi-culturalism, where communities can co-exist peacefully. Like his contacts in the English Defence League (EDL), Breivik wants to prevent a national culture from being “overwhelmed” by a foreign one, in this case Islam.

Breivik was inspired by and drew his thinking from a number of sources, including the right-wing evangelical movement in the United States and the ultra-Zionist Avigdor Lieberman, who is Israel’s foreign secretary and deputy prime minister.

The European fascist movement paradoxically support the Jewish state of Israel because the present Zionist leadership view Palestinians as a threat culturally, demographically as well as politically. The EDL has been known to wave Israeli flags at its demonstrations. Norway’s government is strongly pro-Palestinian and was moving towards supporting the boycott and disinvestment campaign aimed at Israel.

Breivik’s writings clearly indicate that he saw himself as part of a wider movement, declaring. “I know that tens of thousands of brothers and sister all over Europe are fighting the good fight every single day. Fighting the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist alliance every single day. Many have sacrificed everything already; many are incarcerated and some have even martyred themselves.”

As the award-winning American journalist Max Blumenthal noted: “As horrific as Breivik’s actions were, he can not be dismissed as a ‘madman’. His writings contain the same themes and language as more prominent right-wing Islamophobes… and many conservatives in general. What’s more, Breivik was articulate and coherent enough to offer a clear snapshot of his ideological motives.”

Blumenthal also pointed out that Breivik, who was for a time a member of the anti-immigrant Progress Party in Norway but left because it was too respectable, reflects the same “leaderless resistance” style as America’s anti-abortion terrorists. “Breivik’s writings offer much more than a window into the motives that led him to commit terror. They can also be read as an embodiment of the mentality of a new and internationalized far-right movement that not only mobilizes hatred against Muslims, but is also able to produce figures who will kill innocent non-Muslims to save the Western way of life.”

Breivik’s attack reveals the fragility of the Scandinavian model of reformist social democracy with its deep undercurrents of racism and nationalism. Far right movements in Scandinavia have been researched by journalist and crime writers like Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell. Connections to rogue elements in the state cannot be ruled out.

More widely, of course, opposition to multiculturalism and the threat to “our way of life”, has been taken up by the British political establishment in a grubby bid to win votes and keep the ultra-right at bay. Earlier this year, prime minister Cameron said in a speech that multiculturalism had “failed”, while successive New Labour ministers attacked the concept in office. Present leader Ed Miliband says the party has ignored justified fears about immigration amongst its supporters.

As the mainstream parties in Britain make further accommodation with reactionary views, a wider crisis is ensuing. Cameron today admits that people’s confidence in the establishment had been “shaken to the core” by the expenses scandal, the financial crisis and phone hacking. “There’s a sense that the rich and the powerful – politicians, bankers, the press and the police – have been serving themselves, not each other.”

Relying on such a discredited state establishment to defend people’s rights and protect them from fascist attacks is utterly wrong. Building a mass movement for self-determination in every sphere of society, based on a network of democratically-organised and run people’s assemblies, is the best response to what took place in Norway.

Paul Feldman
Communications editor

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