Øyvind Strømmen is a relatively unknown left-wing extremist in Norway. Or, rather, he was relatively unknown, even in the blogosphere, until he made a big splash recently with the publication of a new book about the influence of right-wing “fascists” on Anders Behring Breivik. His book shamelessly exploits Breivik’s atrocities in Oslo and on the island of Utøya to gain personal fame for the author and sell more books.
Regular readers may remember Øyvind Strømmen from long ago, back during the LGF Wars in late 2007 and early 2008. Mr. Strømmen became one of Charles’ Johnson’s principal sources (and for a time, his only source) on what both men referred to as “European neo-fascism”.
The practice of calling one’s political enemies “fascists” was perfected by Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, a.k.a. Joseph Stalin, in the 1920s and 1930s. He was so effective at characterizing his “deviationist” fellow Socialists as “right-wing” that the Western political establishment, the mainstream media, and most of the academy have considered Nazis and Fascists as “conservative extremists” ever since. Recognizing Fascism and Nazism — National Socialism — as left-wing socialist ideologies is the first step towards rousing us from the stupor to which the Marxists have consigned us over the past eight decades.
If we’re going to fling names at people, Øyvind Strømmen could with justification be labeled a “Stalinist”. Given his left-wing ideology and his propensity for calling people with whom he disagrees “fascists”, the description is a good fit.
The following review of Mr. Strømmen’s book was published at NRK (the Norwegian state broadcaster). Many thanks to Henrik Ræder Clausen for the translation. I’ve interpolated a few relevant comments:
The Lone Wolf Comes From a Flock
by Tarjei Skirbekk
Only a few knew who Øyvind Strømmen was before July 22, 2011. But after the terrorist attacks in Olso, Norway, his mapping of extreme right elements on the Internet have gained top relevance. Strømmen is probably the single person with the best non-classified overview of these elements in Norway. And unlike most of us, he was not surprised that the hatred of the extreme right could lead to the terror that struck Norway.
We’re only on the first paragraph, and already the leftist agenda has made itself evident. Mr. Strømmen has “the best non-classified overview” of the right wing in Norway. Who says so? How do they know?
What are Mr. Strømmen’s credentials — besides being able to move the mouse, click the links, and read articles on the internet, which anyone can do?
Why wouldn’t an expert overview of the Right from within the Right be considered relevant? We’re experts on ourselves, after all.
NRK would never consider a conservative to be an expert on left-wing extremism, and would certainly never print a right-winger’s opinions on the Marxist scene in Norway. What gives a lefty such special privileges?
Based in Belgium, the author for several years followed the right wing bloggers both in Norway and in Europe, and he was startled by what he read. He discovered a more or less closed environment where conspiracy theories were held to be true, historical events were twisted and caricatured beyond recognition, and the hatred against the ruling as “traitors” was well established. Back in Norway, he continued his activities and wrote numerous articles and a book on the subject in 2009.
Again, tendentious and questionable conclusions are presented as fact.
Where do we get the history wrong? What events were “twisted and caricatured beyond recognition”?
Any number of us, Fjordman in particular, have been very specific in describing which of our leaders’ policies and actions would have been considered treasonous in an earlier, saner time. Why not address those assertions, and attempt to refute them on their merits?
And now comes the moment to do a hit job on Fjordman in particular:
In his new book Det Mørke Nettet (“The Dark Web”) the author presents a number of examples of how individuals and communities of right wing extremism and right wing radicalism work and agitate in Norway and in Europe. He quotes writers such as the late Italian Oriana Fallaci, the extreme right parties Vlaams Belang and the undercurrents of Islam-critical bloggers with Peder Nøstvold Jensen (“Fjordman”) as one of the driving ideologues of the extreme right in Europe and a leading carrier of fascist ideology. [emphasis added]
The gloves are off. Fjordman is a “carrier of fascist ideology”. How does Mr. Strømmen — or the reviewer — justify this assertion?
He doesn’t, of course. Because he can’t.
Let’s do his work for him. First we present the widely-accepted definition of fascism:
a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
To which a historian would add:
Historically, Fascism was a form of Socialism in which syndicalism, the merger of the State with hitherto capitalist enterprises, played a paramount role.
How does anything that Fjordman ever wrote fit this definition?
When has Fjordman advocated more state control, or the suppression of criticism? Where does he show a preference for dictators? Can you identify even a single passage in which he promoted “aggressive nationalism”?
Of course not. Regular readers of Fjordman’s work recognize the absurdity of such an accusation.
Let’s face it: the entire case against him depends upon a single word in the above definition: “racism”. Fjordman is a “racist” because he believes in protecting the ethnic and cultural integrity of the historical nations of Europe. All of them, not just Norway.
His desire to eliminate mass immigration into his country to preserve it from destruction makes him a “racist” in the eyes of the Left.
And that alone makes him a “fascist”.
Such are the sophisticated political subtleties bruited about by the theoreticians of Modern Multicultural Norway.
Self-preservation, the very essence of life, is now labeled “extremism” and “fascism”. There is no way that a patriotic European can advocate for his country’s venerated traditions without being consigned to the Outer Darkness of modern political discourse.
The reviewer moves on to a discussion of “Eurabia”:
Strømmen gives us a good insight into what he calls the three waves of right extremism in Norway since 1970, the latter is associated with a perverted criticism of Islam mixed with conspiracy theories related to “Eurabia” thinking. This line of thinking includes a notion that Europe is about to be Arabized or Islamized due to immigration from Muslim countries. But this is not the most important element, according to the author. Most important is the idea that this Arabization is the result of a deliberate plan whose main drivers are the authorities and politicians, academics and journalists.
Not just criticism of Islam, but “perverted” criticism of Islam.
What, precisely, is the “perversion”? Fjordman and Bat Ye’or both document extensively the elements of Islamic ideology and legal practice that they consider illiberal and dangerous. Multiple examples are cited from the Koran, the hadith, the Sunna, and the Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) that should worry Socialists and Progressives as much as they do conservatives. These examples are borne out by modern practices, both in Muslim countries and within Islamic enclaves in the West.
What’s “perverted” about pointing that out?
The goal of “Arabization” — or, more accurately, Islamization — is not just an “idea” of the Islam-critics: prominent Muslim theologians and major Islamic political leaders are on the public record describing it as their plan for Europe. Col. Muammar Qaddafi, no less, was recorded on videotape describing in a speech the eventual Islamic takeover of Europe by demographic means.
We are evidently supposed to disregard all this, to assume that these prominent Muslims are either mistaken or having us on. The wise Progressives of Europe somehow know the hidden, gnostic truth of what Muslims really intend. Despite being European atheists who do not speak Arabic or Urdu, they simply know the true intentions of Muslims, which are benign or at least harmless.
In the same manner, they also know that Fjordman is an evil fascist.
At the heart of this new right extremism is what the author calls “Counter Jihadism.” This is a powerful anti-Islamic ideological movement originating from the Internet. Apart from strong anti-Islamic attitudes and conspiracy theories, the Internet communities tend to be anti-Marxist, anti-feminist and against multiculturalism. Anders Behring Breivik and Peder Jensen Nøstvold both come from this environment. Strømmen believes that Jensen helped construct the world of ideas of the terrorist, and has a unique position as the ideological mentor of Breivik.
Once again, the power of unsupported assertion comes to the fore. Fjordman and Breivik both come from the same environment, because… Well, because Øyvind Strømmen says they do.
No one shared the killer’s psychopathic environment but Anders Behring Breivik himself. He read the works of Fjordman and other writers, and quoted from them extensively. But his environment never overlapped that of the Counterjihad, not in the slightest. Norway’s state security service has confirmed that Mr. Breivik had nothing whatsoever to do with any of the writers he cited.
Yet the assertion remains. When arguing from a Leftist perspective, simple assertion is enough to prove anything.
Strømmen writes that “Anders Behring Breivik, regardless of how lonely he was in his actions, was not alone in his attitudes. The lone wolf comes from a pack. “Despite the peculiarities, Behring Breivik was not an ideological loner. He represents a trend that has emerged in recent years on the internet, the CounterJihad environment with a potential for violence. “This is a pack that can come from several wolves,” warns Strømmen.
This is where we enter utter fantasy. The lefties have no one but Breivik that fills their need for a grand conspiracy, so they wave a rhetorical wand and conjure the violent “pack” into existence.
Facts aren’t necessary. No evidence is required. Simple assertion will always suffice.
Now comes Mr. Strømmen’s prescription for a solution: the suppression of free speech. Not his, of course, but the speech of those who express “hate propaganda”:
Strømmen sees an Internet world contributing to radicalization. creating a breeding ground for hatred and violence. What can we do? he asks. And he tries to give an answer, but it is not obvious. These are difficult trade-offs between words and actions, between freedom of expression and stopping hate propaganda. It is “not just a question of what we can do, but also a question of what we actually want to do,” he writes. The author believes that we must keep these groups under closer scrutiny. We must make the climate uncomfortable for extremist material on the Internet and strengthen the self-regulation of online communities.
And who will determine what is hate propaganda, and what is cogent political analysis?
One assumes that the author envisions himself as sitting on a citizens’ board charged with overseeing the criteria for acceptable political discourse.
He acknowledges that writing an opinion is not the same as taking action — but…
Strømmen writes that his book is an “attempt to challenge the naivety we have practiced towards the right-wing extremists.” He points out that attitudes and actions are not the same thing, but stresses that “it is infinitely naive to believe that such rhetoric does not have a price.” He accuses the media, politicians and democrats for having acted without self-confidence against a public opinion that allows the boundaries of the acceptable become blurred, thus inviting the extreme right into the room for debate. He believes this causes the extreme right to become trivialized and appear harmless.
There’s always that “but” when Leftists discuss free speech. The political writings of non-Leftists might somehow enter a deranged mind and make it more deranged — so goes the theory. But Socialist writings could never do the same to an unhinged lefty’s mind.
And why is that? Because Socialist writings are correct, of course!
How could political truth ever hurt anything? Only right-wing lies could ever harm someone!
Don’t you know anything?
There’s more, much more, in this book review, but I’ve had about all I can take. Those who can read Norwegian are invited to go over to NRK and take in the rest.
I’ll just quote the last paragraph:
Øyvind Strømmen was this fall voted “Freelancer of the Year” in Norway for his many years of investigative work on the extreme right and Islam hostile blogs on the internet. That is richly deserved. And with this book he has given us a strong contribution to the self-examination Norwegian society must go through after July 22nd.
So this is what passes for “self-examination” in Norwegian society. Nothing about mass immigration, progressive group-think, state Socialism, the suppression of all independent thinking, cultural degradation, or the coming demographic implosion.
Just those evil, eeeeevil “right-wing extremists” — and, of course, those “fascist” wolves.
God help Norway.