Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer sends his analysis of a minor controversy that has been raging within Norwegian academic circles for the past few days. As he says, “It paints a very clear picture of the political climate in Norway at the moment.”
The issue involves a Norwegian writer who had the misfortune to be approved of by Gates of Vienna. Two of his recent articles were translated and posted here, and this innocuous circumstance has put his career in jeopardy. He wrote us yesterday morning and asked that we take down his texts (for copyright reasons). I promptly complied.
This is not the first time that something like this has happened since the Butcher of Utøya did his grisly work on July 22, 2011. To have one’s writings approved by Gates of Vienna can be a death-knell for the career of a Norwegian academic. We are considered, as the Observer puts it, “virtual toxic plutonium” by the elites who run Norway. Our approval gives off a deadly radiation that any Norwegian academic will quite understandably want to avoid.
The calculus that drives these intellectual Inquisitions is strange, when you think about it. The logic runs something like this:
|1.||Anders Behring Breivik liked Fjordman’s essays.|
|2.||Fjordman published his essays at Gates of Vienna.|
|3.||Therefore Gates of Vienna is a dangerous, extremist website to be shunned by all right-thinking people.|
And the corollary, which brought on the present controversy:
|4.||The writings of Dr. X were translated and posted at Gates of Vienna, which praised them.|
|5.||Therefore Dr. X is a dangerous, extremist author to be shunned by all respectable institutions and publications in Norway.|
Yet this same logic could be extended much further. Let’s follow a different sequence of corollary statements:
|4.||Baron Bodissey administers Gates of Vienna.|
|5.||Baron Bodissey admires and publicly praises the singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen.|
|6.||Therefore Leonard Cohen is a dangerous, extremist performer whose music should be shunned by all right-thinking people.|
This level of absurdity will obviously never hold sway, a fact which highlights the double standard described below by The Observer. Anyone who expresses an incorrect opinion risks being lumped with Breivik through guilt-by-association, no matter how many tenuous degrees of connection have to be devised to achieve this purpose. If you live in Norway and hold an opinion that diverges even slightly from the Progressive Multicultural consensus, the Powers That Be are just waiting for you to put a foot wrong, after which you will experience that bowel-loosening moment when they pounce on you.
It’s a very effective means of squelching dissent and keeping would-be independent thinkers inside a constantly shrinking perimeter fence.
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Here’s what The Observer has to say about the Norwegian Inquisition:
The controversy involving the translation and publication of Alse Toje’s two articles on Gates of Vienna is interesting for a variety of reasons, and I intend to highlight a few of them.
I first became aware of the ‘controversy’ when I logged on to Fjordman’s Twitter page yesterday evening. Apparently another Twitter user, Sigve Indregard (co-author of the very dishonest book Motgift — “Antidote”) had caught wind that someone had translated two of Toje’s articles into English and posted them at GoV. Several other Norwegian Twitter users, whom I would describe as academics, followed suit and demanded that the author explain whether he had given his consent to the translation and the subsequent publication of his article on GoV.
The tweets were nothing but poorly disguised threats in which they, the inquisitors — without outright coming out and saying so — made it abundantly clear that they would instigate a smear campaign against Toje if he didn’t publicly distance himself from GoV and denounce the publication of his articles on said website.
Shortly thereafter Toje tweeted that several of Thomas Hylland Eriksen’s allies (one of the two articles dealt with Thomas Hylland Eriksen) had already started ‘hitling’ him, basically meaning that they had started using guilt-by-association techniques to smear him. Gates of Vienna is considered virtual toxic plutonium by the political correct elites in Norway following the events of July 22, 2011. For the author, an academic, to be associated with Gates of Vienna would be a very unwise career move.
There was actually an article in a Norwegian paper a few years ago which highlighted Toje’s difficulties in finding employment in Norway despite the fact that his credentials were a couple of notches above that of the average Norwegian academic. The reason for his difficulties was the simple fact that he had done some work for the FrP (Fremskrittspartiet, the Progress Party) and hence had become unpalatable for the politically correct academic establishment in the country.
The PC establishment in Norway is almost Stalinist in nature. One only needs to take a look at the Norwegian TV documentary Brainwash to find out that this is not an exaggeration. Most academics are based in Oslo, which is a tiny little city by international standards. Oslo is also a place where everybody knows everybody in academia. Step out of line in there or utter unacceptable truths, and the smear machinery of the elites will come down on you with full force.
Another thing which I find interesting is the double standard employed by the academics involved in this incident. Unbeknownst to him, Toje’s articles were republished in translation at GoV, but unlike Fjordman, who was virtually crucified when it was uncovered that the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik had republished several of his essays in his twisted manifesto, the Grand Inquisitor in the shape of the self-righteous Sigve Indregard and his inner circle of Twitter goons forgave Toje after Toje made it abundantly clear that he had nothing to do with the translations, or GoV in general for that matter.
It’s worth noting that Indregard & Co. belong to the elites that crucified Fjordman after the July 22 massacres. One could of course ask the obvious question, which is: Why didn’t they extend the same privilege to Fjordman? Wasn’t Fjordman also unwittingly ensnared? Breivik didn’t ask for his permission to republish his texts, so why was he vilified for it? Indregard & Co. are oblivious to their own double standard, which is not a surprise when it comes to Norwegian left-wing academics.
It was not my intention to get Toje in trouble when I translated his articles. I translated them because I thought they were of a high quality and I honestly believed that English speaking readers should be given the opportunity to read them. I guess I underestimated the power of guilt-by-association which exists in Norway, and the very strong need for the politically correct elites to crucify those that don’t agree with them. Toje will be OK, as he has now publicly distanced himself from GoV and made it blatantly clear that he doesn’t espouse the views of GoV, which he is of course more than entitled to do.
With this controversy out of the way, equilibrium has been reestablished in the tiny little duck pond that is Norwegian academia, where everybody quacks in tune and where nobody is allowed to rock the boat.