Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Lone Stalinist Cries “Wolf”

Tex Avery: Wolf Blitz

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.


Anonymous said...

Strømmen believes that Jensen helped construct the world of ideas of the terrorist, and has a unique position as the ideological mentor of Breivik.

As I have previously pointed out, this narrative of Breivik being radicalized by anti-Islamist bloggers and intellectuals is blatantly contradicted by Breivik's own manifesto. Breivik himself stated that he only became aware of Fjordman's writings six months after he begun his "compendium", so he was planning on the terrorist attack long before he heard of Fjordman.

The roots of Breivik's militancy are clear when reading his biography, which begins on pg 1386 of the PDF version of the manifesto. In it it describes his personal experiences of growing up in multicultural Oslo, where he got first-hand experience of what Muslim immigration is doing to Norwegian society. Experiencing the violent and belligerent behavior of Muslims gangs is ultimately the root cause of his turn to extremism.


Ralph Lynn said...

What an intellectual giant!

Thanks to this great thinker, I now know for sure that

PG Wodehouse
Da Vinci
Earl Flatt and Lester Scruggs
and ALL whitey despoilers before the great cleansing of the human spirit by socialist universalism were FASCIST! FASCIST!! F-A-S-C-I-S-T!!!


Elizabeth 1
George Formby
Ealing Films
Tolpuddle Martyrs
Our parents/grandparents who died/made it through through WW11

Clearly racists! What more does one need to know?

Pierre_Picaud said...

A top quality piece of Fisking Monsieur le Baron!

Anonymous said...

Umm, just a few comments from Norway.
1) You do yourself a disservice as portraying mr. Strømmen as a far leftist. He is an active politician in MDG (The Greens), a middle of the road liberalistic party. Ha has spent a lot of energy chastising the norwegian left for anti-semitism and so on.
2) You also come across as silly when you claim that words and ideology have no effect. If that was the case, we could stop critizising the writers of jihadic literature.

Pierre_Picaud said...

Dear Anonymous, you should perhaps read the latest book by the British writer James Delingpole which handsomely exposes the politics of the Green, environmental and AGW movements.

The title says it all really: "Watermelons". That is, green on the outside, red on the inside.

Lawrence said...

Always entertaining (in a dark way) when Lefty socialists accuse Righties of being Fascist when Fascism is actually a socialist ideology.

Most militant leftists embrace ideologies paralleling Hitler's, yet they accuse Rightist of being the Fascists.

If he's trying to contrast his leftist socialism with a rightist socialist model, why doesn't he just come out and say he's a communist, and be done with the comical rhetoric?

alcade said...

Funny how a "right winger" can publish a book or create a website that is so full of facts, quotes, cites, and references to almost bore the reader with legalese, while a left winger throws out some unproven opinions and they're hailed as experts.

Also, Anon 8:59, it is easy to label a political party "middle of the road" when the goalposts are set so far to the left. By ideology, they are just as red as any other socialists.

Anonymous said...

Oriana Fallaci comes from a family of anti-fascists!

If one reads "The Rage & The Pride" it is clear that she never abandoned these values.

Typical cheap leftist smearing ...

Anonymous said...

One seriously has to wonder about the intellectual underpinnings of those that feel the need to condemn Breivik as a "racist".

The man went on a murderous rampage against unarmed children. The victims were not chosen because of their race (the vast majority of them belonged to his own) but because they were present at an event to promote an ideology (a notably racist ideology) with which Breivik disagreed.

So we have two elements. One, Breivik is a mass murderer. Two, he is clearly an anti-racist extremist in his actions despite whatever assertions may be made as to his inner demons. Therefore I am forced to conclude that those who feel the need to condemn him as a racist feel that labeling him a mass murderer is somehow insufficient.

While I have to regard the gunning down of large numbers of unarmed white children as being among the least effective possible methods of combating the current genocide against the people of Europe, I find those who must denounce it as "racist" beyond preposterous.

If being extraordinarily anti-racist is a virtue (at least for white people), then Breivik should be hailed as a saint (or at least considered for sainthood after his execution). I personally don't consider such extreme anti-racism to be particularly virtuous, certainly it doesn't outweigh his slaughter of helpless children.

I'm far too much of a racist myself to indiscriminately kill a bunch of kids who have not harmed or threatened me personally and who are overwhelmingly of my own race. So it's a good thing that I don't aspire to be so throughly non-racist. But for anyone that does, it would only be logical to hail Breivik as a heroic example of putting ideology before race rather than condemn him as a racist.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

kloutlichter said...

A scottish friend I have spends half the year in Norway.He is not a man that is shy of holding his opinion to himself.He tells the norwegians that he has met, that they need to kick out immigrants,(including himself if need be)to restore the just,peaceful and fair society that he has come to respect.Islamic immigration especially is ruining Norway he says.Most people would call him a racist for such views but his girlfriend is half turkish.Racism is a belief of superioty.Self preservation of ones culture is or should be common sense.

Jan Vindheim said...

It seems obvious that neither the author of this "review" nor the preceding commentators have actually read mr Strømmens book. It might be good to consult his own rebuttal of the above:

Lawrence said...

I followed Jan's link and noted the quoted reference: Roger Griffin’s widely used definition of fascism: Fascism is best defined as a revolutionary form of nationalism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical revolution, welding the ‘people’ into a dynamic national community under new elites infused with heroic values. The core myth that inspires this project is that only a populist, trans-class movement of purifying, cathartic national rebirth (palingenesis) can stem the tide of decadence.

Isn't this what Strømmen is also calling for? " a dynamic national community under new elites?"

Strømmen simply has a different idea of who the elites should be.

And his reference to Charles Johnson serves only to increase my suspicious of his motives.

Regarding this sentence "Fascism is best defined as a revolutionary form of nationalism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical revolution"

Isn't this exactly what Islamists are striving for in Europe? A political, social and ethical revolution? By Strømmen's definition and example, the Muslim agenda in Europe are also Fascist.

According to this line of thought it appears everyone in Europe are Fascists, both on the right and the left... and on both sides of the Islam versus non-Islam conflict.

Anonymous said...

For my part, while it is clear that Breivik's actions were notably anti-racist, it is also clear that they followed the collectivist mindset insofar as he selected his targets based on their presumed membership in a group rather than by reference to their individual actions. Thus I am disinclined to dispute that his actions may have been motivated by socialist influences basically similar to fascism.

Sadly, Western Civilization has never been successful in giving individualist philosophy the respect and study it deserves. The implementation of individualism more usually depends on the strong feelings that the European peoples had in favor of "their" ancestral ways. Anyone that tries to come up with a theory of human action, freedom, and responsibility by making a study of the philosophical literature available (even in the West) runs a great danger of being contaminated with the collectivist ideas that are always being promoted as more "rational" and "fair" (I believe this occurs because academics would generally rather control than contribute, but perhaps I am missing something).

Thus I do not find it easy to dispute the idea that Breivik might have been influenced to regard indiscriminate mass murder as the most intellectually sound approach as a result of having read too much. Certainly, that is pretty much the idea that most philosophers are selling.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

DWMF said...

These words ("Fascist", "Racist") are simply brickbats thrown by the Woolfies at anyone they don't like. In much the same way that "Heretic" or "Atheist" was hurled by most Churches in past centuries.

Being unimaginative tiresome little rabblers, their vocabulary doesn't extend much further. I prefer to hear what intelligent conservatives can say in this line - much funnier.

Profitsbeard said...

What a load of retro-Political Commissar petrified horsemanure.

Strommen is streaming heaps of Stalinist Show Trial cliches.

Does anyone not just laugh at this prancing, tapdancing Totentanz flatulence?

The agenda of the true fascist:

Why analyze when you can demonize?