Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ideologies That Have No Basis in Reality

Utøya memorial

Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated a surprising op-ed about the official state ideology in Norway, which failed so miserably in the wake of the Breivik massacre.

The translator includes this note:

I have translated an op-ed by Ole Gjems Onstad which brilliantly exposes some of the totalitarian traits found within the Labour Party in Norway. It paints a very clear picture of an ideology that demands obedience and detests dissent.

This op-ed also brilliantly exposes the bizarre consensus mentality that is forced upon the people of Norway. In a scary kind of way it has similarities to the obedience culture found in places like North Korea.

One possible explanation for such a refreshing expression of opinion may be that the article below was published on the BI Business School website. BI is an independent institution, and not an arm of the government — a relative rarity in Norway:

Ideologies that have no basis in reality

An op-ed on the terrorist attack at Utøya by Ole Gjems Onstad

We have felt pride in having a penal code that focuses on illnesses and disregards personal responsibility.

Now we are unable to punish Norway’s worst mass murderer in modern times.

It is quite possible that Norwegian prosecutors would be unsuccessful in bringing Hitler and Stalin to justice. Would a Norwegian court accept that these dictators were sane, in a psychiatric sense?

Utøya has exposed Norway as an ideological country. The ideology that AUF [Arbeidernes Ungdomsfylking, the Labour Party’s youth organization] espouse has contributed to a penal code that has made it impossible to punish the man who killed them. That’s not a reward worthy of their efforts; it’s bitter irony.

The Labour Party has often chosen to normalize psychotics and rehabilitate murderers rather than protect the public. Now that the murderer has been sentenced to undergo treatment, it’s unlikely that he will be released soon, but the possibility is still there.

Sanctimonious Norway

Because of our oil wealth, being Norwegian often means being sanctimonious. Norwegian ideologies rarely meet reality: We are progressive and humane; we treat where others chose to punish.

Psychology teaches us that in time of crisis defence mechanisms are strengthened. Many representatives from the ideological Norway now say that we must stand by the principles in extreme situations.

Comfortable life

Norway houses its biggest mass murderer in a comfortable prison where he has three rooms: one for work, one for training and one for recreation and rest. He has two defence attorneys. No one knows what the final bill will be. When murdering so many, publicly paid defence attorneys have a lot of things to cover.

The prison administration keeps stressing that the mass murderer is of course entitled to the exact same treatment as the other prisoners. A well-known Norwegian defence attorney said in a TV talk show that the killer must be treated with respect. Such statements are ideologically correct in Norway, but they may also be regarded as confused, alienated, and blind.

To recognize the inner thunder

Part of the Norwegian ideology that has been exposed through Utøya is the fear of being angry. The fact that so few have demanded retaliation is considered positive. The desire for revenge is primitive and worthy of condemnation.

But it is natural to wish revenge on someone who caused so much pain. If there was ever a day in modern Norwegian history when it was appropriate to recognize this inner thunder, it was on July 22, 2011.

When it happened, the police lacked the masculine aggressive assertiveness that could have changed the outcome. Only afterwards have the police become indignant — of those who criticize their indecisiveness

Not permitted to become angry

In the aftermath of July 22, the Prime Minister and others have said that we should not look for scapegoats. This rhetorical prohibition of becoming angry has ensured that no one has been held accountable. Are we equally hesitant to look for scapegoats when violations of labour and tax laws occur?

When the government fails, Norwegian ideology requires that the indignation be kept in check.

Failed when it really mattered

Part of the Norwegian ideology is that we are a very democratic country. July 22 shows us that we also fail in this regard, when it really matters:

Government employees who were in the building when the bomb went off have been ordered not to talk to the press.

The police categorically refuse to give any information, and act as a non-democratic state within the state.

The Government neglects fundamental parliamentary rules by appointing a commission to investigate itself.

The main opposition party, Høyre (Conservatives), have for five months hardly said a critical word about this terrible historical event.

Shattered the Norwegian ideology

On July 22, reality shattered the Norwegian ideology, but only for a brief moment — it quickly bounced back again — in funeral eulogies and in media reports. Unity was praised, and the courage to apologize for unnecessary death was missing.

A tenet of the new Norwegian ideology is that oil money will save us from everything. The limitless police resources used after the disaster, major victim compensation, and an army of lawyers. Official Norway seems to think that oil money can buy them a free pass from the charges of unnecessary young death.

Ideology instead of thanks

The Government of course refused to give medals to those who didn’t fail: ordinary citizens on Utvika Camping who felt a flame in their inner selves, and dared, and didn’t hesitate

To give medals to ordinary citizens in this situation would break with the Labour Party’s official ideology and expose the failure of the police. The ideology takes precedent over the praise — even when lives were at stake. It’s arrogant, embarrassingly petty, and ungrateful. Instead there will be an official memorial — that celebrates the State — and the ideology that failed.

It’s painful, but true: Utøya was a place where ideologies that caused so much to go wrong were nurtured. It’s understandable that so many in the AUF don’t want the island to disappear.

But if one wishes to show respect for the dead by learning, one has to let go of ideologies that have no basis in reality.


Anonymous said...

Where are the RELATIVES of victims who might agitate for this outcome?

Where are the PEOPLE of Norway who might take up a popular collection which would be used to cast medals and award them to citizen heroes in a public ceremony?!

This is an EXCELLENT essay - but ultimately the author exposes his state conditioning when the author expects the bureaucratic STATE to act to award citizens.

Dependence, dependence, dependence.

WHY must the state be responsible for this task?

Let the PEOPLE of Norway act on their own to accomplish their wishes regarding this matter!

Are the PEOPLE of Norway grateful?

Do the PEOPLE of Norway even want to survive anymore?


Anonymous said...

Woman stabbed in the head by "Asian"
at Oslo restaurant at noon

The 73 year old woman was having lunch with a friend, as an "Asian looking" young man enters the restaurant and seemingly unmotivated starts stabbing one of the two women in the head with a 30 cm long knife.

Anonymous said...


You are absolutely right to ask those questions

Regarding North Korean dimensions, the people, the Norwegian, is being held hostage by brainwashing since kindergarten.

Stockholm syndrome.

For how much longer are the hostages going to accept the situation?

When will somebody break out?

There seems to be a delay in mentality. Norway used to be a country where everything was in order, and the police was the body to take care of law and order.

Then overnight, the situation has totally changed, and the minds haven't followed yet. You just don't believe possible that the society has changed to such an extent as reality shows.

At the same time the media and the politicians, are in denial about reality.

This discrepancy about what you see, and what the authorities - to whom you used to have confidence in - tell you that you should see, is vast, and you don't how to fill this unknown area.

Anonymous said...

Diana attacked by five brave young "men"
- waiting for the bus in Oslo on Monday night

Her two female friends could do nothing but watch Diana being kicked by the gang.

Anonymous said...

Integration minister Audun Lysbakken will soon be going on father's leave for the second time during his reign as integration minister

- So, just how important is his function..?

In this photo he is out rolling along on his first father's leave, at the same time as then Justice Minister Knut Storberget was.

Chiu ChunLing said...

There is a need for the people of a nation to rely primarily on themselves for the provision of all the positive goods on which their society is based.

But there is a greater need to act to remove those evils that threaten to make life untenable. And totalitarianism in the government is such an evil. Those who criticize the government for its failings are engaged in the work of defending the lives and liberty of all, and while it may not in all cases be greater than any other work it is not categorically lesser.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear! Chiu Chun-Ling.

Wisely spoken.

Anonymous said...

It is masculinity that has disappeared in Norway. This is what happens in a totally feminised environment.
This remark is written by a woman.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: You said exactly what I was thinking, though I would have said it in much cruder terms. We are seeing it in this country though not yet to the same degree.

Anonymous said...

The editorial misses the point that the suppression of dissent is the totalitarian trend of the Labor Party. It is not keeping police operations or information confidential in the immediate aftermath of an attack.

Chiu ChunLing said...

The imposition of an essential distinction between the police and the public is a necessary component of totalitarianism, and the source of all the evil tendencies of the totalitarian system as a whole.

Even if a system were not totalitarian at all, being tolerant of letting people alone in some sphere, as long as there are different rules for the common citizen and for the wielders of state authority, the system is essentially criminal in a technical sense of not observing the principle of rule of law, which requires that everyone be subject to the same laws.

While most such governments in history have not been totalitarian in the modern sense (since they left people to decide much of the business of their own lives), this did not make the governments less evil nor their atrocities against the people less terrible.

Simply put, do the police recognize the rights of everyone else to conceal potentially incriminating evidence of their actions in relation to the events of that day? If they have required (under penalty of law) any member of the public to explain their actions to the police, then how can it possibly be just for the police to refuse to explain their actions to the public upon demand?

You may argue that 'necessity' compels the observance of a fundamental distinction between how the law is to apply to the police and how it is to apply to the public. Advocates of tyranny always resort to the argument of necessity. It doesn't change the fact that abolishing the central principle of government by the rule of law makes a system criminal.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would agree with the commenter above. The native men of Norway obviously need to regain their masculinity quickly. Too much of a feminization of a culture leaves it extremely vulnerable to lesser, primitive cultures. Professional feminists seem not to care about this. I guess it would take a wise pshychiatrist to explain to me why professional feminists behave so stupidly.

Columnist said...

Yes, but when growing balls, you will come to respect the primitive, masculine culture. So it is a no-win situation.

Unless you are willing to go FARTHER than the Muslims...

Chiu ChunLing said...

It is my observation that masculine attitudes towards other overtly masculine men tend to be less than totally admiring. This also seems to extend to entire masculine cultures. Of course, the attitude of a masculine man or culture towards emasculated men/culture is likely to be even one of outright contempt, but this is entirely relative.

As a particular man moves from emasculation towards masculinity, he is likely to be less impressed by masculinity in others, rather than more.

Unknown said...

Converts tend to be fundamentalist believers in their new religion/ideology.
In this case I wouldn´t be surprised if quite a bit of suppressed anger would surface when the taboo on criticising feminist dogma collapses. I´d say they may feel somewhat offended, once men begin to suspect they have been manipulated and led by the nose
I would - in fact I am, and I am a woman!