Monday, November 26, 2012

The Europe of Watchdogs

Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer sends his translation of an op-ed from today’s Dagbladet. He says, “The political elites in Norway and Europe are clearly getting very worried indeed.”

Note: This week’s conference in Budapest is specifically directed against what it calls “Fjordmen” — which means that this blog and others like it are in the crosshairs.

Funded by the Council of Europe, the conference will train and bankroll “watchdogs” to keep an eye on the likes of us. They are nothing less than the secular European version of the OIC’s “Islamophobia Observatory”.

I say: Let them watch!

They can’t watch us more intently than the elites of Norway have been doing for the past sixteen months. The klieg lights have been in my eyes for more than a year. I’m used to them.

Let them watch! Let them read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!

They will discover nothing more than the truth. It’s there for all to see.

Here’s what Dagbladet says:

The Europe of hatred

by Torgeir Larsen

State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, (AP — Labour Party)

Social crisis, mass unemployment and young people without future prospects breed hatred and intolerance in Europe. And the symbolic face of the European hatred is Norwegian.

If there is something we owe the victims of July 22, then it has to be to stand up against extremism and the ideology of hatred in our very own Europe. This week we are doing just that in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. That’s where we and the Council of Europe greet researchers, online activists, organizations, the Department of Facebook of Europe, the European Broadcasting Union and many others. The theme is the fight against hate speech and intolerance in the public sphere, particularly on social media and on the web where Norwegian and European “Fjordmen” and organizations such as the Prophet’s Ummah spread their message.

Fifty European bloggers will also be there. They will receive training that will enable them to become “watchdogs” on the net, and monitor, report and oppose those that spread hatred, because the backdrop of contemporary Europe gives cause for concern.

Mass unemployment characterizes the continent. One out of every four Spaniards is unemployed, in Greece one in five are unemployed, and these two countries are followed by a large number of other European countries with unemployment rates between 10 and 20 percent. Several central and eastern European countries are also affected, but that crisis receives less attention because they are not part of the eurozone.

At the same time figures from OECD show that the wealth gap is increasing between generations and regions in Europe. The salary ratio in Europe is also falling, meaning that payment of wages relative to capital is on the decrease. This is especially noticeable for those at the lower end of the scale — young people trying to become established. It literally means bigger gaps between rich and poor and that those at the bottom are paying the highest price. The result is an increase in social pressure. The economic forecasts indicate that the crisis is here to stay and that we’re stuck with high unemployment rates. The prospect of real economic growth in the affected countries is nowhere to be seen, which means that we have only seen the beginning of the political consequences of the crisis.

Democracy is dependent on voters who feel represented by those they elect. Many feel resigned, faced with the current crisis. The belief in political solutions is fading virtually all over Europe, voter turnout has decreased, and studies carried out by the European Development Bank (EBRD) show a significant drop in trust and support for democratic institutions. Not surprisingly the effects are more noticeable in the newer European democracies. The combination of short democratic histories, social crisis and increasing wealth gaps give rise to anti-democratic forces. The pressure against minorities is increasing, the search for scapegoats intensifies and the European extreme-right movements have gained more influence.

Hungary is one such example. There the extreme right wing party Jobbik has received 20 percent of the overall vote. It is a nationalist and anti-Semitic party that, set against the Hungarian crisis, has managed to mobilize against the country’s large Roma population. We also remember the dread leading up to this summer’s European Soccer Championships in Poland and Ukraine where we feared that racists and neo-Nazis would win the battle for the soccer stands.

Another strong trait of today’s extreme-right movements in Europe is a strong anti-Muslim rhetoric. The French “Bloc Identitaire” has become known for serving “identity soup” containing pork to homeless people in France. This wing of the European extreme right has a long history in Europe — a history which Norway also is a part of. Faced with the necessary evaluation of the nation’s state of preparedness on July 22, 2011, we should not forget this — the political background to the tragedy.

It may be an uncomfortable realization, but we are certainly part of the history of the European extreme right. The term Quisling has for more than 70 years been a European and international expression. The symbolic face of the rise of the new extreme right in Europe of today is also Norwegian. Perform a quick Google search on the extreme right in Europe today and you’ll see why. Several of the texts that appear are illustrated with the face of the mass murderer of July 22. This requires that we commit ourselves, and we take that commitment very seriously.

Norway has made the fight against increasing intolerance and hatred in Europe to one of our main priorities on several different arenas. The Council of Europe is one of them. The Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) is another. The Foreign Ministry has also created a project for the protection of minorities which also includes continental Europe.

Furthermore, there are the EEA grants, Norway’s contribution to social and economic cohesion in the EU, a unique instrument at our disposal for the defense of tolerance, democracy and coexistence in Europe. In line with the democratic warning signs in some countries we have redirected our support towards civil society, to strengthen the legal protection of vulnerable groups and the integration of minorities. Separate funds have been established for NGOs in the Baltic countries and Central and Southern Europe. The main purpose of the funds is to report and document hatred and intolerance.

History never repeats itself. Yet we know how extremism rose in the vacuum that appeared when democracy faltered and the economy failed between the two world wars in the last century. In my opinion no one has described this more lucidly than the economic anthropologist Karl Polanyi in his book The Great Transformation from 1944. Here he shows how economic upheaval, extreme distribution problems and social fear produce opposing forces in the form of political extremism on the right and left, looking for scapegoats, populist “us-them” ideology, persecution of minorities and hatred.

July 22 showed us that democracy cannot be taken for granted — not today — and not even in Norway. The perpetrator has received his sentence, but the hatred lives on in a continent which is hit by mass unemployment, growing inequalities and social crisis. The fight against intolerance and extremism in Europe must be intensified. And that is a battle where Norway will lead the way, just as we are alongside the Council of Europe in Budapest this week.


Anonymous said...

Those people ought to try living in the real world for a while, instead of yakking about nonsense - it'd do them good to do a couple trips offshore, with someone like me yelling at them to pull their finger out!

Nemesis said...

No prizes for guessing where that kind of thinking comes from. Folk who think like this are so far left that anything slightly to the right of them is to be considered 'extreme.'

And if they believe they can change the direction that they have put us on for the past 70 years by oversighting blogs, then they have learned nothing from history.

Anonymous said...

"looking for scapegoats, populist “us-them” ideology, persecution of minorities and hatred."

True, this behaviour is very bad. Like people who see 'zionist' scapegoats everywhere, have an 'us vs dhimmi' ideology, persecute Christians, Jews, homosexuals and apostates and furiously hate Jews. Yes, that must be who they mean...

And those Hungarian racist creeps attacking Roma belong in a similar category!

Welcome, European blogger watchdogs. I'm a fairly left wing feminist with gay friends who only on this site and jihadwatch finds people addressing my genuine concerns about islamism. Do you genuinely respect a culture that, where in power, executes apostates, gays and people in extramarital relationships? An ideology that clearly permits wife-beating and thinks women should wrap themselves up instead of provoking men? Theocracy-seeking islam is just another fascist threat to Europe, alongside racists and neonazis.

Elisabeth said...

The Council of Europa, which aligned Islamophobia with Antisemitism back in 2005, must be kicked into the dustbin of history where it belongs.

ManofTheWest said...

I just narrowly avoided spraying a mouthful of coffee over my keyboard: "The term Quisling has for more than 70 years been a European and international expression."
These people clearly suffer from severe reality-deficit and have absolutely no sense of irony at all. Vidkun Quisling betrayed his own people and Western Civilisation itself in his self-interested allying with an evil, totalitarian, expansionist barbarism.....Sound familiar?
One way or another, war is coming.
The, plainly, historically illiterate Mr Larsen might like to take note of the fact that Quisling was tried and executed after that war.

Anonymous said...

Dagebladet bandies about the term "right wing" as a way to marginalize those who disagree with the establishment Left wing. The reality is, Keyenesian governement-centered solutions to unemployment,economic growth and defense are failing.
Accustomed as Europeans have become to living under the American military umbrella, they mistakenly believe that somehow the world has "evolved beyond war". With the American umbrella disappearing and Islam threatening, the Left's reaction is to hope it will somehow "go away" if they ignore the threat.

Anonymous said...

The left had no problems with "extremism" when they were cheering on the Baader-Meinhoff gang and the Red Brigades as they murdered their way across Europe in the 70s, nor did they have a problem with "extremism" on 9/11, when many prominent European "intellectuals" openly cheered the murder of 3,000 Americans by Islamic terrorists--"intellectuals' like the Norwegian do-gooder Mads Gilbert, who is still a beloved fixture of the Norwegian political scene despite having openly told the press that he "supproted" the 9/11 murderers. And of course, the left did not have a problem with "extremism" when Daniel Cohn-Bendit was throwing Molotov cocktails at Paris policemen in the 60s. Where is Daniel Cohn-Bendit today? He's president of the "respectable" European Green Party. And his good buddy Jashka Fisher, another Green Party leading light, was a fellow traveler of the Baader-Meinhoff gang, a man who supplied a gun to the B-M gang that was used in a political murder. No problems with "extremism" for those folks at all.

That's because they were all on the "right" side of the political question, "right" in this context meaning "correct."

Those of use who are on the "wrong" side of the political question are "extremists" for posting dissident thoughts on blogs like GOV--but throwing Molotov cocktails and "supporting" mass murder like Mads Gilbert--hey, that's just "different."

Anonymous said...

Rather than ignoring the threat, the Left is paying the Danegeld to violent Muslims by trading the present and future of the West (especially young white Christian girls) for present-day oil.

A very poor trade indeed! :(


Anonymous said...

FFS ... even my mother with a feminist/socialist past has concluded close to what Fjordman says if you tone it down and strip it for "harshness". If Mr Jagland is to succeed in wiping out "Fjordman-attitudes" he had better start building spaceous GULAGS all over Scandinavia. And right now Mr Jagland, before I tell my children that Islamists are just as bad as any fundamentalists history has ever thrown at us. And that we need to fight and reconquer whatever might be lost as we waited and fed the crocodile.

Anonymous said...

This fool says, among other piffle, "History never repeats itself." He is not even aware that Karl Marx said something much more profound and true:
"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce."

These people are fighting the specters of racism and fascism so hard that they have themselves become (reverse) racists and fascists. And as to the spectacular ruin they'll bring, again, we'll see that within the next 15 years.

It's the farce replay of Hitler in drag, with adopted African children and Muslim lavatories.
Takuan Seiyo

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Baron Bodissey said...

Anonymous @ 10:05am--

Gates of Vienna's rules about comments require that they be civil, temperate, on-topic, and show decorum. Your comment violated the last of these rules. We keep a PG-13 blog, and exclude foul language, explicit descriptions, and epithets. This is why I deleted your comment.

I like your ideas, so a redacted version of your comment is below. Next time keep it clean.


Anonymous said...
11 What [codswallop]. Ok, if this doesn't inspire EVERYONE to start up troll blogs ridiculing the entire spectrum of the political left (this is how they completely obliterated the credibility of the KKK and other stupid organizations in America) then what will it take?

This is an open declaration of war people, and it's time to get seriously troll-savy.

Put up 5634254237954237 blogs ridiculing them all. Seriously, here are some ideas : [STUFF] THAT LEFTISTS HATE. Post only pictures of happy white families with lots of children mixed in with pictures of renaissance art, middle ages baking recipes and flags.

here's another idea: [manly generative organs]4communism and then just photoshop pictures of genitalia over the faces of communist sympathizers and leaders all over the world and cite the political parody clause of the UN.

Seriously guys, you gotta get creative.