In the aftermath of the Massacre in Norway, Norwegian-African Ba Karang examines the ideological strands of the Far Right in the thinking of Anders Breivik. — Editors
On January 26, 2001 Benjamin Hermansen, a 15-year old Norwegian-Ghanaian, was murdered in Homlia, a suburb of Oslo by a well known racist and fascist named Ole Nicolai Kvisler — now serving a 17 year sentence in prison. The reaction of the people of Oslo to the murder was huge; tens of thousands marched in the streets of Oslo to condemn this brutal act. With such an outpouring of popular anti-fascist sentiment, no one could have envisaged that Anders Breivik, who was then a member of the anti-immigrant Progress Party (FRP), was probably in his own mind planning the most brutal attack that Norway has experienced since the Second World War.
Apart from the 8 killed in the bombing in central Oslo, the majority of those murdered at Utøya were members of the Workers’ Youth League, the youth wing of the social democratic Norwegian Labour Party, including a number of children whose parents come from as far as Nigeria, Bosnia, Turkey etc.
Born in the Western end of Oslo, home to the upper and middle classes of Norwegian society, Breivik became active with the Progress Party Youth Organization from 1997 to 2007 and the mother party (Progress Party) from 1999 to 2007. He started his Geofarm Company in 2009 as a means to buy the fertilizer and other materials he needed for producing the bombs for his attack in Oslo on 22 July 2011.
Since 1933, when Vidkun Quisling, an ally of Nazi Germany, formed his fascistic party, far-right political parties and organization have at one time or another emerged in the Norwegian political scene, mainly in urban areas and as splinter groups either from the Progress Party or other Rightwing parties and organisations. At times they do occupy the headlines in the mass media and have been in some cases elected to councils as in the town of Drammen. Among them are the Common List Against Foreign Immigrants, which, formed in 1993 as a political party, contested the 1993 general elections. Also contesting the 1993 elections was the Fatherland Party, founded in 1990, as part of a Scandinavian far-right party network called Nordnat, which included the Sweden Democrats, a Far-Right Party with 20 seats in the Swedish parliament today. There have been a couple of other far-right organizations before and after with little or no significance, such as the neo-Nazi Vigrid Party (founded in 1998 and dissolved in 2009) and the Norwegian Defense League, a sister organization of the English Defense League. Anders Breivik had contact with both organisations.
THE BATTLE FOR IDEAS
‘Dokument.no’ is one of the discussion forums in which Anders Breivik formulated much of his ideology. Much of the reading here gives one a clear view of his desire to become the main ideologist of the Far Right and of the many ideas he later developed in his “manifesto”. Apparently referring to the anti-Muslim Gates of Vienna group, he dismisses any idea and action that links the struggle against “Multiculturalism” to any form of ethnocentrism, arguing:
“Ethnocentrism is therefore the complete opposite of what we want to achieve. We have selected the Vienna School of Thought as the ideological basis. This implies opposition to multiculturalism and Islamization (on cultural grounds). All ideological arguments are based on anti-racism. This has proven to be very successful which explains why the modern cultural conservative movement/parties that use the Vienna School of Thought are so successful…. Ethnocentrism is contrary to the principles of the Vienna School of Thought….” (Breivik, Dokument.no 2009.12.06)
To Breivik’s way of thinking, Multiculturalism is the creation of the “Marxist grand scheme,” a conspiracy against the democratic values of Europe, led by none other than disguised “Marxists”. His narrow definition of what “Multiculturalism” is about has not given him any chance of expanding his ideological base. It seems to him that there exist two factions here: on one hand there are the ”Marxists” (which for him includes the social democrats and the liberal democrats) and the Muslims; and on the other hand there are the “Cultural Conservatives/Nationalists”. He states:
“One supports either multiculturalism (cultural Marxism) or monoculture (nationalist), there is nothing in between, even though most do not dare to admit this yet. Well, there’s the multi-culturalism without Islam, a middle ground…. all internationalists are kulturmarxist” (2009-12-31 09:30:01 Dokument.no)
Confronted with the idea that “multiculturalism is irreversible, that, it is a product of modern capitalism, he becomes agitated:
“Classic multiculturalism drug propaganda. What has globalization and modernity to do with mass Muslim immigration? And you may not have heard about Japan and South Korea? These are successful and modern regimes even though they rejected multiculturalism in the ‘70s. Are Japanese and South Koreans goblins? Can you name ONE country where multiculturalism is successful, where Islam is involved?” 2009-12-31 14:12:48
The Right’s disregarding of how capitalism and its globalization relates to laying the foundation for a multicultural Europe, and blaming social ills on the decline in Norwegian church attendance, exposes the very root of White European Christian culture and values as a political confusion rooted in the hatred of Muslims and Marxists.
The problem with this confusion is in rejecting the very source of the plight of Muslims in Norway, who constitute the majority of immigrants. The anti-multiculturalists ignore the only logical narrative, which is based on the fact that the systematic marginalization and racist discrimination of immigrants are a major hindrance to their integration in the mainstream society, not their religion. The anti-multiculturalists’ refusal to confront this reality will unfortunately lay the grounds for future child murderers like Breivik.
CRUSADERS WITHOUT A CROSS
“But today’s Protestant church is a joke. Priests in jeans who march for Palestine and churches that look like the minimalist shopping centers. I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic. In the meantime, I vote for the most conservative candidates in church elections. The only thing that can save the Protestant church is to go back to basics.” (Breivik, 2009-12-09 17:14:41, Google translation)
Racism, disguised in hatred of Islam, is perhaps more of a driving force than the desire to revive the cause of the Crusaders. The struggle for freedom and justice in Europe was also a struggle against the conservative Christian religion. The conservative biblical interpretation and justification of the oppression of women – to give one of among many examples — will make the struggle for the right to abortion an arena of confrontation.
The bitter price paid by women in the general struggle that has achieved so much with regards to women’s rights, the separation of the state from religion etc., suggests clearly that the rise of the anti-Islamic political parties in Norway and all over Scandinavia does not in any way reflect the desire of Europeans to return to Conservative Christianity.
Perhaps one will find the reasons more in the fear and hatred for the Establishment, which supports some forms of multiculturalism whilst at the same time systematically neglecting or dismantling basic services that underline and promote the harmony of that multicultural society.
Weeks before the murderous attack in Oslo, the daily newspaper, Aften Posten, released a study conducted by the State Agency “Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet” showing that almost 80 percent of the Norwegian population have had enough when it comes to migration to the country, and thought that the borders should be closed. According to Aften Posten, in that same study one could read that 83.5 percent blame immigrants for failing to integrate into Norwegian society.
This “opinion” does not reflect the reality on the ground. The fact is that migration has been an issue of capturing votes. The anti-immigrant populist Progress Party has been doing very well in Gallup polls; and in the Parliamentary elections increased their number of seats. The Right linked increased migration to the rise of “social decadence.” Instead of attacking the root causes of the high crime rate and drug abuse within the immigrant population – such as unemployment — all political parties joined the bandwagon of immigrant castigation. The Labour Party, finding itself losing to the anti-immigrant parties, not only championed the rising skepticism about “multiculturalism” in Norwegian society based on anti-immigrant feelings, but has constantly been coming up with proposals and laws that only increase the marginalization of the immigrant population. Because of this, the attack on the social democrats by Anders Breivik came as a shock to the Norwegian Left. If anything good might come out of this, it will be that Labour Party social democrats will revise their backsliding and anti-immigrant policies.