Saturday, 25 August 2012

Breivik's Living Space.


The trial and conviction, a conclusion foregone long ago, of Anders Behring Breivik has, of course, drawn the attention of the world media. Breivik has been given the maximum sentence of 21 years for the bombing of a government building before a shooting spree on Ut√łya island. This act of lone-wolf terrorism left 77 people dead and 319 people injured. He has to serve a minimum of 10 years before he can appeal, but this is unlikely. It's more likely that Breivik will remain inside for the rest of his life with a review every 5 years after the initial 21 year period. This seems especially likely given that Breivik fully intends to continue "the war" from his prison cell. It's obvious from what "the war" is meant to be when he writes "We, the free indigenous peoples of Europe, hereby declare a pre-emptive war on all cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites of Western Europe." The car-bombing and subsequent spree targeted the liberal political class in Norway was just the beginning of a battle that fits into a fascist millenarianism in his thinking.

As The Guardian has observed it was an open trial in an open society, the social democratic principles of Norway have endured this assault. The Norwegians have rightly seen to it that the liberal foundations of their society will not be compromised for this monster. This was an impressive display given the appalling actrocities that took place. There are plenty of people who want to execute Breivik, but that would be to do his work for him. Breivik has much more in common with the Islamists than he likes to admit. The suicide-bombers of al-Qaeda want to destroy this world out of love for another world, just as Breivik wants to reconstruct a European Christendom the Jihadists want to establish a Caliphate. Effectively Breivik wants to destroy the liberal societies of Europe in order to deal with the threat, as he sees it, of Islam. The failure of many Western countries since 9/11 has been to abandon the liberal democratic commitment to civil liberties and human rights. Instead, we have seen the kidnapping and torture of 'terror suspects' time and time again.
 
It's scary just how the views Breivik holds of Muslims in particular are so widespread and mainstream. He repeatedly cites mainstream conservative sources such as Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes and Melanie Phillips as well as liberals like Sam Harris. It's not just Fox News, it's the BBC as well as liberal rags and even leftist outlets such as CounterPunch. It's also clear that Breivik's views are not alien to the particularly reactionary elements in the media in Britain. He railed against multiculturalism, mass-immigration and political correctness, these are the favourite targets of cultural conservatives and nationalists alike. It's no coincidence that the massacre was met, in some quarters, with the sentiment that this wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the multicultural experiment. The rightist Melanie Phillips made it clear that she won't go back on any criticism of multiculturalism, Islamic extremism and immigration because of Breivik's killing spree. In short, the real battle is outside of the courtroom and Breivik's prison cell.

We have to stand by and build on the liberal ideals of Europe. Multiculturalism is certainly a flawed doctrine, but it is worth defending from these kinds of attacks. The only true friends of the Muslim community, at this time, will be the secularists keen to preserve Europe's atheist legacy with its religious freedoms and pluralism. It's clear why the Breiviks of this world see a 'cultural communism' lurking behind liberal multiculturalism. Leftists may criticise liberal promises of equality as a veneer over deeper forms of inequality, but it has to be acknowledged that the universality of human rights and freedoms was first advocated in liberal thought. It set the ground with the rights and freedoms limited to rich white men, but then the field of bourgeois individualism could be expanded to include women and so on. The egalitarian struggle has to be fought with liberalism as a starting-point. It's this that the likes of Breivik wants to destroy and that's exactly why we must defend it.

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