- republished in remembrance of the victims of the Massacre in Norway on 22nd July 2011 by the right-radical terrorist Anders Breivik
By Claus Piculell,
Whereas the first days after the massacre was a time for silent mourning now is a time for intense reflection and sober analysis ...
After dealing with the immediate shock caused by the heinous act by Oslo terrorist Anders Breivik and showing personal deep sadness and solidarity with all democrats in Norway, I think time has come to reflect a little on the consequences of his terror, his alleged reasons and what to do in the near future to give an appropriate democratic answer.
However, it is not a time for 'pointing fingers' at political actors with thinking and rhetoric that seems similar to that of the terrorist. Nor do we need panic politics or ever more controls but to consider what can be done in real life to counteract radicalization and to encourage democratic dialogue and critical thinking so that no overwrought ideologue can think terrorism is ever on the right side of history.
What we need is an open debate environment where people, even in the highest places, are not afraid to admit to their mistakes and learn from them. Consequently, everybody with a stake in politics needs to reflect carefully on how to react to this tragedy, and of course some need to reflect more than others about this particular incident.
Thus, it is for each active citizen to themselves reflect on what he or she can do to prevent further instances of terrorism and to strengthen the democracy that the terrorist wants to overthrow, and we must all enter into a dialogue - a much belated dialogue - on what we can do together.
The radical Right has been growing in Europe over the past decade or more and some right-wingers have talked about a more or less unstoppable "clash of civilisations" and that Europe is being flooded with Muslims.
It is self-evident that such rhetoric is similar to that of Breivik in his video and manifesto. But does that mean that all people with a Cultural Christian and Conservative stance are in any way co-responsible for Breivik's acts of terrorism? Of course not!
Of course it is tempting for the European Left to consider this as payback time against the Right for their often shallow and vindictive persecutions of many decent and humanistic lefties for their youthful naïve transgressions on the back of their dream of creating some sort of Paradise on Earth - persecutions that have often prevented fruitful self-reflection rather than promoting it.
But why should the European Left stoop to such a level and turn into the very vindictiveness that it has striven to stop? And why try to pose as angels without flaws and faults in our baggage when no-one with any brain activity, least of all ourselves, believe it to be true?
History is filled with examples of how even the most peaceful belief or ideology has been taken by some extreme zealot as a reason for violence, including all major ideologies and religions.
However, what has often happened after an shocking instance of heinous violence is that it has later lead serious peace-loving clerics and ideologues to contemplate how to make their case better without giving overzealous supporters a legitimacy that was not intended ...
Danish poet laureate Piet Hein coined the phrase "the noble art of losing face". Nobody has the right to demand of others that they admit culpability for something they did not do. But any decent human being has an obligation to reflect upon how he or she can help the world escape another horror. For history is also full of high-minded public figures that have admitted or accepted to have been wrong.
Churchill praised Mussolini's well-organized society only to be a major instrument in the destruction of Fascism and Nazism. He also mistrusted the motives of Niels Bohr intensely when Bohr approached him to warn against the calamitous effect of nuclear weapons (and suggested Bohr be put under house arrest) only to react with horror at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. And never has there been a more anti-communist Prime Minister of Britain than Churchill but he was the first state leader to propose an alliance with the Soviet Union against Hitler.
One would also do well in remembering that Breivik vehemently denies being a nazi supporter and that he even identifies Nazism as one of three hate ideologies (the others are Marxism and Islamism) that he claims to be fighting but that he at the same time turns out to have been a member of a Nazi debate forum since 2009 and that he apparently does not see Fascism as a hate ideology ...
And how did Breivik get to bomb central Oslo and gunning down innocent Socialist youngsters? By posing as a policeman! So much for fighting with honour! Breivik hints at his reason for doing this when he claims that Islamists feel it justified to tell any lie to infidels to further the cause of Islam. But while Breivik claims to be fighting Islam in an honourable way he doesn't exactly practice what he preaches. On the contrary, he seems to have reached the conclusion that lies and deception are necessary for his struggle too for the end justifies any means ...
I have been watching the video by Anders Breivik and managed to remain calm enough to make these observations: a) much of the video could have been made by any cultural conservative but b) Breivik claims to belong to a group that revived the Order of Knights Templar in UK in 2002, c) he calls for a Conservative and Christian revolution to "cleanse Europe", d) his alleged reason for his attack on the Young Socialists was to his "duty to decimate the Cultural Marxists".
I find it important to know the enemy of all democratic-minded people's enemy i.a. by understanding their thinking, and Brevik's manifesto - albeit to a large degree copy-pasted from the Unabomber's manifesto of 1995 - shows that he sees himself as more of a European Christian-Conservative Crusader than a traditional nationalist and that he wants to start a Conservative Revolution to cleanse Europe of Islam and the "alliance of Cultural Marxists, Suicidal Humanists and Global Capitalists".
Is Breivik basically mad?
Is he a stupid monster that nobody should take seriously?
Did he very deliberately choose to shoot very young people to provoke 'counter attacks' and / or more laws to encroach on our democratic civil liberties?
Hell yes - he writes a much in his Manifesto when he recommends attacks on women and children!
Should we give him the satisfaction of reacting as he has planned?
I think you can guess my answer to that one ...