What Have We Wrought: thoughts on freedom, taxes, capitalism and democracy
Part III: Anders Breivik and a
Culture of Fascism
These people–these relatives and neighbors–do not fall into the same category as Anders Breivik, the young man who murdered the children in Norway. They would be as horrified at such terror. Yet Breivik in the video he posted on Facebook before his violent actions–his video manifesto–calls for “The Conservative Revolution,” and he refers to himself and others like him as “cultural conservatives.” I was able to watch this video on July 22nd through a Facebook link. It has been pulled from YouTube, but here is a video with some of the images.
On his Facebook page, now pulled but posted on YouTube, he calls himself a Christian.
Breivik lists Nazism, along with Islam, Communism, and also Christiandom (with a note that it is anti-Semitic, falling in line with the Christian fundamentalists who support Israel), as the Genocidal Ideologies to be defeated by the Knights Templar Europe group he espouses, yet the video is full of ideology that is fascist. His heroes are the historical Knights of Templar. He has many photos of them, and then one interspersed, a modern figure that is a picture of himself with a large gun and in uniform.
There is no one definition of fascism. The following information is from WikiLeaks. Here are some examples of how current elements of U.S. right-wing culture might be linked to facist tendencies, especially those items in italics. Generally facism is militaristic, nationalist, authoritarian, has a positive view of violence, and uses technology to dehumanize.
It is true that in contemporary usage the word “fascist” is often used in a less serious manner, for example (from Wikipedia):
But for the purposes and ideas here, this key concept from Wikipedia used in this commentary:
While attracting criticisms for imprecision and for downplaying the extremity of actual fascism, the use of fascist as an epithet for authoritarian and intolerant power-holders has a distinct analytical basis, suggesting that fascism is a continuum or a social relation, [emphasis mine] rather than simply a political system, and that acts of repression are in some way homologous with fascist ideology.
When Breivik calls for a conservative cultural revolution, he is using the above concept of facism as a “continuum or a social relation,” which is cultural.
Traditional/historical definition of Facism from Wikipedia:
Traditional Italian Facism included some elements of Communism, therefore originally had the “employee syndicates” to represent the workers. Unfortunately in the capitalist system in which we live only the corporations consider themselves the nation’s economic producers and the power of the unions, their complementary producers, has been severely eroded and/or corrupted. The radical Republicans are trying to destroy any power the workers might have, for example, trying to repeal collective bargaining in Wisconsin, with similar bills introduced in other states.
[What they call] the Fascist Negations: anti-liberalism, anti-communism and anti-conservatism [that is, anti-conservative in the true meaning of the word “conservative,” e.g., not revolutionary; and Conservatism’s libertarian strand, an American staple, would not agree with fascism’s “nationalist authoritarian state”], nationalist, authoritarian goals for the creation of a regulated economic structure to transform social relations within a modern, self-determined culture; a political aesthetic using romantic symbolism, mass mobilization, a positive view of violence [emphasis mine], promotion of masculinity and youth and charismatic leadership.
Fascists promote violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality. Fascists view conflict as a fact of life that is responsible for all human progress. Fascists exalt militarism as providing positive transformation in society, in providing spiritual renovation, education, instilling of a will to dominate in people’s character, and creating national comradeship through military service. Fascists commonly utilize paramilitary organizations for violent attacks on opponents, or to overthrow a political system.
[Amy Goodman speaks] with Jeff Sharlet, an author who has written extensively about right-wing movements in the United States, and who has read much of Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto. “What struck me most about this document is just how American it is in every way. I mean, a huge amount of it is from American sources,” Sharlet says. “He’s a great admirer of America, because he says United States, unlike Europe, has maintained its ‘Christian identity.'”
The exception to Neo-Nazi creed in Breivik’s writings is directly in line with U.S. Christian fundamentalist doctrine: support of Israel’s oppression of Palestine, because Palestinians, while Semitic, are not part of the Judeo-Christian religious system, being primarily Muslim.
Part IV: Media and Propaganda and Part V: Crying Wolf? will be posted tomorrow.
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