Anders Breivik and the Anarcho-Fascists

The way the Norwegian authorities have given terrorist Anders Breivik a very public trial has generated a lot of controversy. I have read a lot of people arguing that it’s giving him a platform for his poisonous ideas. The counter-argument is that showing him for what he is will serve to discredit everything he stands for.

Breivik may or may not be insane, but it would be far too convenient for some people to dismiss his “Crazy Talk” as the ravings of an isolated madman who’s actions took place in a vacuum. But that doesn’t wash. Too much of what he says had been common currency in far-right circles for years. It’s not just from openly fascist or crypto-fascist fringe groups on the internet either, but, as I’ve previously mentioned, from semi-respectable columnists in large-circulation national newspapers too.

And there are a frighteningly large number of people who think like him. Just look at how they’ve overrun the comment sections of many online articles about the trial.

Like it or not, Anders Breivik’s terrorist atrocity was the 9/11 of the Freepi.

The rightwing press are predictably attempting to scapegoat video games to deflect attention from just how extensively Breivik cited their own columnists. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a comprehensive takedown of their attempt at a distracting moral panic. Meanwhile Breivik’s closer online confederates on both sides of the Atlantic are desperately flailing, citing his copying of Al-Qaeda’s methods in an entirely unconvincing attempt to prove this despicable act of terrorism has nothing to do with them.

This really ought to serve as a wake-up call on the threat posed by the far-right, who have been gaining strength in recent years, especially now we’re in a deep recession. They have an increasing transatlantic dimension, with the openly racist faction of the “Tea Party” forging closer and closer links with various European neo-Fascist groups. A few right-wingers predictably complain that the left are trying to politicise the tragedy. But when faced with a terrorist atrocity that was a clear and deliberate attack on European social democracy, what is anybody supposed to do?

Freepi – coined by Teresa Nielsen-Hayden of Making Light to describe the post-9/11 wingnut right.

Anarcho-Fascist – A conflation of “Anarcho-Capitalist” and “Crypto-Fascist” I originally used to describe a particularly loopy blogger and troll a few years back. Today it seems an appropriate descriptor for anyone that runs an Islamophobic hate site with a name like “Atlas Shrugs”.

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4 Responses to Anders Breivik and the Anarcho-Fascists

  1. Mike Talks says:

    Thanks for that article Tim.

    It’s been a real depressing week reading the goings on at that trial – a lot has left me quite cold and sick. Of course this wasn’t an isolated incident last year, remember the Congresswoman who was “in Sarah Palins crosshairs” who got gunned down by a right winger.

    But thanks for putting together a decent and thoughtful article about it.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    Gabrielle Giffords – I remember that well.

    I don’t think anyone could prove a direct link between the shooter (who was clearly crazy) and Palin’s crass and stupid campaign imagery, but there were certainly accusations of “murder by proxy” and justified demands to tone down the rhetoric.

    The links between Brievik and the likes of Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and “Fjordman” are a lot, lot closer.

  3. Amadan says:

    Well, right now the Right is busy trying to convince everyone that Brievik is actually a product of Leftism, Jonah Goldberg-style. It’s crazy-world talk, but you can sell conservatives anything on the premise that “bad = liberal = bad”.

  4. Tim Hall says:

    The right have always been big on projection, haven’t they? Does anyone outside their closed-world echo chambers take them seriously?