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?
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”.