hradzka: (plane)
[personal profile] hradzka
As I read his manifesto, I realized Anders Breivik was reminding me of Malcolm X.

Not on any moral or tactical level, of course; black Muslim violence, Malcolm's assassination included, was largely internal or schismatic (though according to multiple sources, Malcolm had to be talked out of putting together a hit squad to kill Los Angeles police officers in response to their raid of an Nation of Islam mosque in which the cops shot seven people, one of whom was paralyzed and one of whom was killed). No, what Breivik was reminding me of was Malcolm X during his transition away from the NOI and into his own organization Muslim Mosque Incorporated, away from Elijah Muhammed and into Sunni Islam, away from separatism and into the civil rights movement he'd often belittled. It's a transition marvelously covered (as is all of Malcolm's life) in the late Manning Marable's magnum opus MALCOLM X: A LIFE OF REINVENTION. Terrific book, BTW, really fascinating. That time in Malcolm's life sees him adrift, issuing contradictory statements from one day to the next, and my inclination was to see it as Malcolm not knowing what the hell he was doing. Marable, who admired Malcolm more than I do (and obviously knew him a hell of a lot better), had a different take: Malcolm, he argued, was evolving. Evolving a lot. Evolving wildly, desperately, he didn't know what he was changing into, but he was changing into *something,* and as a result of feeling this out he necessarily came off as politically incoherent.

I don't know if I buy that with regard to Malcolm, but the idea stuck, and reading Breivik's manifesto, I felt almost a sense of deja vu. Here's my take on Anders Breivik: he's not crazy, he's not sick, he's not the ultimate manifestation of the right wing that some folks are saying he is; what he is is evolving, and his 1500-page manifesto, composed over a period of three years, captures different parts of that evolution, some of which are less extreme than others. This is why so many commentators -- righty ones, in particular -- want to write him off as a nut. But he ain't a nut. He's a political extremist in transition who's on the move from the fringe right toward being a full-blown white supremacist, only he's not quite there yet, because he is actively resisting it.

You can see this in-progress evolution at a number of points in the manuscript and in his online postings, and it's part what makes his manifesto so disturbing to read if you're on the right yourself. There are a lot of things that Anders Breivik has said that are in line with things you'll read in mainstream conservative circles, or things that mainstream conservatives will be familiar with because they hear them from folks a bit more to their right. Except Breivik just keeps on going, and he goes way out -- but he doesn't go all the way out consistently. He backs off. Breivik is hellishly smart, and he's fully aware that ethnic nationalism and neo-Nazi movements have done nothing but fail, and fail, and fail, because when you come right down to it *they don't sell.* The whole point of his 2083 movement is that he's trying to come up with something new, something that *will* sell. So he's holding himself back, trying to keep from evolving in the direction he's clearly going. But what he's changing into keeps peeking through.

Let's look at some examples. On page 830, Breivik expounds on the role of the Justiciar Knight, as set forth by his organization, the Knights Templar PCCTS (Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici, ie, the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, which after due consideration I personally believe to be mostly, if not entirely, a figment of Breivik's imagination):

The Order and Tribunal has concluded that any and all Europeans have not just a right, but a duty to resist through political and military means; cultural Marxist/multiculturalist atrocities and crimes committed against the indigenous peoples of Europe. As such, any European Christian conservative can act as a Justiciar Knight. This includes Christian agnostics and Christian atheists.

Although the PCCTS, Knights Templar is a pan-European indigenous rights movement we give all Europeans, regardless of skin colour, the opportunity to become a Justiciar Knight as long as the individual is either a Christian, Christian agnostic or a Christian atheist.

"Regardless of skin colour." Okay. But later, on page 1153, he's on the straight-up racist fringe -- not too far, mind, but there he is:

As one of the core doctrines within cultural Marxism/multiculturalism is to systematically deconstruct the European majority ethnical groups, it is our task to prevent this from happening.

As such, KT can be viewed as a partly ethnocentric organization. However, since the doctrines surrounding ethnocentric/indigenous principles is relatively vague and not very specific it is up to each and every Justiciar Knight to make his own personal interpretation. It is to be expected that individual Justiciar Knights representing the various cultural conservative denominations that adhere to KT primary principles will have different interpretations of these important issues. The issues we should agree on is that any and all definitions must be made for the purpose of protecting indigenous peoples of Europe without harming indigenous people in other regions of the world.

Our aim should be to implement a cultural conservative political model similar to the South Korean and Japanese model, which is the same model used in Europe in the 1950s.

That there is a balancing act. If you've been getting nervous about his comments about "the European majority ethnical groups," he comes back to a proposal of emulating the Japanese approach to immigration, which doesn't sound nearly as bad. He goes fringe, then goes more mainstream. He's trying to sell. Note also that he's appropriating lefty concepts (in the form of the indigenous rights movement), and he's also making what amounts to a concession with regard to the rights of non-European indigenous people. The white supremacist fantasy novel THE TURNER DIARIES, for example, which inspired Timothy McVeigh, depicts an expansionist white supremacist movement, wherein step one is seizing power, step two is deporting non-whites from the Americas, and step three is moving on to conquer the rest of the world and killing everybody who isn't white. Breivik is writing off part three of that as a fantasy, because he's looking for a political balance that he can sell.

Except he gets more and more out on the white supremacist front. Example, from a few pages later (1156):

According to Madison Grant and several other authors; there are three European races. These are; Nordics/Germanics (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Finland and to a high degree the UK, Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Benelux, Baltic’s, Switzerland but also to a large degree Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (the Nordic parts). There are also 40-80 million Nordics in the US and a few million in Canada and Australia.As covered in another chapter; within approximately 100-150 years or within 4-5 generations (if the current development is allowed to continue) the Germanic/Nordic race in several countries will be diluted or annihilated to such a degree that there will be no one left with Nordic physical characteristics; blond hair, blue eyes, high forehead, sturdy cheekbones. As such, the Nordic tribes will become extinct if we do not resist and seize political and military control of our countries.

This is straight-up white supremacist stuff. There are not a lot of people who talk about Nordic tribes anymore, and the ones who do are pretty much white supremacists. You will find some pretty damn politically incorrect racial/anthropological talk on the righty fringe -- Steve Sailer, who's kind of the right-wing equivalent of the War Nerd if the War Nerd wrote about the domestic politics of ethnicity, being a case in point -- but these folks typically write really stark racial-relations analysis stuff, with stuff that runs the gamut from appalling to cynical to disturbingly insightful. But Nordics? Preserving the Nordic tribes? No. You're off the righty fringe and into Klan Kountry.

And you know how everybody's holding Breivik up as a die-hard neocon Zionist? Well, here he is on the Jews (page 1373):

It’s no secret that 7 out of 8 Russian Oligarchs are Jews. It’s an obvious and unfortunate case of Jewish camaraderie in which criticism is warranted without calling the critics anti-Semitic. Measures have and should continue to be taken to understand and solve those cases. It’s likely that those individuals received financial backing from Jews in their society and possibly other countries which made the takeoverof state companies possible. All Jews should be at the forefront in criticising networks like that as it fuels anti-Semitism.

Whoa! Where did that come from?!

Answer: he's on the way to Jew-hate, too. He's just not there yet.

Deep down, there are two things Breivik likes about the Jews: we're not Muslims and we're not trying to immigrate to Norway. That's it. There are maybe fifteen hundred Jews in Norway, total. There are literally *a hundred times* as many Muslims in Norway as there are Jews. It's *safe* to like us. And a lot of Muslims hate us, and these days a lot of hard-core leftists hate us, so from his POV that means we must be doing something right. He doesn't really want to like us, but he kind of has to. This is why:

In 1955 there were less than 50 000 Muslims in Western Europe. Today there are more than 25 million.

What have the NS movement [ie, National Socialists, neo-Nazis -- DH] achieved in this period? Not as much as they could have, they have spent much of their time defending an already “exposed” ideology that has no popular support whatsoever. An ideology which started as a “deceitful” ideology but who has been completely exposed for what it is. The most popular NS party has received a maximum of 5% support in any election the last 50 years. I can’t really find the words to describe how counter-productive the NS ideology is in today’s society. It serves as the primary catalyst and reason why multiculturalism has been so successful.

I’m going to try to cover many aspects of NS in order to describe why I think the current NS’s should reject this ideology and support the new Western European right wing movement (pro-Jewish, anti-Islamic stance).

That bit from pages 1369-1370 is your key to understanding Anders Breivik.

It's wrong to say that Breivik is a nut. He's not, and righties who are find comfort in thinking he is are wrong. At the same time, if you read Breivik's manifesto and try to see things from his intelligent, remorseless, cold-blooded perspective, you'll realize that Breivik really isn't talking to the people he claims to be talking to. For a guy who claims to be speaking to indigenous Europeans and to mainstream or fringe righty folks who share his concerns about immigration and Islamism, he spends an awful lot of time trying to reach white supremacists. And that tells you something. Anders Breivick is evolving from a fringe righty into a full-blown white supremacist; he made his strike before the transition was fully complete; and it was a transition he was actively fighting, because he knew it to be a political dead end even as he was increasingly drawn to it.

That's my take on what's going on in his head. One reason he tries to stick to mainstream concerns in a lot of places is that he *wants* to move the goalposts, so that if you believe the mainstream versions of some of the things he does you will want to rise up and push the Muslims out of Europe. Except the mask slips, to the point that the people he's going to reach ideologically would mainly be guys like him.

The people he winds up inspiring, however, are going to be another matter.

Here's the thing: Anders Breivik is unremarkable ideologically. He fuses some mainstream stuff, some fringe stuff, and straight-up racist ideology in his magnum opus; none of it, despite his stupid costume, is anything really new. Where he *is* really fucking remarkable, however, is on the operational and tactical fronts, and that's where we should be worried about his legacy.

I am now going to say something that would give Cory Doctorow and the twee crowd of lefties at BoingBoing hives: the most important thing about Anders Breivik is not his politics, nor what people think his politics say about their own political opponents. The most important thing about Anders Breivik is something that BoingBoing ordinarily would find laudable and praiseworthy: HE IS A MAKER. And that's important because makers have two credos: 1) they want to make stuff and 2) they want to help other people make it, too.

Breivik's manifesto will not see a continued life because of his ideology. It will be immortal because of his build diary, which kicks in in earnest on page 1439. Breivik details his preparations for the attack in fantastic detail, complete with budget and timeframe; he shares every one of his mistakes and failures and struggles on the way to getting the experiment right, and he reports on how he kept under the radar while he was doing it. He found that the manuals and instruction lists he worked with to manufacture his explosives were misleading or flat-out wrong, and so, like a good maker, he experimented, and when he met with success he shared the fruits of his knowledge. On page 1471, he notes:

If I had known then, what I know today, by following this guide, I would have managed to complete the operation within 30 days instead of using almost 80 days. By following my guide, anyone can create the foundation for a spectacular operation with only 1 person in less than a month even if adding 2 "resting" days!:-)

He then gives a detailed schedule for you to follow. It should note that this timeframe does not include purchasing equipment, but enough time has passed that sometime in the next thirty days we may find out that someone has paid very close attention. And that someone may not necessarily agree with Anders Breivik, because you don't have to agree with Breivik's brand of extremism to be an extremist who will find Breivik's information and methodology very practical. In a grand irony, considering Breivik's feelings about Islam, I will bet you anything that right now there is an Islamist sympathizer, like the recently-arrested Pfc. Nasser Jason Abdo, who is reading Breivik's build diary and thinking, "Boy HOWDY."

The next time there's an Islamist lone wolf -- or a fascist lone wolf, or an anticapitalist lone wolf -- he could very easily do something like Breivik did, because Breivik showed him how to do it. And he can do it better than Breivik did. The car bomb, anyway, because on page 1450, Breivik mentions that he *would* have had 3000kg of ANFO in his bomb. But the work was so tiring that he didn't process the last 1200 kilos of ammonium nitrate .

Somebody's going to learn from that.

Date: 2011-08-10 07:04 pm (UTC)
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)
From: [personal profile] niqaeli
This is really interesting and thoughtful and I want to thank you for writing it up.

A legacy of smarter, more effective extremist attackers is a fairly awful one to contemplate.

Date: 2011-08-10 07:05 pm (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
Well, that's interesting. And highly disturbing...

Date: 2011-08-10 07:19 pm (UTC)
ivorygates: (GEN good night and good luck)
From: [personal profile] ivorygates
This is a fascinating analysis. Thank you.

Breivik is hellishly smart, and he's fully aware that ethnic nationalism and neo-Nazi movements have done nothing but fail, and fail, and fail, because when you come right down to it *they don't sell.*

This? Is a very interesting point. And it made me think.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a NS, a radical, or a revolutionary. I just like thought experiments. That being said...

White Supremacy is the poison candy of political ideology. You can't sell it (as you say), but the Radical Right can't manage to give it up. So the question becomes: how to spin it to sell it? I think that would be possible if the movement dropped the racial component completely (no, hear me out), and focused on an ideological template that drew from Objectivism (creators and makers are inevitably a privileged class who should not be subject to laws designed to hobble them) and from "Nordic Ideology", specifically the virtues which NS imputes exclusively to "True Nordics". In this way, such a movement could inclusively position its membership as an exploited and downtrodden class which is being exploited specifically because of their innate superiority -- essentially turning all opposition to the movement into an elevated schoolyard dynamic: "everyone hates me because they're jealous of my wonderfulness and so they sabotage everything I do to make me look like a loser".

The cockroach endurance of NS is its appeal to the "Secret Fairy Princess" meme, the idea that one is downtrodden, repressed, and unsuccessful specifically because of a clear and innate superiority. Opening the buy-in on this fantasy to everyone denatures the connection to National Socialism and the unespousable excesses (and failure) of the Nazi Party.

It's too moderate a position to be ideologically viable in terms of its attractiveness to the people who are drawn to NS, of course. But if such a broad-based movement could leverage itself into a position of political supremacy, it would then be ideally situated to move on to a program of "ethnic cleansing" in two steps: first by eradicating all individuals not a part of the movement, regardless of race (which would be positioned as a non-race-based, ideals-driven action, in line with such a movement's professed values), and second, by a race-based internal housecleaning.

I estimate it would take about fifty years for such a movement to consolidate its power sufficiently to reach step two, however, and it's hard to believe any political movement would have the necessary focus and patience to bring off such a coup.

But as I say, an interesting thought experiment.
Edited (more appropriate icon) Date: 2011-08-10 07:20 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-08-10 08:40 pm (UTC)
dreamatdrew: Spider Jerusalem's shades (sort of) with the text "I hate it here" hovering above (ihateithere)
From: [personal profile] dreamatdrew
Somebody's going to learn from that.

This, right here, is what absofuckinglutely terrifies me.
Not that someone could plan and execute something like this, because, really, I've seen that coming for a while. That doesn't take much stretch of the imagination.

No, it's that he left a cheat-sheet behind for anyone to use for next time. And it's out there, and there's no stopping the next person who decides that the water looks mighty fine and they're gonna jump in from getting their hands on it and getting the head start.

My nightmares, sorted, for the next decade or so.

(Completely off topic: didn't realize you were a Jew.)

Date: 2011-08-12 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This interruption also goes a way's to explaining the repeated references to "Christian atheists/agnostics"….something I found a rater odd formulation form the start.

Date: 2011-08-14 03:54 am (UTC)
the_future_modernes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_future_modernes
Breivik's manifesto will not see a continued life because of his ideology. It will be immortal because of his build diary, which kicks in in earnest on page 1439.
Oh. Oh AWESOME. There's my nightmare fuel for the rest of my days!


hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

November 2014




The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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