Sunday, July 24, 2011
Lawrence Auster (et al. in the Anti-Islam Movement) supports the same Gnostic alienation that motivated the Oslo mass-murderer
My title is predicated upon Theory #1 for explaining the motivation of Anders Breivik (the Oslo mass-murderer). For an articulation of Theory #1, see my post immediately below.
Auster describes a recent comment by "Shrewsbury" as "magnificent", and then quotes it. After reading that, one finds little difference between the profound alienation from, and fury at, the West felt by "Shrewsbury" and the profound alienation from, and fury at, the West felt by Breivik. The difference would be a matter of degree, not of kind. All a "Shrewsbury" or an Auster would have to do to reach the degree of Breivik is to expand the "liberal" monsters they feel are destroying the West to include most Westerners around them -- and perhaps more concentrated in certain sectors (perhaps a "liberal" college campus -- i.e., pretty much any college in the West now -- where one would become Breivikally convinced that the vast majority of those walking around are monsters participating in the destruction of the West, and so worthy of being killed in this urgent, vital war that has become exigent because, as "Shrewsbury" puts it: "At this point in the dialectic, no dialogue is possible with them").
Whatever ethical compunctions might restrain a "Shrewsbury" or an Auster (or a Fjordman or an El Ingles or a Baron Bodissey) from actually following through with their own logical conclusions that the situation has become hopeless -- that Evil Liberals have taken control of virtually all major organs and institutions throughout the West and that nothing short of pan-Western Civil War is an appropriate response anymore -- would thus be incoherently defended by them, inconsistent with the logical conclusions of their own arguments otherwise. At best, they might believe that when they look out on any public place in the West, there remains a sufficient number of good people (i.e., "non-liberal" or non-"neo-Leninists" as "Shrewsbury" puts it) mingling amongst any given crowd of Westerners to make any act of indiscriminate killing ethically untenable. At that point in the mental/psychological process, the only consideration holding them back would be whether they can persuade themselves that collateral damage is necessary in this war which the "liberal" "neo-Leninist" Elites have forced upon the Gnostic Remnant.
I have increasingly noticed this tendency in the Anti-Islam Movement (and likely it was there all along among certain individuals): they really think the West is controlled by Leftists: an Alien Culture has taken over their civilization. The only question then becomes, how many of these Aliens are controlling us? And can our normal Western processes of sociopolitical dialogue, change and reform correct this Alien Occupation -- or has the problem passed the point of no return, such that a pan-Western Civil War, perhaps preceded or attended by general chaos and mayhem and/or attempts by the Evil Elites to use Stalinist measures of repression, is inevitable?
Another technical detail (to which I alluded in passing above) pertaining to this quasi-apocalyptic mood concerns how many of our fellow Westerners have become evil Pod People and how many remain part of Us, the True Remnant of the Good West. For Breivik, most everyone around him had become evil Pod People. For a "Shrewsbury" or an Auster (or a Fjordman or an El Ingles or a Baron Bodissey), there may still be, in their perception, too many of Us mingling amongst the Pod People -- perhaps even a "Silent Majority" -- suffering more or less silently the Opression and Occupation of neo-Leninism: and so we must be more measured and intelligent in how we begin to embark upon defending ourselves from the Pod People and perhaps eventually rescue the True West (like the monks and Christianized barbarians of the Dark Ages). Simply opening fire in public places -- even Evil Government Plazas -- is not indicated, for three reasons:
1) ethical revulsion (but sometimes in war when fighting Evil Monsters you have to do horrible things -- remember Dresden, Hiroshima, etc.).
2) the pragmatic concern of rallying those who are One of Us (who may even be a majority of Ordinary People -- i.e., non-neo-Leninists)
3) the pragmatic concern to operate more stealthily and strategically, rather than with impulsive recklessness: lashing out as Breivik did, irrespective of concerns #1 and #2 above, only strengthens the Evil Elites who control the West.
A healthy antidote to the mood of alienation sketched out above is to see the problem of the West's myopia to the problem of Islam as a complex socio-psycho-cultural phenomenon by which relatively good, decent and intelligent people -- on all levels, from "elites" to ordinary people (as well as that vast sociological spectrum that in the modern West flourishes in between those two quaint poles), and on all points of the spectrum from Left to Right and everywhere in between -- have undergone a paradigm shift in worldview over the past half century or so. This paradigm shift has caused many of the good virtues of the West to morph into irrational excess (chief among them being the two virtues of 1) Respect for the Other and 2) Self-Criticism). It is this which causes the West's myopia to the problem of Islam. That myopia is not due to some profound disease and evil which has taken over the West, leading it to a desperate situation where only general internecine conflagration and/or totalitarian suppression are inevitable.
I would not wish the reader to get me wrong. I often get exasperated and infuriated by the PC MCs of the West. But as much as I may be tempted, I do not cross the line into dehumanizing them into some strange kind of breed of evil Anti-Westerners who are our Enemies against whom we must hunker down to prepare to fight. Yes, there do exist a few genuinely insane and treasonous Leftists in the West (think Noam Chomsky, Lynne Stewart, Ward Churchill); but they are a small minority, and for all their sincerely deluded certitude, Joy Behar, Jon Stewart, George Clooney, most Democratic politicians (even a Jimmy Carter), et all to many alii, are not among them. And anyway, most Westerners who would impulsively defend Muslims are not as Leftishly impaired as the names I just listed, even if their hearts and minds have become straitjacketed by their own sincerely starry-eyed worldview of What is Good and Right.
But it seems that the "Shrewsbury"s and Austers and Fjordmans and El Ingleses and Baron Bodisseys of the Anti-Islam Movement have themselves gone past the point of no return -- if they ever really were on this side of it, and were not in fact all along pursuing their alienated hobbyhorse of profound disaffection from their own Western cosmion, with the anti-Islam issue being, for them, just a peripheral axle to the Real Problem: the Hopeless Leftist Disease of the Modern West.
A commenter at Gates of Vienna, "jeppo", has posted excerpts from the long manifesto of Anders Breivik.
(Pending verification, I assume they are indeed reproductions of the actual manifesto.)
Among them, the following corroborates certain aspects of my argument above:
To my great surprise [wrote Breivik] I found that Fjordman had written about many of the same topics I was writing about. The only difference being that he was a professional essay writer and I was not. Our views are quite similar with the exception of me being an actual armed resistance fighter. I had researched hundreds of writers in the past, many of whom are good. However, I really felt a connection to Fjordmans essays. [emphasis added]
Elsewhere, Breivik complains that
...Western European countries [are] dominated by the cultural Marxist extremist regimes...
-- a view fully in accord with what the "Shrewsbury"s and Austers and Fjordmans and El Ingleses and Baron Bodisseys of the Anti-Islam Movement have been saying incessantly for years. A view that is seriously disturbed and reflects a profound alienation from reality, viewing innumerable people around us in the West as evil totalitarian enemies against us.
The pertinent questions, again, are: How many around us in the West are "cultural Marxist extremists"? Can we co-exist with them? What are they doing to us? What can we do about it?
The difference between Breivik and the "Shrewsbury"s and Austers and Fjordmans and El Ingleses and Baron Bodisseys of the Anti-Islam Movement:
Breivik's answers would be:
1. Question: How many around us are "cultural Marxist extremists"?
Answer: The majority -- particularly concentrated in certain places (like government buildings and the youth camp on Utoya island, described by one regular Gates of Vienna reader (and blogger in his own right), "sheik yer'mami" as a "socialist indoctrination camp, where 'children' are taught to boycott Israel and other important multicultural stuff").
2. Question: Can we co-exist with them?
Answer: No. The situation has become hopeless. We are now at war with the cultural Marxist extremists who are controlling the West (or we should be at war with them, for they are controlling and oppressing us under their evil totalitarian regime).
3. Question: What are they doing to us?
Answer: See above.
4. Question: What can we do about it?
Answer: We must begin to wage war out in the open and provoke a "helter skelter" conflagration in order to rally those among us still too timid to join, and perhaps we will thereby save the West from the totalitarian control it has come under by the cultural Marxist extremists. (Much more is contained in the excerpt to his manifesto linked above that fleshes this view out and connects it directly to the "salvation" of the West from the "cultural Marxism" that dominates the West and that is consciously advancing "the European cultural and demographical genocide" and "the Islamisation of Europe" -- concerns massively harmonious with the writings of the "Shrewsbury"s and Austers and Fjordmans and El Ingleses and Baron Bodisseys of the Anti-Islam Movement.)
Breivik's answers to #1 and #4 differ from the answers which the "Shrewsbury"s and Austers and Fjordmans and El Ingleses and Baron Bodisseys of the Anti-Islam Movement would give; but the intensity of the profound agreement these individuals (and many others in the anti-Islam movement) have with Breivik's answers to #2 and #3 indicates that their disagreement with and utter disavowal of Breivik's answers to #1 and #4, coupled with their expressions of ethical horror at his acts, are incoherent and reflect, at best, a reckless lack of awareness of the logical conclusions richly implied by their own grandly alienated theories which they have been turgidly and voluminously publishing for years.
One feels tempted to take the "Shrewsbury"s and Austers and Fjordmans and El Ingleses and Baron Bodisseys of the Anti-Islam Movement by the lapels, shake them, and ask them: If the predicament of the West is as grievously horribly dire and disastrously urgent as you yourselves have been incessantly vociferating day after day for years, then why not advocate measures logically proportional to the Red Alert Emergency you believe is destroying the West?
The answer seems to be that the "Shrewsbury"s and Austers and Fjordmans and El Ingleses and Baron Bodisseys of the Anti-Islam Movement have been irresponsibly, recklessly and even to a degree delusionally constructing a paradigm that they themselves don't really believe enough to defend to its logical conclusion.
Consider this analogy: We have Peter and Paul.
Both Peter and Paul believe, and have written copiously, that there are dangerous alien monsters inhabiting a school which, if left unchecked, will spread out and destroy the town.
Paul continues to voice his concerns in writing and in speeches, but never thinks to actually do anything about this most urgent, deadly problem he believes is real.
Peter, however, proceeds to do something about it, by bombing the school and killing everyone inside -- including the dangerous alien monsters who dominate therein.
After Peter does this, Paul is horrified by Peter's act and claims to distance himself ideologically from Peter.
But Paul cannot have it both ways:
1) either he doesn't really believe the situation is quite that dire such that it constitutes a deadly emergency (in which case one wonders why he has written voluminously over the years precisely to that effect -- that it does constitute a deadly emergency?)
2) if he does sincerely believe the situation is that dire, then he is being an incoherent hypocrite in trying to distance himself from the monster that logically proceeds from his own belief.