This book kills fascists?

Cathy Wilkerson was ironing bed sheets when the floor collapsed under her feet. A bomb had detonated in the subbasement of her parent’s Greenwich Village townhouse. Cathy and another woman walked away but their friends Teddy Gold, Terry Robbins and Diane Oughton were dead.

It was March 1970 and the young people caught in the explosion were members of an American anti-war and anti-racism organisation. Outraged by the war in Vietnam, by poverty, racism and the oppression of women, they had made a decision to fight for social justice. And that’s why Terry Robbins was in the subbasement stuffing dynamite and nails into water pipes. The bomb was meant for trainee army officers, their wives and dates at a social function at nearby Fort Dix, New Jersey. It exploded by accident. In her book Flying Close to the Sun, Wilkerson explains why the group chose Fort Dix:

… to train to be an officer meant that you were playing a leadership role in the US military strategy. These young men had an education; they had a responsibility to acknowledge the human consequences of their work. As such, we thought they were fair game.

The trainee officers were more fortunate than Anders Breivik’s victims on the island of Utøya. When Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt heard about the explosions and shootings in Norway, he immediately assumed the attackers were Muslim. "Terrorists attack Oslo", he titled a post on his blog. But when news came in that the killer was a tall, blond Norwegian, he added an update: "No, a single madman". But there was no evidence that Anders Breivik was mentally ill and 1,516 pages worth of evidence that his murderous rampage was deliberate and politically motivated. Time magazine’s William Boston describes the sprawling cut-and-paste manifesto he released over internet as "a template for right-wing terrorism".

"Terrorism is not the product of mentally deranged persons", writes Israel terror expert Ehud Sprinzak. Instead, "it’s a political phenomenon par excellence and is therefore explicable in political terms." Those who practice terror have reached a point where they no longer accept that their society or its regime is legitimate.

But as the authors of new collection of essays: On Utøya: Anders Breivik, right terror, racism and Europe point out, conservative commentators have insisted that Anders Breivik’s slaughter of young members of Norway’s Labour Party was not an act of terrorism. They claim it was the result of mental illness or criminality and the bombing and shootings had nothing to do with the political causes he supported.

According to the writers behind, On Utøya, the people Breivik gunned down were martyrs in an ongoing struggle between the Left and Right. In the book’s introduction Elizabeth Humphrys and Guy Rundle say it is intended as "a response by the Left to the mass killing of those on the Left, for reason of their politics." They insist that: "The attempt to dissolve these deaths into psychology, into the true crime genre, into anything but politics, is an insult to their memory, a true nihilism."

The book seeks to intensify the struggle between Left and Right; to show how mainstream voices on the Right were Breivik’s inspiration and hold them to account. What the book is not is a repudiation of political violence. For the contributors it is Breivik’s politics that are at issue.

Since 9/11 conservative extremism has become mainstream. Writers like Daniel Pipes talk about ‘Islamism’ the way paranoid American anti-communists used to talk about socialism. That’s not a coincidence. As Jeff Sparrow points out in his essay ‘The panic in Europe’, Daniel Pipes is the son of Richard Pipes a prominent theorist of Soviet totalitarianism. According to Sparrow, anti-Muslim sentiment fills "an ideological void left by the collapse of the Soviet Union." He suggests that one reason anti-Muslim ideas have become mainstream is because they have been deliberately taken up by Right wing elites and pushed down to the public.

According to this perspective, anti-Islamism is useful to the Right because it helps drive populist political movements against the real enemy — the Left. Paranoid fears of a Muslim takeover distract public attention from the disturbing effects of Right wing economic policies. And by arguing that Leftist elites are aiding the Islamisiation of Europe through policies of multiculturalism and habits of political correctness, fearful and insecure citizens can be turned against the Left. Sparrow writes:

The identification of the local political class as the main enemy allows Islamophobes to offer an explanation to the victims of neoliberal reform centred not on invisible market forces but on a nefarious conspiracy.

Anindya Bhattacharyya offers a different perspective. In ‘What is Fascism, now?’ she suggests that mainstream politicians have embraced elements of fascist politics in an effort to limit the growth of far Right parties:

We have been here before. In the 1920s it was a commonplace among German politicians that while Hitler’s ‘extreme’ anti-semitism should be decried, he was responding to genuine concerns and that a ‘moderate anti-semitism’ should be practised to prevent the Nazis from growing. History records that this policy had the opposite effect. Similarly attempts by mainstream politicians today to throw sops to the racists by attacking Muslims, immigrants, multiculturalism, etc., will only fuel the rise of groups like the [English Defence League]. And if they continue to rise we will face not just one or two more Breiviks, but dozens.

A number of the authors in On Utøya warn that liberal calls for both the left and right to turn away from violence and attempt to debate the issues are hopelessly naive. Bhattacharyya argues that fascism is based more on mysticism than ideology, and in any case fascists can’t be trusted to tell the truth. And in ‘Language, violence, politics’ Tad Tietze argues that debating the far Right is a poor strategy because only makes their ideas seem respectable. Instead:

The task for the Left is not to have a gentle dialogue but to ruthlessly expose the true nature of the Right and its authoritarian project. The far Right must be confronted and isolated, robbed of its respectability and legitimacy, its confidence and coherence broken.

Confronting the Right means that activists may need to put their bodies on the line, writes Tietze. Guy Rundle argues that in some circumstances there’s a need for political action that goes beyond voting and debating. He offers an example:

it is conceivable that if governments fail to take on vested interests over climate change, a radical mass movement based on civil disobedience and disruption of ‘business as usual’ may need to be built. In such a situation progressive arguments about imminent social collapse and the need for democratic mass struggle would be the least that could be expected from a serious Left.

It’s not clear exactly what mass struggle, confronting the Right or putting bodies on the line means in practice but it’s likely to involve more than marching, placard-waving, and propagandising.

In ‘Traitors in our midst’ Lizzie O’Shea complains that "the massacre was raised by some on the Left as an opportunity to call for calm, for a return to civilised political debate. That is, Breivik’s actions represented the need to turn away from violence and incendiary rhetoric in equal terms by both Right and Left." She says this would be a mistake. Similarly, at the blog Left Flank, Tad Tietze argues that the Left should not commit to non-violence. Sometimes change is only possible when people oppose the regime with force.

Terrorist acts have been committed by the left, the right, by religious cults and by atheists. Even nice middle-class American families like Cathy Wilkerson’s can raise children who turn to terror as a strategy. In On Utøya, Rundle argues that the bloodshed in Norway was a predictable consequence of right wing rhetoric. If extreme rhetoric really can trigger bloodshed, then isn’t it a little reckless to lump a diverse collection of people together as ‘the Right’ and hold them all to account for the actions of one man?

Update: Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow talk about the book and e-publishing on ABC Radio National’s The Book Show.

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Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

magnificent work! But poor Billy Bragg really is a pacifist I think.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Billy Bragg is a pacifist? What about his violent assault on pleasant music? :-0

I’ll make an excuse for Bolt, neither assumption was unrealistic on first hearing the news. Totally agree otherwise. The quality of any belief or philosophical system is not to be judged by the wicked things done by some of its adherents. The real issue is the underlying philosophy.

So communism and nazism are evil in toto. Most religions are dumb not wicked, notwithstanding buggered alter-boys, drowned arabian girls, and any number of massacres of the unbeliever or heretic. And the rest of us sparring either side of the centre really just have a different view on things.

I guess there is something within that makes us prone to identify enemies and relish proscriptions, so nobody ought to be too quick to claim a moral high-ground.

Richard Tsukamasa Green
Richard Tsukamasa Green(@richard-green)
10 years ago

I sometimes get a little concerned that what offends me most about bigotry, stereotyping, racism etc. is not the unjustified hate and violence it engenders, but the lack of thought and intellectual laziness required to maintain such views. The former is the great evil, so why am I more taken aback by the latter, even if it is the root cause?

So whilst I can’t see any violence coming out of such “anti fascists”, I did find this essay collection very hard to read, particularly the Rundle sections (and he wasn’t even talking about “Keynsianism (sic)”. The creation of monolithic (and largely fictional) blocs in society is just as obscuring to human understanding and enlightenment when they’re called “The right” or “neoliberalism” as when they are called “islamofascism” or “cultural marxists”. I’ve never read a Manichean tract that led me feeling informed, and these essays are no exception.

I was also put off by the co-option of victim’s street cred. I wasn’t impressed by the way the victimhood from terrorist attacks in the past decade were co-opted by half wits behind keyboards relishing their false bravery (by say republishing cartoons). By proclaiming themselves targets of violence directed towards others believing themselves (and their views) clad in an impenetrable moral armour. Likewise, parts of this collection were devoted to arguing that it was not muslims, or schoolchildren who were the true targets, but marxists and leftists behind keyboards. An avenue for a new set of keyboard warriors to get in on the heady sanctimonious wine that Bolt and Blair and Hitchens etc. have been supping for a decade.

I’m getting more irritated whilst writing this which is why I was hoping you’d do the review Don, as a far more patient person than I. I do’t argue that the essayists are just the same as those they are criticising in terms of exhortations to violence. I will argue that most of them are equal in intellectual laziness, and they are fellow pigs at the trough of others pain and misery.

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
10 years ago

“fellow pigs at the trough of others’ pain and misery”

If only we were running blog awards that might be the quote of the year.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

I think Pedro is saying Billy has nothing to Bregg about!

Richard Tsukamasa Green
Richard Tsukamasa Green(@richard-green)
10 years ago

Ken – I’d rather not be celebrated for my invective.

desipis
10 years ago

they are fellow pigs at the trough of others pain and misery.

One only has to look at ‘reality television’ to realise we’ve become a society that celebrates human suffering through a ritualised process of emotional gladiatorialism. It’s not exactly surprising that such attitudes are to be found in the political arena.

Mel
Mel
10 years ago

Liz Humphreys- Marxist
Jeff Sparrow – Marxist
Guy Rundle- ex-Marxist, now fellow traveller
Tad Tietze- Marxist
Lizzie O’Shea – Marxist
Anindya Bhattacharyya – Marxist

Bhattacharyya argues that fascism is based more on mysticism than ideology, and in any case fascists can’t be trusted to tell the truth. And in ‘Language, violence, politics’ Tad Tietze argues that debating the far Right is a poor strategy because only makes their ideas seem respectable.

Can we trust what Marxist activists say? Are Marxist activists (and fellow travellers) respectable?

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

RTG, don’t be so shy about your invective. It’s great to aspire to an ideal of disengaged dispassion but it is even better to be human.

Much of the commentary on contemporary public affairs and media at troppo is about the need for ‘pundits’ who care, about the truth, not more dispassionate faux-neutrality.

Mel, I think Don Arthur’s point is in fact that they are all utterly unreconstructured marxists, blind to the absurd hypocrisy of their stance; claiming a potentially necessary recourse to violence in aid of their cause whilst denouncing the ‘inherently’ (but unsubstantiated) violent ‘discourse’ of people they disagree with.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

What Richard needs is selective effective invective.

so don is saying they are only halfmarx not top marx. I would get a bit groucho about that

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
10 years ago

That’s one of your better ones Homer. But I’d better not keep harpoing on about it …

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

watch out Ken,

the more you harpo about it the more likely you will gummo it up.

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
10 years ago

Patrick

I think Don’s point is a bit more balanced than you suggest i.e. that hyper-aggressive rhetoric from whatever ideological perspective isn’t very useful or informative.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Yes, Ken, surely it is. But a part of that includes the bit I’ve extracted from it ;)

JC
JC
10 years ago

In the book’s introduction Elizabeth Humphrys and Guy Rundle say it is intended as “a response by the Left to the mass killing of those on the Left, for reason of their politics.”

Call me Rumpelstiltskin, but what “mass killings of those on the left”, as I’ve missed them.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Sheesh JC, any young people killed by a right wing terrorist nut need to be canonised as martyrs of the left. It hardly matters that most were there hoping to hook-up.

Homer, are you actually punning, or is this just the 3 million monkeys accidentally typing Shakespeare? ;-)

JC
JC
10 years ago

lol

it’s 5 million monkeys, Pedro. Didn’t you see the peanut shell hitting the ceiling as you walked in.

JMB
JMB
10 years ago

Many thanks.

The lead article grabbed me, then worried me, then spun me around to confront my own left-ish faux crankiness, not yet becoming anger. The concluding sentences shaped a message which stunned me.

I am guilty of lumping the Right together as the united force which their opinion-formers, Alan Jones and the Bolt and others, would like them to be. Truckies, all, waiting for a chance to make collective fools of themselves while I drive smugly past and comment to my passenger that the Canberran police have little to worry about today.

Then, at #3, Richard pointed out the intellectual laziness of my position and that of others.

Thanks, all, for the multiple smacks about the head. That’s part of why I come here.

I was contemplating buying the book, but not now.

Sancho
Sancho
10 years ago

Part of a previous post at Crikey:

Often, the fact that others are so unaccepting of an individual’s delusions is enough to make the sufferer question their validity and choose not to act upon them.

But Joseph Stack, Jared Loughner and Anders Breivik didn’t have that. In fact. they had the opposite: an entire conservative political movement which encouraged and endorsed their most florid paranoia and persecutory fantasies.

On the internet, radio and television, Stack, Loughner and Breivik received confirmation that a unified Marxist conspiracy lies behind the facade of environmentalism and progressive politics. In newspapers, magazines and public lectures, significant conservative figures told them with absolute certainty that every single leftist is not only a willing agent of Islamic fascism who will stop at nothing to destroy Christianity and western traditions, but that these things are ends in themselves for the fanatical left-wing jihad.

So, yes. When a side of politics unites almost completely behind an extremist viewpoint, as the right does currently, it can be held responsible for terrorists who act with that in mind.

It raises the question: just how diverse is the right?

There’s something I think of as the fallacy of equal extremism. If you go hunting on the internet, you can find examples of contemporary leftists calling for violence, which then gets rendered as “oh, well, leftist commentators are just as toxic as anything on Free Republic or Gates of Vienna, and a Breivik could have been driven by either ideology, so let’s put this down to a lone nut and forget about it”.

But the violent, conspiratorial leftists are out on the fringes. They don’t influence mainstream leftism and are excluded by it. Even in the paranoid climate of the Cold War, the Baader-Meinhof gang never represented mainstream leftism. Similarly, calls for violence are all but non-existent among atheists, so citing James von Brunn as an entire category of terrorism is just silly.

Contrast that with the right – particularly the American right – where it’s common for high-profile commentators and politicians to call for armed revolution or assassinations, or at least to assert implacably that the president of the US is not American, and is in fact secretly a communist Muslim working to undermine democracy for the good of the global caliphate and/or communism. Oh, and he’s in leagues with Satan.

Say that out loud and see if you feel like someone sane. Then remember that this is a real belief for much of the American right.

In Australia, as elsewhere, the right is thoroughly convinced not that scientists reach verified conclusions through research, but that the entire institution of science has been taken over by communists, using environmental science as a cover. News Ltd journos and Liberal politicians are screaming this utterly batty nonsense across the country.

It’s hard to imagine anything even remotely as insane as that being taken up by the left, and yet conspiracy theories every bit as wild as the 9/11 truth movement are mainstream for conservatism.

There are conservatives who are embarrassed by that sort of guff, but they’re not prominent and certainly wouldn’t be welcomed in modern right-wing discussions.

It’s hard to argue that the left hasn’t taken up such rubbish in the past, but right now, in 2011, insanity is mainstream only for the right, and it’s a perfect justification for someone like Anders Breivik to commit acts of terrorism to defend right-wing principles.

Richard Hofstadter’s The Paranoid Style in American Politics is as relevant now as ever, and it fits Australia perfectly:

The old…virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of…power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to betrayal from on high.

See if you can figure out which sentences in that excerpt describe the right’s views on climate climate change, scientists, and Bob Brown.

Don Arthur
Don Arthur
10 years ago
Sancho
Sancho
10 years ago

Oh, wow. I never realised Bendle is an actual,

I can’t believe I just read that.

It’s classic paranoia: anything that contradicts the existence of a conspiracy is just more proof of a conspiracy.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

We should never forget Catallaxy nutcase Steve Kates says the reason why classical economics never works is because ‘Keynesian’ statisticians!!

You really need to be loopy to be a ‘right-winger’ Actually it is a necessity

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

I think you are glossing over left-wing terrorism during the cold war. Admittedly, they were typically as inept as one would have expected, but they were trying.

It’s nice that Bader-Meinhof never represented ‘mainstream leftism’ (did the Weather Underground? Carlos the Jackal?). None of the people you mentioned represent ‘mainstream rightwing thought’, either, as far as can be made out by anything other than plain assertion. Jared Loughner, for example, may have been lots of things but he certainly wasn’t demonstrably right-wing at all, let alone ‘mainstream’.

What about material support for terror? How many ‘mainstream’ leftists applauded Stalin’s revolutionary fervor? The bodycount at their feet far outweighs any Anders Breivik.

Which violence-endorsing paranoid rightwinger typed this:

it is conceivable that if governments fail to take on vested interests over climate change, a radical mass movement based on civil disobedience and disruption of ‘business as usual’ may need to be built. In such a situation arguments about imminent social collapse and the need for democratic mass struggle would be the least that could be expected from anyone seriously committed to liberty.

Finally,

it’s common for high-profile commentators and politicians to call for armed revolution or assassinations,

Really? Who? When?

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

You self-identify as right-wing now Homer?!

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Patrick ,

I have never put down things that go opposite to what I say down to people who are deliberately distorting statistics.

That is paranoia!

Just look at the nut cases talk about alleged climate change

Sancho
Sancho
10 years ago

It’s nice that Bader-Meinhof never represented ‘mainstream leftism’ (did the Weather Underground? Carlos the Jackal?). None of the people you mentioned represent ‘mainstream rightwing thought’, either, as far as can be made out by anything other than plain assertion. Jared Loughner, for example, may have been lots of things but he certainly wasn’t demonstrably right-wing at all, let alone ‘mainstream’.

Were there media outlets wholly supportive of those groups? Prominent politicians and religious leaders supporting their cause?

I notice you mention Loughner but not Stack, who wrote pretty much a Tea Party manifesto before going on a suicide bombing run.

Loughner shot a Democrat congresswoman during a campaign that was marked by violent statements toward Democrats across the internet and media, and strongly hinted that everyone should buy guns to defend themselves from a Democrat government.

Loughner ins’t the clear-cut ideologue Breivik is, but the ideological environment can’t be discounted.

What about material support for terror? How many ‘mainstream’ leftists applauded Stalin’s revolutionary fervor? The bodycount at their feet far outweighs any Anders Breivik.

Well, how many? How many continued support when the atrocities became clear?

Besides which, I was careful to stipulate that we’re talking about now, precisely because the left’s history during last century is patchy.

Also, once we’re into international policy, we have to bring in the civilian toll from Iraq, Afghanistan, right wing support for dictators all over the world…

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Sancho, if I had to confine myself to one point it would be that you need to stop chasing fantastical strawmen.

This is best illustrated by your bizarre question about media outlets. What media outlets were ‘wholly supportive’ of any right-wing terrorist you’ve named? Or any at all???

I do find it funny how all these Tea Parties have rocked on for ages now with the only violence coming from union hacks, but disaffected little occupiers take a mere couple weeks to recreate Haiti-sur-Zucotti. To steal a catchy turn of phrase, violent intimidation is always descending on Tea Parties but somehow lands on unionists and other lefties.

Maybe lefty commenters need to stop freaking out so much about the right-wing violence of their imagination and focus on the real world, including the right-wing ideas in it.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

“Just look at the nut cases talk about alleged climate change”

Like old Clive and the Bobster, I agree, they sure are nutty.

No patrick, we’re dumb as stumps so no need to engage at all.

Peter Patton
Peter Patton
10 years ago

Anyone wanting an efficient explanation for the triumph of liberalism over Leftist Socialism need do no more than this read this cringing clueless, ahistorical, sub-clumsily written collection, which me might expect from the local sheltered workshop, not the leaders of the Anglo Left ‘Alternative’. Sorry, I can’t get Keating out of my head: “Get a job”!

Sancho
Sancho
10 years ago

Sancho, if I had to confine myself to one point it would be that you need to stop chasing fantastical strawmen.

This is best illustrated by your bizarre question about media outlets. What media outlets were ‘wholly supportive’ of any right-wing terrorist you’ve named? Or any at all???

Hard to say if you know what a strawman is, since the discussion we’re having is about collective responsibility for extremists, and conservative media supporting their extremism is entirely pertinent.

If you mean that you think I’m wrong, that’s still not a strawman. Get your fallacies right.

Glad you used the phrase “violent intimidation”. That’s a perfect description of a movement that joins public rallies carrying guns or menacing placards telling politicians that the protesters will be back with guns if their demands aren’t met.

The double standard applied between the Tea Party and OWS is so blatant it’s like a punch in the nose: police won’t interfere with a crowd that carries guns and threatens to use them if disturbed, while the cops go right in with batons and tear gas when it’s a peaceful, non-threatening group legally occupying a public space. Have any of the OWS protests turned nasty before the police moved in?

You think you’re arguing that Tea Partiers are peaceful and OWS violent, but you’re just supporting Tietze’s argument that left-wing protesters need to threaten violence from the outset in order to be allowed the same rights of public assembly given to conservative malcontents.

So, got got any examples of OWS people getting involved in violent terrorist groups like Baader-Meinhoff? Because the Tea Party’s neck-deep in neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and deranged Christian militia organisations. Any left-wing Hutaree?

Of course not. The very idea is absurd, because the modern left excludes those sorts of extremists from the mainstream, while the right teaches them to be armed and ready to fight the socialist oppressors any day now.

Nothing you claim about the Tea Party or OWS stands up to scrutiny.

Now, we can’t talk about the right’s cultural support for terrorism without mentioning the gorilla in the room: Fox News.

Here’s a nice concise record of Glenn Beck’s serial incitements to violence and the people who’ve responded to it. Beck is simply a terrorist agitator who has the funds to make his jihad videos in a proper studio.

So, you’ve got an extremely popular television host going flat-out to convince his audience that Marxists are poised to overthrow democracy and put the right-wing population in concentration camps, and that doesn’t incite people to terrorism, Patrick? Is that what you believe?

Then there’s another Fox trick: faking a left-wing threat. Here’s James Hoffa Junior telling a crowd to vote, which Fox rendered as him telling the crowd to “take out” his enemies – there’s that insidious union violence you’re worried about. That link also mentions Sarah Palin advising conservative Americans, “Don’t retreat. Reload.”

And here’s a charming selection of comments from Fox viewers about OWS.

So we’ve got political stars and the most popular and influential right-wing news service in the world telling people to reload their guns because unionists are coming to throw you in a concentration camp if they don’t kill you first, while the Marxist conspirators in the capital bring down democracy and capitalism – and the audience to all this confidently responding with a determination to kill the enemy.

You’re still quite sure that there’s no support for terrorism in right-wing media and politics, Patrick?

That’s very US-focused of course (although Fox is popular with conservatives everywhere), so let’s look at where a Scandinavian terrorist like Breivik took his cues: the internet.

Have you actually visited Gates of Vienna, Patrick? Or Pamela Geller’s website? Free Republic? They make Fox look like the Ghandi Network.

The right-wing blogosphere is where the really in-depth paranoid fantasies flourish. There’s a cultural war being waged on white Christians by Muslims Marxists, don’t you know, and we have to be prepared to fight for our religion and racial heritage. That’s what Breivik believes he did.

The blogs and discussion sites aren’t top-down; they represent the misinformed paranoia of millions of conservatives around the world, and are a driving force in mainstream right-wing culture. People like Geert Wilders and Michelle Bachmann wouldn’t be remotely electable if it weren’t for this simmering undercurrent of extremism.

Oh, there are angry lefties out there on forums and influential blogs, but I challenge you to find any that contains such a solid stream of paranoid, get-ready-to-fight rhetoric. This is the stuff that Breivik was bathing in for years before he went out murdering, as his manifesto explains in detail. Any lefty with a similar temperament would have to look long and hard for any incitement to violence, and would then get told to pull his head in if he suggested it.

Still sure there’s no support for terrorism in right-wing media and culture, Patrick?

Sancho
Sancho
10 years ago

Surprise!

British right-wing political group admired by Anders Breivik planned coordinated attack on OWS protesters.

Don’t let that interfere with the idea that right-wing terrorism is a myth and OWS is a vicious militant movement.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Sancho@31 – I would have thought that if the EDL have pretentions to being actual economic nationalists representing ordinary working people, they should have been with #OWS.

I am now carefully considering the possibility that they may just be right-wing berks with no coherent social or economic agenda whatsoever, just a nasty case of Stockholm Syndrome. Colour me surprised.

Sancho
Sancho
10 years ago

‘Conidering” a “possibility”.

What are you, Dan? Some sort of fascist? Thoughtfulness and complexity are for the weak.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Wait a minute – am I being accused of being too nuanced, not nuanced enough, or both similtaneously?

The latter is the story of my life of late.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Dan,

you are being a nuancedsince

Sancho
Sancho
10 years ago

That was fascistabulous.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

why don’t you swasticker to your own arguments

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Posting comments in the face of this blitzkrieg is a Hess-le.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Sancho, where do I begin???

1) I’m sorry if you got carried away, but you asked:

Were there media outlets wholly supportive of those [lefty terrorist] groups?

I called a strawman, because there aren’t any media outlets wholly supportive of any right-wing terrorists. I still call a strawman.

If you only meant

media supporting their extremism

then I guess that isn’t a strawman, there are indeed lots of media supporting leftwing terrorism’s broad agenda and rationales. Of course they all eschew support for actual violence, but we can all hear the dog-whistles … oh wait, it’s only supposed to be sauce for the gander, not the goose.

2) So

carrying guns or menacing placards

is violent, but actual violence isn’t? This is a gem:

The double standard applied between the Tea Party and OWS is so blatant it’s like a punch in the nose: police won’t interfere with a crowd that carries guns and threatens to use them if disturbed, while the cops go right in with batons and tear gas when it’s a peaceful, non-threatening group legally occupying a public space. Have any of the OWS protests turned nasty before the police moved in?

Now you justify the actual violence with reference to police provocation (presumably you are excluding the intra-ows violence, assault and rape!). I admit I’m torn here between calling strawman or non-sequitur, as the only reason that there has been no police ‘provocation’ of tea parties is that the tea parties have protested within the law, obtained permits (you may want to check up on the ‘legally’ bit of your comment), left when required to do so, etc. I suppose that’s the left-wing definition of a sucker.

3) I can’t be bothered with the Fox News bit. Do you really think all that?

4) I almost can’t be bothered with the Sarah Palin bit either. Have any of her supporters ever actually shot someone? Are you so stupid as to think that she is encouraging you to shoot people? Don’t assume that the average Joe is as dumb! (Loughner was absolutely not a Palin supporter, btw.)

5) I actually have visited some of those sites, although none in the last couple of years. I must admit none of them inspired me to terrorism, nor did I read them that way.

6)

Still sure there’s no support for terrorism in right-wing media and culture, Patrick?

Yes. But I am starting to suspect that you secretly believe that all right-wingers are suppressed terrorists.