From Wilders’ mouth to Breivik’s ears

I’m with Ken MacLeod

An ideology for justifying violence against racial minorities, the Left and the labour movement has been developing in plain sight, rather than in the underworld of NSDAP re-enactors. It has now led to a massacre of the children of the one of the most moderate labour movements in the world.

Two things have to come out of this: first, the mainstream left and labour movements have to take seriously security and self-defence; second, the mainstream right must be made to pay a heavy political price for this atrocity.

In a Dutch context this means that we need to be honest about Geert Wilders and his responsibility for Breivik’s actions and what this means for our political system. Wilders isn’t the only one who has been banging the drum about the Muslim menace and Eurabia and treasonous leftwing multicultural elites, but he is the most influential mainstream European politician to have done so. Wilders is unique in Europe because he has managed to get his programme into the mainstream of Dutch politics, with the current minority Christian Democrat/neoliberal government being dependent on his support to survive, hence not inclined to oppose him, if not quite actively supportive of his politics. Which in turn means that he has had the opportunity to make true on some of his rhetoric, the cuts in arts funding (“leftwing hobbies”) being one example.

Wilders has also been quite succesful in exporting his brand of Islamophobia, through e.g. the Fitna movie, the controversy about the initial refusal to let him speak in the UK and not unimportantly, his ties with fellow extremists in Europe (EDL) and elsewhere (Pam Geller). He’s a central pivot in the conveyor belt of rightwing extremism. Ideas that originate in the fringes of the rightwing, in the sordi little blogs and forums, shitty thinktanks and neonazi and fascistoid fringe groups are picked up by him and made respectable, because he is a serious, respectable mainstream politician, even if we don’t agree with them. Meanwhile his rhetoric, his talk about being in a “hot war with Islam” and how leftwing/social democratic parties have betrayed their countries in turn, fires up this fringe even more, justification for even more extreme opinions and ultimately, as in Norway this weekend, action.

But our mainstream politicians and commentators, those who thought to fight fire with fire and wanted to address the very real concerns of the white working classes/real Dutch people about the excesses of the Islam in the name of more votes, those who wanted to declare multiculturism dead and buried, a failed experiment, those who agreed that art is a leftwing hobby and the Dutch weather institute dangerously partisan because it takes climate change seriously, those politicians and commentators also have the blood of Oslo and Utøya on their hands. They are not completely innocent either of having created a political climate in which such atrocities were made possible.