Tuesday, July 26, 2011


That was probably not the best timing with those last two posts.

My impression is that there is a tendency in the media to push this Norwegian mass murder toward the 'psycho madman' box in the face of evidence to the contrary, in the opposite way to the tendency after the shooting in Tucson. It is obviously in the self-interest of journalists on the right to minimise the political aspects of this tragedy. But you would think journalists on the left would go berserk over a real "Tea-Party"-inspired mass murder on such a terrible scale. Part of this is doubtless due to the extreme self-absorption of the rebel colonists who dominate the English-speaking press.  But I think there is something else:

A lone psycho pushed over the edge by "your" inflammatory political rhetoric is one thing;

A terrorist who carries out a well-organised act of political violence against "us" is quite another thing, and much scarier, that we would rather not think about.

Here is  a disingenuous note from Mark Steyn to the effect that the terrorist was not Islamophobic because he did not target Muslims, but people racially similar to himself.

No, he was just Islamophobic *and* logical. Muslims are not invading Norway in longboats. They are being invited by a left-of-centre government. There is no point attacking the symptom and not the cause. If you are Islamophobic and logical and have taken on board the pessimistic messages coming from a lot of the right-wing commentariat that Europe is doomed, you will despair of ever making a difference at the ballot box. So political violence will start to look attractive. Killing one prominent left-of-centre politician is not going to make a lot of difference. Killing a terrible lot of potential left-of-centre politicians just might, though: since it will (a) reduce the potential talent pool of the left-of-centre party, and hence its effectiveness, for a long time to come; and (b) potentially discourage a much larger number of potential left-of-centre politicians from ever getting involved in the game, not just in Norway but in other countries, with similar results . 

So, if you are a left-wing student politician anywhere in the world: do not be intimidated. Stay the course. Otherwise the terrorists win.


Cornelius Gallows said...

Norway's Prime Minister's response to the tragedy struck exactly the correct note of resilience and dignity.

"The Norwegian response to violence is more democracy, more openness and greater political participation."

Dr Clam said...

There's a word for that... we don't get to use it much in the English-speaking world, but I think it's "leadership". :)

Cornelius Gallows said...