Today begins the second part of my look at Fjordman, the blogger who inspired and was frequently cited by the Norway killer, Anders Behring Breivik (whom I will refer to as ABB throughout the rest of this discussion). If you have not read part one, have a look at it here.
It would appear that my discussion of 2083 went a little viral, so welcome new readers! I also welcome all comments, even those that may disagree with me entirely. I encourage people to stick to reactions to the text but, of course, I understand political discussions will be inevitable where such a document is concerned.
It should also be mentioned that yes, I am verbose as a rule. Sorry about that but if length bothers you, you likely were not going to be interested in a quote-laden discussion of a 1500 page manifesto anyway. Also, please bear in mind this is a discussion of the book, not a review as such. I’m not judging the literary merit of the manifesto as much as I am just trying to reveal what the manifesto really contains and the minds of the people involved. I mean, I guess someone could review Mein Kampf or The New Libertarian Manifesto with an eye to the quality of the prose, but I really don’t recommend it.
2083: A European Declaration of Independence was so much more than a look at anti-Islam viewpoints that led to murder. It contains a number of critiques, from how hip hop music is destroying black culture in the United States to misogynistic rants that contained rape apology. It has reproductive ideas that sound like science fiction and instructions on how to make poison bullets. It is all over the map. In many ways, I am glad I read this because it is a mistake to think that ABB was a lunatic who was just gunning for socialists whom he considered responsible for Muslim immigration. His master plan, derived from the ideas of other thinkers, had something unsettling in store for almost everyone who wasn’t a white man. As progressive as we like to think we are, many of the more virulent ideas present in 2083 are rampant in political and social elements in the United States.
ABB is only a monster to us because he took his ideology to heart and shot people instead of blogging about it. But he is only unique in how he displayed his hate. And he is even less unique when you realize that all of his ideas came from other people. As I said in my first article, in so many ways, Fjordman is more interesting to me than ABB, because Fjordman’s brain is on display here far more than ABB’s. ABB is violently derivative.
This second part of my look at Fjordman will be when I show my snark teeth a bit more because it is going to cover his misogyny that at times gives lie to his nationalist leanings, the messy contradictions present in Fjordman’s theories, his misuse of pop culture and literature, and some of the utterly bizarre things present in his writing. Yeah, there will be snark. I won’t be able to help it. Also, part two is mostly just a reaction to some of the more bizarre elements of Fjordman’s thought processes and misinterpretations. Mostly, this will be a look at the mind of a man who really is driven by hate to the point that he is rabid, inconsistent and just flat out weird.
Though I also mentioned in Part One that I find Fjordman infinitely more interesting than the murderer who cloaked himself in his ideas, Fjordman did not ask for any of this. I did try to make a case that Fjordman engaged in rhetoric that seemed fated to send a True Believer on a violent rampage, but the fact is is that Fjordman was writing in that false, protective cloud that seems to envelop so many bloggers. We write and write and write and it never seems possible that we could, without overtly meaning to, inspire someone to shoot up teenagers on an island. Blogging is a new weapon in the arsenal of using the written word to change the world and Fjordman has, for me at least, become a cautionary tale. And as I said before, Fjordman is not pitiful, but he is definitely pitiable. That is, he is pitiable when he isn’t actively pissing me off. There are some things that no woman outside of the stay-at-home-daughters in the Vision Forum can read and not be filled with disgust.
So let’s begin Fjordman: Part Two.
Fjordman is a misogynist
A shocking level of hatred for women runs through Fjordman’s articles. Of course, because he hates Marxism and the political correctness he believes it has ushered in, he must denigrate women as he denigrates Muslims because he sees feminism as a largely Marxist entity. He feels women are, in fact, responsible for the Muslim immigration in Norway and makes his case in a very demeaning way. We begin with this referendum on female intelligence from pages 58-59:
Writer Charlotte Allen commented on how Harvard University President Lawrence Summers caused a storm by giving a speech speculating that innate differences between the sexes may have something to do with the fact that proportionately fewer women than men hold top positions in science. Summers in 2006 announced his intention to step down at the end of the school year, in part due to pressure caused by this speech. “Even if you’re not up on the scientific research – a paper Mr. Summers cited demonstrating that, while women overall are just as smart as men, significantly fewer women than men occupy the very highest intelligence brackets that produce scientific genius – common sense tells you that Mr. Summers has got to be right. Recently, Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences passed a vote of no confidence in Mr. Summers. Wouldn’t it be preferable to talk openly about men’s and women’s strengths and weaknesses?”
Yes, Ms. Allen, it would. Summers may have been wrong, but it’s dangerous once we embark on a road where important issues are not debated at all.
I wonder if Fjordman understands that these ideas have been debated for centuries? The “proof” that shows that women are stupider than men because of innate differences between the sexes is nothing new. And then there’s Charlotte Allen, pandering to these outdated notions, though one presumes she does not think such common sense applies to her. She seemingly has no clue she’s a parody in her jaded, time-worn attempt to become one of the boys by demeaning women to show she isn’t like the rest of us. And now she’s quoted admiringly by Fjordman in a manifesto by one of the worst mass murderers in European history. It’s hard to be angry at her knowing that is her reward for pandering to loathsome ideas. But worse than Allen, there is something particularly galling about the idea that a man who is younger than me seems to think that the discussions of female intellect didn’t happen until he was on the scene and that all these variables that men like him use to bash women are not shoved in our faces on a daily basis just because he is not there to witness the shoving. Oh yes, let us not skirt these issues that even the most ardent third wave feminist still has to stomach every time she asserts her intelligence because Fjordman thinks we aren’t discussing the prejudice used against us to his anti-cultural-Marxist satisfaction.
Yeah, that sucked. But it gets worse. So much worse. I am going to say without equivocation that if one were to try to know Fjordman from just the text he has written, it would be safe to say that he hates women. I know there is more to him than that, that this is hopefully ill-conceived rhetoric, but after reading many of his words I think he is a rape apologist. Having met many Nationalists of all stripes, some of whom I consider friends, not until I read Fjordman’s anti-woman rantings had I known a Nationalist to take such glee in what he considers to be the debasement of his countrywomen. Indeed, Fjordman seems very happy all those Labor Party women got what was coming to them – violent rape. From page 343, emphasis mine:
I have written several essays before on the damaging effects of Western feminism. The massive wave of violence and especially rapes in Western cities now is a form of warfare against whites, and it’s about time it is recognised as such. As this post from Gallia Watch puts it:
“As in war, the winners seize the indigenous women all the while protecting their own. The whole rhetoric that aims to debase the European woman or France (‘I screw France like a whore’ says rap group Sniper) is a part of the feminisation of Europeans, of the idea that Europe is a land to be conquered, a habitat open to all forms of pillage. Are not the notorious ‘gang rapes’ another example of collective violence to European women, just as Russian soldiers did when they seized German women in a devastated Berlin in 1945. It all holds together. A tribe that does not protect its women is behaving as if they have already lost the war. Many of us don’t know this. But our enemies do.”
As a Western man, I would be tempted to say that Western women have to some extent brought this upon themselves. They have been waging an ideological, psychological and economic war against European men for several generations now, believing that this would make you “free.” The actual result is that you have less freedom of movement and security than ever, as a direct result of the immigrant policies supported by you and your buddies.
Okay, he starts off recognizing that rape is often used in war, a neutral enough statement. But then he gives in to some really base ideas. European women have brought rape on themselves because they demean the poor Western men and because they and their buddies, their chums, their bosom pals, invited all those big, Islamic rapists in. Too bad, too sad, Western Bitches is the tone of this passage. Rape apology is ugly, ugly, ugly, but strangely even more perverse when you are gloating over the rapes of the very women you hope to save from those Muslims.
Wallow in this bit of nastiness from page 343:
The truth is that any nation is always protected from external aggression by the men. The women can play a supporting role in this, but never more than that. For all the talk about “girl power” and “women kicking ass” which you see on movies these days, if the men of your “tribe” are too weak or demoralised to protect you, you will be enslaved and crushed by the men from other “tribes” before you can say “Vagina Monologues”.
Ah, I see! Fjordman’s version of feminism is a caricature of the women who own the book shop Women and Women First on the show Portlandia. Are there ardent feminists who approach being caricatures? Of course. Is it a good idea to state outright that those few women are the basis of the feminist movement and therefore have brought rape and enslavement upon themselves? No. It would be the same if I looked at every Norwegian man on the basis of Fjordman’s fallacious rhetoric and determined they must be exactly like this one extremist. Also, it’s seldom a good idea to base one’s philosophical views on how men or women are portrayed in the movies. Almost all mainstream movie characters are stereotypes.
Also, too bad I can’t file this under Fjordman’s victim mentality, which I will discuss later. Yep, that’s right folks. Fjordman is too demoralized to help a woman who is being raped or enslaved because some of us don’t want to be called “lady” and can open our own doors.
More of the same, also from page 343, and bear with me because this one really pissed me off:
Which means that if you break down men’s masculinity, their willingness and ability to defend themselves and their families, you destroy the country. That’s exactly what Western women have done for the last forty years. So why are you surprised about the results? As you said, you can’t fool Mother Nature. Well, you have tried to fool her for a long time, and you are now paying the price for this.
I am a feminist. A pretty ardent one. I asked Mr Oddbooks just now if my beliefs have broken down his masculinity. He said no. I asked if the women he works with and knows socially who are feminists have broken down his masculinity. He said no. I asked him if he was unlikely to defend a woman, a child, or even an animal from a vicious attack after years of living with a feminist. He said no. More or less, he just goes about his life and if a woman gets cheesed when he opens a door for her, he just figures that woman didn’t want him to open the door, not that all women are castrating harpies. So I guess I really am surprised by the results, that a man who was born during the time of the feminist revolution in socially liberal society has kept his masculinity about him. Perhaps it is because as a feminist who isn’t a caricature, I forgot to cut off his balls and keep them in my purse next to my copy of the S.C.U.M. Manifesto? My bad.
And what’s this about fooling Mother Nature? What the hell does he even mean by this? That women are too weak to defend themselves and should have eschewed the feminist movement on the grounds that having self-determination was going to demoralize all the men? Does he mean that birth control and abortion have enabled women to prevent and end unwanted pregnancies, thus rejecting the dogma that we exist solely as a function of our natural reproductive capacities? I sense he meant the former but maybe he really means both.
But don’t worry, he forgives us for being so deluded, from page 344:
Western women have been subjected to systematic Marxist indoctrination meant to turn you into a weapon of mass destruction against your own civilisation, a strategy that has been remarkably successful.
You see, we women are just too dumb to see how we have been manipulated by the cultural Marxists. Oh dear, did we accidentally destroy civilization with our desire to control our fertility and our wish to be educated and have jobs if we want? Then he goes on to quote Robert Spencer, who tells a tale of a college student who sees no value to her white culture and worships Native Americans, and Lee Harris, who insists the Muslims are teaching their boys to be brutes while Western boys are taught to be wimps. In the face of all this rock-solid anecdata, I am clearly under the influence of Marxist ideology when I think its all pants.
But all this whining starts to take a sinister turn on page 345:
The only major political party in Norway that has voiced any serious opposition to the madness of Muslim immigration is the rightwing Progress Party. This is a party which receives about two thirds or even 70% male votes. At the opposite end of the scale we have the Socialist Left party, with two thirds or 70% female votes. The parties most critical of the current immigration are typically male parties, while those who praise the Multicultural society are dominated by feminists. And across the Atlantic, if only American women voted, the US President during 9/11 would be called Al Gore, not George Bush.
So I guess Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Das Kapital. Interesting. It would almost seem here as if Fjordman is saying that this massive, country-crushing Islam invasion is the fault of women. Women who are tools of cultural Marxism. Surely he isn’t saying it’s all women’s fault, is he? Yes, yes he is and it shines a sinister light on why ABB shot up the Labor Party camp. Oh, and heaven FORBID that Gore had been President during 9/11. Whew! Thank god we avoided that national nightmare, am I right?
In the event that anyone sees wiggle room in the above, please read this from page 351:
To sum it up, it must be said that radical feminism has been one of the most important causes of the current weakness of Western civilisation, both culturally and demographically. Feminists, often with a Marxist world view, have been a crucial component in establishing the suffocating public censorship of Political Correctness in Western nations. They have also severely weakened the Western family structure, and contributed to making the West too soft and self-loathing to deal with aggression from Muslims.
An inordinate amount of blame has been put on women in Fjordman’s odd conspiracy. Women deserve rape, women were duped by the Marxists, women led to the Islamification of Europe. In a way, it’s interesting that ABB didn’t target women exclusively, but more on how he picked his victims when I discuss him next week.
Fjordman is just about as offensive toward women as one man can be on his own. If he wants to up his game, he’s going to have to clone himself, as he shows on page 347:
It is correct, as feminists claim, that a hyper-feminine society is not as destructive as a hyper-masculine society. The catch with a too soft society is that it is unsustainable. It will get squashed as soon as it is confronted by more traditional, aggressive ones. Instead of “having it all,” Western women risk losing everything. What are liberal feminists going to do when faced with aggressive gang of Muslim youngsters? Burn their bras and throw the pocket edition of the Vagina Monologues at them?
As a feminist I have never heard anyone say that a hyper-feminine society is the way to go. In fact, it’s a symbol of facile under-thinking, the old saw that a matriarchy is less violent than a patriarchy. History doesn’t bear it out and it’s a tired, sad argument.
Fjordman’s obsession with The Vagina Monologues is weird. Just weird. If attacked women, will do what we always have done, feminist movement or not. We will do our best to fight back and avoid rape or we will acquiesce however we must in order to survive. It may surprise misogynists cut like Fjordman, but even before feminists made men so soft that they cannot help victimized women, there was a long history of women getting raped, even by their own countrymen. Women to this day still get blamed for their rapes, though most rape apologists don’t often take this particular tack – rather, they blame the way the woman dressed or call her a slut who was asking for it. Women were raped long before Fjordman’s repellent theories came to light and somehow managed to cope, and we will be raped long after no one remembers Fjordman’s name, despite his outrageous trivialization of our assaults.
Less inflammatory but equally as bizarre is this, from page 348:
Are some feminists simply testing out men’s limits in the hope of finding some new balance between the sexes, or are they testing men to find our which men are strong enough to stand up to their demands, and thus which men can stand up to other men on their behalf?
Well, actually, this isn’t that bizarre. It’s the remark of a baffled man. And to be fair, women are baffled, too. I know some men like to mock us because some really do try to have it all – career, hobbies, many friends, family – and find the balance difficult and wear themselves out trying to make sense of their lives. But when your kind has spent hundreds of years with very few choices at your disposal and suddenly you are told you can indeed have it all, it seems like you should at least try. But none of this is a test, a universal exercise of the will of women to see if men will put us in our places. For a few maybe, but not the mass of women. This is our life, not some psycho-sexual experiment.
But even amongst the outrageous rape apology, I somehow took most offense to the trivialization that Fjordman assigns to the feminist movement, a movement that for all of its current extremist excesses began as a human rights movement for women. And I just get pissed off imagining him speaking these words to me or to any woman. From page 348, emphasis mine:
Strangely enough, after decades of feminism, many Western women are now lamenting the fact that Western men hesitate to get married. Here is columnist Molly Watson:
We’re also pretty clued up about why our generation is delaying having children — and it has nothing to do with being failed by employers or health planners. Nor, despite endless newspaper features on the subject, does it have much to do with business women putting careers before babies. In my experience, the root cause of the epidemic lies with a
collective failure of nerve among men our age. […] I don’t know a woman of my age whose version of living happily ever after fundamentally hinges on becoming editor, or senior partner, or surgeon, or leading counsel. But faced with a generation of emotionally immature men who seem to view marriage as the last thing they’ll do before they die, we have little option but to wait.
What happened to the slogan “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”? I’d just like to remind Ms. Watson that it was in fact the women who started this whole “single is best” culture that now permeates much of the West. Since women initiate most divorces and a divorce can potentially mean financial ruin for a man, it shouldn’t really be too surprising that many men hesitate to get involved at all. As one man put it: “I don’t think I’ll get married again. I’ll just find a woman I don’t like and give her a house.” At the same time, women during the past few decades have made it a lot easier to have a girlfriend without getting married. So women make it riskier to get married and easier to stay unmarried, and then they wonder why men “won’t commit?” Maybe too many women didn’t think all this feminism stuff quite through before jumping on the bandwagon?
I have no idea who Molly Watson is, but I will say that this us-against-them bullshit is wearing thin on both sides. Seriously. Despite Watson’s complaints and Fjordman’s accusations, all across the Marxist-infested West men and women are meeting and marrying, some divorcing, some not, many very happy. Funny, that…
But I’m mostly just annoyed at how little Fjordman thinks of women because his tone is not one of a man who even seems to like women. Had he the grace even to limit this nastiness to feminists, I could sort of understand it, but he speaks to all women, and he does it with a demeaning nastiness that exposes his deep-seated misogyny. I am not a young woman anymore. I was born during the second wave of feminism, just as the third wave really began. In my entire life I have never heard any feminist recite the old saw about fish and bicycles. Not once. Not even in college when I knew actual radical feminists. Using that line against single women who lament their singleness has zero relevance and makes Fjordman sound even older than me.
Who, other than Fjordman, says that women started this whole single is best idea? Who actually thinks single is best and made it into a cultural movement that negatively affects Fjordman? Almost every feminist I know is married or is in an exclusive long-term relationship. Those who are single are single for reasons that I assure you have little to do with Marxist dialectic. And who says women initiate most divorces and if that is true, what are the reasons? Are these women abused, did their husbands cheat, did they simply fall out of love as they got older. Though I don’t know it is true, even if women do initiate most divorces that is not necessarily a referendum on men or even on marriage.
Oh, and how dumb were we girls to “jump on the bandwagon” of feminism before we thought through the terrible ramifications of being able to vote, own property, have access to education and the right to choose what work we prefer! Seriously, the feminist movement, whether dude-bros want to admit it or not, is about more than just destroying the Western family and cock-blocking innocent men who just want to get married.
Here he uses the most extreme examples possible to prove that feminism is destroying the world. From page 346:
Swedish Marxist politician Gudrun Schyman has suggested a bill that would collectively tax Swedish men for violence against women. In a 2002 speech, the same Schyman famously posited that Swedish men were just like the Taliban. A male columnist in newspaper Aftonbladet responded by saying that Schyman was right: All men are like the Taliban.
Admittedly I do not speak Swedish, but I’m pretty sure this is an accurate translation of the reaction of 99% of Swedish citizens to such offensive, bombastic statements: “Oh my god, what a stupid and terrible thing to say. That woman is an idiot. Let’s make sure Schyman’s new party, Feminist Initiative, never gets more than 2% of the vote, and most of the time not even 1%.” Hmm… Could it be that she said something really outrageous, like Pamela Geller does, in order to get attention? Is that a trick only the Right can use? Does Fjordman think she really must believe that all the men in Sweden are like the Taliban and that a newspaper agreed with her means everyone must agree with that chauvinistic, hateful statement? Fjordman is like cafeteria Christians – he cherry-picks whatever proves his point, even if the point, when looked at with any depth, proves that fewer than 2% of Sweden on a good day has any faith in Gudrun Schyman.
More of the same from page 346:
In the year 2000, Swedish feminist Joanna Rytel and the action group Unf**ked Pussy entered the stage during the live broadcast of the Miss Sweden contest. She also wrote an article called “I Will Never Give Birth to a White Man,” for a major Swedish daily, Aftonbladet, in 2004. Rytel explained why she hates white men — they are selfish, exploitative, vain, and sex-crazed — and just to make things clear, she added, “no white men, please… I just puke on them, thank you very much.”
Using Joanna Rytel as an example of what the average Swedish woman feels about men is like taking John Lyden, circa 1977, and claiming the average Brit longed for anarchy. This analysis of the depravity of women is clownish at best.
Why discuss all of this? What relevance does it have in discussing the Norway murderer’s manifesto? Well, as I will explain later when I discuss ABB, there is a misogynistic undertone to everything that ABB did. Hatred of women is strong in his philosophy. He, like Fjordman, blames women for permitting Muslim immigration. He sees the entire feminist movement as dupes for the cultural Marxists whom he thinks have ruined the world. More personally, ABB loathed being raised by a single mother and took a shocking amount of glee in discussing what one can only assume he thought were his mother’s sexual habits. His sister’s too.
This hatred of women in the political, the philosophical and the theoretical is why violence against women is so common. There are men on this planet who genuinely think that any bit of progress women and people of color achieve is a net loss of their freedom. And those men are present in American politics. They are present in American religion. That again is why this is so fascinating to me. I may not have known Fjordman’s name, but the face of his hate for women was certainly a face I recognize. I cannot say it enough – we sweep these mentalities under the rug at our own risk. Each time we assume a man with a gun is a monster or that the man who inspired the killer is an aberration, we fail to understand how common monsters are, and how seldom an aberration is really that atypical. If we refuse to look at the whole of ABB, it makes it easy not to look at the whole of those who are lurking in our own stomping grounds.
Fjordman has some weird, but not entirely unpredictable ideas
There are not enough ellipses in the world to express how truly strange some of Fjordman’s beliefs are. Take this from page 59:
“When lifelong Torontonians are hot for decapitation, when Yorkshiremen born and bred and into fish ‘n’ chips and cricket and lousy English pop music self-detonate on the London Tube, it would seem that the phenomenon of “re-primitivised man” has been successfully exported around the planet. It’s reverse globalisation: The pathologies of theremotest backwaters now have franchise outlets in every Western city.”
It is possible to see a connection here. While multiculturalism is spreading ideological tribalism in our universities, it is spreading physical tribalism in our major cities. Since all cultures are equal, there is no need to preserve Western civilisation, nor to uphold our laws.
Base impulses are human traits, not proof of globalism creating “re-primitivised man,” whatever the hell that means. Bullshit theories abound about why it is human beings are violent, enjoy violence and generally shed their civility at the slightest provocation but I’m just gonna go ahead and put it out there that human beings were violent long before “multiculturalism” exposed the cultured Torontonian and Yorkshireman to the primitive rage of all those non-whites who just ruin it for civilization.
Take this antiquated idea from page 59:
While Chinese, Indian, Korean and other Asian Universities are graduating millions of motivated engineers and scientists every year, Western Universities have been reduced to little hippie factories, teaching about the wickedness of the West and the blessings of barbarism.
Oh god, Fjordman thinks all colleges are Berkeley in 1969. In college I myself read plenty of Shakespeare and plenty of Locke and Rousseau between learning about the blessings of barbarism, which mainly came in the form of keg parties instead of an actual course curriculum. This is also strange coming from a man who is only 36. This is what I expect people hear from their elderly relatives around the Sunday dinner table. It’s just the same crap that threatened Little Men utter every time their gilded cages get rattled. It would be laughable if Fjordman’s strange take on life didn’t somehow inspire a man to kill 77 people.
File this under, “Oh god, not this again” from 738:
Less than eight years after the Jihadist attacks on the USA, a President raised as a Muslim with the middle name “Hussein” hails Islam’s great contributions to American and Western culture. The USA currently looks more like a defeated nation than the world’s sole remaining superpower. It’s the only nation in history where the majority of the population has elected a member of an organisation known for hating the majority population of that country.
In the event that anyone reading this does not understand these facts, please note that Obama was not raised as a Muslim. He attended Muslim-run schools, but also attended Catholic-run schools and no one is saying he is a Catholic. He was born in America, was raised with American ideals, and even if he were a Muslim, that in no way is incompatible with with being a good American. The rhetoric that sprang up around Obama has shown the frightening racist underbelly of this country. I am still shocked when I read things like this and they are one of the best examples I can find for how fuzzy thinking (the name Hussein indicates religious preference, attending a school equals lifelong beliefs) negatively affects the world. It’s a few steps from feeling uncomfortable that a man of color is running the United States to developing an intricate web of lies to conceal your racism. It’s not that he’s black – it’s that he’s a Muslim, he’s not a citizen, he lied about his education, etc. Again, the ideas that led ABB to killing 77 people, the ideas that are included in the manifesto of a mass murderer, are running strong in America.
And then we have this from page 737:
I remember when the Iranian ex-Muslim Ali Sina, author of Understanding Muhammad, compared the personality cult surrounding Barack Obama to that of Fascist leaders. This might seem exaggerated, but there is definitely a personality cult surrounding Obama which is unprecedented and deeply unhealthy.
Yes, Obama has a personality cult built around him, what with all those pageants he holds as he expounds in a mighty manner, flanked with the symbols to represent him and him alone. Statues of him have replaced those of beloved statesmen and heroes, the press is banned from making disparaging remarks, citizens are required to have his pictures up in their homes… Yeah, all of that is happening with Obama. If you think that he is assailed at every turn by Birthers, racists, and Tea Baggers, you are sorely mistaken.
It’s interesting to me how diverse, though paranoid and strange, Fjordman’s writings were, how his mind bounced from one idea in an article to the next. He has a hyperactive mind and one that makes large leaps without looking at the logical ground below him. More of this will be evident as I discuss some of his inconsistencies and errors.
Fjordman’s words are full of strange contradictions and odd reasoning
Actually, finding all of these contradictions made me like Fjordman a little because inconsistency, to me at least, means he hasn’t set his beliefs in stone. I see contradiction as openings through which he can reapproach his repellent ideas and come to different conclusions. But I’ve been wrong before… It’s probably more likely that a brain that settles on the uneasy logic of conspiracy theory may become so unfocused that continual reason is difficult.
Here we have some contradictory thinking from page 347:
Are women more stupid and less enlightened than men, since they in such great numbers are paving the way for their own submission? He comes up with an equally provocative answer: “When women are paving the way for sharia, this is presumably because women want sharia.” They don’t want freedom because they feel attracted to subservience and subjugation.
Perhaps the question Fjordman needs to ask is why white men suck so much because he can’t have it both ways. He makes the case that women stupidly rejected patriarchy and have demeaned white men to the point that they are feminized. But then he states that women are attracted to strong, brutal men who will dominate them. Then why did they shake off the yoke of the Western patriarchy? If this was all about submission one assumes any woman would be pleased to submit to a manly Norseman. Is it really the case that Fjordman feels inadequate and subconsciously thinks he is being thrown over for strong, manly, Muslim men? Or is he just a really bad theorist and is throwing every accusation against women he can make to see what sticks, contradictions be damned? I have no idea. But it is interesting to contemplate…
This is a total WTF moment from page 355-356:
And it has no in any way eradicated the basic sexual attraction between feminine women and masculine men. If people do not find this in their own country, they travel to another country to find it, which is now easier than ever. A striking number of Scandinavian men find their wives in East Asia, Latin America or other nations with a more traditional view of femininity, and a number of women find partners from more conservative countries, too. Not everyone, of course, but the trend is unmistakable. Scandinavians celebrate “gender equality” and travel to the other side of the world to find somebody actually worth marrying.
This manly-man, feminine-woman stuff veers very close to the sort of idiocy espoused (often hilariously) by Christian fundamentalist organizations like Vision Forum. Women need to be in skirts, long haired and with cute little voices and men must be manly men, doing manly things because if women cut their hair they evidently grow testicles and if men don’t stand with a wide stance, arms crossed, they evidently become homosexuals. But Fjordman is not a Christian and he doesn’t explain himself. Would he reject a woman with short hair in pants? Who knows because it’s a strange statement. Then add that I don’t think I have ever seen a Nationalist insist that feminine women and masculine men can only be found in other cultures. This whole paragraph was bizarre, creating unanswered questions and making one wonder how it is that Fjordman can see the logic in leaving one’s culture for love when he loathes the ideas of immigration. Would he see the logic in a manly-Norseman marrying a submissive, feminine Muslim woman?
Another “yeah, right” moment from page 409:
Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in one court, found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or by foreign parents. Swedish politicians want to continue Muslim immigration because it boosts the economy, yet the evidence so far indicates that it mainly boosts the number of gang rapes. Meanwhile, research shows that fear of honour killings is a very real issue for many immigrant girls in Sweden. 100.000 young Swedish girls live as virtual prisoners of their own families.
Let’s ask some questions. I can’t address the number of rapes committed by immigrants in Sweden. But I can ask this: What does Fjordman care about all the daughters of Muslim extremists living in Europe? He wants their parents deported, expelled, sent back to their country of origin. If he gives a crap about these suffering girls, how is sending them away going to help them. Why does he bring it up when it makes no difference to him at all? And does he really care for the suffering of these girls when he seems to gloat over the rapes of his countrywomen? It is baffling.
Whawhawhat! This is from an article about feminism, on page 350:
In Europe, Newsweek writes about how packs of wolves are now making a comeback in regions of Central Europe: “A hundred years ago, a burgeoning, land-hungry population killed off the last of Germany’s wolves.” “Our postcard view of Europe, after all, is of a continent where every scrap of land has long been farmed, fenced off and settled. But the continent of the future may look rather different. “Big parts of Europe will renaturalise,” says Reiner Klingholz, head of the Berlin Institute for Population Development. Bears are back in Austria. In Swiss alpine valleys, farms have been receding and forests are growing back in. In parts of France and Germany, wildcats and ospreys have re-established their range.”
“In Italy, more than 60 percent of the country’s 2.6 million farmers are at least 65 years old. Once they die out, many of their farms will join the 6 million hectares (one third of Italian farmland) that has already been abandoned.” “With the EU alone needing about 1.6 million immigrants a year above its current level to keep the working-age population stable between now and 2050, a much more likely source of migrants would be Europe’s Muslim neighbours, whose young populations are set to almost double in that same time.” It is numbers like these that have induced Phillip Longman to foresee “the Return of Patriarchy” and proclaim that “conservatives will inherit the Earth:”
So the return of native animals to Europe is a corollary to the influx of Muslims and both indicate a return to the Patriarchy. This is some strange reasoning. Very strange.
Why does all of this matter when discussing a mass murderer’s manifesto? Well, you see, when people cannot exercise the mental clarity to reject conspiracy theory, it can lead to other problems with thinking. I don’t like slippery slope arguments in this case because who can possibly know what goes on in the human mind? It’s hard to make judgement calls like this, but in Fjordman’s case, his fuzzy and strange reasoning in accepting conspiracy theory as truth point to even fuzzier logic in other areas. And while I don’t know entirely what good it does anyone to know this, it certainly does no one any harm knowing it. At the very least, it is an interesting look into an unsteady mind. (And unsteady does not mean insane or crazy – just lacking in logic.)
Fjordman’s capacity to judge a good source is questionable at best
I often wonder if the capacity to believe in conspiracy theory is also a sign of a complete inability to weigh the validity and believability of sources. It appears at times as if the True Believer is willing to take whatever proves their belief, accepting the worst “proof” that comes their way. From pages 51-52:
Kari Vogt, historian of religion at the University of Oslo, has stated that Ibn Warraq’s book “Why I am Not a Muslim” is just as irrelevant to the study of Islam as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion are to the study of Judaism. She is widely considered as one of the leading expert on Islam in Norway, and is frequently quoted in national media on matters related to Islam and Muslim immigration. People who get most of their information from the mainstream media, which goes for the majority of the population, will thus be systematically fed biased information and half-truths about Islam from our universities, which have largely failed to uphold the ideal of free inquiry. Unfortunately, this situation is pretty similar at universities and colleges throughout the West.
You see, Ibn Warraq is an anti-Islam polemicist. Using his works as an accurate look at Islam is indeed akin to looking at Henry Ford for an accurate representation of Judaism. This is important, a common problem one will encounter time and time again with Fjordman. His willingness to accept as fact the worst sort of evidence and conspiracy theory is troubling and gives lie to all those who commend his intellectual acuity and honesty.
More willingness to accept bad evidence, from page 57:
According to Robert Spencer, “Shakespeare is just the latest paradigmatic figure of Western Christian culture to be remade in a Muslim-friendly manner.” Recently the [US] State Department asserted, without a shred of evidence, that Christopher Columbus (who in fact praised Ferdinand and Isabella for driving the Muslims out of Spain in 1492, the same year as his first visit to the Americas) was aided on his voyages by a Muslim navigator. “The state of American education is so dismal today that teachers themselves are ill-equipped to counter these historical fantasies.”
Go ahead and Google “Christopher Columbus Muslim Navigator” and see what happens. Maybe the first site offered will be a Robert Spencer pile of crap overreacting wildly to the fact that Muslims learned how to navigate the seas using astronomy? His bombastic reaction to it takes up more intellectual space than the idea itself. People managed celestial navigation across many cultures but Robert Spencer needs for there to be a large conspiracy to lie about Muslim contributions to science in order to fuel his conspiracy that Marxists are attempting to destroy the Western world by creating myths about Muslim accomplishments. For the mass of humanity, there is really no better way to understand that a fact may be bad than to know that a bigot is behind it. Taking Robert Spencer’s word on anything to do with Muslims is like asking the Grand Wizard of the KKK to explain why blacks are inferior.
You sleep with dogs, you wake with a burning hatred for Muslims, it would seem. Fjordman’s ideas are hardly unique to him and were shaped by some really crappy thinkers, whom he admires and cites in the face of all reason. From page 334:
As columnist Diana West of the Washington Times points out, we should shift from a prodemocracy offensive to an anti-sharia defensive. Calling this the War on Terror was a mistake. Baron Bodissey of the Gates of Vienna blog suggests the slogan “Take Back the Culture,” thus focusing on our internal struggle for Western culture.
I think I’ve made my utter disgust for Diana West clear by this point. Baron Bodissey is new to me but how could one not put their utter faith in a person writing with a pseudonym, or maybe he or she thinks it is a nom de guerre. Regardless, the good Baron writes for Gates of Vienna, a repellent site with an interesting tag line: “At the siege of Vienna in 1683 Islam seemed poised to overrun Christian Europe. We are in a new phase of a very old war.” Yeah, more of that siege and war language, too.
Fjordman writes an entire article praising Diana West’s ridiculous book, The Death of the Grown-Up, beginning on page 359:
According to Diana West, the organising thesis of her book “is that the unprecedented transfer of cultural authority from adults to adolescents over the past half century or so has dire implications for the survival of the Western world.” Having redirected our natural development away from adulthood and maturity in order to strike the pop-influenced
pose of eternally cool youth – ever-open, non-judgmental, self-absorbed, searching for (or just plain lacking) identity – we have fostered a society marked by these same traits. In short: Westerners live in a state of perpetual adolescence, but also with a corresponding perpetual identity crisis. West thinks maturity went out of style in the rebellious 1960s, “the biggest temper tantrum in the history of the world,” which flouted authority figures of any kind.
Diana West is a terrible thinker. Yes folks, the “rebellious 1960s” that brought the Civil Rights movement in the United States, a challenge to the status quo that finally provided women with unprecedented freedoms and minorities with the hope of safety and access, created an identity crisis resulting in a temper tantrum. Such a trivialization of the accomplishments of the 1960s is a greater indictment against her than I could levy with a million critiques. Clearly, the obvious answer to such a crisis would have been to remain in the stasis of the 1950s when dad wore a double-breasted suit to the office, mom vacuumed in heels and the kids spat on black children who wanted to come to their schools. Westerners don’t live in a state of perpetual adolescence. Rather, people like Diana West misinterpret attempts at egalitarianism with immaturity. And her vision of what the world should look like, how we should behave, deeply influenced ABB as well.
From page 334:
As Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch says, we should explain why Islam encourages despotism (because allegiance is owed the ruler as long as he is a Muslim), economic paralysis, intellectual failure (the cult of authority, the hostility to free and skeptical inquiry) in Islamic countries.
I hate to paint with such a broad brush but if you are willing to throw your beliefs in with a bigot like Robert Spencer and Jihad Watch, it’s going to be hard to take you seriously as an authority on anything but hate.
From page 625:
I have watched, for the better part of a year, a number of decent human beings including, but not limited to, Pamela Geller, Paul Belien, Diana West, the Baron and Dymphna from the Gates of Vienna blog and many others, being at the receiving end of a vicious smear campaign from Charles Johnson and Little Green Footballs which is unlike anything I have seen in my life. After engaging in an insane witch-hunt on imaginary Fascists, whose ranks seem to grow every month, Mr. Johnson now suddenly chooses to look the other way in silence when very real Fascists use violence to silence their critics in a major Western city. I admit that makes me angry, and I think I have the right to be so.
Aha! AHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, I don’t mean to mock excessively but if I had been on the fence about whether or not Charles Johnson has turned over a new leaf, separating himself from all of those “decent human beings” helped me make up my mind. Any side of the fence that permits Pamela Geller to dwell is the opposite of where I want to be morally, socially and intellectually.
Fjordman’s disgust for the modern world makes him sound like a crank
Fjordman is younger than me by a few years and yet he still sounds like a fatuous old man, harking back on the great accomplishments of old. From page 340:
Churchill’s speeches were a great inspiration to the British during WW2, but also promised that “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” Before the Battle of Britain, he delivered the immortal line, “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” How would today’s decadent and pleasure-loving Westerners react to a similar speech? I think Winston would have to re-write it to something along these lines: “We shall defend our continent, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the ice cream trucks, we shall fight on the cable TV cars, we shall fight in the Jacuzzis and the spas, we shall fight in the nail salons; we shall never surrender.”
So, Fjordman thinks that the comforts of a peaceful society have made everyone weak, decadent and just plain worthless. I believe this was written in 2007, which means Fjordman would have been in his early 30s when he typed these words. It should always be a warning when people who are this young hark back to a time when people were hungry, desperate and dying in wars as his or her inspiration for the future. But the best part of this bizarre tendency is that Fjordman does not see how he himself is a part of that which he considers craven. “We shall fight to defend our anti-Muslim websites, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the group blogs, we shall fight on our wireless routers, we shall fight with our message boards and PDF files turned into poorly selling books on Amazon, we shall fight safely knowing that most of us will write using pseudonyms, we shall never surrender.”
Take this from page 351:
“In addition to the greater fertility of conservative segments of society, the rollback of the welfare state forced by population aging and decline will give these elements an additional survival advantage.” “People will find that they need more children to insure their golden years, and they will seek to bind their children to them through inculcating
traditional religious values.”
It’s a bit terrifying, this idea that people may begin to have children as a means of ensuring they are taken care of when they are old. For those of us not in love with the idea of producing children in numbers that would make a Quiverfull adherent proud, it is an indicator of an unstable culture wherein times will be too tight to save and pensions will be unreliable. I also wonder how having to care for aging parents will affect the kids who have to house and support them. Will they have the time and financial means to have their own children? No welfare state means no health care from the government. How many kids will it take to ensure mom and dad live comfortably into their 80s and 90s and what impact will it have on their own families and financial well-being? As is stated in this manifesto, there is a dark side to every idea of utopia and this one is no different. It is not a bad idea to take care of one’s parents but it is a bad idea to toss this out there without thinking of the implications of turning the clock back 200 years.
Fjordman is completely lacking self-awareness
Let’s look at how Fjordman can see errors everywhere but never in his own mind, from 56:
It became normal to view culture from the outside, not as a mode of thought which defines our moral inheritance, but as an elaborate disguise, through which artificial powers represent themselves as natural rights. Thanks to Marx, debunking theories of culture have become a part of culture. And these theories have the structure pioneered by Marx: they identify power as the reality, and culture as the mask; they also foretell some future ‘liberation’ from the lies that have been spun by our oppressors.”
It is striking to notice that this is exactly the theme of author Dan Brown’s massive international hit The Da Vinci Code from 2003, thought to be one of the ten best-selling books of all time. In addition to being a straightforward thriller, the novel claims that the entire modern history of Christianity is a conspiracy of the Church to cover up the truth about Jesus and his marriage to Mary Magdalene.
Forgive me for being crude, but who gives a shit? What does Dan Brown’s thriller about a Christian conspiracy have to do with any of this except demonstrate that fiction often employs conspiracies as plot points? If one were to be really uncharitable, one would wonder how it is that Fjordman recognized that Dan Brown was writing conspiracy and yet failed to understand that fear of all those rabid Marxists and their horrible political correctness and those Muslims and their agenda to enslave non-Muslims is equal fodder for fictional conspiracies.
Take this page 618, as Fjordman discusses liberals:
Apparently, your worth as an intellectual is measured in how grandiose your ideas are. The greater your visions, the more dazzling your intellect is and thus the greater prestige should be awarded to you. Whether those visions actually correspond to reality and human nature is of secondary importance. In fact, many a self-proclaimed intellectual will be downright offended by the petty considerations of his more pedestrian fellow citizens, concerned with what effects his ideas will have in real life. The fact that some people could get hurt from his ideas doesn’t discourage him.
This is tragic-comic. Fjordman is criticizing those who encourage multiculturalism and has no idea he is describing himself.
More of the same from page 625, an article describing a pissing contest Fjordman had with Charles Johnson from Little Green Footballs, wherein again he fails utterly to see the irony in what he is saying, emphasis mine:
One of the reasons why hardcore anti-Semites (David Duke would be a case in point) are unreliable allies is that they hate Jews so much that it shuts down the rational parts of their brain and they end up making common cause with Muslims, based on mutual hatred. The same logic applies to hardcore anti-Europeans, of which there are many even at “conservative” websites such as LGF. They have an irrational hatred, a dark cloud in their minds which prevents them from seeing the world clearly. In a way, some LGF-ers thus have more in common with David Duke than they’d like to admit. If mindless anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism should be considered a problem then so should mindless anti-Europeanism.
Yeah, none of this could be used to describe Fjordman.
From page 675:
These days we hear so many arguments against Christianity, such as from the ‘proselytising atheists’ like Dawkins and Hitchens, and then we hear the arguments from the secular right which attack Christianity for being too pacifistic. The atheists claim that Christianity fomented violence, and that it is as militant and bloodthirsty as Islam, or in fact worse, and on the other side, we hear that Christianity is a religion of slaves, which weakens and emasculates the West. So Christianity gets it from both sides; it’s too militant, it causes wars and persecutions, and at the same time, it’s a religion that turns men into milquetoast pacifists. Does this make any sense?
Yes, it does, it is called interpretation. Neither assessment is wholly correct. Pity he could not see this where his own interpretations were concerned
Fjordman has a ridiculous victim mentality
From the chapter wherein Fjordman was explaining to women why they deserve all the rapes they brought upon themselves, on page 343:
In the big scheme of things, the truth is that European men have treated women with greater respect than the men of almost any other major civilisation on earth. And I don’t mean just in the modern age, I mean for many centuries. Yet we are the one group of men who are most demonised and attacked, whereas non-white men get treated with much greater respect. What white men see from this is that white Western women prefer men who treat them like crap, and disrespect men who treat them with respect. This isn’t exactly a smart way to behave if you want to be treated with dignity.
Oh, for the love of sanity. Is this not one of the best Nice Guy rants you’ve read in a while. Oh, the poor white men like Fjordman who just want to love and cherish the white women but they reject his niceness! They want men who treat them terribly. And all us women who are married to nice men, caring men, wonderful men look at Fjordman, this seeming twerp-man who is assigning a political motive for romantic failure with women, and know all too well what is happening. Ugh. I mean, really. Does any man with any self-awareness assign the motives of the handful of women who didn’t want to be his girlfriend to all the women around them? Can this mopey, college-aged sentiment that girls like bastards and boys like doormats or sluts really be a part of any sort of adult social discourse? Haven’t we all agreed that some men and some women are not nice people and move on to find the ones who are genuinely nice? If not, may I suggest that we all do that now. This very minute. Please?
Fjordman is unintentionally hilarious while being utterly inconsistent as he denounces all victimhood but his own. From page 346:
Western feminists have cultivated a culture of victimhood in the West, where you gain political power through your status in the victim hierarchy. In many ways, this is what Political Correctness is all about. They have also demanded, and largely got, a re-writing of the history books to address an alleged historic bias; their world view has entered the school curriculum, gained a virtual hegemony in the media and managed to portray their critics as “bigots.” They have even succeeded in changing the very language we use, to make it less offensive. Radical feminists are the vanguard of PC.
Fjordman makes it very clear that women have obtained enough power that we are able to completely diminish Western men. We demand that men stop opening doors for us and demand that men stop patting our asses, and BOOM! The Western man was so diminished he could not even act if he saw a woman being raped by a Muslim. But then in the same article he says that women are cultivating a sense of victimhood through a victim hierarchy that gives them political power. How do these two ideas fit together, that women have demeaned men through our place on the victim hierarchy? And if he is correct and white men are the victims of Islam and feminists, how come they are not ranked on the victim hierarchy? Rhetorical questions because the answer is clear – Western men are excluded from everything, lonely in their victimhood.
Also, it is curious that he finds anything wrong with changing language we use to make it less offensive. At times it seems like many people who are overreacting to things like using polite language are indeed Western men who feel that “political correctness” threatens their previously unassailable status as arbiters of social action and reaction. As an online friend once told me, “To many white men there is no greater mental blow than to know they can no longer call a black man a n****r with impunity.” It’s almost comical to consider that anyone ever would be upset because they can no longer use offensive language to whomever they want with no consequences. It’s horrifying to think that any man would feel victimized by being unable to use words that demean others.
Fjordman misuses pop culture and literature to his own strange ends
It was shocking to see many forms of media that I love filtered through his brain. The first such shock occurred when he used Josh Whedon’s Serenity to explain a point he was making about the people behind the Eurabia conspiracy. From pages 304-305:
On the little-known planet Miranda, a gas called Pax was added to the air processors. It was intended to calm the population, weed out aggression. It worked. The people stopped fighting. They also stopped doing everything else, including breeding and physical self-preservation. A small minority of the population had the opposite reaction to this pacification. Their aggression increased beyond madness, and they killed most of the others. Tens of millions of people quietly let themselves be wiped out.
Movie director Joss Whedon is careful to point out that the Alliance isn’t some evil empire, but rather a force that is largely benevolent. They meant it for the best, to create a better world, a world without sin. However, according to Whedon, “Whenever you create Utopia, you find something ugly working underneath it.”
So I guess in Fjordman’s mind he and Spencer, Bat Ye’or, Pamela Geller, Diana West, and Daniel Pipes are all browncoats? Is Fjordman Captain Tightpants? Of the bunch of them, he’s the best suited for the role. At least he compared his own fiction to another fiction. It may have been done without an ounce of self-awareness, but it’s a start.
From page 523:
I have compared Islam to the movie “The Matrix,” where people are turned into slaves by living in a make-believe reality designed to keep them in chains. In the movie, everybody who hasn’t been completely unplugged from this artificial reality is potentially an agent for the system. I have gradually come to the conclusion that this is the sanest way to view Muslims, too.
Pro-tip: This is how every person who has stumbled upon a great conspiratorial truth feels. They feel like they are in a real life version of The Matrix. This is so common that it should be seen as a clue. If you feel as if you have stumbled across a great truth that the sleeping, masses of humans are unaware of, then chances are you are dabbling in conspiracy theory. Those who discovered that the aliens shaped the Earth and enslaved humans compare their awakening to The Matrix. Those who discovered that the Jews have a plan to conquer the planet and enslave non-Jews compare their awakening to The Matrix. And on and on and on.
From page 337:
As the quote goes in the Hollywood classic “The Third Man”:
”…in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love — they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”
Some would say that’s a tad unfair to the Swiss. Switzerland has been at the forefront of many technological developments for a long time, and we could probably learn from their example with frequent referendums and direct democracy. But it’s true that European renewals can be messy stuff.
Muslims always claim that Islamic influences triggered the Renaissance. That’s not true. But maybe it will be this time. Perhaps this life-and-death struggle with Islam is precisely the slap in the face that we need to regroup and revitalise our civilisation.
Well, if that isn’t the best reason I have ever read to battle the Muslims – Europe needs to invent something better than a cuckoo clock. In this strange attempt to sell bigoted war against Muslims he needs something more than his perception that Islam is the worst thing ever to happen to Europe. He also needs to see the upside. “Hey, we engaged in a massive, pointless war based on religious bigotry but at least we can now say we are poised for another Renaissance once we regain our moral legitimacy and faith in ourselves as decent people.” Also note the hyperbolic language: “life-and-death struggle with Islam”. War, urgency. At some point Fjordman is going to have to own the nature of the language he used.
Fjordman invokes Beckett, finding parallels between the play and Europe’s current inability to find a great leader, from page 339:
I once had the pleasure of watching the absurdist theatre play called “Waiting for Godot,” by Samuel Beckett. Two men called Vladimir and Estragon sit around waiting for a man named Godot. Mr. Godot never shows up, of course. It is years ago now, but for some reason, I remembered it recently when watching the political situation in Europe.
He goes on to say, on page 340:
We complain about weak leaders, but maybe we keep producing weak leaders because we, as a people, are weak? And if we finally find a Churchill, will the press rip him apart for whatever flaw they can find? Could the real Churchill have been elected today, or would the media eat him alive because of his heavy drinking and replace him with a slick boy scout? And if a strong leader steps forward, will he have a democratic mindset or will he have a darker agenda? Churchill certainly understood Islam.
And he goes on to quote some of Churchill’s most virulent objections to Islam. Would it have been horrible had Churchill not been elected as Prime Minister decades ago? You bet. The world was an utterly different place then, socially, culturally and technologically. But the fact is the world is different now, much to the consternation of men like Fjordman and no, the world does not now need a drunk religious bigot running the UK. Full stop. Yes, Churchill would be ripped apart were he running for office today and we can all debate whether or not that is a good thing. He was the man his country needed the moment they needed him but that does not extrapolate into him being the leader we need now unless you are person yearning to return to the past.
But this Beckett play does not illustrate that point, that we get the leaders we deserve. Get ten people who have read Beckett in a room and you will have at least nine opinions about what the play is about . The situation in Europe is not an existentialist play wherein people are blinded by the banality of their lives to the point that all activity is a passive, recursive search for that which they cannot recognize. Europe is a place that has made its needs known, regardless of how much Fjordman wants to believe the Eurabia theory and how he thinks everyone is deluded but him and his cadre of the Chosen Ones in the Know. Rather, Europeans protest, they react, they riot and given the multi-party systems in some countries, have a very malleable government that changes according to the will of the people. Europe is not Vladimir and Estragon made large, a passive, stupid group of people awaiting a salvation they would not be able to recognize were it to come. The European people have chosen the government they want. Beckett’s blank slate of a play can be used to represent almost any idea, but I have to say it cannot be used as an allegory for a continent that does, in fact, react politically.
It’s just that all those people who are reacting politically are doing it wrong, in Fjordman’s eyes. Not to diminish Churchill, for he was far more than the sum of his moral and physical failures, but rest assured, if the Europeans wanted a drunk Islamaphobe running their respective countries, they are not in such an existential quagmire that they could not find the man or woman who suited their needs.
And now I get to be all kinds of pissed off. Shit just got real. Fjordman invoked Wilfred Owen. For those who are new readers, I am not a woman given to much love for poetry. Rather, there are a few poets whom I absolutely love. Cummings, Tennyson, Hopkins and others, but I truly adore poor, doomed, brilliant Wilfred Owen. From the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” a line will stay with me until I die: “As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.” This image haunts me. Fjordman quotes from the poem “Anthem for a Doomed Youth” on page 341:
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
-Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
I can understand why Wilfred Owen felt that war was futile, rotting away in the trenches for some cause he didn’t even understand. But it isn’t true that war is worse than everything. Sharia is worse than war.
How can anyone read a poem like this and not quail from war? How can a man, who by his own admission lived under the “Pax Americana,” know a thing about war? How can he know a thing about living under sharia? How can he, from his perspective as a man who has lived a life of comfort and peace, say that something he hasn’t even experienced is worse than war, which he also has not experienced? How can he think he knows better than a man whose words survived his wretched death in the trenches.
My disgust at invoking the name of Wilfred Owen in this wretched mess is only matched by my disgust for those who, after reading the above, wherein Fjordman says there are worse things than war, that sharia is worse than war, will still maintain he never once used violent rhetoric. This passage is a call to arms, full stop. It is not a call to political action. It is a refutation of the idea that war is horrible, an urging to see sharia, which does not exist in Norway, as something to go to war over. The idea is as clear as the words he uses to express the idea and to claim this is not a direct exhortation for war is a refusal to read and comprehend. I just wish he had found a jingoistic poet to back his war-lust.
And just when I thought he couldn’t make me any angrier, Fjordman proves me wrong on page 347:
The English author Fay Weldon has noted that “For women, there is something sexually very alluring about submission.” And as Hedegaard dryly notes, if submission is what many women seek, the feminised Danish men are boring compared to desert sheikhs who won’t allow you to go outside without permission. Muslims like to point out that there are more women than men in the West who convert to Islam, and this is in fact partly true. Islam means “submission.” Is there something about submission that is more appealing to some women than it is to most men? Do women yield more easily to power?
Oh man, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: I know a lot more about Fay Weldon and what she thinks about sexual submission than Fjordman does. Fay Weldon writes about the complexities of human relationships and some of her characters are submissive to brutal men. Some are not. Some are ardent feminists. Some are not. And it’s hard to know where Weldon stands herself in these matters, as she has not lived a life that can be easily summed up by assigning social and sexual labels to it. But in her writings, the female characters live varied lives. Older women look back at the feminist struggles and wince at some of the thing, they did. Some don’t. Younger characters who have always known freedom never hark back. But the context is and always has been that women’s lives are their own, regardless of how they relate to men.
I cannot even determine what book or interview Fjordman took this quote from. I don’t have Weldon’s books memorized and a Google shows me that the only place this quote evidently appears online is in Fjordman’s rant, reproduced over and over across the web. Google the quote yourself if you doubt me. This is more evidence of Fjordman’s cherry-picking because while I have no doubt Weldon said what he attributes to her, Weldon has also said things like, “Men are irrelevant.” She also said, “We shelter children for a time; we live side by side with men; and that is all. We owe them nothing, and are owed nothing. I think we owe our friends more, especially our female friends.” Pity Fjordman has clearly never read her books. She could have taught him a lot.
Moreover, as anyone who has any knowledge of human sexuality will tell you, don’t confuse sexual submission with social submission. It’s a childish mistake Fjordman is making, conflating the two. And finally, Islam means “voluntary submission to Allah.” The religion’s name has nothing to do with female sexual submission. But that aside, I implore Fjordman to never again invoke the name of any author in an attempt to subvert their meaning, as he did with Owen, or without understanding their body of work, as he did with Weldon.
Then, as if invoking the name of Fay Weldon was not enough to irritate me into a near-tiger like ferocity, he utterly misses the point of Virginia Woolf. From page 348-9:
Virginia Woolf in her book A Room of One’s Own praises the genius of William Shakespeare: “If ever a human being got his work expressed completely, it was Shakespeare. If ever a mind was incandescent, unimpeded, I thought, turning again to the bookcase, it was Shakespeare’s mind.” “Let me imagine, since facts are so hard to come by, what would have happened had Shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister, called Judith, let us say.” “His extraordinarily gifted sister, let us suppose, remained at home. She was as adventurous, as imaginative, as agog to see the world as he was. But she was not sent to school. She had no chance of learning grammar and logic, let alone of reading Horace and Virgil.” She “killed herself one winter’s night and lies buried at some cross–roads where the omnibuses now stop outside the Elephant and Castle.”
Feminists claim that the reason why women haven’t been as numerous in politics and science as men is due to male oppression of women. Some of this is true. But it is not the whole story. Being male means having to prove something, to achieve something, in a greater way than it does for women. In addition to this, the responsibility for child rearing will always fall more heavily on women than on men. A modern society may lessen these restraints, but it will never remove them completely. For these practical reasons, it is unlikely that women will ever be as numerous as men in politics or in the highest level in business.
On this one, I am going to give Fjordman some leeway because he is not being wholly repellent. But the tragedy of Shakepeare’s sister is not that she simply had children to raise or dithered about, trying to be some Superwoman. Rather, the point Woolf is making is that women are indeed the equals of men but have for centuries faced an impenetrable stonewall preventing access. Much happened to Judith before she killed herself as she tried so hard to have the benefits of a life men took as their right from birth. Women want the right to achieve something, to prove themselves and indeed it was male oppression of women that prevented that from happening for Judith. Whether or not it is unlikely that women will ever be as numerous as men in business and politics, it still remains a sad fact that unless one has access to the things that many men have had – education, quiet to think, money to support one’s self independent of marriage or inheritance – women won’t even have a chance to try. (And interestingly, if Fjordman wants another viewpoint, Fay Weldon’s protagonist says in her novel Chalcot Crescent that women don’t need a room of one’s own to write – she needs the pressure of the bills coming through the mailbox. So her narrator writes successful novels, pen on paper, perched on the staircase as her family rushes about her. In the middle of chaos, she creates and makes more money than the men who sponge off her and condemn her for not creating art that achieves the lofty standards men have set. The subtext is, of course, that even if a woman accomplishes great feats while still maintaining the status quo, while following the rules, men will still find a way to rebuke her.)
Just some miscellaneous things I want to mention
Next are some passages that are freaky in retrospect, like this statement that sort of smacks the reader in the face now that we know more about the attacks and ABB’s frame of mind. From page 517:
Muhammad Atta was named by the FBI as the pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was also a student in Germany, where he was described as quiet, polite and inconspicuous. This strategy of using religious deception, smiling to the infidels while plotting to kill them, has become a common feature of many would-be Jihadists in the West.
If this doesn’t describe ABB perfectly… Polite, inconspicuous, smiling at the people he planned to kill.
Also a relatively innocuous passage that I think needs to be discussed because it influenced ABB. From page 361:
I sometimes wonder whether the modern West, and Western Europe in particular, should be dubbed the Fatherless Civilisation. Fathers have been turned into a caricature and there is a striking demonisation of traditional male values. Any person attempting to enforce rules and authority, a traditional male preserve, is seen as a Fascist and ridiculed, starting with God the Father. We end up with a society of vague fathers who can be replaced at the whim of the mothers at any given moment. Even the mothers have largely abdicated, leaving the upbringing of children to schools, kindergartens and television. In fashion and lifestyle, mothers imitate their daughters, not vice versa.
ABB’s daddy issues permeate his part of his manifesto. And again, Fjordman was just postulating and could have had no idea how directly his words would relate to ABB’s mind. But Fjordman’s negative opinions about women (who file for divorces) and his desire to hark back to Diana West’s starched white petticoat of a past had to have resonated deeply with ABB. It almost makes me wonder if Fjordman’s misogyny and a desire to go back 60 years in the past played a role in ABB declaring him one of the most important writers in the blogosphere. While anti-Islamic thought played a large role in ABB’s rampage, misogyny also played a large role. More on that when I post about Anders Behring Breivik next week.
At this point, all I am doing is sharing with people who don’t have the time (and some may say masochism) to slog through 1500+ pages of murderous manifesto the ideas that can only be pulled out if one reads every word. In a strange way, I think reading this humanized Fjordman because he is really no different than anyone else who believes a conspiracy theory. He’s no different than many white Nice Guys who are so blinded by hate and sadness that he cannot make sense sometimes. He’s full of the same beliefs and prejudices that are common to the American Tea Party. And while he talked a big game online, he didn’t mean for any of this to happen. Is this a referendum on the use of overblown, violent rhetoric? Is it an attempt to pull virulent ideas out into the disinfecting sunlight? I don’t really know. I just like writing about strange books, strange people, strange ideas. The only end result I see from all of this writing is that Fjordman is so very, very common and so very, very human.
Next week, Tuesday probably, I will post my first of two discussions about Anders Behring Breivik. The first will discuss his plans both for the attack and for Europe post-Islam-expulsion. The second will just be a look the portrait his words paint of him. Hopefully my slog through 2083 will provide some looks at the face of political violence and domestic terrorism that the media missed in their rush to call him a Nazi, right-wing Christian.