Anders Behring Breivik: when an enemy of your enemy is your enemy

ONE MIGHT hope a journalist working for a media outlet under the “Christian Science Monitor” brand would gloss the Knight’s Templar, but in this case the hope would be misplaced:

[Anders Behring Breivik’s] manifesto says he is among 12 “knights” fighting within a dozen regions in Europe and the US, but not India. It’s not known yet whether this group, which he calls the Knights Templar Europe, actually exists.

Of course, a Knights Templar did exist in Europe, and they rather made a name for themselves during the Crusades of the Middle Ages. The reason I begin here is that Andrew Berwick — or as I suppose he will now forever be known, Anders Behring Breivik — begins there also. His 1,500-page “manifesto” bears a Knight’s Templar motto on its frontispiece: “Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici”, or “The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon.” If you detect the aroma of the secret-society in this, let me remind you that the Freemasons (historically anti-pathetic to Christianity) liberally appropriated the symbols of the Knights as well. It’s an old business, this cult stuff.

I haven’t read the entire “manifesto” of this paranoid also-known-as (a work which includes a Questions and Answer section focused on, among other things the sexual proclivities and escapades of the author, and the last eight pages of which are clearly media-ready photos), and I expect I never will. The lowlife shit killed a good many people as a cheap marketing trick to get you and me to read it, and I suppose in that sense he is victorious. But then we were all meant to rally around his ugly cause, and today the only consolation I have in this depressing and disgusting matter is that we have not. And how good for us, in every sense, that is.

I have read enough however that I can share with you the following. The man is a medieval Holy War nostalgist and a Catholic extremist who admires Serge Trifkovic and who, if he could meet two famous persons, chooses the Pope and Vladimir Putin. (This is covered in the Q & A. The choice of Pope requires no gloss, and of Putin I’ll observe only that the recent resurgence of the Russian Orthodox Catholic Church is tied to Putin’s immediate political ambitions: both point to a probable entrenchment of authoritarianism in Russia’s near future.) I’ve written about Trifkovic’s dirty work elsewhere, and so I won’t rehearse it here.

If I had to summarize what I’ve read of this document, I suppose I would say that it is the usual stuff of the Catholic far-right: atavistic, anti-modern, hateful above all else for Bolshevism/Marxism and liberalism. The only thing that distinguishes this writing from the typical Catholic far-right diatribe, say for instance of the Weimar Republic, is the scrupulous avoidance of anything that may be construed as anti-Semitic. (Mein Kampf comes up, but only to make the point that Goebbels’ propaganda techniques are today being employed by the multiculturalists. Glenn Beck will be pleased.) But then, in the present instance one might observe the adage that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. The Islamic menace has had the curious effect of reconciling the Christian proto-fascist and his historical scapegoat, the Jew. Do not be misled however by the character of the former in this new political sleeping arrangement.

Today I submitted myself to a thought experiment. If Berwick’s/Breivik’s war arrives and in the form for which he has committed mass murder, whose side will I be on? I don’t want to be on either. Precisely the things I hate about jihadism I hate also about Andrew Berwick’s holy war fetishes and the thinly veiled authoritarianism of those who today apologize on his behalf. By “apologize” I mean those who deplore his methods only to then say “he has a point.” If you crawl even a bit into his head, however, you see that you can’t pick and choose so languidly: the disease of his worldview is down to the bone.

The idea, as well as the practice, of international solidarity means something to me. It’s especially discouraging therefore to apprehend Berwick’s appeal to, for example, Hindutva chauvinism. Among the very worst of the world’s bigotries, Hindu right-wing nationalism is as dangerous to India’s secular democracy (hence its security and well-being) as are Islam-derived terrorist ideologies. Now that the labour-progressive left has abandoned the field, into the void has stepped the cry for war: against multiculturalism, feminism, softness, liberalism, and tolerance. The enemies of these are Breivik’s friends, but note that Al-Qeada is against them too, which rather makes of this fellow a goddam fool, in my opinion. We don’t need the disease, and we don’t need his presumed cure either. We need actively to resist and repel violence, hate and chauvinism in all its forms. This is the work of the like-minded, among whom are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, Hindus and so many more.

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