Sunday, July 31, 2011

Breivik and "totalitarian democrats"

There are those that seek to silence conservative thinkers by making a criminal connection between [their] writings and the acts of a terrorist.

Last Friday morning, Anders Breivik burst onto the international screen when he carried out a monstrous act of terrorism against his fellow Norwegians. Breivik bombed the offices housing the Norwegian government with the intention of murdering its leaders. He then traveled to the Utoeya Island and murdered scores of young people participating in a summer program sponsored by Norway’s ruling party.

... Norwegian and Western media have focused...on ...a 1,500-page manifesto that Breivik posted on the Internet. ...certain parts of Breivik’s manifesto read like a source guide to leading conservative writers and bloggers in the Western world. ...[some blame] the ideas propounded by conservative thinkers and the thinkers themselves for Breivik’s heinous acts of murder.

For instance, a front-page news story in the Times on Monday claimed, “The man accused of the killing spree in Norway was deeply influenced by a small group of American bloggers and writers who have warned for years about the threat from Islam.” The reporter, Scott Shane.. quoted left-leaning terrorism expert Marc Sageman who alleged that that the writings of anti-jihad authors “are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.”

That is, Shane quoted Sageman accusing these writers of responsibility for Breivik’s acts of murder. is worth considering what separates liberal democracies from what the great Israeli historian Jacob Talmon referred to as totalitarian democracies.

... liberal democracies reject the resort to violence as a means of winning an argument. This is why, for liberal democracies, terrorism in all forms is absolutely unacceptable.

...As Talmon explained in his 1952 classic, The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy, the totalitarian democratic model was envisioned by Jean- Jacques Rousseau, the philosophical godfather of the French Revolution. Rousseau believed that a group of anointed leaders could push a society towards perfection by essentially coercing the people to accept their view of right and wrong.

Talmon drew a direct line between Rousseau and the totalitarian movements of the 20th century – Nazism, fascism and communism.

Today, those who seek to silence conservative thinkers by making a criminal connection between [their] writings and the acts of a terrorist are doing so in pursuit of patently illiberal ends, to say the least. If they can convince the public that [
conservative] ideas cause the mass murder of children, then [their] voices will be silenced.

Another aspect of the same anti-liberal behavior is the tendency by many to pick and choose which sorts of terrorism are acceptable and which are unacceptable...

... Ma’ariv asked [Norwegian Ambassador to Israel Svein] Sevje whether in the wake of Breivik’s terrorist attack Norwegians would be more sympathetic to the victimization of innocent Israelis by Palestinian terrorists.

Sevje said no, and explained, “We Norwegians view the occupation as the reason for terror against Israel. Many Norwegians still see the occupation as the reason for attacks against Israel. Whoever thinks this way, will not change his mind as a result of the attack in Oslo.”

So in the mind of the illiberal Norwegians... it is unacceptable for Breivik to murder Norwegian children, because his ideology is wrong. But it is acceptable for Palestinians to murder Israeli children, because their ideology is right.

...attempts to link conservative writers, politicians and philosophers with [terrorism] are nothing new. The same thing happened in 1995, when [some]
tried to blame rabbis and politicians for the sociopathic Yigal Amir’s assassination of then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. The same thing happened in the US last summer with ... insistent attempts to link the psychotic Jared Loughner, who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her constituents, with Gov. Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

...this tendency ...endangers the future of liberal democracies...
Post a Comment