Shame and Fear–The two Emotions of White Self-Destruction

A correspondent from the UK recently wrote:

I am still very fearful and very programmed…to the extent that I still cannot stomach supporting outfits like the British National Party (I’m English). I’m not saying this to you as a criticism of the BNP, but as a psychological point in that, I am totally committed to a lifetime of fighting for our cause. I see it. I’ve seen it all. But so intensive has the propaganda been in my own country about parties acting there, that I am still, sort of, compartmentalized….in that if my mind turns to the BNP I start feeling shame and fear. Shame for thinking ‘fascist’ thoughts, and fear for being found out.

Fear and shame. Fear because of the very real threat that people who publicly support organizations like the BNP or ideas linked with them will be victimized by losing their jobs, their families, their friends, and their place in the world. And shame–the emotion that wells up because so many of us have internalized attitudes of guilt about having a racial identity or pursuing (entirely legitimate) racial/ethnic interests. It’s a problem that seems especially acute for White people: We tend to create moral/ideological communities where the ingroup is defined in moral terms. To violate these norms is to remove oneself from one’s social moorings–evolutionary death in the environments we evolved in.

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My impression from corresponding with nationalists from Nordic countries is that the same emotions of fear and shame predominate in the aftermath of the Breivik massacre. There is a concerted effort in the media to inculcate shame for being associated with his ideas. There is also fear because the media is hounding people associated with nationalist parties in an effort to link them or their ideas with Breivik–a public punishment quite like being put in the stocks in Puritan Massachusetts: on display for all to see. And for the nationalists there is a special emotion of grief for lost co-ethnics–an emotion not likely to be found among their opponents; as people who love their own people, they are deeply distressed because they see many of the victims as brothers with different political beliefs.

The following video illustrates the media tactic of associating Breivik with the “far right” and with Nazism in the context of a discussion of the annual Waffen SS reunion in Estonia (~2:30). The idea is that Breivik’s slaughter “shows just how dangerous these ideas remain”–a clear attempt to link the increasingly powerful “far right” with Nazism and with Breivik.

The links among Breivik, contemporary European nationalist political parties, and Nazism are pretty much entirely a creation of the media. These parties have uniformly condemned Breivik and National Socialism; they have eschewed racialist rhetoric in favor of cultural arguments, and many have done their best to be seen as philo-Semitic. But it remains a very effective tactic–effective even among people who have “spent a lifetime fighting for the cause.” The media remains a very powerful source for defining the boundaries of the  moral ingroup. It’s very difficult to escape its influence–even when rationally aware that what one is advocating is entirely morally and intellectually defensible.

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