This appeared as a comment on a TOO article but has general interest. Ed.
I think many here have misunderstood why European nationalist parties have taken this much of the Zionist and neo-conservative position to heart. Firstly, ethnic nationalism is more or less failed for the moment – but may not be so in the near future, because the elites are losing power.
But for the moment there are very few successful ethnic nationalist parties in Europe. Those who have succeeded to some extent are the French National Front [which has taken a cultural position. Ed.], the British National Party (BNP) and possibly a couple of parties in Eastern Europe, such as Jobbik in Hungary and Ataka in Bulgaria.
Today, BNP has lost what had been gained in recent years, maybe because of internal struggles but also because they never took the important step of “cleaning” itself from its history and therefore could not get access to middle class professionals. The situation has long been desperate for many nationalist parties.
So how could you make progress? Well, these “cultural-nationalist” parties studied the political climate and made the assessment that no one can achieve any progress if they do not adapt to the prevailing norms, which are mediated by the elite. The first thing they did was to “wash off” their history and rid themselves of those members who first built the parties. People with criminal backgrounds, a history of neo-Nazism, all religious radicals and conspiracy theorists had to leave the parties.
Those parties who were most successful at this were also the most successful in elections. After the Islamic terror attacks of 2001 these nationalist parties saw their chance to enter the establishment’s institutions.
It was then that the so called “Islam Criticism” entered the established nationalist parties. This provided several advantages in particular with the media. First, one could point out that Islam was a religion and there was no intention to convey a racist agenda. It was all about values, nothing else. Secondly, Muslims in Europe are not very popular among voters. Assyrians, Gypsies and Blacks aren’t popular either, but since immigration has been primarily Muslim, they have become a media and public symbol of the multicultural and multiethnic society. It also “sounds” better, because critics of Islam cannot be connected to racialism. The best thing is that you can form alliances with some immigrants that in other cases would not touch the party.
Thirdly, there are many political advantages in defending Israel while criticizing Islam. The support for Israel gives in some cases some media legitimacy. No one could call them “Nazis” if they supported Israel. Criticism of Islam in turn gave the opportunity to play on the moral plane and thus criticize the establishment’s ignoring female oppression in Muslim communities. Fourth, it gives some help in networking with a few respected actors in society. Sadly it also comes with a price if your “new friends” have a sinister agenda. Nevertheless, this tactic has been very successful until now.
In the Nordic countries there is only one party with a background as an ethno-nationalist party and it is the Sweden Democrats. Sweden Democrats left ethno-nationalism somewhere between 1999 and 2001 and gave it all up in 2005. But some of the racial ideology exists but very hidden and imbedded in their political thought.
The Progressive Party in Norway, where Breivik was a member, began as a libertarian populist party. Elites, however, are not especially sympathetic towards the Progressive Party.
The Progressive Party in turn is also not sympathetic to the other “nationalist” parties in the Nordic countries. In particular, they are not fond of the Sweden Democrats. The Norwegian Progress Party has also an ambivalent relationship with the True Finns and the Danish People’s Party.
Even if they do not have an explicit ethno-nationalist background, though, they are much more rooted in historical Scandinavian nationalism, that is, ethnic nationalism.
The Progress Party, Danish Liberal Party, the True Finns and Sweden Democrats have gained much from engaging in the politics of criticism of Islam. This strategy has opened many doors previously closed. In particular, the Sweden Democrats were getting more and more support in some parts of the mainstream “conservative” establishment just before this act of terrorism. Had not this attack happened – they would likely increase even more in both popularity and power.
For the moment the Progress Party has 22.9 percent of voters, the True Finns, 19 percent, Danish People Party 13.8 percent and Sweden Democrats 5.7 percent. Because of their high support they are all politically powerful, but they have very little influence over the discourse in media.
But now they are all in trouble. The Nordic media do not emphasize their support for terrorist Zionism or their philo-Semitism. They focus on their criticism of Islam and use this against them in a more effective way than ever.
All these parties have attracted many people from the Zionist, neo-conservatives and the Islam-hating factions; most of them come from middle class backgrounds. They have loved this because this strategy has helped them to attract middle class voters.
The only problem is that these individuals now refuse to sit still in the boat. Even in an event like this, they continue to rabidly twittering and blogging about “Islamic evil.”
The Swedish media has polarized the incident to the extreme, so that what the Sweden Democrats had won in their first year in parliament has been lost in a week.
Had Sweden Democrats instead continued with the cultural nationalism line and implicit ethnic nationalism the situation would have been different. The media have learned to tell the difference between ethnic nationalists and cultural nationalists.
The media are also beginning to understand how they should argue against the Swedish Democrats, but this would not have been possible without the terrorist event. The primary argument of the cultural nationalists has been that Islam is incompatible with Enlightenment principles and therefore immigration from Muslim countries should be limited. Now the media says that the “cultural nationalists”, because of this deed, do not stand for Enlightenment principles.
This was exactly the deed that was needed for a media victory against the cultural nationalists. The cultural nationalists used a false argument and now the media use a false argument against them that actually sticks, because they have somewhere to point.
Luckily, the cultural nationalists have created (with its existence) some debate in the libertarian-conservative media about multiculturalism. Many bourgeois politicians and journalists are using Islam as a tool to demonstrate Israel’s excellence and justify the wars in the Middle East.
They do not like this event either for tactical reasons and they do not want to go back to the “old debate”, but they deny anything is wrong with multiculturalism and they argue that non-liberal values justify Muslim immigrations. But as Kevin MacDonald notes – it is all about making the Muslims more liberal.
The worst media propaganda is in Sweden. In particular, since the Sweden Democrats have not managed to get into a partnership with the other parties. This means that the Swedish media (they are worst of all the elite in Sweden) has been able to throw dirt on them easily and have come up with the most ludicrous accusations, which the Norwegian, Finnish or Danish media cannot do.
Right now there is in any case chaos in all these cultural nationalist parties in all Nordic countries. After the Progress Party in Norway, the Sweden Democrats are perhaps in the most chaos.
Partly because the media talks about them all the time, they get invited on TV, where they’re accused of being jointly responsible for the attack because they created an “Islamophobic” debate.
On the other hand, the Swedish Democrats deserve it. The Sweden Democrats’ press officer tried to make politics of this attack – just an hour after it was reported, condemning it as an Islamic attack. But of course it was not an Islamic attack.
Had they been right, it would have been a great propaganda victory – but instead it became a major disaster. Because the party leadership had legitimized this kind of rhetoric, they created a story, propagated especially among local politicians, to the effect that multiculturalism and Islam had driven this madman mad. Although it might not be completely wrong, it’s bad political rhetoric in a situation where the media is extremely hostile.
In a few months we will see the results of this in the Scandinavian press. The most important thing is that all the cultural nationalist parties in all Nordic countries tone down their anti-Islam rhetoric and take some steps away from the counter-Jihad movement. Unfortunately, they have too many sticks in the fire. Sadly, some of their more radical Islam-bashing politicians do not seem to understand that they should take it easy.
This can be applied especially to a Jewish member of the Swedish Democrats and is also a leading MP for them. The Grassroots scream that the highest executive authority of the party should ask him to be a bit more pragmatic, but this MP does not seem to listen.
Some Swedish Democrats have also raised the issue of going back to their roots and defend “cultural nationalism” and the indigenous people’s rights rather than to speak about Islam. Unfortunately, no one is listening to them now.