Posted on September 3rd, 2012 | Filed under Challenges, Community, News, Popular Culture, Social Issues
Tagged with Adolf Hitler, America, Anders Breivik, Anti-Christ, Christ, Death, evil, Extremism, Fascism, forgiveness, Franklin Roosevelt, freedom, Fundamentalism, Germany, Greece, Harry Potter, Hate, Immortality, Israel, justice, love, Murder, Nationalism, Nazi, norway, united nations, Voldemort, Zion
At the end of the Second World War, people all around rejoiced at the World changing form. Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany had been defeated. The Allies had won the War against the Axis of Evil. The failed League of Nations was transforming into a broader vision called the United Nations. From 1933 to 1945 there had been a War between Darkness and Light. It appeared that Evil had been vanquished. We were to be free from the Fear of this tremendous villain. His armies, pushed to the edges of the Earth, rounded up for judgment. His ideas had been cast to the void, urged never to return. It appeared the Light once and for all shone through the Darkness.
Appearances can be deceiving. There is Evil Rising from where we tried to bury it.
On 22 July 2011, Anders Behring Breivik (b. 13 Feb 1979) orchestrated a terrorist bomb-plot in his hometown of Oslo, Norway resulting in 8 deaths. This fatal explosion would have been bad enough on its own but, simultaneously, he went to a camp for Norway's Workers' Youth League of their Labour Party and murdered 69 people, mostly teens.
Why did Anders commit the greatest of all mass murders in our modern era? It is because of the changes he sees. Everywhere around him, foreign cultural forces like Islam are changing the political landscape around him, introducing other communities. No longer is Norway the same religious nation it was in the past. He sees a rapid decline in the moral fiber of his nation and he thinks it is largely to do with foreign forces. Cultural Marxism, Islam, and various fringes or sympathizers have decayed an idealized Norway of the past which he must now defend for the future. Is he wrong? Since then, Norway has abandoned Anders's own Church, the Church of Norway. The changes Anders observes are very real.
This event has little to do with Nazi Germany or Adolf Hitler in any direct way. The institution of Adolf Hitler was destroyed at the end of the Second World War, but the ideology seems to remain. The myth of Aryan supremacy, in its ideological, economic, and cultural manifestations, never left. It just went underground. Hitler's struggle, where the Aryan is compromised on all sides by barbarian foreign hordes, and needing defending from impurity, is alive this very day.
Anders' struggle is the same as Hitler's. He believes, truly, with his heart of hearts, that European culture has a privilege in the World. Or, at minimum, it has a privilege in the Caucasian-majority nations. Anders and Hitler do not agree on everything. For one, Anders is allegedly positive towards Zionism. Also, Anders is explicitly Christian, whereas Hitler's religion is largely contested. Beyond this, the entire Nazi Empire's approach to religion is vastly different than that of modern day Norway. However, Anders and Hitler do seem to agree that the culture is threatened by foreign and hostile forces. They both believe what they did was right. "I did this out of goodness, not Evil," Breivik said. "I acted in self-defense on behalf of my people, my city, my country."
The financial crisis in the European Union has also set off extreme measures. Austerity debates have lately been focused around two competing visions of the future: the examples of Greece and Germany. How does Europe move from here? Divided or United? There are compelling cases on both sides. Poverty, unemployment, and massive debt are big problems in the European Union. Their manifestation, however, is mostly geographical.
The burden of debt, and as a result poverty and unemployment, comes largely from Greece. Germany is one of Europe's strongest economies. It includes globally competitive producers with a strong middle class. Their population is split on what to do about Greece. They are sympathetic to the plight of Greece but, of course, do not want to pay for it. Why would they? Even Greeks are split on the deal. Many want a financial bailout, but there is a strong force rising calling for extreme austerity measures: The Golden Dawn.
On 6 May 2012, the Golden Dawn claimed 7% of the Greek Parliament. The Golden Dawn itself is merely a political organization rallied around the idea of Austerity. But the actual manifestation in the country has had much more of an impact than simply an ideological or economic position. There have been numerous attacks on minorities of all kinds, including religious, economic, ethnic, and gendered, all allegedly related to the Golden Dawn. According to The Independent's Laurie Penny these extremists have in the recent weeks issued flyers in the gay clubbing district of Athens saying, "after the immigrants, you're next."
The Golden Dawn has had many parallels drawn to Nazism, Fascism, or any form of White Supremacy or Nationalism. In their defense, it has been suggested that this is extreme branding and that while some members may hold radical ideologies, it does not represent the fullness of the group or the idea of Austerity. Penny argues further: it is not merely rhetoric to draw parallels with Nazism. In fact, "actual fascists in actual black shirts are waving swastikas and murdering ethnic minorities in Athens." What is going on in Greece?
Actually, it is the same thing that is going on in Germany.
On 14 August 2012 we saw the Rise of the Immortals. A flash-mob orchestrated by social media blitzed Bauzen, Germany on May Day 2012. They carried torches and wore white masks allegedly in remembrance of torch rallies of the Third Reich. They are openly sympathetic to Nazism and carry with them extremist nationalistic signs and slogans. The clips reported in August's news cycle ended with the saying, "make your short life Immortal."
Tensions are running high in Germany. Higher than you might think. On 04 June, a couple months back, a Muslim man beheaded his wife on his roof-top while screaming "Allahu Akbar." Just a month after this, the unrelated circumcision ban set off a religious controversy, deeming the new law in Germany to be an attack on religious freedom. The Guardian's Giles Fraser says it is an affront to Jewish and Muslim identity. He believes the "German court has rejected identity and history in favor of a liberal concept of choice, but there's more to right and wrong." This debate is still raging on and is not settled, one Jewish group says a ban on circumcision would be "dangerous". On 31 August, no more than a few days ago, a group of what is suspected to be Arab men attacked a Rabbi in broad daylight, brutally beating him. This reduction of events can hardly even begin to describe the complexities.
Though these are all unrelated events, the happenings themselves are symptoms of a broader problem--culture clinging on to its traditional identity in the midst of change. Anders has rightly observed the changes around him. In his Manifesto Anders predicts there will be War between Nationalists and Internationalists in our near future. This brand of hatred is not limited to Nazis in Greece or Germany or Muslim extremists or even to the character of Anders Breivik. It is everywhere. There is Evil Rising from where we tried to bury it.
On 06 January 1941, American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave what is commonly known as the Four Freedoms speech. He says every individual everywhere in the world ought to enjoy four particular freedoms: Freedom of Expression and Belief as well as Freedom from Want and Fear. This set of freedoms is without distinction of class or creed, race or nation. It later became the basis for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the United Nations, which claims to uphold the virtue of Freedom globally.
From the time Adolf Hitler and Franklin Roosevelt both assumed office in 1933, to the time they both died in 1945, the War between Light and Darkness raged onward. The Master Race of Men against the Nation of Mongrels. The Empire of Love against the Empire of Hate.
Of course it is not actually this Black and White, but in our mythic history, it can seem this way. The Second World War's end culminated in the creation of the United Nations and the founding of Zion, the state of Israel. Global borders were redrawn and wealth, power, and populations were greatly shifted. It was thought Israel should be founded in response to Hitler's Holocaust against Jews. This was to be some atonement for the Evil endured.
Remember this much, it is not gone. The spirit of Hatred is Rising every day. We cannot allow the Grammar of Hell to return in its full form. Evil can only be stopped when it is acknowledged and named. In Harry Potter it was the denial of HIM which allowed for his manifestation in the Shadows. It was the belief he had been defeated. Potter named Voldemort and announced his return even when few realized the Reality.
Let us do what we can. Let us prove Anders wrong. Just because the times are changing against our will does not mean we should Hate. Anders seeks to provoke our Hatred but we remember Adolf Hitler was wrong in the first place. We do not need World War to prove once and for all that Hate belongs in Hell. Never Forget. Never Again.
On 24 August 2012 an amazing thing happened. In exchange for the total 77 souls Anders took from this Earth, he was judged sane and given 21 years in prison. Though controversial, this is being heralded as a "victory for the Rule of Law." Norway chose to Love Anders rather than Hate him. They want to understand Anders and offer him another path. They act to maintain the Freedom from Fear. In Remembrance of our Labourers murdered by Anders Breivik, let us do what he could not: Love Our Enemies. It is the Law.
This is the only way Light will shine in the Darkness. This will make your short life Immortal.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.