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The much bemoaned rise of the extreme right in Europe is actually very easy to explain. The mass-influx of Muslims, most of them unwilling to integrate into Western cultures, has provoked a completely natural reaction. People want control over their borders again. It’s as simple as that.
With that said, some people are – as the media claims – using the present crisis to promote darker or more radical visions for the future. I’m talking here specifically of fascists.
By using this word I do not refer to those mainstream conservative figures unjustly defamed as ‘fascists’ by the liberal press. I’m not talking about Bill O’Reilly or Nigel Farage. I mean real, honest, self-declared fascists; people who see virtue and worth in the fascist movements of the past.
We are compelled, even commanded, to oppose fascism outright. Fascism is evil, destructive, genocidal even. It seems a simple enough thing to argue against, right? In this article I want to argue that, contrary to popular assumption, it isn’t easy to condemn fascism in an honest or consistent way. It’s very difficult in fact. Put another way, I want to argue here that fascism is rising in Europe in part because some of its tenets are inherently appealing, not horrifying.
One of the better known of the European neo-fascists is Anders Behring Breivik, the narcissistic butcher of Utoeya and noted lover of moisturising cream. From his jail cell in Norway, the killer has recently expressed a desire to create a completely new nation; one he would grandly call ‘The Nordic State’.
This new country, Breivik says, will be distinguished from the Nordic States currently in existence in two important ways. Firstly, only 100% pure-blooded Nordic people will be allowed to live there. Secondly, the government of the new nation will be dedicated to the replenishment of the Nordic species, sponsoring a rise in controlled reproduction, as well as overseeing eugenic processes aimed at raising the standard of the Nordic race to new peaks of human excellence.
It is my duty, and yours too, to both dismiss and condemn this racist proposal out of hand. And I do so now, reader, conclusively. I do not want the Nordic State to come into existence. I find the concept bizarre, untenable, politically naive and contrary to the realities of the modern world.
Many people would leave the matter there. But I don’t think that would be fully honest. While condemning the concept in theory, I cannot honestly say that The Nordic State would not be remarkable in practice.
I am not an egalitarian. I do not believe the populations of the world are exactly equal in character, intelligence, creativity and behaviour. I believe that palpable differences, rooted in biology, explain almost all of the mysteries pondered by conventional sociological analysis.
Through this politically incorrect lens, I must recognise that the Nordic State would surely become, in time, the envy of the world.
A 100% Nordic society would have one of the lowest crime rates on Earth. It would have one of the lowest infidelity and teenage pregnancy rates on Earth. It would be among the cleanest, safest and greenest countries in history. The average IQ of the Nordic State would be the highest in Europe, leaving other Nordic states languishing in inferiority. And if, as Anders Breivik proposes, eugenic breeding were authorised by the Nordic State’s government, then the state would over time become the source of the world’s most impressive technological and medical advances. It would also be militarily supreme, since the technological edge allowed by superior intelligence will make for the world’s most efficient and sophisticated army. And so on…
My point is – knowing all this, how can we sensibly and rationally object to Breivik’s fascism? Seeing as the programme he suggests would have such dazzling results, what counter-argument might we manufacture to dissuade rational people from endorsing it? This is a vital question; one we must try with everything we have to come up with an answer for.
One tried-and-tested objection we might make concerns the moral costs of bringing such a project to fruition. Despite the touted benefits of a Nordic State, the fact remains that every Nordic country (with the possible exception of Iceland) is solidly multiracial. A fifth of Swedes are of mixed-foreign or foreign descent. What would become of these people in Breivik’s utopia.
At his first trial in 2012, Breivik claimed to be a ‘cultural nationalist’. He denied being a racist or a fascist and sought to prove this by saying pleasant things about Israelis, Slavs and other non-Nordic populations. This is no longer the charade. At his most recent trial (deciding a lawsuit the killer brought against the Norwegian state), Breivik’s courtroom salute, formerly closed-fisted, was explicitly and undeniably Roman. Breivik now states that he self-identifies as a ‘National Socialist’, a ‘fascist’ and a Nordicist.
From this we might reasonably infer that Breivik (and his supporters) would deal with non-Nordic people in Nordic countries in the same way the original National Socialists dealt with non-Germans; that is to say, starve then, expel them or kill them en masse. This is obviously unacceptable to any orthodox moral philosophy. None of the benefits brought by a Nordic State would be worth the murder of millions, with all the political and moral degeneration such an action would bring.
But what if a Nordic State could be achieved without violence? What if – as Breivik suggested in a more moderate mood – a section of scarcely populated Northern Scandinavia was sectioned off for Nordic People, and the rest of Scandinavia left as it is? What would our objection be to that?
I’m really not sure.
A fundamental question that must be answered is ‘Does a race have the right to be left to itself?’ And if not, why not? If the creation of a 100% Nordic society brings infinite benefits for those deemed appropriate enough to live in it, why is there any moral objection whatsoever?
Why is segregation a bad thing? Whose rights are infringed by it? The answer, perceived by the majority to be clean-cut, is actually very difficult to express. As a commenter on a Neo-Nazi website put it:
“Why are Whites (and only Whites) expected to share everything with other races? Why are Africans allowed to have Africa, but Whites are allowed to have nothing? There is no obligation for me to associate with people I don’t like. It’s my life and I’ll live it how I want. How is this racist?”
Though I dislike the general tone of this comment, I find it difficult to rebut his arguments conclusively. This blogger recognises the infeasibility of Muslim settlement in Europe. But then Muslims are not the only immigrants. What intrinsic right do Japanese people have to settle in Europe? What right do French people have to settle in Norway?
I have little doubt that ethnically ‘pure’ nations would be less prone to civil conflict than multiracial ones. For solidly scientific reasons, a person is considerably less likely to want to harm or victimise someone if he/she feels a kinship with them. We naturally sympathise with those in whose design we see elements of our own.
Ethnically pure nations would also have a more harmonious social structure than multiracial ones. Since the social classes would be bound together with biological and sentimental links, class warfare would be made considerably less appealing.
And even fascist government is difficult to condemn clearly. Contrary to popular belief, fascism is not necessarily synonymous with Hitlerism. In its purest and most original form, fascism was merely a radical form of corporatism; a simply, mutually beneficial union of government and industry.
So what can we do? Perhaps the best argument against fascism – and against political simplification of all kinds – is not a moral argument at all, but a practical one. Breivik’s fascist utopia might be a cleaner, greener and more productive society than those prevailing in Scandinavia today, but it wouldn’t be a pleasant society. It would be boring, colourless, drab and orderly beyond desirability.
There are already numerous parts of the developed world in which only one ethnic type reside. Most of Wales is Welsh, for example. Most of Ireland is Irish. Most of the Faroe Islands are Faroese. If these are perfect societies then they will stand scrutiny to that effect. But they don’t.
Have you ever seen the movie ‘Demolition Man’ starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes? If you have, you will be aware of its strangely ingenious and philosophically stimulating plot. A cop of the present day is frozen cryogenically as a novel punishment for committing occupational manslaughter. When, after his term is served, he is released from the ‘cryo-penitentiary’ in 2032, he discovers that America has since achieved a perverse kind of techno-social perfection. In this future utopia, there is no littering, no crime, no swearing and no sexuality. It is a completely innocent society, where men and women of all ages are reduced emotionally to children. Everyone is happy, but only in a very shallow and naïve way. This new society, we made to understand, is nightmarish after a while. While it is safe and affluent beyond contemporary possibility, it is also fake, plastic and lacking in adrenaline. I have a feeling that Breivik’s Nordic State would eventually resemble this dystopia in many essential ways.
Imperfection is a natural and necessary part of human life and character. Without it we become machines – shiny and impressive, sure, but also soulless.