Anders Behring Breivik: Soldier in the Christian Right Culture Wars
Another source of the conspiracy theory about "Cultural Marxism" is the international network of Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. The LaRouchite Schiller Institute has an early (1992) article outlining the claim of a vast conspiracy of "Cultural Marxism"
Posts decying "Cultural Marxism"(kulturmarxisme in Breivik's posts) can be found all over the Internet. For example, the website http://culturalmarxism.org promotes a DVD featuring Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, G. Edward Griffin, Ted Baehr, and Edwin Vieira.
Breivik thought Cultural Marxists=multiculturalists=Islamization of Europe. This racist right-wing conspiracy theory is tied to the Islamophobic "Demographic Winter" thesis. In his online posts, Breivik considered himself a cultural conservative and condemned "Cultural Marxism."The idea of "Cultural Marxism" on the political right is an antisemitic conspiracy theory cliaming that a small group of Marxist Jews formed the Frankfurt School and set out to destroy Western Culture through a conspiracy to promote multiculturalism and collectivist economic theories.
Speakers at the WCF warned of a Demographic Winter at the World Congress of Families meeting in Poland in 2007. See for example, John D. Mueller, "A Family-Friendly Fiscal Policy to Weather "Demographic Winter.'" Left unstated but clearly understood, is that it is White people who face a "Demographic Winter" as the population of Muslims, Arabs, and other "non-White" people increases in nations.
According to Breivik:
There must be more focus on multicultural doctrines (multiculturalism = kulturmarxisme) as it is this ideology that allows the political mechanisms that result in continued Islamization (Islamic demographic warfare). People must learn what multiculturalism...doctrines do with Europe:
William Lind promotes a form of “cultural conservatism” that has shifted into antisemitic conspiracism. Lind is an analyst and author at the Free Congress Foundation FCF founded by the late Christian Right strategist Paul Weyrich. FCF is a significant player in Inside-the-Beltway politics [Cite: Berlet, “Into the Mainstream.”]As Joe Conason reports, "Lind …concocts theories about the Marxist Jews who have infected American culture”
Lind wrote an essay in 1999 suggesting that slavery did not damage race relations in the south as much as the federal government intervention during Reconstruction that followed the Civil War. Furthermore, according to Lind, if the Confederacy had won, "at least part of North America would still stand for Western culture, Christianity and an appreciation of the differences between ladies and gentlemen." Lind claims that the federal government now imposes an "official American state ideology" featuring the "cultural Marxism of Political Correctness" [Cite: Lind, “What If The South Had Won The Civil War?”].Lind later explained to a Holocaust denial group that cultural Marxism was a conspiracy concocted by a handful of Jews in Germany at the Frankfurt School, according to Bill Berkowitz's article "Reframing the Enemy." on Cultural Marxism] for Intelligence Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Weyrich provided office space for the late Laszlo Pasztor who served as an advisor on Eastern Europe to Weyrich. The aging Pasztor was a member of the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross Party in the 1940s at a time when it was collaborating with the Nazis to liquidate Jews at the direction of Gestapo administrator, and SS Lieutenant-Colonel Adolf Eichmann [Cite: Russ Bellant, Holly Sklar, Chip Berlet]. As Holly Sklar and I wrote in 1990:
The U.S. government is working with former Arrow Cross official Laszlo Pasztor, a convicted Nazi collaborator. Having lost the battle to impose fascism on Europe, Pasztor immigrated to the U.S. He was following in the footsteps of thousands of Nazis and Nazi collaborators protected and recruited by the C.I.A. to resume the war on communism.
The ideological connection here is the idea that Marxism & communism threaten the very survival of Western Culture. Pasztor was a dedicated anti-communist after WWII, and was able to pass himself off as a patriot defending Hungary--and later the United States--from the pernicious plague of Marxism.
The trope of Cultural Marxism combines this view of political economy with a narrow view of Christian superiority and an ethnocentric White Nationalism. In both sectors--Christian superiority and ethnocentric White Nationalism--there is a great fear of Muslim immigration.
"Cultural Marxism," the Hoax Conspiracy Theory
The Frankfort School developed theories of "cultural criticism," and "The Culture Industry," but the term "Cultural Marxism" is a derogatory term developed by antisemitic conspiracy theorists.
There are a handful of Cultural Marxist sociologists around the world who use aspects of the Frankfurt School theories, Flowing out of several strains of sociology are sections that use Race/Gender/Class analysis and include a few Cultural Marxists. So the real Cultural Marxism is an analytical lens used primarily in academia, not a global conspiracy to destroy Western Culture.
So Breivik opposed "Cultural Marxism," the hoax conspiracy theory, but probably knew little of the actual "critical theories" of the Frankfort School, which are still used within sectors of modern sociology. See, for example, the work of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.
Apocalyptic Christian Belief and Islamophobia
Among right-wing Christians who fear Muslims there are some that see Islam as the false religion of the Antichrist in the End Times in their idiosyncratic reading of Biblical prophecy.
This apocalyptic view is widespread in some areas. For example a poll found that 15% of Republicans in New Jersey though President Barack Obama might be the "Antichrist" who is Satan's chief henchman in the End Times. Another 14% were convinced Obama was the Antichrist.
As Robert C. Fuller observed in his classic Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession, the candidates for the starring roles vary over time in fundamentalist eschatological analysis. Some see Islam as the religion of the False Prophet, the theological sidekick to the Antichrist. After the terror attacks on 9/11/2001 there was an increase in the demonization of Muslims in some Christian evangelical circles, especially those in which apocalyptic conspiracy theories flourish.
For example, Hal Lindsey joined in the Islam-bashing in 2002 with The Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad. Speculation in conspiracy circles that Obama is secretly a Muslim, perhaps born in Kenya, add fuel to this bigoted fire.
Paul S. Boyer, author of When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture, suggests that religious views about Biblical prophecy in the United States have “always had an enormous, if indirect and underrecognized, role [in] shaping public policy.” If the message of apocalyptic demonization is not clear, try reading one of the novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins in their Left Behind series of Christian apocalyptic novels which have sold more than 70 million copies.
Gershom Gorenberg blasts the authors because they:
"promote conspiracy theories; they demonize proponents of arms control, ecumenicalism, abortion rights and everyone else disliked by the Christian right; and they justify assassination as a political tool. Their anti-Jewishness is exceeded by their anti-Catholicism. Most basically, they reject the very idea of open, democratic debate. In the world of Left Behind, there exists a single truth, based on a purportedly literal reading of Scripture; anyone who disagrees with that truth is deceived or evil.”The main villain of the Left Behind series of books, Gorenberg notes, is “Nicolae Carpathia, the man who turned the United Nations into a one-world government with himself as dictator,” on behalf of Satan. In fact, Carpathia is the dreaded Antichrist. According to Gorenberg:
Perhaps the most striking scene in the Left Behind series is the climax of book six, The Assassins [when] Carpathia is speaking at a mass rally in Jerusalem. Out in the crowd is [underground Christian resistance leader] Rayford Steele, armed with a high-tech handgun. He prays for God’s guidance, and finds himself firing what appears to be a fatal shot at Carpathia. Intentionally or not, this is an eerie rewrite of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination at a Tel Aviv peace rally in 1995—but the authors are on the side of the fanatic killer.”All of these conspiracy theories and more swirl through the Tea Party movement and beyond. LaHaye, before his novels, wrote a series of books popular in the Christian Right in which he laid out the master plan of the conspiracy of liberal secular humanists. Big government and collectivism was part of the sinister plan.
Whether it is based on religious or secular themes, the idea of a vast longstanding conspiracy of Cultural Marxists to destroy Western Culture creates apocalyptic aggression, in which believers in the conspiracy theory decide to act first against the named enemies.Important Links, Articles, Updates
Norway Terror Suspect Described as Far-Right Nationalist Islamophobe | Accuracy.Org. Has great links to several articles
@ChipBerlet: Media lost in Norway suspect's posts. Cultural Marxism (Jewish plot)+White Nationalism+Islamophobia+US Christian Right conspiracy theories (Chip's Tweet)
In Europe, Where's the Hate? | The Nation Really compelling article by Gary Younge in 2007. Predictive & sad.
Via IREHR: Norway terror suspect "Breivik appears to be a fan of the Tea Party's favorite Islamophobe, Pamela Geller"
This link will take you to a Google Translation page of Norway suspect Anders Behring Breivik's comments on Document.no
@MaxBlumenthal: Max Blumenthal: Screed blaming Muslims for attack by @jrubinblogger is still up, uncorrected by Washington Post
@MaxBlumenthal: Max Blumenthal Pam Geller, who initially blamed the gov of Norway (and Muslims) for oslo attacks, is now insisting that Breivik is not her Fjordman
David Neiwert: Norway terrorist Breivik was an ardent subscriber to theories of 'Cultural Marxism' | Crooks and Liars===============
Thanks to several colleagues for sending me tips and links, especially Julie Ingersoll, Devin Burghart, and Bill Berkowitz. ===============
[Note: Some sources questioned whether all the political posts circulated in Norway were by Breivik alone. I need to be cautious here, so I investigated and have not included material that is in dispute.]
Anders Behring Breivik: Soldier in the Christian Right Culture Wars | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)
Anders Behring Breivik: Soldier in the Christian Right Culture Wars | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)