Updated: Breivik's Core Thesis is White Christian Nationalism v. Multiculturalism
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 07:35:10 AM EST
{Updated 11:50 am ET/USA: 08/03/2011}

The Breivik Manifesto has a core conspiracist thesis picked up from the U.S. Christian Right. Breivik rearticulates this thesis repeatedly. Here is my short formula for explaining Breivik's thesis:

Cultural Marxism=Political  Correctness=Multiculturalism=Muslim Immigration=Destruction of Judeo-Christian nations

In other words, Breivik believes that "Political Correctness" should be exposed as a conspiracy by "Cultural Marxists" to destroy sovereign Christian nations and is the reason for political leaders  allowing mass Muslim migration into Europe.

The theoretical lineage of Breivk's thesis is primarily from cultural conservatives William S. Lind and the late Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, and to a lesser extent articles published by the LaRouche network.

Most significant is a collection of essays published by the Free Congress Foundation in 2004 on cultural Marxism, political correctness, and multiculturalism. The editor of that collection was William S. Lind.

Some form of the term "Cultural Marxism" in English appears over 600 times in the Breivik manifesto and is a major focus of the Lind collection of essays with 29 mentions in a 51-page pamphlet. Lind and Weyrich, however, began writing about their concerns as early as 1997.

After dozens of hours and thousands of pages of reading I am confident that the work of William S. Lind of the Free Congress Foundation is a major conceptual influence on the core thesis of Breivik and his Manifesto.

You can watch Lind explain his thesis on this video: History of Political Correctness which features Lind, Islamophobe David Horowitz, and Nazi collaborator Laszlo Pasztor who denied his past and was celebrated as a heroic anti-communist while he was an advisor on Eastern Europe to Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation.

The video helps explain Brievik's views on sexuality and gender, especially the misogyny.
Since bean-counting matters:
  • Breivik's Manifesto includes some variation of the word multicultural 1164 times
  • Breivik's Manifesto includes some variation of the words Marx and Marxism 1137 times
  • Breivik's Manifesto includes some variation of "cultural Marxism" or "cultural Marxist" 647 times
  • Breivik's Manifesto includes the term "political correctness" 148 times

Breivik in his Manifesto, incorporates whole sections of other authors' work.  The Manifesto is a compilation and compendium with Breivik's comments, text, and a self-interview included.

According to Dennis King, the original party line in the LaRouche cadre organization was set in an essay by LaRouche himself in 1977, "The Case of Walter Lipmann". A long examination of LaRoucher's conspiracy theory appeared as "The New Dark Age: The Frankfurt School and `Political Correctness'" in Fidelio, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1992 (KMW Publishing, Washington, DC). Fidelio was LaRouche's culture and arts magazine. But since LaRouche considers himself an extension of Marx, Marxism itself is not critiqued, but a plot by the Frankfurt School ideologues to create a "New Dark Age" which crushes Christian nations. LaRouche wrote a book: The Science of Christian Economy, and other prison writings, by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., 1991, 506 pp, which expanded the framework for the attacks on the Frankfurt School theoreticians.

According to scholar Martin Jay, the Frankfurt School has long been a scapeoat for right-wing conspiracy theorists complaining about "political correctness."

See: Martin Jay, 2011, "Dialectic of Counter-Enlightenment: The Frankfurt School as Scapegoat of the Lunatic Fringe," Salmagundi, 169, (Fall 2010-Winter 2011) in which Jay traces the history of this mania including a discussion of the LaRouche connection.

Sarah Posner shows "How Breivik’s 'Cultural Analysis' is Drawn from the “Christian Worldview”

The U.S. Christian Right project against Secular Humanism spearheaded by Lind, Weyrich, xenophobic demagogue Pat Buchanan and Christian Right conspiracist Tim LaHaye appears to be aimed at the political Left and US Democratic Party liberals, but dig deeper and it invokes antisemitic tropes among some readers.

At first this Christian Right conspiracy claim was linked to godless communism as the puppet-master of secular humanism; and recently it has shifted to a primary linkage with liberals, the Democratic Party, and Islam as a false religion.

According to historian of religion George Marsden, the shift in focus from communism to a more generic secular humanist demon:
“revitalized fundamentalist conspiracy theory. Fundamentalists always had been alarmed at moral decline within America but often had been vague as to whom, other than the Devil, to blame. The “secular humanist” thesis gave this central concern a clearer focus that was more plausible and of wider appeal than the old mono-causal communist-conspiracy accounts. Communism and socialism could, of course, be fit right into the humanist picture; but so could all the moral and legal changes at home without implausible scenarios of Russian agents infiltrating American schools, government, reform movements, and mainline churches.”[Marsden, Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, p. 109.]

Popular theologian Francis A. Schaeffer helped develop the philosophical arguments for Christians to challenge secular humanism, but he didn’t make it a conspiracy theory. That was the task of Christian Right ideologues such as Tim LaHaye, who wrote series of books in the 1980s that elaborated on the liberal secular humanist conspiracy and how conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists had to become politically active to stop the plot.

LaHaye and others also began to link the battle against liberal secular humanism to a specific reading of prophecy in the book of Revelation.

So we are faced with a political opposition that is based on religious energy shaped by apocalyptic demonization and conspiracist scapegoating.

Brenda Brasher, a sociologist of religion, points out that: \

"...once a political struggle has been raised to a level of cosmic significance, it is difficult to resolve:

In this form, apocalypticism leaves no room for ambiguity in the stories told about the “Other.” There is a real hardening of sides. We are good, they are evil. This is not a disagreement, but a struggle with evil incarnate, so there is no structure for a peaceful reconciliation.
People are cast in their roles as either enemy or friend and there is no such thing as middle ground. In the battle with evil, can you really say you are neutral?"

So we see whole sectors of the Christian Right seeking political power through various forms of dominionism, and in some cases pursuing a zealous form theocracy. But few conservative Christian evangelicals really want a theocracy, so for us the issue is to find a way to reframe the public political debate to provide room for theological beliefs that we may disagree with, but to make transparent and public the problem of Christian Right leaders using dualistic apocalyptic beliefs and demonizing conspiracy theories as a narrative that trumps actual political debate in the secular arena provided under the Constitution and Bill of Rights. See Gorenberg: Left Behind series.

A few years after the LaRouchite article, perhaps around 1997, William S. Lind and Paul Weyrich (unwittingly or wittingly) expanded on the thesis of LaRouche. Much of this discussion appeared on the website of the Free Congress Foundation, but has now been removed.

An example of Lind's work is an essay on "What is Cultural Marxism?"

According to Lind:

Cultural Marxism is a branch of western Marxism, different from the Marxism-Leninism of the old Soviet Union. It is commonly known as "multiculturalism" or, less formally, Political Correctness. From its beginning, the promoters of cultural Marxism have known they could be more effective if they concealed the Marxist nature of their work, hence the use of terms such as "multiculturalism."

In a circa 1997-1998 essay, Lind writes:

The next conservatism should unmask multiculturalism and Political Correctness and tell the American people what they really are: cultural Marxism. Its goal remains what Lukacs and Gramsci set in 1919: destroying Western culture and the Christian religion.

This is almost identical to the core thesis of the Breivik manifesto. This version of Lind's views is currently (as of July 26, 2011) posted as an educartional resource at "The American Conservative Union Foundation: Conservative University: Transfering Conservatism to the Next Generation" as Unmasking Political Correctness by William S. Lind

According to Lind, apparently refering to a longer document or periodical:

In this edition, Paul Weyrich refers to "cultural Marxism." He asked me, as Free Congress Foundation's resident historian, to write this column explaining what cultural Marxism is and where it came from.

In February 1999 the late Paul Weyrich, founder of the Free Congress Foundation, wrote a short Manifesto in which he stated, "Those who came up with Political Correctness, which we more accurately call "Cultural Marxism," did so in a deliberate fashion...it is impossible to ignore the fact that the United States is becoming an ideological state [under the] ideology of Political Correctness, which openly calls for the destruction of our traditional culture." The Weyrich statement was mischaracterized as a retreat from the Culture Wars when in fact Weyrich was arguing that Christians stop trying to reform secular society and expand their creation of alternative social, political, and cultural institutions. A longer examonation of Weyrich's work on political correctness is in this post:<a href="http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/7/25/95054/6500/">Breivik 2011 Manifesto Echoes Weyrich 1999 Manifesto</a><br />

A speech by Lind in early 2000, "The Origins of Political Correctness" is posted on the website of Accuracy in Academia:

If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I. If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the parallels are very obvious...

For actual information on the Frankfurt School and its Theorists:

In his Manifesto's Glossary of Terms, Breivik includes a very large block of text to define in detail the concept of what he calls "Cultural Marxism/multiculturalism:"

Cultural Marxist/Multiculturalist Alliance: the alliance of European political, cultural and media elites (cultural Marxists/multiculturalists) who support the implementation of multiculturalism/cultural Marxism/cultural relativism.

Cultural Marxism/multiculturalism: term describing the current Western European/US political/moral systems based on "political correctness" - a mix of Marxism, extreme egalitarianism, suicidal humanism, anti-nationalism, anti-Europeanism and capitalist globalism.  The ML ideology or political platform (Maoist-Leninism)  ML which is also a European hate ideology, was later refined "toned down" and disguised and incorporated into politically correct movements such as; feminism, pro-drugs, pro-sexual revolusion, anti-racism, anti-fascism, anti-Christendom, anti-capitalism, gay and disability rights movements, environmentalism etc. (see chapters explaining the Frankfurt School).

The current ideology is in fact a "communism light" or a deceptive form of communism which was created and propagated as soon as the Marxist-Leninists' understood that the Europeans globally (Western Europe, US, Canada, Australia) would not follow the example of their Russian comrades (in early 20th century).

Feminism (including Sexual Revolution), egalitarianism, humanism are highly compatible and/or similar overlapping political concepts/ideologies. The purpose of cultural Marxism is to destroy or deconstruct Western Civilisation (where the Christian European patriarchy has dominated historically) and instead create the USASSR/EUSSR, a communist utopia based on Marxist-Leninist principles. In order to achieve this they must destroy traditional European social cohesion in society which is the basis for traditional European nation states.

They are therefore focused on the gradual deconstruction of European cultures, identities and the traditional structures (nuclear family, traditional morality and patriarchal structures) which has dominated humanity for the last 300 000 years. They understood early that political indoctrination would not be enough. They must destroy the very fabric of Europeanism so they (together with humanists and capitalist globalists) pushed for mass-third world immigraton.

However, they made one critical mistake. They underestimated Islam which proved to be simply too resilient to be assimilated/pacified/feminised, even for them. Communism is often used when describing a complete ideology (economical principles included) while "cultural Marxism" does not describe economical principles.

In an extraordinary piece of investigative journalism, Tom Walker found that Breivik had actually plagiarised Lind:

One of conservatism’s most important insights is that all ideologies are wrong. Ideology takes an intellectual system, a product of one or more philosophers, and says, “This system must be true.” Inevitably, reality ends up contradicting the system, usually on a growing number of points. But the ideology, by its nature, cannot adjust to reality; to do so would be to abandon the system.
As Russell Kirk wrote, one of conservatism’s most important insights is that all ideologies are wrong. Ideology takes an intellectual system, a product of one or more philosophers, and says, “This system must be true.” Inevitably, reality ends up contradicting the system, usually on a growing number of points. But the ideology, by its nature, cannot adjust to reality; to do so would be to abandon the system.
Therefore, reality must be suppressed. If the ideology has power, it uses its power to undertake this suppression. It forbids writing or speaking certain facts. Its goal is to prevent not only expression of thoughts that contradict what “must be true,” but thinking such thoughts. In the end, the result is inevitably the concentration camp, the gulag and the grave. Therefore, reality must be suppressed. If the ideology has power, it uses its power to undertake this suppression. It forbids writing or speaking certain facts. Its goal is to prevent not only expression of thoughts that contradict what “must be true,” but thinking such thoughts. In the end, the result is inevitably the concentration camp, the gulag and the grave.
But what happens today to Europeans who suggest that there are differences among ethnic groups, or that the traditional social roles of men and women reflect their different natures, or that homosexuality is morally wrong? If they are public figures, they must grovel in the dirt in endless, canting apologies. If they are university students, they face star chamber courts and possible expulsion. If they are employees of private corporations, they may face loss of their jobs. What was their crime? Contradicting the new EUSSR ideology of “Political Correctness.” While some Americans have believed in ideologies, America itself never had an official, state ideology – up until now. But what happens today to Americans who suggest that there are differences among ethnic groups, or that the traditional social roles of men and women reflect their different natures, or that homosexuality is morally wrong? If they are public figures, they must grovel in the dirt in endless, canting apologies. If they are university students, they face star chamber courts and possible expulsion. If they are employees of private corporations, they may face loss of their jobs. What was their crime? Contradicting America’s new state ideology of “Political Correctness.”

Credit: Tom Walker, Ecological Headstand: "Confessions of a Cultural Marxist."

I have provided more details on Breivik's reliance on Lind here: Breivik cited William S. Lind, Free Congress Foundation, & the LaRouchites

Bits and pieces from a range of authors appear in the Breivik manifesto. In addition a number of authors are mention, quoted, or cited. For example, From the blogger "Fjordman" Breivik includes this sentence:

"Samuel Huntington mentioned already in 1993 in his famous article "The Clash of Civilisations" in the journal Foreign Affairs "

Fjordman's essay is titled: "Who Are We, Who Are Our Enemies - The Cost of Historical Amnesia." And it is posted on Jihad Watch with this phrase: "A new essay from the superbly insightful Fjordman."


Jihad Watch is a project of notes Islamophobe Robert Spencer. According to his official bio on his website:

ROBERT SPENCER is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (both Regnery). He is coauthor, with Pamela Geller, of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War On America (Threshold Editions/Simon & Schuster). His next book, Did Muhammad Exist?, is scheduled to be published by ISI Books in Spring 2012...Spencer is a weekly columnist for Human Events and FrontPage Magazine.

Islamophobes in the United States are significantly influenced by the late Samuel Huntington's book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. The "underlying problem for the West" according to Huntington, "is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power."

Samuel P. Huntington, 1997, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New York, NY: Touchstone.

Moderate Communitarian Amitai Etzioni described Huntington as a "systematic and articulate advocate of nationalism, militaristic regimes, and an earlier America in which there was one homogenous creed and little tolerance for pluralism."

But the thesis proposed by Breivik predates the Huntingon thesis (first published in a 1993 Foreign Affairs essay).

There are a series of essays about the Oslo terrorism--"Will the Norway Massacre Deflate Europe's Right Wing?" -- at the New York Times blogsite, in which I participated.

Important Links, Articles, Updates

Norway Terror Suspect Described as Far-Right Nationalist Islamophobe from 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

Bill Berkowitz: : Nightmare in Norway and the Threat of Fundamentalist Christian, Blonde, Blue-eyed Terrorists in Our Midst

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

You find one mention that the fellow read an article about the Frankfurt School in a LaRouche publication, and from this you proclaim that the "theoretical lineage of Breivk's thesis" is from the "LaRouche network"? Please. You are employing the tactics of conspiracism.

by Macwhirr on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 05:51:17 PM EST
That's not what I wrote.
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 05:50:02 PM EST

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