Yes, There Is a Link Between Governmental Nastiness and Right Wing Violence:
A Dispatch From One of the Most Progressive Countries In the World.
Norway, great twin nation of Great Britain, maybe. A few imported words here, an underdog resistance to being ruled by the Nazi’s there, a bit of monarchy between friends; that sounds more like a dozen or so territories in Europe at the time. No, I think I’ll save my praise for my new home for the actual experience of a post-imperial, post-constitutionally ratified space which is enjoyed by neighbours, tourists, shelf workers, British expats, American expats and immigrants of just about every nationality and creed. Why the distinction between expat and immigrant? For that we have to examine the rules imposed to govern this delicate space: it’s societal ebb and flow otherwise dictated by a population of significantly less than six million. No, Norway wasn’t fully anointed as the UK’s counterpart until Brexit happened but there’s no way the level of animosity that event has stoked is contagious, supposedly.
Meanwhile there’s a subsequent rush to prepare this small yet fairly cosmopolitan population for the financial implications of the end of the oil trade which allowed the nation to pick up a very considerable amount of it’s GDP off the doormat. It’s raised a number of questions about the cultural impact of utilising rapid and authoritative legislation on a population who’s immense value on transparency allows them to look up people’s residences, to the door number, by simply having their phone number. The answer, after two years of being in the midst of this is that it chiefly operates as an interview room window: all access one side, none through to the other.
Running in tandem is the matter of what cultural material is going to be allowed to fill up that vast gap in landmass and population, far be it from the owner of a novelty Finn and Jake passport holder to dictate what that is but, in terms of pattern recognition, there have been a number of worrying parities which are going to require the clinical application of Norway’s semi-official second language to divulge: hey, Peterson’s made a career out of it.
The more time I spend in Norway, the more I’m convinced that it’s model of mindlessly importing other countries’ traditions, creeds and philosophies (from Cadillacs to Calzones, Satanism to Soccer) exists to plug a gap that is being threatened by any number of genuine, terrorising subversions. In relegating Halloween, for example. to some kind of domestic toilery, solely dependant on children who are to insouciantly find entertainment in the plastic food and plastic costumes, the infantalisation of everyone under the age of fifty-five continues, as people of roughly that age and above surplus-occupy the political cabinets and bureaucratic cubbyholes of the day. Starting to sound like somewhere we know?
Having no need for a fully triangulated policy folder due to the presence of pluratic political representation (eight elected parties as opposed to America’s two) the ruling influences of Norway instead discriminate by demographic; persistently, nay, harassingly, asking via public bodies what your age is, what your sex is, what you do with the people you live with and why you want to do it.
This seems a very bizarre way to prevent the appearance of another Anders Behring Breivik, especially compared to the efficacy of putting a nine millimeter round between his eyes, another American import. One can only presume however that this is the intention and that anything less than such grave matters would fail to justify the considerable side effects of state intervention in well, their own state as it exists in a fairly primordial form. It’s music and film just beginning to catch international attention, it’s tourism industry just starting to become affordable in the past twenty years, it’s management of secular Christianity handled with a certain… insecurity. Instead, though his threat is vivid and it’s nature increasingly visible, with the world currently reeling from an incomprehensible act of spiteful anti-semetic violence, Breivik has been infantalised. They have locked him in what amounts to a hotel with a PS2 and regular laundry service. This is not a cultural import but an amalgamation of post-anthropological, socialism-infused elements which have set a precedent for emboldened human right’s concerns which are usually reflected in legislation in Norway. Little to condemn there but in two years of coming to Norway, his incarceration remains the only publicly visible examples of this in which the right of the individual is greater than their responsibilities.
As an immigrant (yo) or a sick person (also yo) or an unemployed person (Medium Columnist is a thing!) I can seek accommodations from the need to constantly work, to labour and toil simply to be understood, to justify my circumstances. This must by done by feeding information about yourself to any number of authorities who will not reveal the extent of their powers or purposes, the direction of the information they take or the reason for the hostile candour they use when they seldom communicate with you. The other way this manifests is to simply be a criminal. Either way, an escape from the world of ‘adulting’, from a world where you are prescribed a number of sensibilities and responsibilities to react to but are never to find fulfilment in is eventually granted to those who can’t work, those who won’t work and those grading themselves on a curve of Anders Behring Breivik’s work. Add some sporadic population growth and the advent horizon of an oil monopoly which has failed to be properly centralised or environmentally regulated when compared to it’s alternatives in other nations and voila: you have an atmosphere of resentment and disparagement for anyone not in what public authorities consider to be the most demanding parts of a labour force. Criminals, the disabled and new arrivals of almost any circumstance are morally equivalent and are removed from society via a set of rules no one will claim full responsibility for and no one can explain or extrapolate the long term purpose of.
Why then, if they are to be treated the same as eachother are criminals, immigrants and the disabled treated successively worse than one another? Surely these checks and balances protect the nation whether from exploitation of it’s benefits system by a disabled or unemployed person or the the exploitation of the job market and currency by an immigrant siphoning off wages to other interests, whether as an employer or an employee. But the biggest financial threat to Norway has, since the projections of its finite oil resources were made clear, always been a populace that cannot move into other sectors. A population which cannot make use of the slightly bohemian tactic of ‘transferable skills’, another name for the concentrated brand of problem solving which disabled people employ in their every waking hour. Undeniable and undeniably admirable, it’s still insufficient. The forcefield of automatic algorhythmically generated CV reader software, rejection letters and instant assessment of the clinical, directionless (but often private) information gather by institutional and local government registration systems — replete with curt and invasive interviews , inundated services and zero transparency feedback systems exists both between two forms of employment and between unemployment and employment. A great freeze ray that no first class stamp with your degree transcripts or electric wheelchair or set of wrist-crutches can break free of.
In a corruption of the diluted Marxism so often displayed by their closest neighbour, Sweden, the labouring class are now the sole class of concern by the Norwegian government and given the choice between them or the attainted underclass above, the illiterate government definitions of responsibility and servitude, prevarication on which makes up a frighteningly large amount of a civil servant’s duties, force them to take a side. Wisely they chose the side who can pass background checks, who are unlikely to go on workplace rampages or be refused company medical insurance on the basis of a prior drug addiction but, as we've established, the unemployed, the disadvantaged and the disabled are in this group because they’d have never come into contact with the parental cross examination of a major employment before. This is perhaps more profound when considered in it’s inverse: the system discriminates by obfuscation, by denying access, something else for disabled people to describe that way. And, their moral counterparts, the immigrants, not to make the two mutually exclusive, already have a system in place to cross examine them for denial of access. Though, I’m not sure an entire labour market should be able to be described in the same terms as an outdated restaurant floorplan or pre-regulation train or pre-human rights update government building.
So we have a group of people who don’t deserve to be in society, the likes of Breivik, and a group of people made to feel that way. And all of a sudden we’ve stumbled upon the Shapiroean maxim of ‘facts don’t care about your feelings’. Well, Benny, and anyone else mystified by the persistence of social justice in modern, commended policy making, feelings don’t really care about your facts. The fact that austerity and the xenophobia it breeds has long been the bedrock justification of both the most legitimate and most hateful and racist efforts by the right wing commentariat is something that your political opponents don’t care about (how else are you going to go on deny the lack of distance between the two). None the less it serves to fuel a persecution complex which allows for a mental shelter from the guilt of peddling faux-libertarian snake oil salesmanship which the likes of Jordan Peterson and Nigel Farage have crafted into careers.
The fact that the ‘who’s streets, our streets’ brand of refraining against the very disaster capitalism those named above allowed to be turned into an overstuffed labour market isn’t something which is acknowledged by volatile, white, right wing murderers. Who are happy to go on thinking those circumstances have instead been created by brown people from other countries and Jewish people in their own countries rendered in the most disgusting stereotypes. Regardless of the facts they feel that they should go on with that rhetoric and the consequences are to horrifying to be denied.
Ultimately, though, those who haven’t been made to feel they’re part of this argument have swollen in number — in Norway, the States and the UK, to the point of making the exact sources of these attacks largely unidentifiable, which sounds like a justification by omission, especially when the data employed to measure the activity of yesteryear’s hikkikomories is so voluminous, needless and directionless.
Here’s the truly worrying omission though, all of the young men and women disenfranchised in a way that no previous generation has had to endure, who do not commit these acts, who would never conceive of doing so, despite any number of enormous hardships being visited upon them. In the United Kingdom we’re lumped in with benefits cheats, bone idle entitled students and fuckwit thugs by the same, intellectually defective bipartisan binary that says all of everything in life and philosophy must be divided up into two warring camps; leading to one of the nastiest, most beleaguered and unproductive referendums ever undertaken by a developed nation. Do not approach this level of cultural animosity, Norway, let the ‘Stop the Plague of Islam’ poster on the bus stop opposite my house continue to rot and wane in the morning dew.
Still, I wish these feelings would be laced with a few more facts, I wish this piece was rife with superscript numbers and a pattern of hyperlinks but at some point the feelings alone will have to do. At some point, the apparatus of discrimination which we used to fill gas chambers disappeared. Only to reappear at the point when multiculturalism becomes fleetingly uncomfortable for the sole purpose of propelling the Youtube views and upvotes of people happy to misrepresent college campus rape statistics, cameo white nationalists in their Youtube channel, and throw childish tantrums when inquiry into their activities is brought into the public interest. Don’t slip into this level of acrimony, Norway, government institutions should not be holding open the gate for these bigoted indulgences from people who have to fake their anger where so many good people don’t.