Note from Geoff: If you’ve read much on this site, you may have realised that I think that Jim Wallace runs a dickcheese import business. His efforts around the traps these last weeks have only entrenched him as the company’s number one man. His piece in the Oz was well-assembled (obviously the attention of a good subbie had raised it above Wallace’s usual awkward prose), but one-eyed. The scrambling to distance Oslo from Christian dogma, as detailed in my Bolt rebuttal, has been intriguing to watch.
So when I happened upon this excellent essay by an HS reader, I decided to reproduce it as a guest post. Sorry swear-fans, it’s clean, but it’s also incisive and on-point. Well worth a read. I’ll hopefully have a new piece later this week.
Grand Theft Auto Nazareth: Jim Wallace’s blame wars
Before Anders Behring Breivik (allegedly? do I have to say this when he’s made a confession?) carried out his two-stage massacre in Norway, he released a manifesto comprising three books of some 1500 pages outlining his world view and political theory, as well as step-by-step instructions on becoming a Justicar Knight Templar. His goal is simple: to defend his vision of a white, Christian Europe from the overwhelming threat of unnatural Islamification.
In this tome, Breivik articulates a meticulous historical account of the development of “cultural Marxism”, whereby the natural order of white, male, Christian hegemony in Europe is undermined by multiculturalism and specifically collaboration with Islamic, Arab states. The first 280-odd pages are historical background in which Breivik describes the development of economic Marxism into a more insidious cultural Marxism, progressing through academia in the Frankfurt School, various forms of critical theory, and sociology.
Specifically, Breivik’s concern is this new culture of egalitarian ‘political correctness’ is causing historical revision in order to allow Muslims to invade Europe. In allowing this, the unwitting population of Europe has been duped by various ideologies that permit no disagreement: feminism, multiculturalism, religious tolerance, etcetera.
The second book extends this documentation into the modern era. He traces social and political transformations across the entire history of Islam, exploring the “Eurabia” doctrine, the formation of a Palestinian state, reasons that the European Union and United Nations are actually detrimental to European countries, feminism’s link to the perceived Islamic invasion, the dangers of global capitalism, the roots of “Muslim hatred” and the history of jihad, and various examples of European countries’ preferential treatment of Islamic issues at the expense of “native” concerns.
In the third book, Breivik’s plan of action comes together as he reveals the significance of his manifesto’s title. 2083, he claims, is the target year for the completion of his conservative revolution, led by self-appointed Justicar Knights such as himself.
In this book he outlines in quasi-legal terminology the treason committed by cultural Marxists who have allowed European culture to be eroded by a tide of Muslim immigrants and Islamic sympathy. Thus, he justifies violent attacks against any and all targets deemed to be treacherous towards “old laws and traditions.” The “feminisation of political parties and individuals by indirect/direct coercion,” as one of his headings reads, must be cut off at the source: these are human beings who should be killed rather than spoken to.
He reprints a right-wing declaration of European independence, and compiles a list of demands: that all Muslims living in Europe must convert to Christianity, change their names, and speak only a European language; that all mosques and Arabic or Islamic art or architecture be destroyed; that no (formerly) Muslim couples should be allowed to have more than two children; that all communication with other Muslims be prohibited; and that travel to Islamic countries be prohibited. Failing this assimilation, all Muslims should be deported from European countries.
Following this, Breivik outlines specific guidelines for establishing a “cell” of Justicar Knights, or alternately methods for working alone, to plan for and carry out armed strikes. He explains the use of terror as a means to wake up the masses, people “who do not want (or think they do not want) our help.”
He says that, operating as a Justicar Knight, defender of Christendom, “you are jury, judge and executioner on behalf of all Europeans.” He calculates the number of victims that would be appropriate: “we should under normal (optimal) circumstances not exceed approx. 45,000 dead and 1 million wounded in Western Europe.” This number is justified by a comparison to the Christian, European deaths that these cultural Marxists “have on their conscience.” According to Breivik:
[T]hese regimes we are fighting have and are still committing genocide against the indigenous peoples of Europe by exposing them to more than 25 million Muslims. They have indirectly killed more than 15 000 Europeans, raped more than 500 000 European women, robbed and terrorised more than 4,5 million Europeans, fired more than 37 000 cultural conservatives from their jobs and incarcerated more than 150 000 brothers and sisters for opposing their policies.
Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike. Explain what you have done (in an announcement distributed prior to operation) and make certain that everyone understands that we, the free peoples of Europe, are going to strike again and again. Do not apologise, make excuses or express regret for you are acting in self-defence or in a preemptive manner. In many ways, morality has lost its meaning in our struggle. The question of good and evil is reduced to one simple choice. For every free patriotic European, only one choice remains: Survive or perish. Some innocent will die in our operations as they are simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Get used the idea. The needs of the many will always surpass the needs of the few.
Now, I have debated whether to air any of these views. I find repeating them distasteful, nauseating even, and deeply disturbing. I find his implacable rationalisation deeply troubling, because his presentation of the history of multiculturalism is intriguing, and yet is used as a justification for the slaughter of up to 45,000 left-leaning people, and however many innocents get caught up in the struggle. His hypocrisy and blindness are staggering, especially in contrast to the meticulousness of his research.
Yet I feel that reproducing a summary of this manifesto is important to give some access to what Breivik is actually talking about to those who do not have the time or inclination to read through it even as briefly as I have. In the news we are hearing far more about Breivik’s use of videogames than his documentation of the history of critical theory and cultural studies in academia.
We hear ideologues like Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby actually saying that “these people” like Seamus Byrne are diverting the dialogue from the fact that videogames are at fault. On Channel 7′s Sunrise, Wallace labelled Byrne’s examination of Breivik’s religious and political motivations as a “cheap attempt to distract this from the real issue”. The fury I felt cannot be put into words.
The only cheapness is that anyone, anywhere, grabbed videogames as a talking point, when in fact Breivik mentioned using games as a convenient cover story to mask the planning and orchestration of his attacks.
The most obvious rebuttal is simply counting out the dates: Breivik claims to have been working on this manifesto (and presumably, his plans for the strike in Oslo) for nine years. That is well before the release of any of the Call of Duty titles that Jim Wallace parades in front of incredulous Christian parents, particularly Modern Warfare 2.
But that is a stupid point to quibble with. Breivik was probably playing games, like the rest of his generation, in 2001 as well. The far more, astonishingly more, obvious motivations for his actions come from political theory, ideology and religious fanaticism. He used videogames as a tool for masking his operations, not as their inspiration.
In fact, it is the Bible to which Breivik turns to justify the violence of his plan.
If you are operating under a full surrender with God the Father, and walking in all of God’s ways and staying out of any serious sins and transgressions against Him – then the next thing you will need to fully realise is that God will now anoint you with His power if you are forced to go into battle with your enemy.
The Bible tells us that we are now all good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Whether we want to face up to it or not, we are all living in a war zone as a result of the curse of Adam and Eve that is still in full operation on this earth. Anyone of us at anytime can come under human or demonic attack. The daily news will prove that to you without any shadow of a doubt.
Each Christian must now make their own personal decision on all of this. You can either choose to learn how to rise up in the power of your Lord and Saviour and learn how to become a true warrior in the Lord, or you can continue to keep your head in the sand and oppressor after oppressor keep beating you down. The choice is yours.
Again, study these verses very carefully – as they will show you the incredible supernatural power that God can channel through you if you would be willing to step into and walk with His anointing.
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from me,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)
“… but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” (Daniel 11:32)
“For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20)
“Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.” (2 Corinthians 12:12)
“Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle – my loving kindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.” (Psalm 144:1)
“It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on high places. He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze … I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, so that they were not able to rise; they have fallen under my feet. For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.” (Psalm 18:32,37)
Notice the first verse tells you that you can have God’s power and authority to trample over “all” the power of the enemy – not just against some or part of his power. This means you can have God’s anointing and power operating in you to come out completely victorious against any enemy that may attempt to come against you.
Though I know he won’t read this, I call Jim Wallace’s attention to these paragraphs (and the other ten pages of Biblical justifications of violence). This is a literal, direct interpretation of Scripture. How can any Christian deny that this man, in his own way at least, was influenced by these passages? He directly says: “In other words, it was perfectly OK to kill a thief breaking into your house. That’s the ultimate expression of self-defence. It doesn’t matter whether the thief is threatening your life or not. You have the right to protect your home, your family and your property, the Bible says.” The Bible gives him permission to kill people.
I do not wish to argue about the validity of his interpretations. I am no theologian. But my understanding of the Bible isn’t the point. Breivik’s understanding and use of the Bible as a rationalisation of his actions, and as a guiding light in his principles, is. Breivik clearly believes the word of Scripture here, and nothing Wallace or any Christian can say will make it otherwise. Obviously not all Christians interpret the Bible this way, but this one did. In the same way that not all videogamers interpret videogames as scripts for real-life behaviours, but some might.
This is why I have some trouble with the counter-argument that many of us put forward in defence of videogames in particular, but media in general, when these sorts of things happen. We cry that media have no power to make people act, that violent media don’t make children violent, and so on. Yet different media do have power, and we all believe this, or I wouldn’t be writing this any more than you’d be reading it.
We wouldn’t use instruction manuals, textbooks, or Bibles. Breivik certainly believes media have power, he wrote a 1500-page manifesto with the sole purpose of convincing his readers. As Marshall McLuhan said, media set a trap, to lure a spectator in and cause an effect on them. The debate is over free will. Do media have the ability to usurp our will, our ability to decide, to reason and make judgments? Jim Wallace thinks so. He seems to believe that there are vulnerable (to use Michael Atkinson’s term) people in the world for whom certain media are prescriptive, who are unable to recognise the difference between fiction and reality.
He accepts this, and instead of finding those people, helping them, guiding them towards rationality and decision-making, he would rather remove all potential risky material from society. Just in case, he says, one of these poor vulnerable souls should chance upon Grand Theft Auto or Modern Warfare and take it seriously.
So in Wallace’s ideal society, he would leave these vulnerable people to their own devices, safe from the potentially harmful effects of GTA and Call of Duty, and allowed to obsess over the much more wholesome Bible.
The problem with this is that Wallace’s own claims about Breivik lead us to believe he was indeed one of these vulnerable individuals, unable to make rational judgments, to distinguish fact from fiction, to avoid obsessing over videogames. Yet it wasn’t over videogames that Breivik obsessed. He was quite rational about his use of World of Warcraft, saying he would use it as a cover while he was doing other things.
Instead, Breivik was obsessed with the Bible. Obsessed with the writings of Fjordman, Bat Ye’or, and the other conservatives he cites throughout 2083. He was obsessed with Marxism, critical theory, military and religious history.
It’s actually far easier to connect Breivik’s ideology with Wallace’s own than with World of Warcraft or Modern Warfare. According to his Twitter earlier this year, Wallace’s ideal imagined Australian diggers didn’t fight for gay marriage or an Islamic Australia, much like Breivik saw himself as literally fighting to restore white patriarchy and Christianity to Europe.
Spin that, Wallace.
Adam Ruch is a PhD candidate at Macquarie University. He blogs at Flickering Colours.