Some have asked from where did I emerge? Above, you have your answer. In 2010, I became heavily involved behind the scenes in the burgeoning sphere of online thought known collectively as the ‘Counter-Jihad’ which had a broad swath of members from the United States (Pamella Geller), the United Kingdom (Tommy Robinson), the Netherlands (Geert Wilders), and Canada (Mark Steyn) just to name some notables. Our cause? To erect a roadblock to Islamic expansion wherever we could.
At this time, almost every right wing force on the European continent was invested in this issue, and many still are today. It is from this milieu that reactions against Islam gathered steam in the United States, from anti-Sharia constitutional changes in certain states, to opposition to mosque constructions.
Establishmentarians hated us of course. Both ‘center-right’ and ‘center-left’ parties were quick to denounce our movement as racist, to which we so readily replied that “Islam is not a race!”. We couldn’t understand it. Muslims represented everything that the left despised ideologically: patriarchy, religious doctrinairism, a hostility to public schooling, etc. And yet time and time again, we the Counter-Jihad crusaders were rebuffed by the people we thought would sympathize with our concerns. Some members took great pains to appeal to these groups, for example the street movement known as the ‘English Defence League’ featured divisions for Sikh and LGBT members! Even this high status signaling proved ineffective. Everyone opposed to Islam’s growing presence in Western life was deemed either racist or just as devastating, ‘Islamophobic’. We can only assume this word was built from the success of the etymologically dubious ‘homophobic’ slur.
For a while, this was my crusade. At that time, nothing seemed scarier to me than the invasion of foreign hordes practicing their bizarre religion and imposing it on everyone. My two most visited websites during this time were the well-known GatesOfVienna and BareNakedIslam which features the wonderful tagline ‘It isn’t Islamophobia when they really ARE trying to kill you.’
It was during this time that I really began to despise the left. I had previously disagreed with them on most issues of the day, but their complicity in the ‘Islamization’ of the West just seemed like an example of either an unforgivable stupidity, or a painfully confusing wickedness.
It wasn’t as if we were without strong intellectual roots either. If Mencius Moldbug is the chief ideologue of the NeoReactionary movement, then a little-known Norwegian essayist who wrote under the pseudonym ‘Fjordman’ was ours. His long and well-researched essay ‘Defeating Eurabia’ remains in my library, and I highly recommend it to anyone (You can read it in its entirety here). Everyone marveled at what Fjordman had done. Through careful collection of data, testimonials from officials, a close study of history, and statistical projections, we had a compelling and pre-packaged weapon we could use to get our case across. For anyone willing to put the time in, nobody could remain unconvinced of the threat the West faced from Islam after reading what Fjordman had compiled. We seemed destined for some kind of success. How could the contradiction between the dominant Liberalism and Islam continue?
Well, what happened next effectively put the Counter-Jihad on the global stage as the worst mass shooting in history occurred on the 22nd July, 2010. After producing his own proactive manifesto which cited the works of Fjordman repeatedly, thirty-two year old Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian national, detonated a car bomb in the executive government sector of Oslo. While the country reeled in confusion and no doubt suspected Islamists were behind the attack, Breivik slipped away and journeyed in disguise to the remote island of Utøya where he opened fire with semi-automatic weapons on members of AUF, the youth wing of the country’s ruling Norwegian Labour Party who were at a retreat. Sixty-nine teenagers and young adults were killed. By the time special responders got to the island, Breivik was holed up in a cabin and ready to surrender without incident. He was later found guilty, and given the maximum sentence in Norway of 21 years. Claims that he was part of a larger terrorist network known as ‘Knight’s Templar’ appeared to have been fictitious, and the consensus is that Breivik was a lone wolf, motivated by a desire to save wider ‘Western Culture’ from annihilation.
The results were far-ranging. The attack proved once again the problematic nature of gun control, exposed the ineptitude of Norwegian security services, and produced an eye-roll worthy amount of misleading headlines declaring Breivik to be a ‘Christian terrorist’, when his own manifesto designated him a cultural Christian and nothing more. Importantly for me however, the event was in hindsight, the funeral bell of the Counter-Jihad movement. Not long after, the most successful street movement in a long time, the EDL, broke apart as its leader Tommy Robinson turned his back on it following a government sponsored reign of terror against him and his family. He then joined a ‘moderate Muslim’ led think tank against extremism of all varieties. The implosion of PEGIDA figurehead Lutz Bachman is somewhat reminiscent. The only places where the movement against Islamization in particular experienced an upswing in the wake of the attacks were Sweden (where the populist Sweden Democrats clawed themselves some impressive electoral gains) and Germany, where it culminated in the aforementioned Dresden PEGIDA rallies in late 2014.
What went wrong? I had been sure that I was part of something great, which would change the Occident and wake people up to a well-documented danger in their midst. It’s wrong to blame the attacks in Norway for the death of the movement, it was inherently flawed from the start. It failed to recognize exactly why things were occurring as they were, blaming the problem on admittedly villainous bureaucrats caught in shameless acts of treachery. The fact was, and remains, that Islam is simply a stronger culture than that of Western European countries. It is superior because despite its myriad flaws, it maintains many trappings of Traditionalism long since jettisoned by our secular elite. I detailed these in my proposal on parallel societies, so I won’t go into them again.
The Counter-Jihad never recognized this. It refused to. Like contemporary Conservatism, while it certainly saved a vitriolic anger for the left, seen as the gatekeepers who let in a pack of hungry wild dogs, it always supported the bedrock dogmas of that very same left. The reason Islam was opposed was not xenophobic by any measure, indeed my cohorts in the movement had bend-over-backwards positive views of every other religious group which had come to the West via immigration, Sikh’s, Jews, etc. Islam was opposed because it was against ‘women’s rights’, because it ‘killed homosexuals’, because it ‘mistreated animals’, because it sought to ‘dominate’, because it solved its problems often through ‘violent means’, and perhaps most importantly because it was opposed to ‘free speech’.
If you took a scalpel and cut through the exterior of crude cartoons and political incorrectness, what you found was that the Counter-Jihad, this movement so opposed to what Liberals were doing to the West, was in fact itself Liberal at heart, it just hadn’t kept up with the dogmatic evolution of the Cult of Progress, hadn’t been able to believe the most blatant contradictory lies of the Cathedral, or perhaps just slammed on the breaks in a grasp at survival. They were not tuned in correctly to the latest iteration of something Auster called the ‘worship of the other‘, a hallmark of late Liberalism. But nothing stops this titanic shift into the abyss. Cry, scream, kick, use logic all day long if you want, it won’t get you anywhere in terms of preserving the sanity on this stretch of the world once so secure, now teeming with hostile invaders.
The problem with this eighth crusade is that it wasn’t one, nor did it ever have the capacity to become one. It was a boisterous coalition largely consisting of concerned evangelicals, dissident Jews, and secularists who hadn’t had quite the right Kool-Aid dosage. Destined for failure, the Counter-Jihad was the most notable attempt in recent memory for a group of malfunctioning Modernists to try and save Modernity from itself, from its own inherent self-destructiveness. The reality is that the things they wanted to defend the most were precisely the things which had weakened Occidental civilization to the point where an Islamic conquest was actually feasible, few shots fired. Geert Wilders for example, couldn’t acknowledge that he wasn’t being tried for hate speech because Islam was so diabolically evil, but because of the smoking crater which now sits where a proud Dutch Christian culture once stood. In all honesty, these people would have opposed authoritarian Christianity just as vigorously as they opposed authoritarian Islam.
In the spirit of his era’s anti-semitism, Corneliu Codreanu had an observation about Romania’s Jews which was rather startling:
“A country has the Jews it deserves. Just as mosquitoes can thrive and settle only in swamps, likewise the former can only thrive in the swamps of our sins.”
With Breivik as perhaps the ironic exception to the rule, the Counter-Jihad movement which got me started down my right wing track was marked by a complete inability to look inward. It told us to stare a raging beast right in the eye, but never look in the mirror for fear of our own rotting face, the corpse-like visage of the dying west. To succeed in holding up that mirror with a courage born of detachment and transcendence, that is the criteria of a true rightism. It is the never-easy task of the Reactionary, and as we are continually reminded, it is a cross we bear alone.
(For post-Breivik analysis, I’ll leave you with an uncharacteristically short, unqualified reservation from Mencius Moldbug, a slightly more sunny view from Jim Donald, and some moral ponderings from Free Northerner)