Two legal psychiatrists declared Andres Breivik not imputable for his actions. If Breivik would have been called Mohammed or Mustafa, would that also have been the case? Our obsession with muslim fundamentalism blinds us for the rise of Neo-fascism.
Breivik murdered 77 people. Few could believe he acted all by himself. For one man to cause this massacre, in broad daylight was en is hard to get by. Meanwhile his large manifest, in which he calls up to fight immigrants, more specifically muslims, is widespread on the internet.
Now those two psychiatrists claim Breivik was psychotic at the time of his deeds. This means Breivik had lost all contact with reality and was no longer in control of his actions. A panel of experts will examine the psychiatrists conclusions. If that panel follows their expertise (conclusions or outcome) then the court can’t do anything (else, than), but declare Breivik not imputable for his actions. This means he will be detained in a psychiatric facility for a period of three years, prolonged as long as is deemed necessary.
Before Breiviks attack I wrote some articles about the rise of Neo-fascism in Europe. In the mean time Neo-fascism has been internalised into politics, media and civilisation as common and normal political thinking. Breivik, who is not alone, -look at recent actions by Neo-fascists in Germany- shows that the distance between words and deeds is very small. I am afraid we seem to be internalising the deeds as well as the words.
I have many questions concerning the state of affairs in Norway, it being an example, since we also see these tendencies in Belgium and many other countries.
In my opinion the evolution within the judicial system is worrying. The role of psychiatrists and the media increases in court. One could say the judicial system is being influenced by psychiatric viewpoint or the public opinion (through the media) as can be seen in several lawsuits. What can we do about this? Or should we just let this go on?
Another question is that of the classification of the dominant society. Deeds done by the ‘white’ dominant group of society are being psychologised, while those of the ‘brown or blacks’ immediately get ‘the terrorist’ stigma. Remember how several opinions and articles in de media reported Breviks massacre, at first to be a terrorist attack by muslim fundamentalists? I wonder if they ever will criticise, question or forbid this racist behaviour?
While Europe’s busy ‘fighting muslim terrorism’, the people don’t realise that Neo-fascism is the biggest threat, which endangers all the good Europe and Western society has accomplished. Instead of fighting Neo-fascism in all its forms, one is even preoccupied supporting it. In Greece, neo-nazi’s joined the government, having Europe’s full support.
Whenever during my lectures, I talk about Neo-fascism, I often see people who don’t know what to think anymore.
One doesn’t like to hear this, but you can speak of fascist tendencies and practices when you look at reality. The individual has been degraded, tamed and submitted to the system.
In the current capitalistic system, the focus of the nation is one of punishment, disciplining and control. Our country is a repressive one. Just listen how one talks about the poor (hold the poor responsible), about immigration (criminalisation of the immigrant) or exclusion (ignoring millions being excluded) and the inequality, which all is increasing.
We live in countries where we increasingly lose rights. Where there’s less and less room for the human being and where the limited free space is being packed with camera’s and gates.
Millions of dollars are being spend for the military en the manipulation and brainwashing of people by commercial media en politicians who can only scan popular phrases. Through populism and indoctrination the civilisation is being convinced. If these are not the symptoms of fascism, then even I don’t know anymore what is. History never repeats its self in the same manner, but even in old forms of fascism we discover the same routines.
When you fill a civilisation with hate, than sooner or later it will show up in daily live. Not only the perpetrators (like Breivik), but also the messengers (politicians, intellectuals, media) and their passive followers (brainwashed civilians), are all partly responsible.
Norway has a tradition in not punishing criminals who are declared mentally ill. One should however think carefully what one does with Breivik: leave him to the care of some ‘experts’ or look closer in on the meaning of his deeds and what they did to our society.
Is he just a psychotic lunatic or an extreme Neo-fascist who acted like one? I believe it to be the second choice. When we look at Neo-fascism as a sort of mental disease, for which one can’t be punished, we give Neo-fascism carte blanche.
Bleri Lleshi is political philosopher
Translated to English by Ann Blanckaert