Echoes of Echoes

Fear Of The 'Other'

Last year, the world was stunned to hear of a bombing and shooting rampage in Norway. Many people's initial thoughts, much like after the Oklahoma City Bombing, were that this was the act of Muslim extremists.

The crime in Norway was indeed committed by an extremist. A right-wing extremist who saw himself as a soldier in a war against the menaces of immigration and Islam.

What might have a few people wondering, is why Europe, which saw the ravages of Fascism first-hand, would have people embracing those same ideas? Some of it is likely generational, Europe's younger people are two or more generations removed from the days of the Brownshirts and the SS.

Or could it be that the European right has managed to tap into a fear of the "other". For generations European nations have been basically homogeneous. Wars and violence in many of former colonies has brought refugees. To some on the European Right, this creates an opportunity to claim that purity is being threatened.

It's an idea that the American Right has been exploiting for years; the Irish, the Pole, the Asian, the Latino, and much like Europe, the Muslim. One need only look at the rhetoric of the "Minutemen" or the backers of Arizona's SB1070 to hear a toned-down version of the rhetoric that lead to the tragedy in Norway.

Of course, the American Right needed to get it's ideas from somewhere. Folks like Jared Loughner may have taken the notion of the outgroup as scapegoat from the ideas that Hitler and Franco rode to power.

Comments 14 comments

Sooner28 4 years ago

Demonizing illegal immigrants as the "other," and blaming them for widespread employment is racist and dangerous. Great hub.


Sooner28 4 years ago

I meant unemployment. Stupid typos!


sir_tallest profile image

sir_tallest 4 years ago

it is in man's nature to move from where he is to a better place in search of greener pasture.although its wrong, its also human nature to blame everything that goes wrong people on the forigners.such is the way of life.


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 4 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author

I work at a help desk taking customer chats. I'm used to dealing with typos


CJStone profile image

CJStone 4 years ago from Whitstable, UK

As the economy starts to crash and people's livelihoods are threatened, so they look for scapegoats. Conditions in the 30s during the great depression were much as they are now, so similar forces are at work. Fascism arises in the midst of ignorance and fear. I worry about the future.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

You could say Breivik is another incarnation of Vidkun Quisling, another product of the far right in Norway who was executed fifty-seven years ago after trying to 'rule' Norway under the Nazi yoke. The Norwegians are fairly tolerant, as we in Britain are reputed to be but our halo keeps slipping. Considering what Norway's been through (since losing its sovereignty first to Denmark and then to Sweden until the late 19th Century), they've done well to keep their heads. While Breivik hasn't actually committed treason, there'll be many who wonder Norway hasn't executed him... And they're not even in the EU!


American Romance profile image

American Romance 4 years ago from America

So you compare this crazed man to the right? The "right" in Europe and the right in America are two totaly different thought processes. The minutemen have done a tremendous service to this country by keeping out drug dealers and illegals,.........you dis them why? Did I mention on their own dime? Have you ever read the minuteman creed? Anyway you threw in Muslims? Seriously you don't believe these people need to be watched and subdued? TP, you have much to learn my friend.


Sooner28 4 years ago

Watched and subdued? That's HUGE government. Why, as a conservative, are you fine with that? It's seems inconsistent.


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 4 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author

Sooner:

The "Minutemen" basically go hunting for 'Spics the way the "Good Ole Boys" would go hunting n*****s.

Check out the Southern Poverty Law Center or Political Research Associates for more an the folks that AR and a few other's see as "Patriotic Americans"


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

The Far Right in Europe and the Far Right in the US aren't all that different. Don't mistake the 'Far Right' for the 'Right'. The Far Right in Europe is closer to Nazi doctrine than Republicanism, more like the Klan used to be in the Deep South, but still different. Politically motivated as well as Racist.

Dangerous with it, more like Hitler than 'Grand Wizards'!


Michael Furdek 4 years ago from California

I have read time and time again about the "right" over in Europe, especially like Greece, and they don't compare to the right over here. There are too different ideologies and I don't support what they believe over there. So stop the bs about every person who goes on a rampage anywhere in the world is a right wing extremist.


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 4 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author

Michael:

I think there are a few common traits to any right-wing movement. And save perhaps for some radical environmentalists, when was the last time you heard about a leftist committing a crime like Brevik or McVeigh?


Michael Furdek 4 years ago from California

TPC

Do you not realize the news organizations, well most of them, are controlled by the left? Why would they want to diss on their own kind when they could find every opportunity to diss on the right? Paint the far right people as crazy and we shouldn't listen to them. So yes, I agree, I rarely if ever hear anybody from the far left committing a large crime like that.


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 4 years ago from Camp Hill, PA Author

Michael:

Go to http://www.fair.org and get back to me about the "Liberal Media" or just look at how they've portrayed the "Occupy" movemement.

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