This post is mirrored from the Gates of Vienna.
We’ve just completed a four-part analysis of the report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) entitled “A Neo-Nationalist Network: The English Defence League and Europe’s Counter-Jihad Movement” [pdf], which attempts to make the case that the EDL and similar organizations exhibit “fascist” or “neo-Nazi” characteristics. (See the bottom of this post for links to all four parts of the ICSR series.)
As Paul Weston pointed out, it seems likely that the ICSR was tasked by its funders with the preparation of the political battlefield for an eventual takedown of the EDL by Prime Minister David Cameron and his “Conservative” government. Yet the ICSR operation is obviously aimed at a larger set of targets than just those in the United Kingdom. Its affiliation with the Swedish Ministry of Defence, the current US secretary of defense, several American universities, Saudi sheikhs, and a think tank in Jordan are indicative of a broad set of goals on the part of the Islamic world and its dhimmi allies in the West. One must presume that this coalition of interests is preparing for a larger crackdown in various countries on both sides of the Atlantic.
And let’s face it — if the Powers That Be decide that any individuals or groups need to be neutralized, then they will be neutralized, very quickly and easily. Laws against “terrorism” that give government agencies almost unlimited power are already on the books in the United States and Europe. The SWAT teams are on call; legions of prosecutors and lawyers stand ready to do whatever it takes to protect citizens from “terrorists” — which in the USA now include patriots and Tea Partiers, and in Europe anyone who actively opposes Islamization and mass immigration.
The political moment is not yet right, however — hence the need for learned and credentialed academics to do “research” and provide reports that prove the need for repressive action against persons and groups that have been pre-determined to be “fascists”, “neo-Nazis”, or otherwise represent proscribed categories that place them beyond the pale of polite Multicultural society.
Notwithstanding its laughable shortcomings, the ICSR report is intended to provide a façade of academic legitimacy for illiberal state action. It creates a minuscule fig leaf in an attempt to cover the grotesque distended genitals of government repression.
The paper produced by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence is just the latest in a series of sober, scholarly, footnoted academic reports about the dangers of “Islamophobia”, “xenophobia”, “racism”, “intolerance”, and “fascism”. They are issued at regular intervals by various think tanks, NGOs, quasi-government agencies, governments, and supra-national entities such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations.
Back in February we reported on the machinations of the Alliance of Civilizations, which is an arm of the United Nations and lavishly funded by the OIC. Check the OIC archives for accounts about the AoC’s iron fist in an oh-so-velvet glove. Like the OIC itself, the AoC is taking aim at our freedom of speech by pushing the implementation of Islamic blasphemy laws throughout the West.
The same set of archives provides details on the Istanbul Process, which was cooked up two years ago by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Turkey, and the OIC. Ms. Clinton aimed to keep her Sunni allies sweet by turbo-charging the implementation of UN Resolution 16/18, thereby bringing the outlawing of “blasphemy” that much closer to realization in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe.
Then there’s the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Various Islamic groups under the umbrella of the OIC have set their sights on the co-optation of the OSCE for the purposes of stopping “Islamophobia”. Were it not for the tireless efforts of Counterjihad activists such as Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff and Henrik Ræder Clausen, the subtle machinations of Muslims at the OSCE would have caused scarcely a ripple in the awareness of the West.
The learned savants and government functionaries who hold forth in these organizations form the smiley-face peace-loving wing of the Islamization vanguard. They gather for chin-wags and prepare insomnia-curing academic papers, presenting an opposition to “Islamophobia” that no one could object to.
Playing Bad Cop to their Good Cop are all the bully-boy “anti-racist” outfits such as the Antifas and Unite Against Fascism in Europe, and the Occupy movements in the United States and Canada. These groups — largely staffed by young people from the anarchist Left — act as the Brown Shirts for respectable NGOs and socialist political parties. The think tanks prepare serious, learned white papers while the Antifas and UAF throw bricks and bottles at the EDL, the Sweden Democrats, and Pro-NRW.
What the latter have in common with the respectable groups is lavish funding — and often from the same sources. Together they form the face of the counter-Counterjihad.
Such are “anti-fascist” politics as practiced during the twilight of Western Civilization in the early 21st century.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Many activists in Counterjihad circles hold that true democracy no longer operates in the nations of the West. Regardless of the opinions of their constituents, virtually all major political parties support globalist policies promoting Multiculturalism, the abolition of state borders, and mass immigration from the Third World, especially from Muslim countries. Left or right; it makes no difference — political parties that cycle through the revolving door of state power are all but indistinguishable from one another on these important issues.
It seems that our countries are now managed as oligarchies by those who hold the levers of power in the existing political structure. However, the class of people who act as oligarchs is a large one, numbering in the hundreds of thousands (or perhaps millions) across the entirety of the West.
And therein lies our hope.
The people at the top of the hierarchy are beyond our reach. Whatever their motives — ideological ambition, lust for power, or simple venality, corruption, and greed — they are far outside our range.
But most of what I call the oligarchs are minor functionaries of various sorts, both inside and outside of government. They are academics, journalists, mid-level administrators, and managers of subsidized enterprises. In other words, they are the people who write reports like the one produced by ICSR, and attend conferences like the one hosted by ICSR. They include people who report on such events, and people who make policy decisions based on the ideas and conclusions contained in the policy papers produced by such events. They are commonly known as the “political class”.
A certain critical mass of oligarchs is necessary before any new policy can gain traction and be implemented by legislators and governments. There have to be enough of them onboard before any political decision that runs contrary to the status quo can imposed, whether through legislation or by administrative fiat.
This is why think tanks produce papers like the ICSR report: to provide a foundation of legitimacy and academic justification for new policies that one or more factions within the political class would like to see enacted. An impressive policy paper with all those footnotes and citations lends gravitas to the ideas it represents.
The paper itself has to meet only a minimal standard of competence, as was amply demonstrated by the ICSR report that the Gates of Vienna team just finished fisking. Lavish funding and years of effort do not necessarily produce a result that holds any real academic merit. A policy paper only has to be good enough — it must look authoritative and definitive. It must be larded with the right kind of academic jargon. It must present conclusions that the political class mostly already accepts, in a fashion that cements those conclusions as Truth. After it is presented and discussed, it may be consigned to a drawer and forgotten, its purpose having been served.
Or such was the case before the Internet. Over the course of the past two decades, everything has changed. People who are smarter and better educated than the drones who write these reports can now access them, take them apart, and critique them publicly in a way that was formerly impossible.
As we have seen, the ICSR report couldn’t stand up to the light of day. The skeleton of facts — which an unpaid independent Counterjihad researcher could have compiled in less than 1% of the time that it took the authors to do the job — has been supplemented with loaded phrases and unjustified conclusions. To make its case, the paper had to assign motives to people that they do not have and put words in their mouths that they do not speak. If the result had been subjected to any real academic rigor, it would have been laughed into the dustbin of history before you could say “Tommy Robinson”.
None of this matters, however, if no one reads the report (or its fisking) outside of the hallowed cloisters of academia and NGO-world. Within those precincts, the matter has already been decided — the paper is not meant to be read; it is just there to provide a citable “authority”. The fact that it consists of tendentious nonsense is neither here nor there.
For this reason, I urge anyone who reads these words to help the viral spread of the fisking of this report and others like it. Not that you need to copy or excerpt our efforts — you can read the report yourself and do your own critique, if you prefer. Any reasonably intelligent person can reduce the paper to rubble with a minimum of effort.
But the more widely such reasoned critiques are spread, the more probable it is that people in the political class will read them and pay attention. Yes, I know that the mind of any individual oligarch is unlikely to be changed. Yet changeable minds do exist within this class — Bjorn Lomborg proved that there are reasonable people among the elite who can be convinced to alter their opinions by real evidence.
Most people who function as lower-level oligarchs are not particularly evil or corrupt. They are ordinary people who hold sinecures. They are time-servers. They go along to get along. They think what everyone else around them thinks.
But minds can be changed, if enough well-reasoned, clear, non-polemical evidence is presented. If we wish to avert increased political repression, we must strive to change them.
Therefore I say unto you: Go forth into the world and fisk!
Previous posts about the ICSR report:
|2013||Mar||28||Part 1: Introduction|
|30||Part 2: The Transatlantic Connection|
|Apr||2||Part 3: The British Counterjihad Movement|
|3||Part 4: Academic vs. Academic|