[Thread/1] Tomorrow it'll be 10 years since a white supremacist terrorist killed 77 people in Norway (mostly youth) in a direct attack on the labor movement.

I thought I'd tell the story of this piece from 2013 and the reaction it evoked ...

theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
[2] ... to illustrate just how much a country can refuse to confront bitter truths about itself.

On the day of the 2013 general election, which yielded a coalition government of the Conservative party + the right-wing populist Progress Party, I was contacted by the Guardian ...
[3] ... for an op-ed reflecting on the significance of the fact that a right-wing populist party could ride to power on the back of a popular vote two years after 22/7.

In my piece, I argued that the lurch to the right showed just how much Norway had failed to confront ...
[4] ... deeply embedded racism in its public sphere and public culture.

And then the shit hit the fan. The fact that a Norwegian commentator had criticized his country's public culture in an international newspaper was the main story on the 7 o'clock news two days running ...
[5] ... and all over the front pages of the newspapers - with Progress Party politicians predictably expressing their disbelief and disgust with my arguments.

Conservative commentators went berserk in their columns and questioned my academic integrity on social media ...
[6] And then there was the abuse and the threats - including death threats. Through every channel possible - my phone rang off the hook, my FB/Twitter pages were swamped, and my mail inbox was full of vile hate.

Someone even dropped a handwritten note in my pigeon-hole ...
[7] ... at the department where I worked at the time.

Interestingly, it said that if I had written the piece in 1945, I would have been tried and shot as a traitor to Norway.

The police set up extra patrols outside my house, and I was advised to leave the city I lived in ...
[8] ... for a couple of weeks.

My department had to lock its doors and my lectures were canceled. I was put on sick leave.

Since then, the issues I pointed out in my op-ed have only become more pronounced, with white supremacist beliefs and racist rhetoric becoming more ...
[9] ... and more mainstream in Norwegian society.

Politicians from the Conservative party and the Progress Party have repeatedly accused representatives of the Labour party and the left more generally of "playing the 22/7 card" when they insist that we need to confront ...
[10] ... the reality of right-wing terrorism and racism.

And in 2019, a young admirer of the 22/7 terrorist killed his step-sister (who was of Chinese origin) before attempting to storm a mosque in Oslo, armed with several high-powered weapons, intending to kill Muslims ...
[11] ... At the core of the refusal to acknowledge the meaning of all this, I think, stands the entitled claim to white innocence - a claim that is unshaken even by the most heinous of acts.

Unless and until that claim is tossed on the dustbin of history, the issues ...
[12] ... I wrote about in 2013 will continue to haunt us.

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More from @alfgunvald

12 Jan 20
From jest to earnest, a follow-up on what a LEFT WELFARE POLITICS actually is.

The basics: A left welfare politics is a politics that aim to change the balance of power (to greater or lesser extents) between (broadly speaking) capital and the working classes.

How? (1/n)
By making standards of living, livelihoods, and social reproduction LESS dependent on selling/buying commodities in markets - that is, by advancing DECOMMODIFICATION.

Decommodification, in turn, is advanced in part by regulating labour markets in terms of wages and ... (2)
... working conditions, as well as social protection that buffets against exclusion from labour markets, and in part by removing things such as healthcare, education, housing - from the domain of the market, and ensuring that people have UNIVERSAL access to these necessities (3)
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30 Jan 19
Still thinking about the #Churchill controversy, and especially how hot and bothered a certain brand of Brit - white, conservative - gets when Hitler and Churchill no longer occupy watertight moral compartments.

This is obviously a case of the anxiety of those who know ...
... that the system they profess allegiance to is guilty of heinous crimes, but who nevertheless persist in denying what they know, and in shouting insults - “thick ginger turd” - at those who are courageous enough to speak the truth.

But what would an honest reckoning ...
... with the truth of the racislized violence and mass murderer that lies at the heart of western modernity look like?

Well - it could possibly start with the logic of Zygmunt Bauman’s analysis of the Holocaust, which posits that Nazi mass murder of the Jews was not ...
Read 8 tweets

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