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El Pais, Spain's "social democratic paper of record" has an op-ed by a Spanish professor at the Quality of Government Institute at the University of Göteborg advising us to look the other way.

ElPais.com: La clave es despertar igual que antes

La tragedia de Oslo revela dos cosas sobre la naturaleza humana. Uno, que existe una minoría, afortunadamente muy escasa, de seres humanos capaces de planear y ejecutar actos de una brutalidad casi inimaginable. Y dos, que el resto de seres humanos sentimos una necesidad muy comprensible de explicar por qué ha sucedido algo así. ¿Por qué alguien quería causar tanto daño en tal lugar y en tal momento a un grupo más o menos determinado de personas?

Como me es imposible encontrar una respuesta a esa pregunta, me gustaría limitarme a cuestionar dos explicaciones del tipo "X es el caldo de cultivo que nos ha llevado a esto", que resultan muy tentadoras en estos momentos. La primera sería una lectura política simplista, vinculando la barbarie al ascenso de la derecha populista en la Europa del norte y responsabilizando a sus líderes políticos de inspirar este crimen. Que el asesino estuviera políticamente motivado no implica que debamos criminalizar a colectivos (posiblemente heterogéneos) de votantes, militantes o parlamentarios de unos partidos políticos, por mucho que nos disgusten algunas de sus propuestas. Como han enfatizado miembros del Gobierno noruego, la clave es que mañana Noruega despierte como Noruega, una sociedad abierta, donde es posible confrontar ideas políticas en un ambiente de libertad.

The key is to wake up just like before
The Oslo tragedy reveals two things about human nature. One, that there's a minority, fortunately very small, of human beings able to plan and execute unimaginably brutal acts. And two, that the rest of human beings feel a very understandable need to explain why something like this happened. Why would someone want to cause so much harm at a given time and pace to a more or less well defined group of people?

Since it's impossible for me to find an answer to that question, I'd like to limit myself to questioning two explanations of the kind "X is the medium that cultivates this", which are very tempting right now. The first would be a simplistic political reading, linking the present barbarity with the ascent of the populist right wing in Northern Europe and making their political leaders responsible for inspiring this crime. That the murderer was politically motivated does not imply that we must criminalise groups (possibly heterogeneous) of voters, activists or parlamentarians of certain political parties, however distasteful we find their ideas. As members of the Norwegian government have stressed, the key is for Norway to wake up tomorrow as Norway, an open society, where it is possible to confront ideas in an atmosphere of freedom

He goes on to dismiss the idea "popularised by a slew of Scandinavian crime mystery novels" that there's something rotten in Scandinavia underneath the a civilised veneer, and even the "curse of oil" explanation for why this happened in Norway. So, he has no explanation and things should continue just like they were.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 07:31:33 AM EST
Sigh.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 07:56:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When they say "reveals something about human nature", you KNOW they're fucking rightwingers spewing a smoke screen.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 08:46:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, don't knock it. It's a piece of analysis by a Spanish political science professor "embedded" in the Scandinavian establishment. It's a scoop!

Bleurgh.

The guy doesn't look like an obvious rightist.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 01:53:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder who does these days.

Just getting abundant confirmation from French TV Noos that we are going to have this thing handled as a lone weirdo but not under the heading "terrorism".

Just one old and tired journalist on the island (who looked like this horror had really seeped into his soul), who, in response to the bright young néant doing the anchor number, actually spoke of political terrorism. But he can, he's a former Beyrouth hostage (Philippe Rochot).

All the other journalists played the game according to the narrative. Which persuades me (a little more) that we're all rightists now - and so can't make an enemy of one of our own.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 03:17:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dropped you an e-mail with a draft LTE that rebukes this toady for carrying water for the right-wing prevarications.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 11:59:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I knew you'd like it.

Translated LTE now sent back.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 01:15:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not post it here?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 01:20:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because I don't know what El Pais' rules are regarding LTEs that have previously been published in online venues.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 01:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another day, another op-ed. This one's a bit better;

El Pais: The far right threatens Europe

A Siv Jensen, la incendiaria líder del Partido del Progreso noruego, se le mojó la pólvora al saber que Anders Behring Breivik, el asesino de Oslo, había militado durante años en sus filas. "Duele saberlo", comentó cuando le dieron la noticia. "Lo que ha ocurrido es una terrible tragedia y lo importante es que los noruegos estemos juntos". Jensen se encuentra ahora en el centro del escenario, bajo unos focos que la muestran en nutrida compañía de líderes y partidos extremistas europeos, que cazan a placer votos de un electorado a la defensiva por la crisis económica y defraudado por una Unión Europea que no solo no resuelve sus problemas sino que sacrifica en el altar de la globalización puestos de trabajo cada vez más escasos. El extremismo político, tintado de nacionalismo y xenofobia, ha dejado de ser tabú cuando políticos tan respetables como Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel o David Cameron juegan con la idea de que "el multiculturalismo ha fracasado completamente", como mantiene la canciller alemana. Políticos clásicos y radicales pugnan por ese electorado como en una subasta, lo que permite a los analistas aventurar que las ideas extremas modelarán el debate político en Europa.
Learnng that Anders Behring Breivik, the Oslo murderer, had for years been an activist among her ranks, wetted the gunpowder of Siv Jensen, the incendiary leade or the Norwegian Progress Party. "What happened is a terrible tragedy and what's important is that we Norwegians remain together". Jensen is now in centre-stage, in a limelight showing her in the company of a large number of extremist parties and leaders, catching votes from an electorate at the defensive due to the economic crisis and disappointed by a European Union which not only does not solve their problems but sacrifices ever scarcer jobs on the altar of globalization. Political extremism, coloured by nationalism and xenophobia, is no longer taboo when politicians as respectable [sic] as Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel or David Cameron toy with the idea that "multiculturalism has completely failed", as the German Chancellor maintains. Classical and radical politicians fight for that electorate as in an auction, which allows analysts to guess that extreme ideas will shape Europe's political debate.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 25th, 2011 at 01:53:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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