The Nature of Political Violence

As I reported here on Sunday, a post-doctoral researcher at a British university has arranged to interview me as part of a project “looking at different manifestations of populism across Europe”. To avoid as many “gotcha!” traps as possible, I arranged to have any potentially loaded terms defined to my satisfaction in advance of answering the questions.

As it turned out, there, was only a single term — “far-right” — that needed to be defined. The interviewer replied to my request this morning, and his response was eminently reasonable and helpful. His cooperative and non-ideological approach is a far cry from that of the British journalist with whom I exchanged emails several months ago.

This measured, thoughtful reply is not what I would have expected from any major university investigating Islam-critics:

Thanks for getting back to me. Glad you’re happy with most of the questions. I used the term ‘far-right’ in that question largely because it’s the term used in the report it references, rather than as a reflection of my own, or any organisation’s definition of far right. On reflection I think you’re right to question the definition as the term is used rather casually in the report, and I’ll confess, in my questions.

I’ve been wracking my brains about the best way to characterise the term ‘far-right’ violence, but on reflection I think this is likely to be somewhat counterproductive given the wide spectrum of violent acts in recent years. I don’t think that any definition could adequately include one set of groups whilst excluding others. Moreover, I don’t really want to exclude any form of violence. I’m interested in how you see your work as influencing or not influencing the behaviour of a range of groups, not just those that Kundnani sees as being on the ‘far-right’.

I think the best thing to do might be to remove any political description from violence altogether so you are free to add in your own if you so choose. So the question should read:

‘GoV has been criticised in the past as promoting a counter-jihadist narrative that in turn promotes violence (see attached report Kundnani, 2012: 6). Do you think this is a valid or fair criticism? How would you respond to claims like these?’

Hopefully the new wording is acceptable, but if not let me know and I’ll have another go.

So the Kundnani report, riddled as it was with knee-jerk leftist bias, provided the model for my interlocutor’s current undertaking. It’s gratifying to see that he is willing to recognize the model’s deficiencies, and modify his text accordingly.

Answering the question as it is now phrased will provide a welcome opportunity to discuss all types of violence that may emerge in reaction to those who openly oppose Islamization and sharia in Western societies. And, contrary to the current wisdom, Breivik-type violence is not at all what one can expect as a response to anti-Islamic rhetoric.

I’ll be writing more on this subject when I answer the interviewer’s questions in detail. For the time being, let’s just say he should have interviewed Theo Van Gogh instead of me if he wanted a truly meaningful answer to his questions.

16 thoughts on “The Nature of Political Violence

  1. Well yes, let’s interview those that lost their lives to Islamic Jihad. That might actually give the reporter a better understanding of Islamic Jihad.
    How about interviewing Ms. Ali or Mr. Westergart? That might also give the reporter insight into the jihad.

  2. The picture of the Erhard-Brigade is missleading.

    The Erhard Brigade was set up by the German Socialist Party (SPD) by War-Minister Noske (SPD) in 1919 to fight the Bolsheviks due to the cease fire Articles of the Entente.

    Under the command of the Sociualist Party (SPD) a 30 year old private was trained to become an anto-Bolshevik agitator. His name was Adolf Hitler.

    Proof: “Ein Gefangener erzählt mir, er sei dem österreichischen Anstreicher Adolf Hitler in den ersten Monaten der Republik in einer Münchener Kaserne begegnet. Damals hätte Hitler erklärt, er sei Sozialdemokrat. Der Mann sei ihm aufgefallen, weil er »so gebildet und geschwollen« dahergeredet hätte, wie einer, der viel Bücher liest und sie nicht verdaut. Doch habe er ihn nicht ernst genommen, weil der Sanitätsunteroffizier verraten hätte, im Krieg sei der Hitler, als er von der Front zurückkam, schwer nervenkrank in einem Lazarett gelegen, blind, plötzlich habe er wieder sehen können.” Ernst Toller (commander op the communist red army in Munich 1919)

    So the Erhard Brigade in those days was (still) under command of the SPD and in the Kapp-upraisal those soldiers started a rebellion, since the SPD, traited those soldiers and dropped them as a hot potatoe after they had done their job which was to eliminate the Bolsheviks in Germany.

    • On the contrary, it is not at all misleading. I made no assertions about what it represented, so it was not possible for me to mislead anyone about anything.

      The Kapp Putsch in 1920 was an incident of political violence in the midst of near-continuous political violence in Germany, mainly between the Communists and the Freikorps.

      The putsch was launched against the socialist government (Ebert, if I recall correctly), and was opposed by socialists (including the Ccommunists) who called strikes to protest it. It was supported by a wide swath of the officer corps, and could not have occurred and lasted as long as it did without their support. When enough of them withdrew their backing, the putsch collapsed.

      Kapp and Erhardt received their strongest support in Bavaria.

      Those are the facts in a nutshell, as well as I can remember them. Please correct me if I got any of them wrong.

      What about that is “misleading”?

      • Superficially you are correct. What you are citing is the official view of those incidences.

        But: before 3 / 1920 the so called “Kapp-units” in fact formed the armed wing of the SPD.

        After WWI in Jan 1919 almost the whole German army was dismissed and the remaining troups were not reliable (see e.g.:

        So the “left” Socialist SPD-government issued the legal basis to set up new units with veteran-volunteers, called “Freicorps” to fight the even more left attacking Bolsheviks organized by Karl Radek (ex SPD, now KPRussia

        So before March 1920 the SPD (Ebert/Scheidemann in Berlin and Johannes Hoffmann in Bavaria ) used those units (incl. Erhards Brigade) were in charge to fight back their ultra-left socialist (frequently ex SPD-)”brothers”.

        So in a nutshel: it was a fratricidal war within the Socialists(!)

        So what I found misguiding (as long as you refer to the time before 3/1920) is the suggestion “…mainly between the Communists and the Freikorps.”

        I would precise that in: “…mainly between the Communists and the SPD, using the Freicorps.”

        After 3/1920 I agree with you.

        After the Freicorps had done their blody job and helped to stabilize the SPD-governments in Berlin and Munich, the SPD betraied those men and wanted to dismiss them:

        “In early 1919 the strength of the Reichswehr, the regular German army, was estimated at 350,000. In addition there were more than 250,000 men enlisted in the various Freikorps (free corps), volunteer paramilitary units largely consisting of returning soldiers from the war. The German government had repeatedly used Freikorp troops to put down Communist uprisings after the war. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which came into effect on 10 January 1920, Germany was required to reduce its armed forces to a maximum of 100,000. Freikorps units were therefore expected to be disbanded.”

        “Am 29. Februar 1920 löste Reichswehrminister Gustav Noske auf Anweisung der Siegermächte die 5.000 Mann starke Marine-Brigade Ehrhardt sowie die Marine-Brigade von Loewenfeld auf. Diese Einheiten bildeten die Elite der bewaffneten Verbände und waren als Rückhalt im Falle einer Eskalation des polnisch-sowjetischen Krieges auf Reichsgebiet vorgesehen.”

        This was the reason why those soldiers who shetted their blod for the interest of the SPD as well as for the Entente to push back the attacking Bolsheviks turned their arms against their former highest commanders.

        Or in a second nutshel: a stap in the back and this time not as a myth, but as a fact.

        What is frequently overlooked is, that Karl Karl Mayr, (he characterized himself as “I was always a national socialist”), Hitlers Captain of the intelligence and propaganda company he served in since May 1919, spent Hitler a ticket to join the Kapp-Putsch. Mayr will officially join the SPD in 1925.

        What really happened in the Kapp-Putsch was the split-off of the armed wing of the SPD and from then on this split off will be called “far-right”, incl. Karl Mayr and Adolf Hitler and other ex SPD-agents.

  3. Ref. “I’ve been wracking my brains about the best way to characterise the term ‘far-right’ violence,..”

    What about “achive nationalist goals by using bolshevic methods”?

    This is how Scheidmann, the SPD chancellor defined Hitlers movement and Scheidemann should know what he was talking from, since he was the responsible German Chancelor to eliminate the Bolshevik upraisal in Germany in 1919 by hiering the Freicorps.

    By the way, who defined the NSDAP as a “right” movement? The NSDAP never did that, none of the NSDAP officials did that. Hitler himself until 1920 was a SPD agent.

    Hitler and the NSDAP was born in the clash of the consitutional socialism of the SPD and the bolshevik socialism of Lenin (KPD), whereby the Kommunist (KPD) agents named the others “Rechtssozialisten”, but aleway within the socualist movement.

  4. I have not been reading your site for a couple of days but assume that you have picked up on the fact that further analysis of the last census results in the United Kingdom showed that Islam will be the major religion here in ten years’ time. Although 60% of the population still think of themselves as Christian, Christianity is increasingly the faith of an ageing population. In contrast there are so many muslims under 25. Well, there would be as Islam is not a religion you choose but one you are born into. Obviously, they will be then able to have a major impact on government, especially foreign policy. I think that eventually they will form their own Islamic party. There is so little the English can do now. Apparently, an American working in the City of London described London as a first rate city attached to a second-rate country. Obviously, he was only interested in making money and had no feeling for the history, culture and countryside of England. The indigenous cockneys have been ethnically cleansed from London to make way for all the world’s greedy who flock here to get rich. Getting rich has never been the English way. This is why the Indians love it here as their primary objective seems to be to get rich and the poor can go hang. The English, by contrast, have always been exceptionally altruistic, especially in view of their Christian heritage. However, this is not shared by those who have ruled the country for the last 60 years for whom the acquisition of personal wealth and power at the expense of their compatriots seems to have been all that counts. London is a “world city” somebody even suggested it is the world’s capital. It is no longer the capital of England or the English who have been dispossessed and pushed into the outer darkness. I read somewhere that this is probably how the whole of England will be by the end of the century, belonging to all the greedy vultures of the world and the gentle English can go hang. Sold down the river by generations of political traitors. Still, there is hope. UKIP have just beaten Labour for a council seat in Rotherham. At last the English working classes may finally have realised that the Labour Party since the War have been international socialists and have used their traditional voter base to remain in power long enough to replace them with foreign imports in true Marxist fashion. It would be nice to think that the ordinary working man will at last give them the boot up the backside they deserve. First for the boot, they lying multi-millionaire Tony Blair.

    The census results also revealed the fragmentation of Britain along racial lines with massive white flight, especially from London. Within my lifetime we were a homogenous, cohesive people in a homogeneous and cohesive nation. Now England is just a piece of land for anybody to settle in or leave as they will in true globalist fashion. It is a nowhere land and we are already the rootless ciphers of the New World Order even if our roots here go back 1500 years or more.

    • If Islam is your “major religion,” then Sharia will be your “major law” and Muslims will be your masters.
      Never forget that it Britons are responsible for the burial of their culture and polity, and THE POPE ISN’T!

      • “Never forget that it Britons are responsible for the burial of their culture and polity, and THE POPE ISN’T!”

        The Pope has his representatives in Britain, and they are enabling islamisation, just as most of the “leaders” of the Anglican Church are. There is barely a single christian leader in Europe who will speak out against islam (in Britain we have one ex-muslim Bishop who speaks out). Even Pope Benedict (of Hitler Youth fame) chose to apologise after quoting from a medieval Pope. The current Pope abased himself at the foot of a muslim criminal. If neither of the last two Popes has got the guts of Pope Urban, then they should just slink off and become muslims (as no doubt many clergy will do).

        All the clergy in Britain attack anyone who stands up against islam, such as the EDL. They are less than useless. They never even talk about what muslims are doing in Nigeria and Sudan, but they are very happy to attack Israel.

        The clergy are traitors not just to Britain but to the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church. Christianity would never have survived in the west without the barbarians from the north of Europe. Those barbarians are rejecting christianity, in preparation for the coming war. We don’t need some stupid religion conniving with the political elite to hand over our country, telling us to turn the other cheek, and that islam is the religion of peace.

        And the precipitous decline in christianity in the last UK census is mirrored in the US.

  5. Are these not academic fishing expeditions for the counter-jihad to self-identify conceding a signature for future prosecutions.

    Breivik was a product of multiculturalism and defined himself within that construct, evil begets evil.

  6. Nick attempted to post the following comment here, but for some reason was unable to do so.


    My general view is that a blog such as GoV consists in the main of descriptive articles which refer to actual, real-world events which have already taken place (much like a newspaper.)

    It’s difficult to see how this could be in any way responsible for any violence committed by any individuals anywhere, for whatever reason.

    With that said, blogs such as GoV do go beyond the real-time approach taken by much of the traditional media, and make some effort to put events in an historical and philosophical context, and by so doing give their readers a better understanding of what is going on in the world today.

    I take this as an improvement over the traditional media, which tends to throw de-contextualised reports of foiled jihadist attacks & honour killings at their readers in between reports about football transfers and soap opera plotlines.

    I recall the recent survey at GoV which showed that a lot of its readers were fairly well educated etc. I want to understand what is really happening in my own society. I want to know about the ideological context of the latest jihadist attacks carried out against the West, and against minority religious groups in Islamic countries. The traditional media isn’t telling me. So I read blogs like GoV.

    I don’t see how GoV’s approach to news coverage can be in any way thought responsible for any individuals choosing to commit acts of violence, for whatever reason. Gates of Vienna is only doing what the traditional media should be doing.

    • Ok, I think now I got you.

      Well considering “violence” I remember interviews made in the 60s with guardsmen serving in conzentration camps.
      The prisoners said: “Well the guardsmen were very ordinary, common, average people, with just zwo slight differences, which are:
      a) theys are more oportinistic than others and
      b) they received more power than they were able to take responsibility for.

      I think most most people are capable to commit violent acts against others, but it needs a certain framework to activate that.

      If such a framework allows those acts it will be easier to find people which doing so, and

      if (alternatively or additionally) such acts will be rewarded it will (also) be easier to find people doing so.

      Bolshewism, national Socialism, Islam have in common that they issued a “legal” framework in which violence “under certain circumstances” is allowed and Bolshewism, national Socialism, Islam rewards people doing so.

      In Bolshewism it “had to be done to liberate the chained workers class”

      In national Socialism it “had to be done for the purity of the own race”

      In Islam it “has to be done to pealse allah, since it is laid down in the Koran”

      Next question: How can such a tyrannic system be stabilized? Very easy: “fill each post with people which (refereing to their moral and mental capabilities) would never reach that post”.
      If you did so, then each post is filled with a person which can loose something he will never reach again in his life and thus he will do whatever is required to keep it, including immoral and/or illegal acts. This is how an immoral social system can be stabilized for a certain time.

      The dramatic thin in my view is, that the politician in Europe know that, and they suffered that experience in the last century and with that knowledge, they do allow Islam now to enter into Europe, whereby everibody capable to read can read the Koran 2:191 “kill the infidels” for instance. This is a non-excusable poloitical crime of “our” poiticians!

      Coming cack to my previous postings, you will will find further proof and citations that the “left” Social Democratic Party (SPD) assisted the birth of Adolf Hitler as a politician as well as assisted the birth of the NSDAP

      Further arguments (if of interest) you will find in the comments of Nr. 27, 29, 32, 46, 62, 76, 87, 89

  7. That is interesting to see how he replied to your request on a definition of far right, it could well be that the report is genuine, and your replying to his questions could be very important indeed. Good luck and thanks for doing this.

  8. Baron,

    I suggest you reply to him and point out that you didn’t ask him to define “far right violence” you asked him to define “far right”

    What does he mean by that?

    If he cannot define the term then I suggest you insist that he include in his final paper a section on the impossibility of defining that term.

    And if it cannot be defined, it follows that other academics who use it to smear people quite literally dont’ know what they are talking about.

    Don’t let him off the hook.

  9. “Violence” and “website” are two different words referring to two entirely different things.

    The modifier “far right” has been applied to both. What exactly do people mean when they do that? Well that’s the question isn’t it.

    You’re not asking this fellow to define the noun “violence” any more than you’re asking him to define the noun “website”.

    You’re asking him to define the modifier “far right”.

    Don’t let him squirm around and play childish language games in order to avoid doing so. It’s a straightforward question you’re asking him, he should be able to provide a clear answer. If he can’t then he’s no “academic”.

    Keep on at him.

    It’s important.

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