Portuguese translation here
Since the 1990s, Norway’s best-known export has been its Black Metal. When it originally erupted as a phenomenon during the early part of the decade, particularly following a series of murders and church arsons perpetrated by members of the Black Metal scene in that country, many in less Septentrional latitudes turned their eyes toward Norway for the first time. Some wondered what it was about that seemingly peaceful, beautiful, and sparsely populated country on the fringes of Europe that caused youths there develop such extremist attitudes. In Lords of Chaos, Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind interpreted events from a Jungian perspective.
Some may want to liken the two because they both desired, at the time, to provoke extreme reactions through extreme acts. Because both appear European racial nationalists. And because they also reject the status quo in a manner that is somewhat analogous, in as much as there is an antagonism toward two movements that are universalist and egalitarian, and which, from a pagan perspective, are linked, one being a secular version of the other. Vikernes rejects Christianity; Breivik rejects multiculturalism, particularly because of Islam. Predictably, their names have appeared in juxtaposition all over the internet.
Yet Vikernes is a pagan, whereas Breivik is a Christian. Thus, ideologically, for Vikernes, who sees both Christianity and multiculturalism as having Jewish origins and serving Jewish interests, Breivik remains trapped inside a closed universe, whose laws were formulated by movements that originated in the Eastern mind.
Not surprisingly, Vikernes’ criticism of Breivik parallel key observations made by Kevin MacDonald. The latter has described Breivik as ‘a Geert Wilders-type of cultural conservative, very opposed to ethnocentrism as a strategy, very positive about the Vienna School, staunchly pro-Israel (which he sees as beset by militant Islam), and very hostile toward Islam—what in the U.S. is called a neoconservative.’ MacDonald has further noted that Breivik ‘ignores the role of Jewish intellectual elites in pathologizing expressions of ethnocentrism by Europeans since WWII (particularly the Frankfurt School) and in combating the scientific basis of the legitimacy of racial/ethnic interests (Boasian anthropology).’
Vikernes finds Breivik’s blindness to the Jewish role in political, cultural, and demographic developments in Europe over the past century more than a little curious. Deeming Breivik’s acts as contemptible and wholly counter-productive, and noting his status as a Freemason (which both he and Greg Johnson see as a globalist Jewish tentacle), Vikernes speculates whether Breivik is not more than an unwitting agent. I do not favour a conspiratological interpretation.
Although both ‘beasts’ recognise that European man and civilisation are threatened by outside forces, that the threat is significant, and that action is needed, the enemy is mutually exclusive. For Vikernes, the enemy is the Jews, Christianity being a subversive force created by them, and Islam an imperialistic useful idiot in the conflict of civilisations. For Breivik the enemy is Islam, Jews and Christianity being allies—and in the latter case, at the core—of Europe. Breivik does not conceive the Knights Templars as a Gnostic ariosophical order of sacred warriors, like Miguel Serrano, founded on alchemical principles, but as religious warriors in a geopolitical conflict between Christian Europe and the Islamic East. Also, while both recognise the biological nature of the crisis, for Vikernes the problem is fundamentally spiritual, while for Breivik it seems to be geopolitical. Thus, for the musician the struggle is an inner one, while for the Freemason it is an outer one, and this is reflected in the megalomaniacal aspects of the latter’s narrative.
Thus, Vikernes’ violence, where it went beyond his disagreements with Øystein Aarseth, was what Jean Baudrillard called a ‘symbolic challenge’, which took the shape of arson attacks against emblems, or outposts, of Christianity in Northern Europe. However, the arsoned churches were empty, and Christianity long moribund; his only victim was a fellow musician, personally known to him, and the murder had nothing to do with religion, but with personal and business matters. Breivik’s violence, in turn, was directed at a mass of individuals, personally unknown to him, who comprised a political class of fellow countrymen whom he deemed agents of destruction. Vikernes attacked the symbol of a religion, but not its adherents; whereas Breivik attacked the adherents of a religion (Cultural Marxists / multiculturalists / suicidal humanists), rather than the symbol. It may be that the secular religion has no recognisable, unambiguous, iconic symbol; but the same way that for Osama bin Laden the twin towers at the World Trade Centre in New York represented a symbol of American power, and attacked them accordingly, Breivik could have attacked the symbol of Islam by, for example, drawing a cartoon opinining on Mohammed. I am not being entirely serious, of course, but, all the same, we saw some years ago how the peaceful act of an artist in Denmark who did just that came to represent a powerful symbolic challenge, although in that case it lacked direction and was therefore not successful. But a symbolic challenge to Islam may have triggered an over-reaction among Muslims in Europe that could have created some difficulties for the cultural Marxists, multiculturalists, and ‘suicidal humanists’. Then again, previous Muslim violence in Europe has had no fundamental effect on government policy with regards to immigration and Muslims already settled in the continent; Cultural Marxists and multiculturalists, although nervous at the unstable and unpredictable effects of their social experiment, remain in power.
To my mind, Vikernes’ symbolic challenge was in many ways preposterous, but in others less so. Evolutionism, scientism, economism, and their parent, materialism, had already dealt Christianity a decisive blow a long time before Vikernes came along. Thus the act ended up a youthful felony, Quixotically philosophised after the fact. Yet, in the long run, because it created curiosity and fascination with Black Metal among music fans, and because Black Metal was able stir powerful dark emotions while also providing an alternative traditionalist, elitist, mystical narrative that was appealing amid the failures of secular modernity, it served as a springboard for a vibrant subculture, which, although revolving around music, woved together traditional folk culture and a pre-existing völkisch ideology, linked by a golden thread to multiple contemporary expressions of the anti-liberal current. What is more, Vikernes himself has created work of lasting value, with eight albums released to date, and his music remains popular. Through it, and by virtue of the natural interest in, identification, and empathy it elicits among music fans with its creator, Vikernes remains influencial, directly or indirectly, and the values and ideals encoded in his music and expressed in his writing, even if the latter is read with some degree or real or pretended ironic detachment, will be partially or wholly absorbed and internalised by many, already made receptive by the psychological states induced by the music. The transformation is diffuse, gradual, irrational, largely unconscious, and not attributable to a single factor or agent. The enemy camp knows this well, and use the education system, legislation, and the mass media of news and entertainment to push in the opposite (their) direction, to effect an inverse transformation.
By contrast, I believe Breivik’s legacy will be entirely negative. Sympathy with the victims and a desire by establishment politicians to demonstrate ideological purity, combined with the culturally antithetical nature of much of Breivik’s worldview, will serve as justification for a) a strengthening of the grip of PC Stalinism, b) further displays of anti-racist ‘virtue’, c) further gestures of appeasement and accommodation toward Islam, and d) hesitation among those concerned for the future of Europe in identifying publicly with racial nationalist ideas. Furthermore, I doubt Breivik will influence anyone with his mammoth 1518-page manifesto (which but a handful will actually read), particularly given the deep and irreconciliable contradictions in his ideology, the underlying silliness, and the fact that the latter is defined by a negative conception. As evident from his video, it is mostly about the enemy, Europe (biologically and geopolitically conceived) being important only in as much as it is threatened. This contrasts with Vikernes’ ideology, which, although initially elaborated on the basis of a dislike for Christianity and what he perceived as its universalist-egalitarian-unmartial values, grew to be about Europe (biologically and spiritually conceived), Jews, Islam, and Cultural Marxists being important in as much as they threaten Europe. Thus, Breivik is—as he described himself—conservative (the negation of the new), and his talk of rebirth involves restoration; Vikernes is traditional (affirmation of the old), and any talk of rebirth involves regeneration or renewal. Affirmation is always more appealing than negation.
In any event, neither will start a revolution. In my novel, Mister, I mention Vikernes’ early link to the Norwegian Heathen Front, which in my dystopian future has become active as a political party. However, in the novel Vikernes has become a recluse, and, although do not say so, I imagined him living a quiet life, on a farm, lost in the landscape. Breivik, a regressive recycler, deceived and deceptive on more than one level, having created nothing of value, and having sown senseless death and lent his face to the discrediting of his cause, will end his days in a prison cell, labelled a ‘Right-wing extremist’, but in reality an agent and catalyst of involution, a slave of the Demiurge, if you prefer, and metaphysically a minion, or tool, of the forces of darkness in the occult war. His personal history suggests he may have ended up an agent of the forces of decay because he is its product, and therefore an insider, as opposed to an outsider—emblematic of the problem and not, as he seemed to believe, the solution.