Øystein Runde

Øystein Runde

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Tek prateoppdrag via Norsk Forfattersentrum

The right to hate and be racist is the right to be free - EDIT: No, after some thinking, it's not, actually. Screw you.

In englishPosted by Øystein Thu, July 28, 2011 01:03:48
I know that my last post was probably much more pleasant to read for my friends. Because it came from my gut - and my gut is leftist. But - that same gut also allowed me to feel superior to those whose leanings were closer to the terrorist of Utøya. And that made a certain amount of rage and self-righteousness seep into my text.

I know that Frp does not stand for killing. I was pissed off when the leader of the party panicked and said stupid things - like "it is just as disgusting to link us to this as the actions themselves are." And also my rage against my dear friend Jon - whose friend A. posted "kill all muslims" on Jon's wall minutes after the first bomb.

But as Jon told me in a long, nice phonetalk today: Putting the tag "racism" on every opinion one disagrees with, does not cure any deep-rooted problems. And now, the word "hate" or "hatespeech" is going to be the next "racism".

We live in a democracy. We will retaliate with democracy. And democracy is Freedom of Speech. Even those parts of speech that are full of hate. Of rage. Of racism. Jon told me he used to vote SV - socialst left. He went to Frp because he was pissed off at the way they were treated in the political landscape.

My bodily fibres may react strongly to some of the things Frp politicians say (and I think Jon's reason to join them may be one of the best ever). But a party like that is part of our society. And we want all voices heard, don't we?

I may personally fight against the attitudes and core beliefs that lay at the bottom of certain choices made by Frp politicians. I went through three phases: One - trying to not let the islamic terrorists scare my friends. Two - trying to scold my right-wing friends for using this as a part of their "hatespeech". And three - being pissed off at my leftist friends for freaking out at Frp.

A society without a democratically strong Frp is what the terrorist wants. A society where the discourse is so uniform that all dissidents lose to risk their jobs if they air out right-wing leanings.

The core of the terrorists actions are of course a mystery. A father who left all his four children behind, may be part of his feeling of hatred towards "traitors". But psychology aside, the denial of dissident opinions is not a good reaction to this tragedy. Allowing these opinions to be seen, and yet never letting it be forgotten that they may bear fruits like this ... it is a balance, yet a vital one. I have never talked down to people I disagreed with - I've been pissed, shown it, but I hope this is true. I even managed to keep my rage over Siv Jensen locked in. And it was the right thing. Because that rage was what he wanted. "Choose the dark side ..."

I must say I hate to say this. Because in Norway, my side was winning. We had already won. And ... allowing for more public hatespeech, is letting this terrorist get one of the things he wanted. But the alternative to more public hatespeech, is more hidden hatespeech. More frustration. We can only trust in our own core beliefs, and allow eachother to speak.

I guess this post will get fewer enthusiastic responses - after all, this is the boring part. This is the part where we actually can't just all feel self-righteous and good in the face of ultimate evil. This is the part where we go on with our lives, and try to be good, and try to listen.

EDIT: Have read a little bit more - allowing for more hatespeech won't solve anything. Ideas based on fear are very hard to get out of the brain when they've gone in. They are extremely, extremely powerful, because our brains are evolved to take extreme note of stuff that may be dangerous. This means that fear-mongering ideas have an evolutionary advantage over logic-based ideas. This unfair advantage must be countered some way. However, it may seem like Frp has realized this, and may be using a more palatable language in their rethoric. If their goal is to be a useful contributor to society, and not just to fish for votes in the dark end of the pool, this should be an improvement, as their arguments would be easier to share ... Frp has complained for years that Ap uses Frp politics in their decisions. Isn't that a pretty cool compliment, though?

Fill in only if you are not real

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Posted by Øystein Wed, August 03, 2011 22:09:49

I keep feeling sceptical to this post, and now Asbjørn Dyrendal has confirmed Kate's view: http://www.vl.no/samfunn/article138954.zrm - he basically says that extremism cannot necessarily be met with dialogue, as people are more inclined to remember the crazy ideas rather than why the ideas are crazy. His experience comes from trying to meet the "new age"-movement with reasonable scepticism ... and well, since I've tried to convert new agers to believe in crazy stuff like the double-blind tests and experimental reproduceability of phenomena, I know how impossible that is. And ideas that are linked to fear, that trigger fear in the brain, are particularly impossible to forget - even when followed by a clever dissection afterwards, the dissection is BORINGNGNNGGGG ... we know this. So - focusing on the idea of love, on the idea of why democracy is so damn sexy, instead of criticizing, was an obvious great choice.

Posted by Malin S. Thu, July 28, 2011 20:37:55

I get where you're going with this. And I agree. As a Norwegian I somewhat feel like the world is giving us more praise and credit than we actually deserve.

Posted by Kate Pendry Thu, July 28, 2011 13:29:52

I appreciate you writing so much about the tragedy. It's easy to comment and react, not easy to put something out there and let it be commented upon.

I also feel I don't know what the hell you're actually trying to say. It's quite easy to use the words 'self-righteous' and 'leftist' and 'hate-speech' and 'democracy'. Just as it's easy to talk about 'mulitculturalism' and it's supposed collapse. But these are all actually very diffuse phenomena, they are patchworks of ideas thrown together under certain titles and the erroneous belief that there is a common consensus as to their meaning. There is no common consensus. And unless the writer (in this instance you) knows exactly what he means by the powerfully symbolic terms he employs in his text - the text might become diffuse.

I genuinely don't know what you are talking about :) But I do get the sense you want to write something that trancends petty analyses, something great that cuts to the core of how. We. Feel.

For me its not working. On the other hand I am PROFOUNDLY grateful for your openness, and willingness to let some of us (me) figure out how we (I) feel about all this, by ranting in your comment box.

Being good and allowing each other to speak is a beautiful idea. Add a sprinkling of intellectual honesty and we're definitely in the ball park.

Lots of love to you.


Posted by Trond A. Ulstein Thu, July 28, 2011 03:01:26

Vel, Øystein...eg får bli den første til å kommentere her då, sidan du etter eget utsagn sannsynlegvis ikkje får 91 kommentarar på dette innlegget. Eg er meir enig med deg her enn i det første innlegget der du etter eige utsagn fell i freisting for å la "a certain amount of rage and self-righteousness seep into my text." Her derimot er du sjølvransakande med ei framtoning av ydmykheit, sjølvinnsikt og stor integritet. Du er sjølvsagt unnskuldt når ein legg til grunn nasjonens traumetilstand i desse dagar. Kom gjerne med fleire innlegg og innfallsvinklar. Elles kan eg nemne at eg er sjølv ikkje "leftist", men kan då også trøyste deg med at Frp heller ikkje får mi røyst i valet. Derimot treng vi definitivt Frp i Noreg si offentlege ordskifte dersom vi skal oppnå vår felles fanesak om meir åpenheit og meir demokrati! Godt val Øystein :)