20 February 2010

The terrorist specter -- Austin

I've warned repeatedly (as have others, notably Frank Schaeffer) that the toxic rhetoric and paranoia festering on the far right pose the threat of a lethal new wave of domestic terrorism -- grimly exemplified by the Tiller murder.

It's not yet clear, and may never be clear, whether the suicide terrorist who struck in Austin this week viewed himself as part of that wave. As liberal blogger TomCat reports, "I read Stack’s manifesto in its entirety. The man was clearly a wing-nut. From the text I could not tell whether he was one of ours or one of theirs. Once is that far gone, it’s difficult to tell the difference." But already, at least part of the unhinged right has fervently (and illiterately) embraced him; his inchoate anti-government rage meshes with their obsessions.

It was a rage that expressed itself in violence against innocent random IRS employees. It was the mentality of the Oklahoma City bombing combined with the tactic (intentionally?) of 9/11.

And the most paranoid and deranged elements of the far right are claiming him as a hero.

The next time -- and there will be a next time -- will be worse.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last week it was that lefty professor, this week a nutter attacking capitalism (read his letter).

The angry left is a danger to this country. Keith Olbermann needs to tone down his hate speech.

20 February, 2010 08:14  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

When I read this man's manifesto, it looked like a carbon copy of most of what I been writing about since I been online for almost 2 year's. I done a post on this as well, thought the manifesto was great, understood it totally. I am sure by today's standard's, I would be considered an extremist as well..... something else I have posted plenty about. Whatever side their from, rest assured their pissed and sick and tired of thios cesspool!

20 February, 2010 12:01  
Blogger tnlib said...

I read "most" of it on Hillbilly Report. I couldn't tell if he was one of us or one of them. These righties are getting scarier by the day. One has to wonder where it will end.

20 February, 2010 14:18  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Tinfiddle: Not up to your usual standard. The professor was mad because she didn't get tenure; ideology had nothing to do with that. The Austin terrorist attacked an IRS building.

RC: I'm not gonna touch that one.

TNLib: I don't really want to think about where it's likely to end. It will get worse before it gets better.

20 February, 2010 16:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tnlib made a wise comment:

"I couldn't tell if he was one of us or one of them."

Ranch Chimp also sees it. There is an anger building, and it knows no ideology. It ain't Bush's fault, it ain't Obama's fault... It's the system that they are all a part of.

Nobody can condone what that man did, and my first comment was slightly tongue in cheek.

FDR built a system upon Wilson's progressive base, and politicians have been spinning great tangles of red tape ever since.

Sometimes the demicans drive, sometimes the republicrats get their grimy mitts on the machine. They crank out bureaucratic sludge so deep innocent people are trapped in it and sinking.

I'll pay my fair share, just don't make it so damned easy for a sincere mistake to become a criminal act. And give me the freedom to fail.

20 February, 2010 18:36  
Blogger magpie said...

If I may offer an opinion....

Joe Stack killed a man and seriously injured two others while embarking on a personal vendetta of indiscriminate violence, motivated by nothing but a fetish for tax law and personal business frustrations. Who should care what he thought but a criminologist?

And what is it about people who believe in small government that they spend most of their time whining about what the government should be, should not be, how the government ignores them, how the government does not help them, and what the government does to them? Where does this conceit of rugged individualism go except into a spiral of whining at the first frustration to their plans for self-determination?

I wonder if loser Joe's tax situation would have been sorted out if he sold his private airplane?
He's a murderer, not the author of a political manifesto for a new dawn.

21 February, 2010 02:35  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

But the point of the post was not the terrorist's own ideology (his brains were probably too scrambled to have a coherent ideology). It was the fact that there are these elements on the fringe right who do "condone what that man did" and are even making a hero of him, or at least are trying to claim that there is some sort of important lesson to be learned from "understanding" his "anger" (the same kind of thing that America-bashers said about the 9/11 murderers).

Most right-wingers are obviously not doing that, but enough are to bode ill for the danger of future terrorist attacks.

And I'm not seeing anyone on the left doing the same.

21 February, 2010 02:37  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Magpie: True, but at the moment I'm more worried about the thinking of the people who admire him. He's no longer around to cause any more trouble, but they are.

While it's true that the government can sometimes be overly intrusive, I think a lot of these people are being manipulated by advocates of an ideology of economic de-regulation which actually serves the interests only of a small economic aristocracy, but which can be painted as a defense of free enterprise as a whole.

There's also religious fundamentalism to consider, something which is not much of an issue in Western countries other than the US. It's astonishing how many people actually view the legal right to abortion and laws against anti-gay discrimination as an interference with, to put it bluntly, their God-given right to enforce their religious taboos on the rest of society. More on that here.

21 February, 2010 03:22  
Blogger magpie said...

Yeah you're ahead of me in your post.
I am actually surprised that some on the Right are proclaiming him as a hero... instead of stitching him up as a Leftist, as they did with Amy Bishop.

....But I should have known that if you mention "taxes" negatively three times in any old psychotic rant, it will be taken seriously by the wingnuts.

21 February, 2010 03:33  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I am actually surprised that some on the Right are proclaiming him as a hero... instead of stitching him up as a Leftist,

Well, some of the less-nutty ones are doing that, too. Remember that Jonah Goldberg has convinced a lot of people that Hitler and Mussolini were leftists. Words no longer mean what they mean, they just mean whatever somebody wants them to mean at any given moment.

An increasing number of teabaggers and their supporters claim to be "neither right nor left" -- a rhetorical twist used by various kinds of ideologists for at least a century to give this-or-that tired old set of complaints the supposedly-novel patina of "transcending" ideology. This is going to mean problems for the Republicans down the line.

21 February, 2010 03:58  
Blogger godlizard (aka dotlizard) said...

I got a distinctly Beck-ian vibe from the manifesto -- the sense of looming doom and victimization, the rambling and increasingly loosening associations. Becky encourages his audience to feel desperate and cornered, surrounded by deadly conspiracies.

It's like Magpie said, you talk about taxes and act crazy, the teabaggers are all over it like white on the GOP.

21 February, 2010 04:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mussolini was a socialist. And he wasn't just a street thug. He was a thinker and writer for Socialist publications before he became a dictator. His father was also a socialist.

HItler's National Socialism means what it says. He crafted a German version of what the Russians were trying to do.

Both subsumed business and cultural institutions into the state (fascism) instead of destroying them as communists would.

It is not the socialism we should be worried about anyway; it's the statism. That is a bipartisan joint.

21 February, 2010 05:31  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

GL: It wouldn't be surprising if that's where he got it. Beck has a pulpit with a wide reach -- and now, so does Stack.

Paranoia and gloomy pessimism are characteristic of stupid people on both the left and the right, but it's on the right that the potential exists for it to turn into violence.

SF: Mussolini was the founder of the Fascist Party of Italy and clearly self-defined as a fascist during his time in power. He formed a close alliance with the Catholic Church (the Lateran pact) as did Hitler to a lesser extent. This alliance was so strong that even after the defeat of fascism, the Catholic Church was instrumental in helping important Nazis escape to South America. Hitler and other fascists considered "Bolshevism" their arch-enemy. Nazi ideology fetishized nationalism, racism, and militarism to an insane degree. His regime did have some similarities with Stalin's -- totalitarianism tends to look similar at both extremes of the spectrum -- but none of this was "leftist" by any normal usage of the word (as opposed to caricatures of leftism which are bandied about among right-wingers).

21 February, 2010 08:09  
Anonymous Hugo Grinebiter said...

And then there was Spanish fascism, which was somewhat different, inter alia lacked a bug up its ass on the subject of Jews. The Falange claimed to believe in social action to benefit the working class, just as long as it didn't mean the working class organising itself to that end, and as long as it wasn't too effective..... Building affordable homes for workers was part of it. There again, you meet that in Disraeli, who was a Tory. Perhaps we could call concern for keeping one's workers alive rational capitalism, or even rational slaveholding? As for the Nazis, I understand Roehm took the "socialism" in the name seriously, which meant that after he'd gotten Hitler elected he was disposable.

23 February, 2010 02:11  

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