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Breivik’s “Right-Wing Salute”

[1]1,002 words

When Anders Behring Breivik was released from his handcuffs on the first day of his trial he clenched his right hand into a fist and placed it on his chest, then straightened his arm raising his fist above his head. He repeated the gesture on the following two mornings until 19th April when he desisted at the request of his lawyers.

All media reports of the trial immediately described the gesture as a “far-right salute.” I have also heard it referred to as a “Nazi salute.” Things being the way they are, it is entirely to be expected that the media will invert reality for their own ends, and that no one will notice or care. The clenched fist salute is almost exclusively a left wing, or anti-fascist, gesture, and its adoption by Breivik is entirely in keeping with his world view.

On Tuesday, the BBC even ran a confused explanation [2] of the meaning of the salute. After a condensed history of the use of the clenched fist as a symbol of resistance to oppression and opposition to fascism encompassing Nelson Mandela, radical feminism and Carlos the Jackal, the BBC inform us that, “Breivik’s straight arm calls to mind the “Roman salute” displayed by Benito Mussolini’s fascists. Moreover, the White Power or Aryan fist has been adopted as a symbol of extremists, according to the US-based Anti-Defamation League, [3] which monitors hate groups.”

The symbol displayed by the ADL as representative of a “White Power fist” seems to have originated with British skinheads, and is partly inspired by the Fred Perry range of sportswear, named after the last Englishman to have won Wimbledon. Needless to say, any association this might have with Breivik, or with his stylized salute, is left unwritten. The supposed similarity between the gesture and the symbol is taken as axiomatic, and with the authority of the ADL behind the claim who would dare to question its legitimacy?

In fact, the “Aryan fist” is the only link (however blatantly spurious) that the BBC can find between Breivik’s gesture and the far-right. The most famous example of the straight armed, clenched fist salute is probably that of the Black Power movement. This gesture achieved its apotheosis at the 1968 Olympics when Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both black American runners, raised gloved clenched fists on the podium. Only one of them could raise a right armed salute, as the other one had forgotten to bring his black gloves and so had to borrow the left hand glove of his friend.

As for the claim that, “Breivik’s straight arm calls to mind the ‘Roman salute,’” it might have been more candid to write that, “Breivik’s straight arm calls to mind the ‘Roman salute’ if you are a politically motivated journalist who is going to call him a Nazi no matter what his stated political beliefs are.” And there’s the rub, because Breivik is an anti-Nazi.

Any journalist who was interested in accurately reporting the meaning behind Breivik’s salute could have done what I did and spend 30 seconds finding out what it is. In his compendious manifesto, 2083, Breivik describes the correct form of salute for the Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici (PCCTS), i.e. his fantasy Knights Templar:

The military salutation of the PCCTS, Knights Templar is the clenched fist salute. The raised fist salute consists of raising the right arm with a clenched fist (preferably with a white glove). The clenched fist symbolizes strength, honour and defiance against the Marxist tyrants of Europe while the white glove symbolizes purity, duty, kinship and martyrdom. Using the right arm symbolizes the tradition of the “Right Opposition”. The salutation is in line with traditional usage, as we regard the present ruling multiculturalist elites in Western Europe as left wing fascists. Our military salutation has nothing to do with the so called “white power” salutation or the “Roman Salute” (Saluto Romano), where the palm is faced down with fingers touching, often known as the Hitler Salute used by National Socialists.

Whilst it is true that Breivik does exist on the right wing spectrum, his disavowal of White Nationalism, his obsessive anti-Islamism, and his pro-Zionism place him in a particular niche. This position is also occupied by groups like the English Defence League and politicians such as Geert Wilders. It also shares much in common with mainstream Jewish journalists such as Melanie Phillips, a well known opponent of Islam in the UK, whose writings were quoted by Breivik in 2083. Of course, such journalists refuse to accept any responsibility for influencing Breivik. Phillips has described attempts to link her to Breivik as “smears” despite the evident fact that she was an inspiration to him.

It is a happy fact for Zionists that they are never expected to take responsibility for their words. Whilst any criticism of any aspect of Israel’s racist state is immediately and widely denounced as rabid anti-Semitism and the first step to the gas chambers, Zionists are free to write any amount of rabid anti-Gentile propaganda they wish whilst actually carrying out ethnic cleansing in Palestine. When someone like Breivik takes inspiration from them they can rest assured that the media will effortlessly conceal any Zionist influence with the fig leaf of “the far-right”.

Breivik shares little in common with the radical right. His ideology is essentially conservative and reactionary [4]. His actions in Oslo and Utoya were radically nihilistic. He is the product of a deluded mindset that has come to internalize and axiomatize the notion that a Jewish elite in Europe is a welcome protector against the hostile hordes of Islam. His manifesto is a selection of excerpts from a range of Islamophobic authors, some nationalist, some not. Many of them have good points to make but, taken as a whole, the book does not provide a coherent ideology. Breivik’s insistence on avoiding charges of Nazism looks peculiar when set against his act of mass killing. His salute is a similarly confused gesture: a symbol of defiance, yet calculated not to offend the usual suspects.