Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rightwing hobbies

Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), who claims to be a friend of Israel (meaning that his party has a lot in common with more or less extreme rightwing parties in Israel, not that he and his anti-Muslim party are true friends who really care about our wellbeing), loves to talk about what he calls leftwing hobbies. That label covers most aspects that are somehow related to the modern welfare state, including subsidies for artistic and social projects, freedom of religion, privacy laws, speed limits, the environment, immigration, the European Union, public/national broadcast corporations, and development aid for poor countries. You could call his PVV the Dutch version of the Tea Party (US), or Holland Our Home, the Dutch equivalent of Yvet Lieberman's Israel Our Home party. 

Yesterday, in Oslo, it became clear once again that rightwing hobbies (such as possessing weapons with a license, or hunting) can be much more deadly and costly than any leftwing hobby, and - more importantly - that we someimes fail to recognize some of the homegrown dangers in our midst, largely because we are too busy looking at easily recognizable, foreign-looking threats.  But I suppose that, also since most of the victims appear to be leftwing hobbyists, we won't hear Wilders and his cronies in Holland or elsewhere asking critical and aggressive questions about any rightwing hobbies anytime soon.

1 comment:

Shtrudel said...

I would say that at least in Europe leftist extreme violence (e.g. Baader Meinhof & Red Brigades) have killed at least as many as the rightist extremes.

Of course the question is whether the extremes are really representative of anything...

As far as the Palestinian extremes go you would seem to claim that they aren't representative but as far as European rightist extremes you seem to hold the view that they are representative of the right.

Something about removing a beam from one's own eye comes to mind ;-)