From Within the Socialist Depths

Granted, he’s a sympathetic journalist, but Jay Nordlinger’s profile of Norway’s Progress Party (which aligns pretty closely with the American conservative movement) paints an interesting picture, with some notable moments:

The next winter, Israel went into Gaza, to stop these rocket attacks. In Oslo, there were riots, as the Muslim community reacted. Jensen gave a speech outside the parliament building, in support of Israel, and in support of peace and coexistence in the Middle East. The mob — howling, armed, and violent — threatened her. (You can get a taste of this on YouTube.) But she carried through with the speech. She tells me, “That was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was surreal” — Norway prides itself on being a peaceable country.

Rioting in Norway over the actions of Israel is like rioting in Rhode Island over the domestic policies of Alabama. One must wonder: For whom is the message of the riot intended?

So, Progress must be a fringe party, right? Just a curiosity, in this strongly socialist culture. Not on your life. The country is getting less socialist. Progress is the second-largest party in the Storting (after Labor). It has 41 out of 169 seats; in the elections of 2009, it garnered 23 percent of the vote.

And why?

One of my habitual questions, for these conservatives and libertarians, is, “How did you get this way? How did you come to think as you do?” And they almost in­variably respond, “I grew up in a socialist country!” — as if that were all the expla­nation needed. They felt stifled, and were bursting to break free into a new way of living.

And now, the Internet and other playing-field-leveling technology has made it possible for such people to find each other, develop ideas and organizations, and bring their message to others. Nordlinger reports that the national media, in Norway, is overtly opposed to Progress. Until very recently, such opposition could keep reform groups at the fringe, even if their positions would have found majority support, if voiced.
Those with an eye on the trends of European demography might notice one dark spot, though. Nowhere in Nordlinger’s piece is there mention of children — as in of having them. However many Europeans begin to think it best to pull back on socialist modernism, their victories are sure to short-lived unless they expand their numbers the old-fashioned way.

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Russ
Russ
11 years ago

“Those with an eye on the trends of European demography might notice one dark spot, though.”
A poor word choice when discussing Muslim immigration and birth rates in predominately white Norway, no? To clarify, you’re saying that Muslims are immigrating to Europe and having children are a “dark spot” on Norway’s demographic make up? I’m kind of shocked, actually.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“One of my habitual questions, for these conservatives and libertarians, is, “How did you get this way? How did you come to think as you do?” And they almost in­variably respond, “I grew up in a socialist country!”
I get asked that question a lot.
I respond, “I grew up in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.”

Sammy
Sammy
11 years ago

“One of my habitual questions, for Liberals, is, “How did you get this way? How did you come to think as you do?” And they almost in­variably respond, “I grew up in a Right-Wing-Nut
household

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
11 years ago

Norway, due solely to massive offshore oil (hear that progressives?)drilling can afford a goodly spot of socialism.
The rest of Europe, north, south, east and west doesn’t have that luxury and has been running Right, often far Right, for the last 2 decades.
Try going to Europe and spouting that “No Human Is Illegal” bulls**t and see how quickly you get a load of spit in your face.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

Actually, Russ, responding to the sunny picture that Nordlinger paints of the Progs, I was thinking of the dark void of the Norwegian children who are not there… like the approaching Nothing in The Never-ending Story… a general dusk with no promise of a dawn.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Only a dedicated Leftist agitator would take Justin’s phrase “dark spot” in a racist interpretation.
Just shows: the real racists are those who are obsessed with race. And that would be Russ and his fellow Obamunists.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Justin
Thank you for being a man of principle and restoring to me the privilege of commenting here. I still think you ought to allow the limerick that caused the banning of me in the first place. Your readers need to know that I did not engage in unnecessary profanity or the like. In this speeded up instant world we live in there’s still something to be said for the more deliberative approach to communication. The limerick which is by some considered the lowest form of poetry still does make good summer reading. Remember the limerick in the best summer movie of all time…Jaws.

Russ
Russ
11 years ago

“Only a dedicated Leftist agitator would take Justin’s phrase ‘dark spot’ in a racist interpretation.”
Actually, I interpreted it as tone deaf and insensitive, a “poor word choice,” and asked for a clarification. I still think that’s an accurate description, while noting the clarification on the point he was trying to make. Unlike some on the right, I didn’t jump to conclusions or try to quote him out of context to manufacture a controversy.
“Just shows: the real racists are those who are obsessed with race. And that would be Russ and his fellow Obamunists.”
Um, you’re the first to level that charge so I’ll let everyone else draw their own conclusion who’s obsessed. Not to mention that you feel the need to bring Obama into this (why is that, I wonder?). I didn’t even vote for the guy! Plus, the idea that Obama is some kind of arch leftist is comical.

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