Upon reading 2083: a European Declaration of Independence, the online manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, the July 22 Oslo murderer, I knew I had seen this movie before. I flashed back to my university research in the early 1970s on the political theory origins of Franco's Spain where — presto! — there were a whole series of connections that fit perfectly.
Essentially, Breivik's harkening to medieval Christian Europe — with his reinvention of the Knights Templar — ties back to a rather broad stream of European political thought last popular in the 1920s and 30s that looks back to a golden age of Christendom, of which a former Hitler Jugend, one Joseph Ratzinger (aka the pope), is also fond as a basis for a revised unified Europe.
In Spain, the movement that Generalissimo Francisco Franco used but discarded — Franco was always a pragmatic Franquist and little else — known as the Falange Española y de las JONS, combined three streams of thought common to the right-wing ideologies of the time.
First, there was authoritarianism, the notion that Spain (put Italy and Germany here and you'll see it fits with minor modifications) was traditionally a society of order that was ruled by one monarch and one faith and one social order.
Second, democracy was a newfangled, humanist, relativist idea that had put individual opinion above the capital-T dogmatic Truth handed down in holy writ and interpreted by the Holy Mother Church, who guarded it, and enshrined it in the upward gazing society of Gothic cathedrals.
Third, the history of the last 500 years is that of a silent siege by a vast, insidiously concealed army hankering to impose a progression of heresies and perversions leading to the money-changers' capitalism and its stepchild, communism.
Never mind the bad history and worse theology — nor the scapegoating of the usual suspects (heretics, Jews, Marxists) as well as laissez faire capitalists and bohemians of various stripes.
None of this was alien to Norway, any more than it was to Germany, Italy and Spain. Remember Vidkun Quisling, the Norwegian politician who in 1940 helped Nazi Germany occupy his country without firing a shot so he could be top dog? His name has become synonymous with treason.
Nor, as Stieg Larsson's most entertaining fictional trilogy showed, was it alien to that other Scandinavian paradise, Sweden. Indeed, the whole Wikileaks episode, and now the Breivik affair, seem taken from one of his novels.
Nor, finally, is it that alien to the United States. We have a so-called "Tea Party" — largely an invention of K Street corridor corporate lobbying firms and Fox News — that stamps its boots in the Weimar Reichstag that the U.S. Congress has become, trying desperately to push the country economically off a cliff, so a popular clamor for order will usher in a Cromwellian regime.