The spinning of Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger Eivind Berge’s arrest for threatening police officers has begun.
Over on Reddit, the leading hangout for the Men’s Rights movement’s “moderates,” most MRAs seem to want to have nothing to do with Berge’s extremism (which is good), to the extent that many of them are declaring him not an MRA at all (which is ridiculous).
Sorry, guys. Berge may literally be the world’s worst MRA, and one that most MRAs have been content to ignore, but he’s still an MRA. He’s described himself as such many times (e.g., here); he has many of the same views and obsessions as “mainstream” MRAs; and he’s even got a few outspoken MRA fans. And while some Reddit Men’s Rightsers were distancing themselves from Berge in the wake of his arrest, others were respectfully discussing a blog post from Berge’s girlfriend Emma the Emo (who shares many of his views) taking aim at what she called “American pedophile hysteria.”
Over on the Spearhead, the more reactionary W.F. Price has a rather different spin on Berge, as encapsulated by the title of his blog post on the subject: “Eivind Berge Arrested for Provocative Rhetoric.”
Evidently, threatening to stab a police officer (and announcing the day on which you plan to do so) is merely a sort of rhetorical flourish.
It’s a strange and often incoherent post, in which Price seems to argue that Berge’s threats don’t count as real threats because … he made them publicly? Here, you make sense of it:
Eivind Berge has been posting some pretty provocative stuff for quite a while now, including his desire to kill police for enforcing misandric laws. I agree with his girlfriend that it was a bunch of hot air, but he got arrested for it anyway. Despite his support for Anders Breivik, who decimated the youth wing of the Marxist/Islamist Norwegian left in a solo Knights Templar crusade last year, I seriously doubt Eivind would have carried out any violent acts. Breivik, who really meant business, kept his plans to himself.
The truth is that people who manage to pull off spectacular terrorist attacks are almost always those who don’t say anything about them beforehand. Think Mohammed Atta vs. James Ujaama.
Yeah, it’s not like Osama bin Laden ever made threats about attacking the US. Or that abusers who threaten their exes ever actually harm them. Or any of a million other examples in which someone who issues a threat carries out said threat.
The lesson here is that if you want to be political, there’s a sort of tortoise/hare dynamic at work. The impetuous, fast hare tends to run out of steam (or run into trouble with the law) fairly quickly. The slow-and-steady tortoise, on the other hand, keeps trudging on and wins the race. …
[T]hreatening to kill people openly and loudly is essentially worthless.
Is Price really equating terrorists who plot their attacks secretly with the slow-and-steady tortoise who wins the race?
Who the hell knows. But he is clearly offering an apologia for making violent threats on the dubious grounds that those who threaten their enemies openly are somehow therefore not dangerous.
Later Price offers this completely clear cut and definitive repudiation of violence.*
We shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that violent action will do us any good. Of course violence does work, but the power of the state is so overwhelming today that individual acts are almost certain to fail. Furthermore, those who are willing to unleash violence on others must be prepared to die themselves, and must lead by example. Somehow, I don’t think many of us have reached that point. It’s a long road to get there, and I hold out the hope that it will never go that far.
[T]he point is that anyone who condones violent action loudly and publicly, but doesn’t back it up, can’t be taken seriously.
In the comments, Eric complains that men who commit violence for putatively political reasons may suffer the indignity of being called bad names:
As we have all seen repeatedly, violence against men is socially and politically sanctioned violence. A man committing violence in defense of his rights is labelled a ‘terrorist’ or an ‘extremist’. The case of Thomas Ball is a perfect example. …
The feminist elites are bullies who are aware of their power and our inability to ‘push back’ in any way that will cause them deserved pain (at least for now). But like all bullies, they are also rabid egomaniacs and fear anyone who doesn’t bow slavishly to their power. The more men who are informed as to their true nature and who are taught to despise them, the weaker these bullies become because their fear of exposure and losing their power is a mania.
I guess Eric’s main beef is with the English language. I’m pretty sure that using violence to cause “deserved pain” in an attempt to intimidate your political enemies is basically the dictionary definition of “terrorism.”
Further down in the comments, Eric sets forth a curious little conspiracy theory involving, well, me. In one comment, he suggests that the attention I’ve given to the Berge arrest
illustrates that the anti-MRM forces are primed and ready for a ‘false flag’ or provocateur-instigated ‘incident’. … The feminist elites have noticably shifted from typical ridicule to painting the MRM as a dangerous extremist movement.”
In a followup comment, he elaborates on this peculiar logic:
Futrelle … does seem unusally worked up. …
I have the feeling that something ominous is in the wind.
This kind of language out of the Mangina League; the SPLC’s attention; the spate of troll and provocateur attacks and hacking on mens’ blogs; this crap going on in Scandanavia—there’s definately a pole-shift among our enemies and it stinks of orchestration.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t make up many years worth of threatening comments from Eivind “killing at least one cop is on my bucket list” Berge. So does this mean that Berge is some sort of deep-cover feminist operative? What does that make Paul “fucking your shit up gives me an erection” Elam?