Holland ought to be ashamed of itself

Thomas Cool
July 28 2011

The Norwegian mass killer A.B. justified his acts by also referring to the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Wilders already distanced himself from these killings and violence in general but also indicated not to adapt his words and tone. The situation causes a debate in Holland. A focus on Wilders however is too easy. The situation namely affects all of us. Wilders is only an exponent of the whole of Dutch society. It is Holland as a whole that ought to be ashamed of itself.

The situation links up directly with the murder on professor Pim Fortuyn in 2002, candidate for Prime Minister in Holland. During the elections at that time leading politicians of main other parties demonized him and created a climate of hate. Serious politicians know that there is always a madman lurking in the shadows to execute what in an atmosphere of hate is called for. These main parties got their V. van der G. who shot Fortuyn. After the murder these parties did not apologise and people still voted for those parties. The atmosphere of intolerance continued. Wilders was a member of the Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), took a dissenting position on Turkey’s membership of the EU, and had to leave that party – showing George Orwell right again about the meaning of words like freedom and democracy. At first Wilders only opposed political islam and he respected islam as a religion. Over the years he radicalized and now tends to equate the religion to a political threat. Wilders has become a serious factor in the climate of hate. At the same time the other main parties feed it too, some by forming a minority government supported by Wilders or by forming an opposition that does not know what to say.

Thus it is true that Wilders has radicalized and that he ought to change his words and tone. Politics comes with responsibility. But also the other Dutch parties have to acknowledge that they have been wrong in the last two decades. A start is to pull the plug on the current minority government. Dutch government now relies on Wilders who has shown himself both radicalised to a lunatic fear for the islam and irresponsible with respect to his impact on psychopaths like A.B. Wilders has a hold on politics since there needs to be just a single terrorist act by political islam and people might vote for him as their saviour. The other parties better learn from their errors, apologize for their own fearmongering, and explain to the electorate the important difference between political islam and peaceful religion.

A.B. does not look quite insane but primarily deficient in empathy. Can we draw strong conclusions on Dutch society merely on the ground of a single criminal ? This however is a wrong line of reasoning. My statements on Dutch society are based upon an analysis of Dutch society - see my website. I made this analysis long before Fortuyn or Wilders came to the fore. Their rise and these killings fit the analysis, but are not the prime evidence. 

The deaths in Norway deserve more respect than that we focus only on the radicalisation of anti-islam politicians like Geert Wilders. The main conclusion is that Holland fails in its democracy, in its respect for our fellow members of society, in its quality of education and media, in the relation between politicians and voters. Holland is so used to think that it has a wonderful modern democracy but who draws the proper conclusion will observe that it still has a long way to go.

PM. Since this article speaks about "ought to" it represents a personal view and not a scientific analysis. With the science name Colignatus, I advised in 2004 to boycott Holland to restore the integrity of science, see that article for the main line in the analysis on Dutch society. See the Dutch version of this statement.