Such epithets have come my way because I declared myself hostile to the political views of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, who were murdered in 2002 and 2004 respectively. I have already said – more than once – that both of those murders were despicable acts which I condemn utterly. Just because I am hostile to their political views, that does not mean that I either condone their murders or share the views of their murderers. Apparently this distinction is too subtle for some of my antagonists to grasp. Indeed not only do those “comrades” seem to think that anyone who opposes van Gogh’s or Fortuyn’s politics must be a fascist (and also, bizarrely, that anyone who disagrees with them must be a stalinist or a power-crazed ideologue), but they also seem to think that anyone who opposes religion on any grounds must therefore regard van Gogh in particular as a “brother in spirit”.
Let’s recall for a moment who these two men were and what they stood for. Theo van Gogh was a Dutch writer and film-maker who was murdered by an islamic terrorist. During his life he was a social and political provocateur who launched scabrous attacks on all religions and political parties, supported the invasion of Iraq, and declared his admiration for the USA. He often liked to give the impression that he took nothing seriously, including himself: he presented himself as “the village idiot” (dorpgek) who was not entirely responsible for himself or his personal flaws. However there was one Dutch politician whom he did take seriously, and with whom he aligned himself clearly and enthusiastically, namely Pim Fortuyn. Fortuyn was a champion of free market capitalism who became particularly well known for his anti-immigration policies. He was murdered by an animal rights activist.
Why have I said that I am hostile to the politics of van Gogh and Fortuyn? On the question of immigration, I am violently hostile to nationalism in all its forms, and I advocate the abolition not just of all immigration laws, but of all national borders. On the question of free market capitalism, I can only say that as an anarchist* I oppose it with all my heart, and I feel its overthrow as a burning necessity. When I joined the Surrealist movement I did so in the apparently mistaken belief that this movement, for all its many internal disputes and divisions (in which, after all, I’ve been a gleefully hot-headed participant myself from time to time), is at least united in its opposition to capitalism.
My antagonists in this dispute, if I understand them correctly, have aligned themselves specifically with van Gogh because he attacked religion in general and islam in particular. Since Surrealists are also opposed to religion, they have drawn the simple-minded conclusion that van Gogh must therefore have been an ally of Surrealism. This is a false syllogism of the most elementary variety – and also the most dangerous. If they are content to align themselves with any and every attack on religion, regardless of any other political consideration, they may all too easily find themselves lured into the service of Surrealism’s enemies: racists, nationalists, capitalists, war-mongers and US imperialists.
In all of this I have been putting the best interpretation I can think of on my antagonists’ motives. I am assuming that his anti-religious stance is van Gogh’s only attraction for them, and that they have chosen to overlook his other political views because of it. The alternative is that they really do share his admiration for Fortuyn, that they really are anti-immigration and pro-capitalist by conviction. If that is the case, then our conversation was already over before it had even begun.
Anyway, now that I’ve got all off my chest, I really must get back to anally torturing my portuguese gardener in my gulag on Alpha Centauri. Pip-pip!
*One of the few epithets my antagonists seem to have forgotten, amusingly enough.