On Breivik and the Norwegian massacre

I was at work when I suddenly saw news that there had been an explosion in the centre of Oslo. Initially I thought it might have been some gas explosion, then it turned out to be a bomb. Speculations said that it could have been Al-Quaeda because of Norway’s involvement in Afghanistan and perhaps any implicit support or approval of the Danish cartoons (I wasn’t ruling it out). Then I heard there was a simultaneous shooting on an island hosting the leading Labour party youth summer camp and that the shooter was a Norwegian with ‘extreme nationalist views’. Perhaps this was someone inspired by Varg Vikernes, was my first thought. Then it transpired he was a Christian right-wing extremist. I did not imagine him to be involved in the general ‘alt-right’ side of the blogosphere that includes the likes of Corrupt, Amerika and Alternative Right.

I stayed glued to the television when possible to watch the story unfold. I felt choked up to see the grief on people’s faces amid gruesome details of Breivik’s actions on the island, along with images of the aftermath. As someone with a fascination with Norway and its wonderful people, it moved me. I have not yet heard a soul from any part of the political spectrum who views these killings as any less than abhorrent. I hold this view especially, given that I am a fallible human being who once held the same views of those youngsters on Utoya. I will always be able to put myself in their shoes, though I hope I never experience the trauma they went through.

Returning from a weekend trip away and gathering my thoughts, others of our ilk have already done so and are putting forth their two cents as we speak. What really amazed me was to find he was an apparent regular reader of Amerika.org just like myself, and quoted Brett Stevens’ writings in some lengths. It feels odd to think that he might have been among the commenters, maybe even under a familiar pseudonym. It makes me feel strange, to say the least. I have so far given his manifesto a brief skim and it would appear that he is very much on a similar page on many issues, although with an alarmist, Christian bent. I should point out I like to regard myself as a circumspect atheist, in relation to his position.

What confuses me is why a man of his at least fairly intelligent disposition (possible quirks aside – I shall leave that for another discussion) decided that killing ideological ‘enemies’ was in any way productive. Surely he’d at least know that his actions will only strengthen their resolve and will restrict discussion further as the hyperemotional masses tar every person, organisation and idea that is right of centre with the same brush. Whilst the restriction of discussion has a pressure valve effect on the Klebolds, Chos, McVeighs, Kaczynskis, Auvinens and Breiviks of this world, I was under the impression, fragmented we may be, that our intellectual community (for lack of a better word) fostered the idea that it is better to change hearts and minds than to destroy them. And now it may be that the uphill battle has become steeper.

Over the coming days and weeks, I shall no doubt have to bite my tongue as Joe Public begins to air his views, self-righteous, muddle-brained and insufferably cocksure as he is, on the misguided actions of a man whose worldview contains many poignant truths. As with many of you, I will continue to digest my thoughts.

Advertisements

~ by CallistoRising on July 24, 2011.

3 Responses to “On Breivik and the Norwegian massacre”

  1. Whilst the restriction of discussion has a pressure valve effect on the Klebolds, Chos, McVeighs, Kaczynskis, Auvinens and Breiviks of this world, I was under the impression, fragmented we may be, that our intellectual community (for lack of a better word) fostered the idea that it is better to change hearts and minds than to destroy them. And now it may be that the uphill battle has become steeper.

    I fear that this may become a feedback loop. Somebody “Goes Breivik,” the PC-pressure-valve tightens, even more people go Breivik, and so on. What happens if far-right terrorism becomes a bigger threat than the Islamic variety? Full-scale insurrection? Politicians yielding to far-right terrorists’ demands? Secession? I don’t know.

    For what it’s worth, I think that the public perception of Breivik may be different than the perception of, say, Kaczynski. From the comments on various press websites, I see many who toe the line between agreeing with Breivik’s views and outright sympathy for him.

  2. “What confuses me is why a man of his at least fairly intelligent disposition (possible quirks aside – I shall leave that for another discussion) decided that killing ideological ‘enemies’ was in any way productive. Surely he’d at least know that his actions will only strengthen their resolve and will restrict discussion further as the hyperemotional masses tar every person”

    What I find awkkward is that he himself mentions this in his manifesto when it comes to Hitler.
    He mentions quite right that nationalism as become tainted in the public eyes after the rise and fall of Hitler. Yet with is actions he fits also into this hole, so to speak.

  3. […] Callisto Rising: On Breivik and the Norwegian Massacre […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: