As everybody knows by now, Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian counter-jihadist, killed nearly 100 people the other day. Being an anti-racist, anti-nazi, cultural conservative, he decided the most proper target of his hatred was children in a youth camp attached to the Labor Party (leftist) of Norway. So after killing 90 white children who had never done anything wrong in their lives, he sat back on his laurels and quietly turned himself in to the cops. He published a long manifesto about his beliefs that are surprisingly milkweed-mild and in line with the millions of people who voted for Geert Wilders, the most popular politician in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, he's completely at ease with what he's done and ready to defend his actions in the coming trial.
I don't know what to think about such an odd character. Here you have a guy who has generally sensible views, shared by many others all across Europe, but he decides that only violence will save the day. Well and good, okay, so he's a violent extremist. But then he decides that only violence against Norwegian white children will save the day -- children who don't even have the right to vote yet, whose only crime so far is harboring Leftist views in the privacy of their own heads. Killing everyone who votes for the Labor party because they aren't sufficiently anti-Islam is pretty harsh, but killing children, who have not done any harm to anyone yet, because someday they're Likely to vote for the Labor party, which isn't sufficiently anti-Islam, is over the rainbow. To think that this guy's one and only chance to go on a massacre spree was directed against innocent Norwegian children -- when surely there were plenty of Muslims or Marxist professors or unsavory politicians he could have gone after that he ostensibly was opposed to -- really does smack of insanity. I haven't seen a massacre like this since Beslen, when Chechens decided their well-merited hatred against Russians meant they should slaughter hundreds of innocent Russian school children because hey, they were sure to grow up to be Russian oppressors someday.
In his 1200 page manifesto, I haven't heard any explanation for why he decided to kill innocent children as his primary victim of choice. This is the one thing I would like to know, and the one thing he doesn't bother to include in 1200 pages of words.
Terrorism that simply lashes out against collectively guilty parties is stupid. The guilt is so widespread and so endemic that anyone could be called 'guilty' and 'deserving to be killed.' For instance, anyone who votes for any party except the British National Party is endorsing mass immigration, which is genocide, and anyone who commits genocide deserves to be killed. You could easily classify 99% of Britons as guilty and deserving of death in this stream of logic. It's obvious that most people in a collectively guilty situation are not evil or deserving of death. They're simply mistaken, misinformed, foolish or deceived. Sometimes they're just too innocent, kind and pure for their own good, letting their heart lead them into mistakes their heads would have avoided. Rather than targeting a collectively guilty party of an imagined ideological crime for mass murder, they should be treated with respect and compassion, and continuously offered arguments that might convert them to the other side.
Yes, technically, being a Leftist is a sin, as is being a Muslim, but it's a watered-down sin shared by billions of people who are generally nice, good people otherwise. Their sinful belief is just a small aspect of their overall quality, and it's ridiculous to judge them on some lone ideological shortcoming as the sum total of their character. Were these 90 Norwegian children really such horrible people, just because they supported Islamic immigration, that they had to die ahead of rapists, murderers, thieves, etc? That they were the most deserving of vigilante execution in the whole country? Was their support for Islamic immigration the sum total of their souls, or did they perhaps also love their families, enjoy skiing, go on dates, celebrate Christmas, and pet their household animal companions? If their sin of Leftist politics needs to be included on one scale, what about their good deeds on the other side of the scale? Why weren't they included at all?
It's immoral to just kill random people for their part in a collectively guilty ideology. It's also ineffectual. Killing random people will not change the overall situation. If you had the power to kill everyone participating in a collectively guilty ideology, then you would have had the power to peacefully take over the government without killing anyone. If you don't have the power to kill everyone, then you're just Caligula beating the ocean with your sword. Worse, it makes other people who share your views, like the millions of people who voted for Geert Wilders, look untrustworthy and dangerous, thus actually aiding your enemies and hurting your friends.
The only time non-state violence is moral is when it's strong enough to successfully bring about a revolution, like the American Revolution, which would in turn bring about a better world. The Confederacy had a decent chance of winning its independence, though not a very high one, so it too was justified in resorting to arms. The same is true for Kosovo, South Sudan, and other violent revolutions that through their success prove their efforts were worthwhile. But does this lone Norwegian think killing a handful of children is going to win a revolutionary war on par with America, Kosovo or South Sudan? Is he part of some underground movement which is going to kill millions more and thus have enough real power to change the world? What on Earth did he hope to accomplish as a lone violent revolutionary with no state apparatus behind him? It's frustrating because the guy clearly thought hard about this issue, is in a normal state of mind, and intelligent enough to write a 1200 page book about it. But he can't make basic logical inferences like 1 gunman killing 90 children != the American Revolutionary Army, under the orders of the Continental Congress, with the popular support of the American people, defeating the British army at Yorktown.
If the 'right' resorts to violence, it should be in a situation where they are certain of victory. They should have the support of, at least, the majority of the people in the region they hope to rule after the war is over. It should involve as few civilians (especially children!) as possible and concentrate on a military, fair and square victory, the only victories that really stick. ((Has any country won its freedom by massacring civilians belonging to the other side?)) They should have some legitimate organization with delegated powers and a command structure endorsed by the people to carry out this war. They should have a good, viable plan for the state that would be founded after the war is over that could increase the quality of life for everyone involved. If these preconditions can't be secured, violence will only result in random suffering, with nothing positive as a result. It's inherently immoral to just go blasting away with no moral end in sight that could possibly justify the human cost.
This Anders guy's political ideology has little to do with my thinking, so guilt by association doesn't concern me. I do feel sorry, though, for Fjordman and Gates of Vienna, since the mass murderer had fulsome praise for them and basically endorsed everything they said as his 'platform.' But they shouldn't be given any guilt by association either. Look how this works:
Mick and Jack believe 6 things. They agree about 5 things. They disagree on 1. Mick and Jack both believe that the Earth is round. They both believe the majority of it is covered by water. They both believe the Earth has a Crust, Mantle, and Core. They both believe it is the third planet from the Sun. They both believe it revolves around the sun. Mick believes, in addition, that the sky is blue. Jack, however, believes, in addition, that only by killing a billion human sacrifices before August 1st can the dark God Niverjabber's resurrection be prevented, which would doom the world.
Is Mick really responsible for Jack's beliefs just because they agreed about most things? It was precisely on the point where they disagreed that Jack became a crazed mass murderer, not on the points where they agreed. Nor is there any logical chain between thinking the Earth is largely oceanic and the dark God Niverjabber must be stopped. Mick and Jack are 90% on the same page, ideologically, but Mick isn't in any way associated with Jack's wayward beliefs. He's only associated with Jack's true and sensible beliefs. If believing the truth were a crime just because some crazy people happened to agree with the truth every now and then, who wouldn't be guilty by association?
Needless to say, I disapprove of this Anders fellow and his massacre, and have no part in his guilt, by association or otherwise. Needless to say, I will continue to believe and assert that Islam is an evil religion, it has no place in Europe, or really anywhere on Earth, and sooner or later must be destroyed. I also think multiculturalism and politically correct cultural Marxism will lead to disaster in Europe. However, there is no necessary connection between believing these things and massacring innocent Norwegian children, therefore believers in one don't share in any guilt with believers in the other. There are a host of other right wing terrorists buzzing about these days, from the Stormfronter who attacked a Holocaust museum in his extreme old age (no doubt bitter that a lifetime of talking never helped any) to the idiot who set a bomb for a MLK parade that failed to go off. All of them are stupid, counterproductive, and immoral people who don't know what they're doing or what they're talking about. There are also terrorists representing every other ideology on Earth, from communism to environmentalism to Islam, and often in far greater numbers. Right wingers are not 'typical' terrorists, but a tiny minority of the overall group. The Right has the right to continue holding their beliefs regardless of what loons do in the name of the right. We can only be judged on the logic and validity of our arguments, not by the idiocy of individuals.