Friday, August 24, 2012

 

The ironies of Anders Breivik

As has long been clear, Anders Breivik is not insane. The prosecution got that wrong. The mass murder Breivik perpetrated was very much a political act. As the judge in her summing-up outlines, the arguments Breivik used in his 'manifesto' in respect of his political analysis were from the writings of others and not his own original thoughts. His analysis of 'political correctness' is fully in line with the historical documentation and scholarship on the topic, as I have previously pointed out.
The problem with Breivik – other than the obvious one that he has without justification murdered a large number of individuals -- is that the rationale for his political action itself comes from the political-Left analysis he himself attacks. Revolutionary acts (notably terroristic outrages) do not stem from a conservative mindset. This is self-evident, and pointed out and discussed most interestingly by the British philosopher John Gray (see his book, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia).
Furthermore, with the point of his actions to point up the bogus, extreme ideological nature of the contemporary outlook, hopelessly compromised as it is by PC; then surely no answer comes from pitting other ideology against it. Yet Breivik points up a pro-religious, extreme-nationalist supposed solution, and actually gave a recognised political-Right clenched-fist salute in the courtroom.
There is great irony too in the general response to Breivik, in that the way to stop further Anders Breiviks is not to shove under the carpet discussion of the origins and nature of 'political correctness' but instead to openly discuss it. What instead has happened is the usual 'guilt by association' ruse of the political-Left, whereby anything associated with something obviously bad is thereby itself deemed bad, when in fact the two have no logical connection with each other. Just because Breivik's actions were appalling does not make 'beyond the pale' historical documentation and scholarly analysis of the origins and nature of PC. That much should be obvious upon even the slightest reflection.
Completely wrong as the crime was -- however you look at it -- Breivik highlights a major faultline that surely heralds future conflict. His defence that he was acting in pre-emptive self-defence is clearly unjustifiable, but his vision of civil conflict over the elitist-separatist contempt for and indeed hatred of the mass of ordinary people by the political-media-education uber-class seems all too prescient.

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