Anders Breivik – non-entity without a cause

There is nothing in the mind of Norway’s mass killer that needs studying. Instead of rationalising his deeds, we’d do better to ignore his narcissism and puerile ideology, writes columnist and London’s mayor Boris Johnson.

Published on 25 July 2011 at 14:27

It is not enough to say he is mad. Anders Breivik is patently mad: no one in their right mind would behave as he has done. Nor is it enough to say that he is evil. If the word evil has any meaning at all, then it must obviously apply to a man who can go to a lake island summer camp, call innocent young people to run towards him – and then shoot 85 of them with an automatic rifle.

We will never be satisfied with simple words like “mad” or “evil”, and for the days and weeks ahead we can expect exhaustive psychoanalysis of this dreary and supercilious 32-year-old sicko. We will summon and interview all the potential hobgoblins of his mind. With the help of the Norwegian investigators, we will try to understand how these demons persuaded him to engage in an act of such premeditated cruelty; and as our guide we will use the 1,500-page manifesto of hate that he (and possibly his accomplices) have posted on the internet.

It is in many ways a preposterous document, with its plan to revive the ancient order of the Knights Templar, with Breivik as “Justiciar Knight”. The idea is to mobilise an army of similar loathsome berks and to liberate Europe of immigrants by 2083. It seems that this is the 200th anniversary of the death of Karl Marx, whom Breivik blames for egalitarianism, feminism, multiculturalism and all manner of other things he dislikes. Breivik’s attempt at Mein Kampf is awash with Wikipedia-generated teenage ruminations about Gramsci, Adorno and Islam, and I must confess I have not slogged all the way through to the end.

But I have read enough to grasp the gist – and there is something both curious and troubling in his obsessions. He goes on and on about the EUSSR and “Eurabia”. He attacks multiculturalism as a “big lie”, and asserts that “political correctness now looms over Western European society like a colossus”. “Can the European Union be reformed?” he asks. “I doubt it. The EU is bound together by a self-serving class of bureaucrats who want to expand their budgets and power, despite the harm they do.” He claims that Europe has been systematically betrayed by mass immigration from Muslim countries, and that the method of this immigration has been concealed from the electorate. He cites a great many British commentators to make his points. Indeed, it is fascinating to see how rooted is this Norwegian extremist in the political discourse of the Anglosphere. Read full article in the Daily Telegraph

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