A newspaper editorial made the valid point that it is in the main quite fruitless to try and analyse the political persuasions of a Norwegian or indeed any other individual who is able to go thru the act of murdering innocent people.
Whatever his orientation ,to ascribe his politics as any more a cause of his omnicide than the football team he supports maybe unduly flatters his intellect and is no more an influence arguably than playing call of duty on the xbox.
Reminds me of a similar simplification for more ordinary peoples political and personal drives to whichClintonexplained “its the economy stupid”
It is in fact the same reason as why an “insurgent” might commit suicide to kill innocent lives as far as im concerned.a mad norwegian found the time to write a 1500 page manifesto and an al quaida recruit might be able to use religion as his badge but the conviction to kill innocent lives is simply irrational and incompatible with a doctrine of mutual coexistence.and poverty and social outcasting seem far more plausible causes for the madness than loftier ideas about martyrdom
But even if religion or politics are not to blame maybe their implication is inevitable in ones effort to try and believe that a similar outcome can be subverted in future.
The thought of powerlessness in the face of random acts of violence may seem too hard to accept so it is natural to try and tackle the problem by addressing any possibly rational political element though that risks artificially creating an issue or an agenda where actually such big issues self regulate themselves without heated discussion opening up wounds that are only ever capable of incompletely healing.
But the media has been noticeably quick to see the empty ideology of somebody with whom most of the media might culturally identify with ,a white european with a not unsubstantiable amount of suppressed grievances ,and so find it easier to condemn his motivations? But when faced with a race and religion that is foreign to most of the western media ,the acts of a disturbed subgroup of individuals becomes almost glorified into a deeper more intangible expression of culture and an alien ideology. Why can it not be that in a culture where democracy is less (economically, stupid) established and religion is still the most prevalent expression of most peoples way of life compared to a more secular society then the mad individuals of that society will inevitably use the language of that religion to justify those same homicidal urges as the Norwegian.
Problem is when its a playstation game then the owners are there to deny promoting violence but with a foreign religion in which there is disagreement on who can set the record straight,it is easy for western media to run away with any apparent agenda because that would always stir up more debate than the simple fact of somebody’s mental illness
I dont care how many psychiatric tests of rationality such murderers might pass, somebody who has crossed the point of civil society and decided to kill innocent strangers is an irrational dysfunctional sociopath whom psychiatry should label as mentally ill and either cure him or incapacitate him, preferably before he kills someone but don’t waste your time debating with someone who can commit random murder. I suppose the big elephant in the room is whether labelling as mentally ill would entitle undeserved legal privileges but if an apparently rational guy can justify such indiscriminate murder and appear to be legally sane he is clearly dysfunctional but should not be exempt from accountability.
What level of medically assumed but biochemically unquantifiable level of neurotransmitter deviation exempts ones actions from accountability anyway?
The view of these individuals as mentally ill should apply only as far as recognising that such people should not and cannot be reasoned with like normal people since they have managed to rationalise indiscriminate murder.The only question thus remaining is whether there should be different approaches to the suicidal killer, the non suicidal killer and the mastermind who orchestrates but rarely does any direct killing of innocent civilians, all of whom may seem sane but it seems easier to dismiss the first two groups than the last and the question is whether the latter group needs to be engaged in political debate more seriously as it will often be the group with the intention of establishing some kind of governance through it’s own propaganda and thus necessitate some kind of open discussion. This is historically how the terrorist organisations have worked through the facade of having an official face that is a comfortable distance from the direct killing in order to offset the accusation of being seen as irrational murderers. There would appear to be a micro thin line where those who appear not be involved directly in the killing might warrant engagement and may have fractionally more credibility in the mind of the public which would require a more structured dismissal or compromise. This is the micro fine line that some of the most persistent terrorist organisations have managed to tread for in some cases decades.
But can and should civil society enforce those powers that might curtail the exposure to potential triggers in that vulnerable and volatile subset of people who actually do the killing? And is it the case that political debate at a national level is never going to sway the disturbed individuals who actually commit themselves to murder and so we must recognise that debate will not reduce recruitment even if it warrants an open forum only as far as any other issue between proponents engaged in a democratic exercise.
However I don’t think it’s entirely realistic or honest to palm off these acts as completely unpreventable .Its not about reviewing left or right wing policies or eliminating ignorance although such things are all very nice but the final essential ingredient is that the actual killers are crazy and the question is how far are we prepared to compromise certain freedoms and introduce restrictions without inadvertently capping an?economically supported but also passionately upheld and laudable value of freedom that is synonymously associated with the “west” in order to root out the maniacs. The old security vs liberty chestnut. Obama doesnt believe they are mutually exclusive and neither do Keynesians but then Im not sure what he believes.
And how long if ever will it take for people to realise that all races are human and are fundamentally driven by isomorphically identical emotions and that crazy homicidal people are basically just broken people wherever they are so it does not help us to analyse and elevate their politics or religion to any scrutiny.