All right, on further thought and discussion with my readers, I think I need to “upgrade” Breivik from “pseudoconservative” to “anti-cosmopolitan” (see my taxonomy on the meaning of these terms).  One thing I don’t buy is this idea that he had a fake persona in his facebook page and blog posts, while the manifesto reveals his real thoughts.  After all, if he was worried about exposure, why post on anti-Islamic weblogs at all?  If he wanted to throw people off, why not pose as an outright liberal rather than a moderate conservative?  Besides, the contradictions in his thought can be found in the manifesto itself, as we’ve all noticed.  The guy is not very good as a systematic thinker.  We must try to discern his underlying core motivation.  I think his ultimate priority is to preserve Western culture for its own sake, rather than for the sake of freedom or Christianity or something like that.  Hence my labeling him as an anti-cosmopolitan, even though he doesn’t seem to have articulated a general defense of particularist loyalty.

P.S. I expect this will be my last post on this dreadful topic.

4 Responses

  1. Hmmm, good question. After having read his book, I would say, along with anti-cosmopolitan, he is equal parts social and cultural conservative.

    In the last section of his Declaration, he goes into great detail about his own life story and mentality. He describes a turning point in his mid-20s, when he was no longer satisfied with the crass consumerism and shallow hollowness of contemporary culture.

    I see no reason to question his own statement of core motivation: to preserve his people and culture against the genocidal onslaught of Islamic immigration.

    For very logical reasons (namely, the collapsing European birthrate combined with high Muslim immigration and birth rates), he sees the extinction of his people out of their ancestral homeland, within 100 years from now. Rather than submitting to this demographic genocide, he laid out a plan to avert it, then took action on his own plan.

    We want to call him evil, or a psychopath, or something…. but he himself presents a very strong case that he is acting in collective self-defense, and that he is, in fact, morally justified in his actions. That is the final and ultimate challenge that he offers: the status of his moral justification.

    Is it morally wrong to resist the violent displacement of your own people out of your own homeland? That is the question he poses.

    Most of us are content with “kicking the can down the road”, assuming trends will change at some future time. He was not…

  2. To answer you need a just war theory capable of handling internal rebellion. Throne and Altar types would seem to be pretty constrained here. Subjects may rebel against their governments if and only if the Pope says that the government is no longer legitimate. The likelihood of this Pope accepting a race replacement or “Muslims=bad” argument for illegitimacy seems remote.

    Setting that aside, classical just war theory as set out in the Catechism of Vatican II para 2309 (or Catechism of the Catholic Church, if you prefer) says a (defensive) war is just if it is declared by a legitimate authority and if:

    -the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

    – all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

    – there must be serious prospects of success;

    – the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

    And also (implicitly) if it is fought in a just way.

    It does no good to reject the CCC because it is a product of Vatican II. This framework dates to St Augustine and was endorsed by St Thomas Aquinas. Furthermore, other, non-Catholic, just war theories look a lot like this as well.

    If this is going to be the substructure on which an argument justifying Breivik is built, a lot of work needs to be done. How does one replace the (implicit) requirement of a legitimate authority with the judgement of some guy? How is killing a bunch of civilians intentionally a just way to fight a war? Is the damage really certain? Is there really no other way to fix the problem? Is there a serious prospect of success? These seem like impossibly high hills to climb to me.

    Notice that what Breivik did was nastier than typical IRA behavior. The IRA liked to target police stations, the army, Parliament, government ministers, and etc. These are legitimate targets of war. Summer camps are not. In fact, I think one bullet a Breivik defender would have to bite is an endorsement of the IRA. They were fighting a similar thing in similar ways, no?

  3. I simply can’t imagine what about the West is worth conserving, much less fighting for.

  4. Proph, the West qua The West never was. However, there is a foundation that cannot and never will be removed: a Foundation built without hands.

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