The recent senseless mass murders in Norway drew the typical reaction from comments in the media that I have seen, to wit: why? Well, I have an answer in the form of a “why” question in response: Beyond motivational evidence available in a criminal investigation, why do we not recognize that, contrary to the influential teachings of Jean Jacques Rousseau, evil not only naturally exists in the human soul, but is pervasive in those souls that have not had proper nurture, a condition that has a tendency to expand in an increasingly nihilistic culture? Pending further developments, that about summarizes it for me–this guy Breivik is a nutcase, with no impulses in evidence that are either religious, conservative, or Christian, except in a corrupted millenarian sense.
A couple of references in his manifesto (which incidentally seem to be almost totally plagiarized) were to the Knights Templar and the National Association of Scholars (NAS), two organizations of which I am familiar as a member of both. In response, the national leadership of Knights Templar has issued a statement of complete denial of any relationship with this man and a condemnation of his acts, which I will not quote but would be pleased to forward to interested parties. The NAS has been actively involved in the mitigation of the scourge of multiculturalism in the upper reaches of American higher education for several decades, an issue on which Breivik is evidently in sympathy. Needless to say, the NAS totally rejects any form of association with violence to achieve its ends in this regard and is concerned that this event will provide cover for those who disagree with its mission to imply that its advocacy incites right-wing violence of this kind.
In fact, an unfortunate by-product of this tragic event is likely to be a dampening effect on this debate on multiculturalism and the failure of Muslims to assimilate into European culture and society, a subject on which British Prime Minister Cameron, French President Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Merkel have spoken forcefully. We need more of this discussion, not less, and this event should not be allowed to intimidate this process.