What Does Anders Behring Breivik Really Believe? Not What You May Think

Foreign Policy has an important piece about the attempts to dissect what Anders Behring Breivik, Norway’s mass murderer, really thinks. It’s written by Phillip Longman, a fellow at the New America Foundation, who finds himself quoted by Breivik in his manifesto. What’s so important about this piece? Longman is no conservative, and he cuts through the nonsense that Breivik was somehow inspired by the American Tea Party or conservative bloggers.

His beliefs? Logic doesn’t apply

Longman notes, for example, that Breivik’s “manifesto” is littered with contradictions. He voices “admiration for the United States’ Tea Party, while calling for more regulation of capitalism and a ‘Scandinavian light model’ of redistribution, including ‘giving women more incentives to have children in the form of various welfare incentives.'” He points out that Breivik has been labelled a “Christian terrorist,” but in his manifesto Breivik claimed “it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings,” and then went on to laud the work of Princeton University biologist Lee Silver who advocates not only stem cell research and human cloning. Not what you would call your typical Christian fundamentalist.

Longman has actually done what few writing about Breivik have done. He actually read the manifesto.

“Schiozphrenics have a reputation for being to reason brilliantly from false premises,” he writes. Those looking for some coherent philosophy from the Norway mass murderer are misguided. When reading Breivik’s words, says Longman, “Certainly logic will be of little help.”

Longman’s piece is here.


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