Is Anders Behring Breivik “mad”?
He is clearly not mad in the raving dolally sense of the word. This is not someone who “snapped” and started an impromptu bullet festival. There was cold calculation and quite frankly extremely impressive planning to his atrocities. To cause one terrorist outrage in a day might be seen as madness but to cause two looks like organisation.
So, if it was madness (we can lose the scare quotes now – I’m bored typing them), there was method in it. What precisely his aim was… God knows. My best guess would be that he hated the left-wing government of his country so he tried to blow it up. He hated them because he hated immigrants but was smart enough to go for the root cause as he saw it. Given that, it then makes perfect sense for him to then kill as many of the next generation of that party. Well, that was his proximate aim, anyway. Wider than that it was to commit n act so vile, so notorious that it will haunt any political debate on multi-culturalism in Norway and further afield for years to come.
Though foul the logical deduction is impeccable if you accept the same axioms. Many err by faulty (sometimes wilfully so) reasoning. He didn’t. His reasoning is not at fault here, it’s only the axioms that are mad. Or wrong or evil or whatever you want to call them.
It is possible to be sane, intelligent, diligent and even moral and do the most atrocious things if your basic underpinning philosophical principles are wrong. I mean “wrong” there in the strongest and widest sense of the word.
I’m sorry if this post offends anyone by being perhaps too analytical about such an appalling crime but it’s all I can do other type, “coat the fucker in honey and tie him down over an ant nest” and that frankly is not very helpful.