Monday, July 25, 2011

The Norwegian Tragedy

Who can fail to be moved by the Norwegian tragedy? An apparently normal person behaves in a totally abnormal way, and takes about a hundred lives, many of them so young that they can have done nothing to affect him.

In all the biographical information that has poured out, I have been surprised that the focus has been on Breivik's school life. The man is 32 years old. What has he been doing since he left school? Joining organisations, trawling the internet, playing digital war games, buying weapons, learning how to make explosives, and renting farms.

But what has allowed him to do all this? Most of us, at the revolutionary stage of our lives, find we have a job to do, to stay alive. Most of our time goes into the sheer slog of earning our daily bread. To be sure, some lucky people of my acquaintance had parents rich enough for them to survive without wasting time working, but in Breivik's case, it seems his parents were estranged and in no position to support him. Apart from scrounging the occasional meal off his mother, he was very much alone.

So was he unemployed, and able to draw enough from the State not only to live, but to mount an attack upon it? From all that we know, this seems to be the case. If so, then surely there can be no greater reason to damn the socialist ethic, than that it carries such seed for its own destruction.

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