Norway: Making sense of violence

Around the blogosphere and the media people are trying to make sense of the bombing and massacre in Norway. At Larvatus Prodeo Mark Bahnisch offers some advice:

I think there is a duty to analyse why these things happen, and why they are talked about in the way they are, but I’m not at all certain that a pause for reflection isn’t in order first. The human scale of the tragedy affects how people respond, but that response has to be calibrated and sorted out from the emotional impact. Not easy to do, and so probably wise to pause.

According to media reports Anders Behring Breivik, the man police have charged for the attacks, has posted a substantial body of material on the internet. Bloggers and journalists are combing through the writings and comments he’s left on various web sites in an effort to find some larger meaning in the attacks.

According to Matthew Goodwin at the Guardian, Breivik "was profoundly concerned about the effects of immigration, multiculturalism, Islam and the growth of settled Muslim communities, he was also dismissive of crude racial supremacist and neo-Nazi ideas and parties that espoused these ideas". Goodwin argues the newer extremist groups Breivik identified with focus on the "socially acceptable issue of culture". They claim that Muslims are not biologically inferior, but culturally incompatible. Goodwin argues that we need to focus on the threat posed by these new extremist groups.

But perversely that may be exactly what Breivik is hoping for. After 9/11 Islamic extremism received a huge amount of media coverage and Bin Laden’s face appeared everywhere. Terror and media images of terror have fused together into a single weapon.

So as Mark says, right now it’s probably best to pause and think. In the meantime TigTog’s response makes the most sense: "The shock and horror I’m feeling must be a pale shadow of what those in Norway are feeling. My thoughts are with them all."

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Rafe Champion
Rafe Champion(@rafe-champion)
10 years ago

Mises, Hayek and Popper cited in the journal of the chief suspect.

Nicholas Gruen
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Nicholas Gruen(@nicholas-gruen)
10 years ago

Rafe – you’re just going for a new record in Threads of Doom you can manage to spark off on Troppo ;)

Rafe
10 years ago

I hope this one doesn’t become a thread of doom!

Paul Bamford
Paul Bamford
10 years ago

Here’s an example of what happens to those who don’t pause and think for long enough.

JC
JC
10 years ago

There’s no making sense of it Don. But I reckon one thing there may be more nasty surprises like in this century as it appears to me there’s more and more of it happening with regular occurrence.

This is what I wrote about it at the CAT.. I took out some and added a little.

What I thought was interesting was that FDB brought up the issue last evening and no one here had before he did.

When I first read about it, I really didn’t give it too much attention to be honest. I read a couple of news stories and then forgot about it to some extent.

The reason i think, is that there’s been so much of the stuff going on in the past 10 years, you sort of get used it.

While that happened , this also occurred on the weekend.

5 Killed In TX Roller Rink Shooting…

10 people shot at Seattle car show…

Perhaps this century, or a decent part of it, is going to be a period of these sorts of mass murders.

I’m not only talking about the west, by the way. The other week (was it) 50 people were killed in an afghan market and no one seemed to blink an eye and a little while before that there was another attack in Mumbai if I’m not mistaken.

David Wilkie
David Wilkie
10 years ago

“There’s no making sense of it Don. “I don’t see that. The fellow confessed and put out 1300 pages of notes as to why he did it. If you cannot make sense of something under those conditions you won’t make sense out of anything in a month of Sundays.