Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Was the Norwegian atrocity strategic?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-24

I am suspecting that Breivik’s targetting of the best and brightest youth of the left in Norway was not to strike terror – but to remove talent, to weaken the left.

It’s wiped a massive proportion of the talent the left has, talent about to enter real-world politics over the next decade.

It has gutted the left’s talent pool, effective for the next few generations: – the young talent so tragically removed would doubtless have had children and grandchildren of similar talents, of similar leftist leanings.

There are indications about the net that Breivik thought strategically.

There is scuttlebutt about the net that Anders Breivik proposed a long term plan to change Norwegian politics – a newspaper (he should have just called Rupert and he’d get that in 10 seconds), infiltration of NGOs, etc. CORRECTION: Not scuttlebutt, not confined by Norway, and with documents admitted correct by Breivik’s lawyer. See here.

This was not to instill terror, not (as some decent and intelligent righty friends have suggested) merely a means to get a pulpit in the courtroom, not merely to install terror, not revenge.

The youth camp had about 500 of the best and brightest.  Not a random collection of people, no non-political-combatants.  Breivik wiped out nearly 100 of them: that’s nearly 20%.

I have no doubts Breivik would have killed the lot of them if he could have.

Twenty percent?  Risk management disciplines define a 10% loss of income, budget, or resources, as "catastrophic".

If there was a similar double-decimation of targetted killings, for political purposes, it would come close to being labelled (albeit problematically) as genocide.

What Breivik as an individual did was not much different to what fascist parties mid-century did – trying to wipe out communism with targetted killings.

Imagine the effect of an individual with a machine gun or bomb at the annual conference of any political party, at a world conference of climatologists.

Imagine the effect on the stocks of a company if 20% of the best-and-brightest shareholders were taken out at their AGM.  Imagine if a cancer patient, family owning a lot of Woolworths shares, wiped out 20% of the most influential Coles stakeholders and executives.  The cancer patient’s family would have massively more valuable assets overnight, and would cash in.

Breiviks actions probably had more impact.

The strategic nature of Breivik’s plan demonstrates his insight.  Unless there is massive recruitment to the left, others will see Breivik’s action as extremely effective – and there will be more of the same, and not just from right-wing extremists.

The only possible means of nullifying the damage Breivik has done, and the ongoing damage of those who would use similar strategies, is for a population to rise up and become politically active, to become "radical moderates" at least, and preferably ardent lefties/greens.

Unfortunately, moderation correlates with political apathy or at least inertia, unwillingness to rise up.

I fear that Breivik has already achieved many of his goals.  I fear that his strategy will be followed by others.

See Also:

  • The "not-a-lone-madman" but "leaderless resistance" model for Breivik is described here, and worth glancing quickly through, although I don’t subscribe to the notion of Breivik being the "perfect product" – that smacks at least a little of the same errors the right commits when slagging off lefties.
  • Here is (apparently) a translation of some detailed correspondence from Breivik to the propaganda wing of his fellow-travellers (who may, or more likely not, have similar attitudes to violence).  It is worth reading to see the absence of typical "madness" that can be evident in such communications – he writes like a cold hard manager – albeit one with a surfeit of arrogance.
  • I actually wrote this post trying to be less emotional than perhaps was warranted, and I did a bit better in a comment over at LP.

    Even if there was gloating about any red-faces of right-wing pundits (it’s unlikely they’ll actually feel their faces go red), the left should ponder just how many of the best-and-brightest of the left were pre-emptively removed from history, and the effect this could have on the quality of political debate over the next decades in Norway specifically, and western Europe in general. It is a massive loss not just in personal terms. not merely a horrible and undeserved shock to a peaceful nation – the difference to society these kids would have made is considerable, and that includes any influence the quality of political debate in Europe has on the quality of debate world-wide.

  • Update: The Age in Norway’s Breivik planned carnage: lawyer (2011-07-24) reports the long time this was planned – long enough for any associates, extremist or not, to pick up anything that would mitigate, such as depression or schizophrenia:

    The internet document – part diary, part bomb-making manual and part political rant in which he details his Islamophobia – explains how he set up front mining and farming businesses to prepare the attacks for which he was arrested on Friday.

    "The reasoning for this decision is to create a credible cover in case I am arrested in regards to the purchase and smuggling of explosives or components to explosives – fertiliser," the tract says.

    Note he is only talking about having a credible legal cover in order to be able to execute his plans, NOT legal cover to excuse himself.  He won’t be pleading insanity, will he, however much the right-wing pundits would like this to be the public perception.

6 Responses to “Was the Norwegian atrocity strategic?”

  1. […] Was the Norwegian atrocity strategic? […]

  2. […] one?The problem with asylum seekersDummies Guide To Mass MurderersNot tweeting … buzzing plus goodWas the Norwegian atrocity strategic?The Best of Times, the Worst of TimesUltra-jewish cult help accused child-molester escape […]

  3. I was wondering about this myself. Targeting an opposition youth camp is a leadership decapitation strategy. However, this author got the idea out before I did and developed it beautifully. Please give it a read.

    James Pilant

  4. Totaram said

    Very correct. I think that was the idea, and when we hear his justification we will find this was probably his aim. That is how right wing extremists work – That includes fundamentalists of all kinds including Al-Queada, Al – Shabab etc. Now with the Murdoch press and the “Shock Jocks” urging on all kinds of this extremism for many years, you can expect more of this. There is a whole strategy at work here, including the Tea Party in the US, calls to “drown” an elected prime Minister in the Tasman etc. Just remember that Salvadore Allende was a duly elected President who was removed in a similar “gruesome but necessary” manner. Do not underestimate the power of the big money that finances the right-wing nutters. Think-tanks are the first ploy and it goes on from there. This is no conspiracy theory. There is lots of evidence for it. Be alert and afraid.

  5. Dave Bath said

    Totaram – I think, if indeed you are saying it, that the shock-jocks and Murdoch would, however much they want the left weakened, want it weakened by Breivik’s methods, you are wrong.

    I think they might shrug their shoulders at the odd bit of racist bashings, or at the non-violent misery the policies they promote necessarily cause, but I don’t think they’d actually intend to incite mass slaughter, at least in a European country – collateral damage in places that don’t engage with their markets are easily ignored, the dead in wars are anonymous. Cognitively dissonant? Sure. But again, I don’t think they want these targetted assassinations of European democrats.

    Mind you, not actively inciting, and accepting responsibility for their type of propaganda are two entirely different things. Maybe, just maybe, they might admit, if only tacitly within their own heads, the effect their rhetoric has if a similar tragedy happens here.

    But that sort of blindness is common in those most ready to prostitute their human feelings for dollars – they’ll turn a blind eye to the homeless folk they pass in the streets, the horribly large statistics made destitute or rendered hopeless by right-wing policies, but they wouldn’t go all Clockwork Orange and sink the boots in to the head of the homeless person literally, and they could well make moves to stop such an assault if they were actual witnesses.

    It’s critical for the left to give the same understanding, the same differentiation between innocent and guilty in our political opponents, as it is for the enemies of our enemies.

    But … I’d regard, even if legally invalid, anyone privately welcoming the loss of so many young lives, the loss of the contributions these kids would have made, as accessories after the fact.

  6. […] I am suspecting that Breivik’s targetting of the best and brightest youth of the left in Norway was not to strike terror – but to remove talent, to weaken the left. It’s wiped a massive proportion of the talent the left has, talent about to enter real-world politics over the next decade. It has gutted the left’s talent pool, effective for the next few generations: – the young talent so tragically removed would doubtless have had children and gran … Read More […]

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