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Anders Behring Breivik smiles in court during his trial in Oslo

Shortly before he embarked on a gun and bomb rampage through Oslo, Anders Behring Breivik emailed a 1500 page ‘manifesto’ to over a thousand ‘contacts’ he had amassed via the internet. The text – entitled – ‘2083: A European Declaration of Independence’ – must now rank among the most downloaded and least read of modern political tracts.

The day after the shootings occurred, I downloaded it myself and attempted to scroll-read it on my laptop. Many headache pills later, I gave up. The compendium is too long. Life is too short. In any case, I didn’t need to read much of it to understand his thesis: i.e – that Muslims are set to conquer, via natural demographic growth, many European cities, and ultimately have a shot at taking over the continent entirely. To all intents and purposes, this was already my understanding.

Breivik is now in jail (or whatever Norwegians call a ‘jail’), and is kept for the most part in a segregated cell. His only connection with the outside world is via written correspondence.

Although a murderer should ideally be ignored (having destroyed his own moral legitimacy), I must admit to reading many of Breivik’s letters via transcriptions on the internet. This may be nothing more than morbid curiosity on my part, but I also believe these letters provide valuable insights we can all learn from.

Here is a lengthy excerpt from a letter written by Breivik to a girl called ‘Daisy’.

‘I lost/sacrificed my old family and friends on 22/7 (Note: the day of the attacks), so now and in the future the people I correspond with are in fact the closest thing I have to a family. Don’t let this freak you out though, as you should know I’m corresponding with many brothers and sisters worldwide. I’m currently living in isolation and will probably live in isolation for many many years. This is unproblematic as obviously, this was my own choice. I’m used to living ascetically so it will not be difficult to continue living this way. In fact, in many ways its exactly like living as a monk confined to a monastery. You have sacrificed all worldly goods and many other freedoms but you have gained a focused and balanced mind which is not plagued by greed, desires and lust – and you are allowed to work. I think if I say this enough times I will believe it, haha, but in a way its true enough, but it will take time getting used to and it may be challenging. We once had a tradition of selfless sacrifice in Christian Europe, and I hope I will contribute to re-establish this tradition among nationalists and cultural conservatives. The muslims have this tradition of selfless sacrifice, and this is why they are so dangerous, this while too many Europeans are decadent and selfish, with a lack of the ideals required for revolutionary change. But as we know so well, the wonderful thing is that multiculturalism is a self-defeating ideology so we know the unknown, the future belongs to us, it’s just difficult to predict the exact time it will happen.’

Throughout this text, Breivik casts himself as a classical hero; one who has given up his freedom for an honourable cause. I don’t believe (from reading this and many other letters) that he is bluffing. He really does believe it. At his trial Breivik said that the Norwegian state should give him a ‘medal’. At the time I put this down as sarcasm, but  maybe it wasn’t.

Another notable aspect of the text is the intelligence of its author. Breivik isn’t a fool, and nor is he (as the BBC had him) a video-games freak who simply got lost in another world. He seems to be a very bright, introspective and clear-thinking man, who chose (for whatever reason) the wrong solution to real problems.

When Breivik says ‘Europeans are decadent and selfish, with a lack of the ideals required for revolutionary change.’ – he is correct of course. But there is surely a middle ground (morally and practically) that we can move into. Massacres achieve nothing, except propaganda for the other side.

When Muslim terrorists attack Europe, the Counter-Jihad movement stands to benefit. When Breivik-style plots are revealed or carried out, this works in favour of the Muslims. Someone of Breivik’s intelligence should really have worked this out.

More recent than the quoted letter, Breivik registered a request for the formation of new Norwegian political party to be called “The Norwegian fascist party and Nordic league’. According to a transcribed screenshot of the text itself, the party’s purpose was to achieve “democratic fascist power in Norway to win parliamentary support for the establishment of a Norwegian-Nordic indigenous state in south-Østfold, named, Norway Yggdra.”

It is possible that Breivik is being satirical here, but far from certain. Regardless, “Democratic fascism” is an absurd concept and if it isn’t intended as satire then Breivik has clearly never read ‘La dottrina del fascismo’.

Anders Behring Breivik is evidence (if any were required) that knowledge is no guarantee of wisdom, and that one can both be right and choose to do wrong. His letters reveal a far more intelligent and (perhaps one shouldn’t say it) likable man than the crazed psychopath of July 2011, but his has been a wasted commitment and a pinpoint lesson in how not to combat the problem he correctly identified.