I love violent movies, violent computer games, violent music. Dead Prez is a racist hip hop group that I've listened to with a great deal of pleasure. Kool G Raps misogynistic lyrics were a great source of laughs - until his ex-wife released an autobiography. All these things are fun and games until they reach reality, somehow. I fear that they cannot be defended. Yes, they can - the line goes between real-life violence and not violence, but we all have a responsibility for the climate we make with our art and our words. I can pretend that my extremely, extremely violent comics are not part of a cultural discourse where the violence must be more and more shocking to bring with it the pleasure of the new, but it is a lie. I can do like Mark Millar and say "sex should be in the home and not in the comics, violence should be in the comics and not it the home." But to me, it is more like alcohol: We KNOW it has unhealthy effects on society. One out of ten end up having problems with alcohol (this statistic was just made up). Yet we find it worth having alcohol. And to have free speech, one needs to allow for fiction. So where is the line between violent fiction and violent ideas posted in a blog? Should it be forbidden to talk about certain things?
My last post was not fully formed - but it was about that.
I read more after writing it, of course. I usually don't spend all my time on The Psychology of Evil, but our country just all turned into wannabe experts on that topic. All of us who have the time. One commenter said somewhere: The existence of nazi newspapers, Der Stürmer and Vőlkische Beobachter, didn't lead to LESS hatred against jews. Good point. And as if more and more people had accepted that argument, in an optimism-inducing turn of events, new voices in Frp now demands "another way of using language". Even better point. I truly, truly hope this will be the outcome. Keeping an Frp, but changing the Them and Us way of thinking - turning it into "people" and "people". Whatever I wanted to say in my last post, "defending the right to be racist and hateful", was about balancing a knife's edge: I want all societies to allow dissidence, I don't want the label "hatespeech" to be used out of its place to oppress anyone. But REAL hatespeech must be met. Constantly. With patience and reason. It can be the constant little "stabs" at Muhammed as a "pedophile mass murderer". As if Lot in the Bible didn't sleep with his daughters, or Jahveh didn't kill men, women and children in the flood, in Sodom and Gomorrah and so on. The little constant stabs at islam, as if it's more evil in its roots than any other religion, can come shaped like anonymous postings on the internet, can be a grotesque sight - but it has value, as it allows peoples opinions to come out where they can be met with arguments.
And it's about terms: When one is silently allowed to talk about "islam" as if it is ONE thing, the premises of the discussion are flawed. Is christianity "one" thing? There must be a room for discussing islam and all its aspects, but being constantly enraged about it would be like always reminding all christians about the murders done by the inquisition.
When one repeatedly meets - and creates - violent language, it shapes thoughts. It would be truly naive not to admit that. Talking about "a bullet to Krekar", or talking in the same way about specific right-wing politicians ... from now on, one must be kept responsible for one's words, as words are obviously not just words anymore. Article about the murderousness of language - in swedish, here.
Another point: When we meet arguments that "dissent" from humanism, one cannot convince one's opponent unless one uses arguments that use other foundations than humanism in itself. Because some people lack ... well, mirror neurons in their brain.
It is stigmatizing and, you know, hate-mongering, but we must have an open mind to the very, very real possibility that some people base their political views on a clinic psychopathy. There are people who genuinely want to do good in all parties. But I think, after finishing the book of Behring (more or less) that one core weakness of it is that it considers all people to be motivated by evil thoughts. Cynicism. Self-righteousness. Fear. Opportunism. He sees altruism as selfishness, as it raises one's status in the social network. And this is not even a very rare thought.
As such, it is an ideology that values "powerful" above "good", and this line of thought is so profundly strange to us as modern scandinavians. But one must be able to see the other side's set of core values, even the absurd ones.
The former post was written while I was in the middle of the terrorist's book. His frustration over not being heard made sense for a while. But as I've now finished the book, it has become clearer that his frustrations were something he worshipped, something he allowed himself to have, so he should be able to do something that put him apart from the world. I don't know if it's worth writing anymore about that single person.
But it is interesting to realize that some people are psychopaths, almost all huge multinational companies function as psychopaths, and - in this case: Some political opinions are based on a psychopathic mindset and can feed back into more extreme coldness.
And then, as I tried to figure out how to meet those political opinions (and religious opinions) that are founded on the worst sides of the human soul, my housemate Adolfo came into the room. He looked at what I was writing. "Are you still thinking about that man? That is what he wanted. Get it out of your system. Evil is not so fascinating. It is very simple ... what do you say, banal. I find it much more fascinating why those children were gathered on Utøya."