Monday, July 25, 2011

Deus Vult!

It seems the United States is not the exclusive residence of the violently pretentious, fanatic and self-righteous who live among us these days.  Certainly Europe has had its share of such killers in the past, some of them true paragons of the type; but one has come to expect that their domicile of choice for the present is this Great Republic.  That there is at least one of these creatures in Norway seems somehow surprising.

One can only feel grateful that the Norwegian court presiding over him has not so far been inclined to give him the opportunity to "explain" his conduct and why he feels he is not a criminal.  He has already done this in detail courtesy of the Internet, it seems, and it is doubtful he has anything more enlightening, let alone intelligent, to say at this time. 

I don't know the situation in Norway or greater Scandinavia, or in Europe for that matter, adequately for me to comment on the extent to which "multiculturalism" (whatever that may mean) predominates in those places.  I know there have been those European politicians who have commented that it is a failure, and that nationalism is evidently once more a factor in European politics, at least accordingly to the ostensibly concerned media.  Let us assume that it does predominate.  If it does, that is obviously no reason to kill people, and only the fanatic could believe otherwise.

Preposterous fantasies involving militant Christian religious orders which expired long ago, or the reference to a crusade of some kind, or the employment of a modern version of "blood and soil", are what we may expect from the European (and American) fanatic.  These are people who are convinced that how they live, what they do and what they think are right and proper, and that while those who agree with them may be tolerable, for the most part, those who do not are certainly intolerable in the sense that they cannot be allowed to live among them.  Provided they live elsewhere, they may be allowed to exist, but once they encroach upon us, they presumptively threaten us, and must be dealt with, firmly.  This kind of fanaticism is the result of twisted self-righteousness fed by mystical or religious beliefs, i.e. the irrational in us.

That said, we should note that it is apparently true that there are those who feel threatened by what some who are inclined to grandiose rhetoric would no doubt call "otherness", this being simply the unsurprising fact that people from different nations, of different cultures and religions, act and think differently than "we" do.  Also, we should note that there are those who feel that the street they live on need not and should not be Sesame Street, and that there are many who feel that way, some of whom are eager to do something about it.

If they do something about it through the use of the guns we are so fond of here in the Land of the Free, or explosives, or generally through the use of violence, that is one thing.  If they do so through nonviolent means, using established law and the political system, that may be another.

I for one believe that if I decided to move to and live in a foreign country, it would be the height of silly self-regard for me to believe that the government of that country, and its people, should accommodate me in every respect.  I would not think that they should treat my language as an official language, for example, or provide me with translations of legal document and signs.  I would not think they should alter their laws to conform to my beliefs regarding what the laws should be.  I would not expect them to treat me any differently than they would treat any other citizen of that country, however; in other words, I believe they should neither discriminate in my favor or to my detriment.  To the extent "multiculturalism" provides otherwise, I think it is problematic.

I think that those who long for a global government and those who fear it are equally deluded.  We are tribal creatures, and will be tribal until such time as we learn to know and control ourselves and understand and appreciate that we cannot know and control everyone else, and it is not clear to me that we will ever achieve that level of wisdom.

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