Charlie Manson: So Close And Yet So Far

Charles Manson: got a lot right, got a lot wrong

Charles Manson: thought by some to be a genius, thought by many to be a maniac. Only a select few realised that he was both. In his actions relating to the infamous Family killings, Manson almost showed humanity a new way of relating to power, but a poor choice of target disqualify his actions from being considered anarcho-homicidalism.

Much like Adolf Hitler, Manson kept a coterie of devoted followers on account of an extraordinary level of charisma and penchant for giving lectures about the degeneracy into which the outside world had fallen. Also much like Adolf Hitler, Manson had a lot of excellent ideas that lacked execution, with consequences that the world would not forget.

One of the excellent ideas that Manson had was that people ought to rise up and challenge the control system, on account of its incredible corruption and the lies and destruction that it has wrought upon the Earth. Rising up against liars and thieves who have wormed themselves into positions of authority is the basis of anarcho-homicidalism, and no doubt Manson played on natural anarcho-homicidalist sentiments when he persuaded Watson et al. to do what they did.

Nobody can stand in judgement, they can play like they’re standing in judgement. They can play like they stand in judgement and take you off and control the masses, with your human body. They can lock you up in penitentiaries and cages and put you in crosses like they did in the past, but it doesn’t amount to anything. What they’re doing is, they’re only persecuting a reflection of themselves. They’re persecuting what they can’t stand to look at in themselves, the truth. – Charles Manson

Some might argue that Manson was an anarcho-homicidalist, on account of that much of his stated ideology was anarchic, and so the homicidal actions of the Family were also anarchism. It could indeed be argued that the Family actions were anarchic, because behaving in that manner is demonstrating very clearly that one has no rulers, but actions only constitute legitimate anarcho-homicidalism if they are conducted against someone making an attempt to enslave another.

It’s not really fair to target members of the cultural elite on that basis alone, for the reason that they are not the ones holding the reins of power. Sharon Tate was an actress – an influential position admittedly – but no-one took orders from her. She didn’t threaten anyone into coercion; she didn’t try to enslave anyone. She was just a pretty face that people paid money to look at for a few hours.

There was perhaps an element of jealousy in Manson’s selection of target, in that he had found it difficult to break into Los Angeles cultural circles, and so chose to target those who had. Such motivations cannot be considered anarcho-homicidal in any real sense, because they didn’t target anyone who held real coercive power, and were not motivated by the ideal of liberation.

This absence of coercive power meant that the people the Manson Family killed were not aggressors in any real sense, and therefore killing them could not be justified in self defence.

If Manson had targeted politicians instead, things would be very different. America was embroiled in the Vietnam War in 1969, and the Government was drafting young men to fight it without their consent, on pain of imprisonment. Killing any prominent warhawk or supporter of the Vietnam War would have been a legitimate act of anarcho-homicidalism, and would have been much more effective than abusing the draftees when they returned.

Charles Manson and his Family had more or less the right idea; their major error lay in the selection of a target that was not directly trying to enslave them.

VJMP Reads: The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand III

This reading carries on from here.

The third essay in The Interregnum is “Reimagining the Economy” by Wilbur Townsend. I must admit that reading a book that opens with several Marx and Gramsci quotes which then goes into radical economic intervention makes me think of the millions of people who starved to death in the 20th century. Despite that, I continue in the belief that the left must have learned to moderate its radicalism by now.

Promisingly, this essay opens by sticking to sober facts. Townsend points out that the economy has grown by 48% since 1990, but the average wage is only 22% higher, on account of that the dividends of this greater economic growth is not being distributed. Moreover, wages in finance and insurance have grown 62% while wages in hospitality have grown 3%.

“There is money being earned in this country but, increasingly, it isn’t being earned by us.” This is the central lament of this essay, and it’s a fair one. After all, neoliberalism and free trade are sold to the people as innovations that will increase the logistical efficiency of getting cheap goods and services to market. But it’s not worth saving $500 on a television if you also lose $15,000 in wages.

In an odd coincidence, the essay contains a reference to Luddites, in the context of people who opposed technological advancement on the basis that it destroyed labour opportunity, and who question the liberating potential of these advancements. Jonty Gillespie and the machine cultists in The Verity Key refer to people as Luddites if they’re not interested in going deep enough into a virtual environment to forget the outside world.

Despite representing working-class sentiments more faithfully than Morgan Godfery managed in his opening effort, the middle-class social justice warrior influence does shine through at some points in Townsend’s essay, such as when he laments that “Misogynistic workplaces” and “sexist bosses” are responsible for the dearth of female truckies and wharfies. One suspects that some of Townsend’s acquaintances would happily have a proportion of men castrated if such was considered necessary to “solve the gender gap”.

Like many in the left of today, biological explanations for gender differences are avoided with superstitious fervour.

The youthful idealism also shines through when he argues for a universal basic income.

No matter how good the arguments for a universal basic income are, we have never had one before and there are good reasons for this. Townsend possesses an eerie certitude about the idea that a universal basic income would lead to a sharp increase in the quality of life, and, although there’s good reason to agree with him, raising the spectre of people dropping out of society to move to Takaka and smoke bongs might not sell it to a Middle New Zealand that just put the National Party in power for nine years.

Townsend takes this idealism so far as to insist that the factories, machines and raw materials should be returned to the collective. He pre-empts the obvious criticism by acknowledging that historians don’t have much time for Communism, but he waves it away by saying “I suspect they just haven’t noticed it done well.”

Despite this, he makes a good point when he mentions that sovereign wealth funds could serve as the capital owners of a range of national assets or robot workfleets, and from there a universal basic income might become possible.

In summary, this essay mixes some good points with a terrifyingly nonchalant self-righteous belief in the primacy of Marxist ideas. It’s probably fair to consider this a piece inspired by youthful idealism, despite the intelligent points occasionally raised.

VJMP Reads: The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand II

This reading carries on from here.

The second essay in The Interregnum is called ‘Speech and Silence in the Public Sphere’ by Andrew Dean. It recounts the story of the abuse copped by Eleanor Catton in the wake of her criticism of the direction the county was taking in 2015, and how this is indicative of deteriorating levels of public discourse.

Although most of the essay is devoted to quoting Philip Catton, which makes one wonder why Professor Catton didn’t write the essay himself, it aptly summarises the state of the cultural wars in New Zealand and in the West. The narrative of neoliberalism is triumphant; its victims are marginalised because their suffering goes against this narrative.

I was in Philip Catton’s History of Science class at the University of Canterbury in the year 2000. It’s curious to think about what the professor teaching that class 100 years from now will say about our time, and about the quality of our public discourse. Dean is right: our public discourse has degenerated to a shameful level, even as the Internet has theoretically made it easier than ever to share science, knowledge and truth.

Catton and Dean both have a point when they say that inequality has made the level of discourse more degenerate. The greater the inequality in a society, the more criticism of it is dismissed as “whinging” by those at the top and their lackeys in the mainstream media. Furthermore, the greater the inequality the more society becomes stratified into subgroups that speak their own dialect, so that it becomes difficult to communicate between different positions on the hierarchy.

The worse any one group of people is doing, the less their voices fit the neoliberal narrative that “Everything is better than ever, so spend spend spend!” And so, the more their voices are silenced by a mainstream media that is beholden to the same capitalist interests who support neoliberalism.

Dean refers to the same pattern that Dan McGlashan calls the “general disenfranchisement rule” in the demographic analysis Understanding New Zealand. It’s a feedback loop in which increasing inequality causes the people in the lower socioeconomic demographics to lose faith in the belief that the system represents them at all, which leads to a decreased turnout rate in elections, which leads to a system that represents them even less, leading to a further decreased rate and so on.

He also mentions the effect that neoliberalism had has on the discourse at our universities. Instead of acting as the conscience of the nation, our universities have to compete for students in order to get funding, which means that they have to present a certain image. In the case of New Zealand universities, which get a lot of international students from Asia, it is almost impossible to have a public discussion about the need for cannabis law reform.

All in all, this essay is pleasingly accurate and concise, and ends by pointing out that not only it is necessary to point out the failings of neoliberalism it is also getting harder to do because of the silencing of dissenting voices to the mainstream narrative.

The Future of Empathy

Empathy has probably evolved to facilitate social interaction in the human species, which is why an absence of it tends to have antisocial consequences

By most measures, the world seems to have become a more empathetic place since the Stone Age. The average person’s chances of meeting a violent end are far lower today than back then, and one’s exposure to grossly traumatic events are also far lower. This has had some interesting effects for a species that may have adapted to a certain level of environmental violence.

In many ways, this increasing empathy is becoming standardised and expected. We are more empathetic than ever before by a number of measures: we share more of our wealth than ever, we commit fewer crimes against each other than ever, we have a much better understanding of mental illness than ever. We debate social issues – like bringing refugees into the country to be supported out of general taxation – that would have been unthinkable even a century ago.

The question arises: where does this process end? In my upcoming cyberpunk novel, The Man With A Thousand Fathers, I explore this point in some detail. It is set in the 2080s, when the science of psychology is much more advanced than what it is today and when the confluence of virtual reality and psychoactive research chemicals has meant that the world on the flipside is often realer than this one.

In the Thailand of the story world, children who are discovered to have defective levels of empathy are put into a virtual reality environment instead of being allowed to go into real life, and then raised with exposure to a set of stimuli specifically calculated to condition them to be more civil. One of the story’s characters, an orphan named Suwat, spends over a decade in such a virtual environment before being released.

It’s entirely possible that such a thing may eventuate, for utilitarian reasons. It’s not difficult to predict the kinds of children who are going to grow up to be criminals. They’re simply the kids that lack empathy for other kids. Any schoolteacher could tell you with high accuracy which children in their class are likely to grow up to cause problems and which children are not.

It’s also not difficult to predict why these kids lack empathy. The vast majority of the time it’s because they themselves aren’t shown empathy at home. Children are not born knowing what’s what; they learn to base their behaviour and moral values on what is demonstrated to them as normal. If a child’s parents don’t show empathy to each other or to that child, that child might well grow up to learn that not showing empathy is normal.

A child who has been exposed to really bad things might even come to learn that empathy is weakness that makes a person vulnerable. They might learn that showing empathy is a signal that one is soft, and that one dare not show it in case it invites aggression and exploitation.

With advancing virtual reality technology, we’re almost at the point where using a virtual environment for therapeutic purposes becomes mainstream. Virtual reality therapy has already shown promise in treating soldiers suffering from PTSD.

Extrapolating from this, it might become possible, if a virtual environment was engineered accurately enough, to use VR therapy to cure a wide range of psychiatric illnesses and disorders.

On the darker side, advancing technology might also make it possible for psychotechnicians to use machines to measure aspects of brain activity that the owner of the brain might not themselves be aware of. It has been possible to detect homosexuality in a subject for decades by exposing them to graphic homosexual images and measuring whether certain parts of the brain spark into life or not, and who knows where this sort of technology might lead.

It might happen that young children are exposed, en masse, to virtual reality examinations in which their brains are tricked into thinking that they’re in situations where empathy is required, and then their levels of empathy are measured. Anyone with too low a level is shipped off to VR therapy in the hope that they can learn to become more co-operative.

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Vince McLeod is the author of ANZAC cyberpunk novel The Verity Key.

If Charles Manson Was a Serial Killer, What Was George W Bush?

Charles Manson: responsible for 999,991 fewer deaths than George W Bush

News media are reporting that one of the world’s most “notorious serial killers”, Charles Manson, has died in prison. Described as a “mass murderer” by many, including Wikipedia, Manson was found guilty for a string of murders committed by followers of his Family cult, even though it was only ever alleged that he ordered the killings. But if Manson was a serial killer for ordering the deaths of nine people, then what is George W Bush, who ordered the deaths of a million?

It’s well known that Charles Manson never killed anyone himself (at least he was never tried of a murder that he committed himself). At his famous trial, where he faced several counts of murder, it was never even alleged that he killed anyone. From the beginning it was asserted that the Family members had killed on his authority, and so Manson was as good as guilty even if he hadn’t literally murdered.

One obvious question arises from this. If being the leader of a hippie cult that killed nine people is enough to get a man put in prison for life, how has George W Bush got away with being the leader of a statist cult that killed over a million people? Surely, according to the same logic that was used to imprison Manson, George W Bush ought to stand trial for several hundreds of thousands of counts of murder and up to a million counts of manslaughter?

All of the US soldiers that killed people in Iraq from 2003 onward justify what they did because they had vowed to follow orders. They had sworn to do whatever they were told by their superior officers (unless it was illegal), and their superior officers had done the same, all the way up to the first link in the chain of command, which is the President. It was the President’s word that got the invasion started, and the President’s authority that justified it.

So if the actions of Manson’s followers made him guilty of murder, then the actions of George W Bush’s followers have also made him guilty of murder.

Even worse, Charles Manson had very little in the way of guidance that he could have drawn on to make a better decision. He was the son of an alcoholic teenage prostitute, and so wasn’t raised to learn how to make good judgments. What’s George W Bush’s excuse for so callously ordering a military action that killed over a million people? He was the son of a president himself, so should have learned better judgment than anyone else.

Moreover, the people of the world demonstrated in no uncertain terms that they thought the invasion was a bad idea. Over a million people protested in London, and three million in Rome – still the largest protest in world history. The whole planet told George W Bush that what he proposed to do was going to be a humanitarian catastrophe – so he can’t say that he wasn’t warned by the world that he was making an error.

So if Charles Manson was worthy of all the hatred he endured because he was guilty of possessing a monstrously arrogant disregard to the value of human life, then George W Bush is worthy of a hundred thousand times more.

VJMP Reads: The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand I

The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand is a small book of essays that is for sale at the Volume bookstore in Nelson, by Bridget Williams Books. The blurb on the back asks the question of whether New Zealand’s political settlement is beginning to fray, and purports to “interrogate” the future from a youth perspective.

The first essay, by editor Morgan Godfery, is called “The Voices of A New Generation” and opens by relating an anti-TPPA demonstration in Auckland. It breathlessly describes the excitement of thousands of diverse people coming together to oppose the signing of the multilateral trade agreement.

Reading this piece, something about it speaks to the lack of purpose that the young generation now has. The fight against apartheid seemed meaningful at the time; it seemed a great evil was being fought. A law that says that a large section of the population are second-class humans, for no other reason than skin colour, seems like the sort of arbitrary and cruel treatment that everyone should be against.

But can the same be said of international trade? Who really understands it well enough to decide? And so what if “trade agreements are signed”?

By the fourth page of this essay there is already a Marx quote, which bodes poorly. The reader gets the sentiment that the new voice here is going to be an echo of the same social justice warriors seen overseas. If not, why oppose something as vague and nebulous as the TPPA, instead of protesting about poor wages, poor housing, poor mental health outcomes?

The essay finds its feet when it hones in on the real enemy: neoliberalism. Godfery mentions the damage done to the national psyche by the Mother of All Budgets, and it feels like he speaks for many when he says that the children condemned to poverty by Richardson’s Budget are now adults, some of us with our own children.

But again, this speaks to the confusion in the New Zealand Left. What to make of the fact that the signing of the TPPA was protested under a National Government, with many prominent Labour supporters in attendance, and then the Labour Government went and signed it anyway? No-one knows yet if Labour will get criticised for their evident support of neoliberalism, or whether people will let it pass.

This introductory essay declares that the book is for those who have “a fierce desire to radically reshape politics.” It proposes that instead of focusing on “returns on investment”, that we return to a politics of “higher principles and values”.

This is all very well, but the question that strikes one is: whose higher principles and values? Because usually when the working class votes for people promising to govern by higher principles, it turns out that those principles only apply to a chosen few groups, and if you’re not one of them then you’re “privileged” (“privileged” means “untermensch” in social justice speak”.

We can see this now with Jacinda Ardern’s decision to give Manus Island “refugees” her highest priority, while saying nothing about the Kiwis suffering from the illegal status of medicinal cannabis. Unfortunately for medicinal cannabis users, official victim status has so far eluded them, and so they continue to be ignored.

Concluding with half a dozen mentions of the word “love”, this essay promises that the book will make for interesting reading for the sake of political philosophy. However, it’s not possible to believe that a book that opens by quoting several Marxists could be entirely trustworthy or honest, even if it is earnest.

It remains to see what these higher principles are.

Why New Zealand Should Make Cricket Our National Sport

Kane Williamson is ten times more famous on the world stage than any All Black realistically ever could be – and a hundred times less at risk for head injury

It’s over. The Scots have beaten us for the first time in rugby history. It didn’t turn out quite like that, of course, as Beauden Barrett’s covering tackle forced a knock on from the Scottish fullback, but when Stuart Hogg broke the line and then defeated TJ Perenara’s ankletap, it looked like the Scots were going to score, making it 22-22 with a kick to come.

If Finn Russell had slotted that, Scotland would have beaten the All Blacks for the first time in over a century of trying. It would be a dark day for New Zealand rugby, especially having conceded a first-ever loss to Ireland only a few years beforehand.

Considering that the Kiwis were bundled out of the RLWC at the quarterfinal stage, it would be an incredible dual blow to the country’s self image within 24 hours. Our aura of rugby invincibility would be shattered. It would be emasculating. Kiwi men wouldn’t be able to look their wives in the eye for weeks.

Hell, it was bad enough for the Kiwis to lose to Fiji and for Scotland to not get thrashed. We might do well to see the writing on the wall now and realise that our historical advantages have been eroded, and that there is every chance of us being just one of the pack from now on.

All these are just superficial reasons for questioning the primacy of rugby as the national sport, though. They are fashions, that come and go.

What will mark a permanent change is our ever-increasing awareness of the severity of brain trauma endured by constant heavy collisions. Fifty years from now, it’s possible that no-one will be playing rugby at all, whether league or union, for the same reasons that other extremely violent things don’t happen anymore. We became aware of the actual consequences.

Rugby is fun as all hell to play. Maybe it’s because of the danger inherent in the game. Tackling is dangerous, because if you go too low you can take a knee to the head, and if you go too high you can talk an elbow to the head, and the ruck is dangerous because someone might drop a knee or elbow on your head, and the high ball is dangerous because you might land on your head, and so on.

It’s hard to avoid playing rugby without head injuries. Richie McCaw said, shortly after his retirement, that “I don’t miss getting smashed,” and Kieran Read is on record as saying that he will raise his son to play cricket instead of rugby because of the risk of head injury makes rugby a poor choice.

This latter point regarding Read is something to think about. If a man as brave and mean and big and athletic as Kieran Read is going to steer his sons away from rugby because of the risk of head injury, what hope do the rest of us have?

The lifelong effects of repetitive brain trauma on NFL players are increasingly becoming known. Mounting evidence suggests that the brain trauma from tackling and being tackled is strongly correlated with future neural disorders, early dementia, strokes etc. There must be tens of thousands of young mothers who are now aware of this risk from playing collision sports and we shouldn’t be surprised if rugby went the way of bullrush and got banned in all schools on account of the risk to developing brains.

Already the international game is being affected by the head to send players off for head injury assessments, and the more this happens the more people realise that head injury is really an ever-present risk for rugby players.

From a cultural perspective, the risk here is that these mothers steer their children away from rugby and into a shit sport like soccer, thereby exposing them to moral and physical degeneration and teaching them to glorify cheating and disrespecting the referee.

For this reason, it’s imperative that cricket steps into the gap left by the impending withdrawal of children from the rugby paddocks and fills a national need for a sport that allows for competition in a high-trust environment. Furthermore, cricket will soon become a much more realistic career path than rugby for talented Kiwi athletes on account of the IPL and other international T20 cricket leagues.

A switch to cricket as our national sport might be a wise move now, because it may be forced on us in the future by an increasing appreciation of the risk of brain damage.

Are Muslims Bigots, According to the Left?

The acid test for not being a bigot has, for decades, been one’s attitude to homosexuality – but most Muslims fail here

Throughout the Australia same-sex marriage referendum there was a constant refrain: Don’t be a stupid, vicious, hateful bigot, and make sure you vote Yes. Only through sheer bigotry could a person vote No. Only by way of an unprincipled, mindless, unforgivable hate of gay people could a person possibly be inspired to vote against love.

The entire Yes campaign was driven by a fear of far-right extremism. The spectre of white supremacism was even raised. Apparently skinheads and Nazis were ready to storm the streets to give marginalised homosexuals a kicking, cheered on by the same rich old white Christian people who have oppressed everyone else going back to the dawn of time.

But all of this “Love trumps hate”-style rhetoric backfired when it turned out that there were very strong correlations, measured at the electoral level, between being Muslim and voting against same-sex marriage. Notably, the West Sydney electorates with the largest numbers of Muslims were the same electorates to record the highest proportion of No votes.

Statistics showed us that Muslims hate gay people and don’t consider them worthy of equal rights. It’s as simple as that. After all, in Muslim countries they often hate them so much they kill them, so there’s no surprise whatsoever that in a multicultural Australia that grants religious freedom to Islam, some Australians will use that freedom to hate gay people.

This raises an obvious question: are Muslims bigots?

After all, we have just spent months being told that people who were against same-sex marriage were bigots, and that the bigotry of homophobia has to be exterminated from modern Australia at any cost.

Over and over, we are told that bigots have no place in modern society, that all political views considered bigotry will have to be relinquished, that if a person doesn’t relinquish a bigoted opinion they are evil, and can be considered identical to Hitler in kind if not in degree.

Moreover, any person holding a bigoted viewpoint is automatically so evil that it’s legitimate to abuse them, to shun them, to lie about them, and to altogether treat them as if they are subhuman for having committed an unforgivable moral failure out of no motivation but pure malice.

So what do we make of the fact that, as per the definition of bigot that the Left has been using up until now, Muslims are extremely bigoted?

The obvious response is to say that gay people knew that already. Muslims are, after all, Abrahamists, and Abrahamism has a scriptural command to murder homosexuals in the Book of Leviticus of the Hebrew Bible, the same place that most Christian anti-gay hate arises from.

The less obvious response is to be quietly grateful that the Muslims of West Sydney are not ten times greater in number, because that might have shifted the balance of the referendum to 49-51 against.

These West Sydney suburbs are, ironically, Leftist strongholds, so the hate that the Left is always accusing the working class of – of being exclusive, discriminatory, bigoted, cruel and malicious – is present in greatest concentrations within their own territories!

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XVII (End and Summary)

This reading is the final one in this section, and completes our reading of 2083: A Declaration of European Independence. It carries on from here.

This final section of the document (pages 1414-end) is mostly given over to a diary-style account that Breivik wrote when he was planning his operation. It describes in detail his thoughts leading up to the event and the caution he took in order to go undetected until the final moment.

It reads eerily because of a combination of a few things, especially the ordinariness of the vast majority of Breivik’s thoughts when contrasted with the murderous intent and fanatical devotion with which his deed was planned. Hannah Arendt’s comment about “the banality of evil” comes frequently to mind.

Most of the concerns and anxieties that he describes here are simply everyday concerns. One passage about the tediousness of email farming could have been written by any non-violent person, and another passage about Breivik being forced to overcome his fear of spiders might even be endearing if the reader hadn’t already gone through 1,450 pages of justification for shooting teenagers.

This section is actually capable of being self-consciously dark and comical, such as when Breivik is describing the difficulties he initially encountered trying to buy black market firearms in Prague, when his typically Norwegian frankness brought instant paranoia to the criminals he was trying to do business with.

All in all, it’s things like this that make this document so unsettling. Breivik is clearly capable of sophisticated humour and was apparently able to make friends and socialise without anyone realising what he was planning. With his references to social competition and a great future ambition he seems unbelievably normal – most of the friends he references have serious girlfriends and/or professional jobs.

This is a common sentiment for people who have known serial killers and the like, and were astonished by how normal they seemed. After all, Breivik killed over 70 people, which is more than other infamous killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy. So it’s reasonable that many people would be surprised and astonished when they saw on the news that someone they knew and considered normal did such a thing.

A question about gun control is raised in this section. If Breivik purchased a semi-automatic rifle legally under stringent Norwegian gun control laws, and still managed to kill more people in one incident than has ever been managed by an American terrorist in the entire duration of that country and its long love affair with firearms, then what’s really going on?

At one point, Breivik relates a discussion with a Marxist friend at a party, where Breivik asks: “Don’t you consider yourself to be a hypocrite considering the fact that you support mass Muslims immigration and at the same time refuse to actually live with them?” It’s a question that many young Western people have asked themselves of the middle-class left.

If a person would start to read this manifesto with a certain idea in their head about Breivik being a neo-Nazi and Nazis being simple but emotional people, they would get a completely different idea by the finish. Breivik is genuine when he claims to despise Nazis, for the reason that Nazis would soon get rid of people like him, a “cultural conservative” who considers Israel a brother nation.

Breivik is not a Nazi, and neither is he a thug. There are grammatical errors characteristic of a native Scandinavian speaker throughout the text, but at the same time there are few people who would be capable of compiling a mostly coherent 1,500 page document in a foreign language.

Also striking is the fact that Breivik made over $1 million over the course of five year through a variety of entrepreneurial schemes that would have taken good intelligence and great personal drive and commitment to complete.

This paints a picture of Breivik as a member of the class elite in many ways. He was physically, financially, socially and intellectually (to say he was ‘mentally’ healthy would be pushing it) in excellent shape.

Perhaps here the signs of his downfall can be first observed – in one passage he describes himself as someone with “basically the perfect body”, and at no point in this document does he express an appreciation of or reverence for any other person, apart from vague historical figures.

Also telling is the fact that no romantic engagement with a woman is ever mentioned. Breivik mentions partying with Norwegian friends and their girlfriends, but at no point does he mention a girlfriend himself, a desire for a girlfriend, or getting laid (beyond the need to breed children to counter Muslim rates of breeding). It’s possible that his narcissism made him lonely on account of making him intolerable to women.

When all the signs are put together, Breivik is clearly a monstrous narcissist, which is perhaps from where he got the willpower to reject the socially accepted history and modes of thinking and arrive at an intelligent and accurate conclusion.

It’s perhaps also possible that being one of the few people in his social circles to appreciate the iron-cast logic of Muslims eventually becoming a majority in some European countries if current trends continue, Breivik suffered from a profound sense of alienation and isolation. It’s an extremely difficult experience to be the one person who can see the truth while the masses rip you down for speaking it. This may have caused him to become bitter, resentful and vengeful.

In the final analysis, it’s more than possible to put aside the narcissism and the murders and to consider Breivik’s unusual perspective on its own merits. Dismissing this document on the grounds that a murderous narcissist wanted it read is to fall victim to precisely the kind of logic dismantled in the document itself. It would represent the intellectual cowardice that gives rise to someone like Breivik in the first place.

After all, Breivik’s political complaints are entirely reasonable, even if his conclusions are not. The real danger is that people with entirely reasonable conservative beliefs are radicalised into violence on account of the utter refusal of the left to engage with them civilly in favour of adopting “Punch a Nazi” style thuggery. A refusal to honestly talk will lead to violence, so any leftist with an honest sense of duty to keep peace and good order in society has to at least consider this question.

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This is the end of this segment of VJMP Reads. Now we have put to the readers on our FaceBook page the question of which book to read next.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Garden Words

Flower – putiputi

Valerie Adams throws a shotput, only instead of the shot it’s a bouquet of flowers. She throws a bouquet twice, so put-put.

Snail – ngata

A day slowly turns to night and, when it does, a whole lot of snails come out.

Shovel – kāheru

A man sees another man walking along with a shovel over his shoulder, and calls out “Come here, you!”

Tree – rākau

A crazy old man uses a rake to clear the leaves from a tree that’s still standing and healthy.

Rake – purau

A woman takes a rake and purees it in a blender by pushing it in shaft first.

Grass – pātītī

A woman lies sunbathing in the grass. Instead of a bikini, her breasts are covered with pies. She has a pie-titty.

The Maori word for tree – rākau – sounds like the English word ‘Rake’

Leaf – rau

A boy nails a bunch of leaves to a wall in a row.

Bone – kōiwi

Bones are arranged on the ground in the shape of a kiwi.

Path – ara

A bunch of Mongrel Mob members walk down a garden path, chanting “Araaa!”

Bee – pī

A man is taking a pee at the edge of his garden, and he gets stung on the penis by a bee.

Wall – tara

A small girl walks up to an imposing brick wall and tears it down because it is only made of crepe paper.

Lawnmower – pōtarotaro

A lawnmover runs over a bunch of potatoes on the lawn.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.