Writing The Psychopath

Psychopaths make for fascinating characters in creative writing because they are dangerous, ruthless and unpredictable

The psychopath, sociopath or person with Antisocial Personality Disorder has for centuries been one of the most interesting subjects for creative writers. Something about their nature reliably invokes a sense of horror in the reader – perhaps the ruthlessness, perhaps the callousness, perhaps the deep and smouldering hatred for life. This article looks at how you can believably portray a psychopathic character in your own creative fiction.

It’s important to note that ‘psychopath’ and ‘psychotic’ are two entirely different things. A psychopath is seldom a madman – there is usually a distinct logic and methodology to their actions, even if those actions are considered abhorrent by the majority of people around them.

Psychopaths are primarily characterised by a lack of shame or remorse. Essentially this means that they don’t feel bad about causing suffering to other sentient beings. If they do cause suffering to another person or animal they will rarely accept that they shouldn’t have done so, and even when they do they are never sincere.

A striking lack of remorse after the psychopath did something that harmed someone might be the clue that lets other characters realise that they’re dealing with someone who is a bit different up top. The psychopath might be unaware that they’re supposed to feel remorse (depending on their level of sophistication) and may appear to become confused when another character acts as if remorse would be expected.

Lying is another essential characteristic of the psychopath. From the perspective of the author, this presents an interesting challenge, because the characters that interact with the psychopath are unlikely to realise (at least, not initially) that they are being lied to.

This isn’t just a question of telling a lot of lies. Psychopaths are good at lying as well. They stay cool when telling lies – even if initially disbelieved, and this means that the microsignals that people subconsciously use to detect liars are present less often.

A character who encountered a psychopath might find themselves slowly figuring out that they’re being lied to. They might be so taken in by the glib charm of the psychopath character that they are reluctant to accept that that character has been misleading them, and only by thinking hard about the facts do they realise that something doesn’t add up.

These two traits combine as well, in remorseless lying. The psychopath does not care about the consequences of telling lies, neither when it comes to the suffering caused or the risk of being caught out. The lack of shame means that even if they are caught with indisputable proof that they are lying, they might continue to insist that their accuser must be mistaken, possibly mentally ill, or that they should just “get over it”.

These characteristics might be of more interest to psychological fiction than a psychopath who is just a remorseless killer. Although, if they are a remorseless killer, they no doubt will have developed a fantastic web of lies to divert attention from the fact. Keep in mind that some serial killers were even able to keep their streak of murders a secret from their own wives!

Another personality trait that typifies the psychopath is a constant need for stimulation. It seems that psychopaths do not derive the same satisfaction from everyday activities that non-psychopaths do, and this has leads to an increased incidence of risk-taking behaviours, such as sexual promiscuity, violence and drug use. The psychopath tends to be impulsive, on account of that they don’t have much in the way of inhibitions.

This means that a psychopath character will almost certainly not practice meditation, for example. Neither will they be fond of long walks on the beach, hiking, chess, Test cricket, gardening etc. They wouldn’t be able to sit still for long enough to partake in pastimes such as these.

A history of irresponsibility also characterises the psychopath. It’s common for psychopaths to be incapable of holding down a stable job or relationship because of the need for constant stimulation and because their lies and callous behaviour tends to limit social opportunities. Some other characters in your story might find this history a warning sign.

Another decision that the author will have to make is whether their character is a psychopath or a sociopath. Although both conditions generally fall under the rubric of Antisocial Personality Disorder, there is a distinction in that psychopathy is innate whereas sociopathy is a learned condition from the environment.

Depending on the needs of the story, the character might have been “born bad” or they might have lost their natural empathy as a consequence of massive physical, sexual or psychological abuse. The author will have to decide this once they decide what emotional reaction they want to reader to have, because a character who has had everything good beaten out of them in childhood will be more engaging to some readers, particular those with a higher demand for psychological realism.

Taking these considerations into account when writing a psychopathic character should allow the author to make an accurate portrayal of someone with the condition while avoiding the common cliche of mindless, uncalculating sadism.

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This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto X

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (c. pages 776-847), titled “A Declaration of Pre-emptive War”, Breivik discusses how “Christian/conservative/nationalist” forces can organise themselves to best resist the coming chaos. Here he is particular about making sure that the work is seen as hypothetical and fictional, apparently for the reason that he is concerned about potential legal consequences from being too explicit.

Here again Breivik demonstrates that he is not a neo-Nazi, at one point by demanding that the national governments of Europe issue a statement in support of Israel against Muslim aggression, at another by calling Hitler a “twisted mass murderer.”

Here also he holds European politicians accountable for every single crime committed by Muslims in Europe, a crime rate that he describes as “an average 1000 atrocities per 100 000 Muslims annually.” The line of reasoning Breivik pursues here is that, without Muslims being in Europe, none of these crimes would ever have happened. This is perhaps the most untenable of all the claims in this document.

Although it’s literally true that none of the crimes committed by Muslims against Europeans would have happened if there were no Muslims in Europe, the absolute numbers of crimes in a particular country is primarily a function of the absolute numbers of people – after all, America manages to maintain an extremely high rate of crime (by developed world standards) with far fewer Muslims than Europe.

Breivik tends to conflate all genuine criticism of European traditions and institutions into the category of the great Marxist/feminist conspiracy against Europe. He does this with the nature of the Church’s influence on European society – here Breivik can not tolerate any criticism of the Church on libertarian or humanist grounds. All criticism of the Church is a Marxist plot to destroy Europe.

The paranoid nature of some of the earlier parts of the document resurfaces when Breivik details a media-led conspiracy to deny the truth about historical Islamic violence. This also misses the mark.

The media doesn’t educate anyone, ever – it sells advertising. Breivik considers it a kind of bias for the media to be silent on, for example, the genocide of Hindus and Buddhists in the Hindu Kush, but that degree of historical detail is reserved for special and academic interests, not for a mainstream media which speaks to a twelve-year old intellect.

There is an eerie foreshadowing of the future when Breivik cites Jefferson as saying “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Indeed, later on in this section he goes as far as declaring that “The time for dialogue is now over. The time for armed resistance has come.”

The legal measures suggested in this section are those that Breivik appears to believe should be instituted by any genuinely patriotic European front, should any take power. Curiously, one of the policy points allows for the immediate release of all “patriotically-minded” individuals from Western European jails.

Perhaps Breivik himself, incarcerated as he is for life, is counting on such a policy in order to get out of jail himself.

When he writes that “Norway and Sweden are two of the world’s most repressive Marxist regimes,” he echoes a sentiment that is common among Scandinavian conservatives, especially Christian ones. This sentiment is grounded in a disbelief that the conservatives are in a genuine minority. Where majority opinion does not agree (and it’s far from agreeing with Breivik’s demands that all Muslims be deported on pain of execution), this is considered evidence of brainwashing.

Interestingly, Breivik lists all of Communism, Cultural Marxism, Islam and Nazism as “hate ideologies” which must be opposed by any European male who wishes to be accepted into what he hopes might become a renewed European chivalric order.

It’s apparent that anyone who thinks like this in contemporary European society is bound to experience a certain degree of social isolation. This might ultimately help to explain the reasoning that led Breivik to take the actions he did.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto IX

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (c. pages 659-775), Breivik talks about strategies for strengthening the European right in the face of what he sees as the Islamo-Marxist enemy. Here the emphasis is on the cultural and propaganda wars.

Perhaps the biggest irony of this entire document, considering what happened afterwards and considering the public’s perception of Breivik, is when he correctly points out that if modern, mainstream conservatives are too cowardly to discuss the important issues “then extreme conservatives will, and we eventually risk ending up with another nasty/racist form of fascism”.

Again in this section, Breivik demolishes the hypothesis that he is a neo-Nazi with his repeated support for Israel. He also emphasises the point that an intelligent and strong European conservatism is necessary to make sure that European youths are not attracted to Nazi or white nationalist movements.

Indeed, he frequently uses the epithet “Nazi” as a derogative, such as when he suggests that the rhetoric about mass Muslim immigration being good for the economy is akin to the Nazi “Big Lie” tactic. And it’s simply impossible for any genuine Nazi to write that “Europe’s first line of defence starts in Jerusalem.”

In many ways, this document was prophetic, especially when it makes predictions about the nature of future Internet rhetoric. Breivik points out that, according to the mainstream media, “everyone who is not considered ‘politically correct’ must by default be racists or Nazis…” Indeed, some have called us at VJM Publishing neo-Nazis merely for daring to read this document.

Breivik points out one contradiction at the heart of Western Christians, in that they see Muslims as fellow followers of Abraham and therefore as comrades to a large extent. Despite this, he contends that Christianity is an essential part of European culture, although he feels that Christians need to realise that they have more in common with Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Atheists.

Ultimately, however, the rhetoric of this document is that of war: “Christians need to understand that there can be no peace or understanding with the Islamic world. They want to subdue us, pure and simple.”

Breivik makes a very interesting argument towards the non-religious. It is that Christian and Jewish cultures produce societies that have a high standard of living, in sharp contrast to Muslim cultures. Therefore, non-religious Westerners might see themselves drawn to defending or even supporting Judeo-Christian culture for no other reason than the promotion of a strong society.

Many of Breivik’s criticisms about the nature of our modern culture and its direction are devastating. Attacking the consequences of Western egalitarianism, he writes that “The cost of equality is that we throw out all truthfulness in order to seem like nice people to each other.” This is a powerful critique because a culture that drifts from the truth, for whatever reason, is doomed, even if it drifts from the truth out of a desire to make the world a nicer place.

Perhaps the most devastating lies in the idea that the West has abandoned its foundational belief in the value of reason and replaced it with raw emotions. What matters now, he writes, on issues such as mass Muslim immigration is not whether the consequences of that immigration are good or bad but that the person supporting the mass immigration feels themself to be good and righteous.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto VIII

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (c. pages 574-658), Breivik puts some statistics on the demographic changes that are occurring in Europe, and tries to determine where this might lead. Like the previous sections in this document, Breivik here lists as many crimes committed by Muslims as he can possibly find – there is nothing too trivial to escape notice. Also like the previous sections, Breivik’s solutions are drastic. At one point he declares that “mass deportation of Muslims is the only viable alternative”.

At the beginning of this section he lists some “projections” of the future Muslim population in European countries. These projections state that France will be a majority Muslim country by 2050, at which point, Breivik contends, social order will start to collapse (if not beforehand).

Worryingly for those tempted to dismiss Breivik as a crackpot, the concerns in this section are backed up by hard statistics. The birth rate of European women in Europe is much lower than the birth rate of Muslim women, and, if this continues, it’s simply a matter of time until Muslims become more numerous.

This logic is mathematical. If a person puts $100 in a bank account at 3.5% interest, and $1,000 in another bank account at 1.3% interest, it’s clear that the first bank account will sooner or later become the larger of the two. The practical evidence is demonstrated by phenomena such as the population of Pakistan increasing five-fold in less than sixty years after 1951.

On some questions, it’s impossible to take any other position than agreement with Breivik, especially when he points out the mathematical likelihood of an ever-increasing Muslim population leading to further civil unrest. Some opinion polls for next year’s Swedish General Election suggest that the neo-Nazi Sweden Democrats will become the largest party – a total disaster from the perspective of liberal democracy, but one that was entirely predictable.

The new totalitarians, Breivik tells us, deal in persuasion and manipulation, and this is how they are distinguished from the old totalitarians, who used force. This is a phenomenon that this newspaper refers to as “chains of silver supplanting chains of iron”.

Given what we now know about Breivik, there are some very ominous passages in this section, in particular “My advice to Westerners in general is to arm themselves immediately, first of all mentally with knowledge of the enemy and pride in their own culture and heritage, but also physically with guns and the skills to use them.”

In other words, Breivik considers the movements of peoples that have characterised recent decades to be a war like any other war, in which victory can only come from killing enough of the enemy to force their surrender. He writes that “Islam hasn’t changed in the last 1400 years. Unless we are prepared to accept conversion or dhimmi status, we have to fight.”

It is telling that Breivik reserves his sharpest vitriol for the European elites who have facilitated what he sees as an Islamic invasion. In many ways, he comes down harder on them than on Muslims themselves. After all, the Muslims are merely taking advantage of the weakness of their enemy, an attitude which is entirely understandable and logical.

The European elites, however, are effectively acting as traitors by facilitating the mass migration of Muslims into their countries, with the resulting terrible effects on the native population. They are therefore the real enemy, and this perhaps goes a long way to explaining why Breivik chose the targets he did, rather than shooting Muslims themselves.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto VII

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (c. pages 426-573), Breivik discusses “Modern Jihad”, or how adherents of the Islamic religion fight for supremacy in the modern world. Opening with a quote of Surah 9 verse 5, in which Muslims are admonished to “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them”, this section details the existing Jihads carried out by Muslims against non-Muslims.

In his characteristic way, Breivik exhaustively catalogues the crimes committed by Muslims against non-Muslims. No offence, not even ones as prosaic as common assault, is too minor to be listed here. This is enough to give the impression that Islam is at war with every other culture that it shares a border with.

To some extent, Breivik has a point here. There are very few peaceful borders between Muslim-controlled areas and non-Muslim controlled ones, and prospects for there being more are very slim.

However, one glaring point is missed: if Islam is so ruthlessly aggressive when it comes to purging non-Muslims from Muslim lands, why are there still non-Muslims there? Nazi Germany managed to exterminate the vast bulk of European Jewry in fewer than six years of trying – how can it be that non-Muslim communities still exist in Muslim lands after what we are told has been 1,300 years of relentless extirpation?

Breivik mentions that one-sixth of the population of Egypt are Christians still. This seems like an extraordinarily high proportion for a group that has suffered 1,300 years of ethnic cleansing. The Native American population of the USA, the Aboriginal population of Australia and the Maori population of New Zealand are all much lower than this – and they were displaced over 400 years or less, meaning that the Christian exterminations of unwanted populations has been an order of magnitude more efficient and aggressive than those carried out by Muslims.

Moreover, the exhaustive list of Muslim crimes against non-Muslims is not compared to the list of non-Muslim crimes against non-Muslims, so there is no reference point against which to decide whether this list has any import. 800 Americans are shot dead by other Americans every single month – a monthly list of crimes much longer than the Muslim crimes detailed by Breivik in this document. And this is with a population one-fifth of the size of the Muslim world.

To some extent, Breivik is playing on the infamous persecution mania of Christians who see enemies everywhere and a never-ending infernal plot to drive them from the world in order to conquer it in the name of Satan. Ironically, although Breivik correctly points out that Muslims always try to cast themselves as the victims in order to gain sympathy, he does the exact same thing in this document.

There are many ways in which Breivik’s discontent with the current European situation is a consequence of the failure of European leaders. He correctly points out that part of the reason why Europeans are losing rights to increased security measures is because of the Islamic presence in Europe – had Europe never let the Muslims in, they never would have lost the freedoms that have been taken from them in the fight against extremism.

What needs to be done in response is clear. According to Breivik the terms of victory are “the total banishment of traditional Islam from a specific country. Widespread emigration/deportation and large scale conversion of Muslims in the country.”

This is necessary because “An objective analysis can never reach the conclusion that Islam is peaceful, tolerant and consistent with human rights.” Here, Breivik re-emphasises the point that Islam has never undergone a reformation of any kind. What Westerners foolishly call “moderate Muslims” are simply Muslims who are not particularly religious.

This section ends with a frightening question: “How was it possible that Immanuel Kant, who lived in a German state without liberal democracy, could criticise basic aspects of religion in the 18th century, while in the West of the 21st century there are social and legal consequences for criticising other religions and cultures?”

Have we really gone backwards since the Enlightenment?

Is It Now Time To Charge Peter Dunne With Manslaughter?

Withholding medicine from a sick person who needs it, leading to that person’s death, is manslaughter – should Peter Dunne face charges for withholding medicinal cannabis from sick Kiwis who needed it?

Peter Dunne announced today that he will be stepping down at next month’s election and will not contest his current Parliamentary seat of Ohariu. It’s apparent that the National ship is sinking and, like a rat, he’s getting off while the getting’s good. However, that doesn’t mean he should get away with the suffering he caused to innocent Kiwis while in office.

The New Zealand Crimes Act sets out the definition for culpable homicide, one form of which is the crime of manslaughter. One example of culpable homicide is “causing that person by threats or fear of violence, or by deception, to do an act which causes his or her death”.

The threat of using the criminal justice system to put a person in a cage for using medicinal cannabis definitely qualifies here. Peter Dunne has acted to uphold cannabis prohibition ever since his agreement to support the Fifth Labour Government in exchange for no progress on cannabis law reform.

This has had the effect of causing people to avoid using cannabis medicine for fear of arrest and imprisonment.

Lying about the medicinal qualities of cannabis also qualifies here. Telling the people of New Zealand that cannabis is not a medicine, when its medicinal use is saving lives in dozens of overseas jurisdictions, is a form of deception that has caused a number of deaths.

If New Zealand was a fair society, if justice existed here for every person and not just for the wealthy, Dunne would be charged with causing those deaths.

Studies have shown that in American states with legal medicinal cannabis, deaths from opioid overdoses have decreased by 25%. This is because many suffering people would rather use cannabis than the highly addictive opioid-based painkillers that frequently lead to death by overdose.

Because Dunne blocked medicinal cannabis law reform for so many years, the use of prescription opioids in New Zealand has soared. A mainstream media article from a couple of months ago, titled Serious pain coming as NZ’s prescription opioid use soars, details some statistics that point towards the looming health disaster that Peter Dunne has dumped in our laps.

There’s no doubt that if a New Zealander went into someone else’s house and took away their insulin, and then that person died, then the person who took that medicine away could be charged with manslaughter. So why can’t Peter Dunne be tried for the people who died because he kept medicinal cannabis out of their hands?

If the case of sick Kiwis dying from having an effective medicine withheld from them is not enough to press charges, the ongoing spate of deaths from people using recreational alternatives to natural cannabis might be. Peter Dunne’s action in delaying the legalisation of recreational cannabis, at the same time as opening the floodgates for a variety of mystery drugs cooked up in Chinese labs and labelled “legal highs”, has been linked with nine deaths last month alone.

The fact is that these people are only dying because their first choice of recreational drug – natural cannabis – has been denied to them, incentivising them to use alternatives. Therefore, it can be argued that Peter Dunne, insofar as he blocked cannabis law reform for so long, is responsible for these deaths.

His disastrous Psychoactive Substances Act, one of the most overreaching and totalitarian laws ever passed in New Zealand, has had the effect of making a huge range of safe cannabis alternatives illegal, delivering this massive industry directly into the hands of the black market and the criminal gangs that exploit it. Because of the total absence of quality controls in the black market, recreational drug consumers have absolutely no idea what they’re getting when they buy a cannabis alternative.

As the Minister chiefly responsible for this shambles, Peter Dunne ought to face manslaughter charges for the innocent Kiwis who have died through having cannabis denied to them.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto VI

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (c. pages 366-425), Breivik traces some of the reasons for the weakness of the modern West. Although the reasons for the West’s decline are many, some weigh more heavily than others.

Curiously, from the perspective of 2017, the document points out that in the absence of a meaningful life people will gravitate towards mindless destruction. In this sense, the document appears to be somewhat prescient.

Breivik laments a lack of order and structure in the modern West. Society, he claims, has essentially broken down. Nobody wants to have children any more because they want to live carefree lives of perpetual adolescence. The plummeting birthrates have led to a demand from many quarters for mass immigration to replace the non-existent native children.

And so, conflict between the natives and immigrants becomes ever more likely, following the maxim “demography is destiny”.

Not that mass immigration is proposed merely for economic reasons. Breivik details a large conspiracy on the part of European elites to radically transform the make-up of their nations, especially in Britain under Tony Blair. Interestingly, Breivik is willing to criticise big business for their complicity in mass immigration – something that few on the right are willing to dare.

Perhaps unavoidably for a document of this length, the rhetoric swings from entirely reasonable libertarian critiques of Marxism to unreasonable demands, such as the total banning of the discipline of sociology. Sociology is inherently untrustworthy: “Their academic weapons are to deliberate spread their falsified and corrupted Marxist world view.”

Breivik makes an accurate criticism when he points out that the advocates of cultural Marxism are seldom the black, poor or disabled people that the Marxists claim to be agitating on behalf of. Instead, the vast majority of Marxists in the West are from privileged, wealthy families.

When Breivik writes that “Cultural Marxists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful” he agrees with some of the columnists of this newspaper, who have previously written about the overlap between modern leftist thought and slave morality, in particular the feeling of resentment that induces the weak to oppose anything strong.

This tendency is also equated with the feminine, with masochism and with suicidal ideation.

He also echoes this newspaper when he quotes a British politician as saying “When all the politicians agree, the rest of us should suspect a plot against the ordinary citizen.” Like this newspaper, the intent in raising such paranoid conjectures is to crystallise dissent against the system.

Breivik makes no effort to hide his dissatisfaction with the political process. Electoral politics is dismissed as an “empty ritual” directed by the collusion of the political and media classes. Important issues are not discussed by the media, who has failed to do its job as a Fourth Estate holding the government to account. Instead, they are decided upon “behind closed doors”.

In this section, Breivik manages to list who his enemies are. In short, his three major groups of enemies to the European people are:

1. The media and academia, who have an anti-Western bias
2. The political elites, who seek to remake the world in their image regardless of the cost, and
3. Muslims.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto V

This reading carries on from here.

This section (pages c. 286-415) is entitled “Europe Burning” and details a deliberate strategy, on the part of Breivik’s enemies, to destablise the European continent. This is achieved through a variety of political and sociological means.

Breivik appears to be an ardent believer in the Eurabia theory. This theory has it that the elites of the European and Muslim spheres have secretly agreed to come together in order to act as a counterweight to the influence of America and Israel.

The Eurabia theory sounds plausible on the face of it. But much of the rhetoric around it is misleading. A cynic might argue that the Eurabia rhetoric was deliberately dishonest.

Mass Muslim immigration to France happened not because of a conspiracy but because of economic reasons. We can surmise this because other Western nations also saw an influx of poorly educated third-worlders to work the jobs that the natives had become too highly educated to want to do.

Likewise, European prejudice against Jews and Israel did not arise as a consequence of Muslim and Arab leverage on European politicians. Anyone with so much as a passing knowledge of European history will be aware that native Europeans were more than capable of hating Jews without outside encouragement.

This document exhaustively references antisocial actions taken on behalf of certain Muslims and explains them in terms of collective Islamic anti-Western action. It’s certainly true that if a person would read a several hundred page list of crimes committed by Muslims they could come away thinking that such an agenda existed, but the document does not make an effort to determine whether such a list of crimes is unusual.

Another place in which the document makes implausible assertions is with regards to the sentiment that Judaism and Christianity are traditional European religions and Islam is not. Why Christianity and Judaism should be considered any more European than Islam, when all three Abrahamic sects come from the same place and exhibit similar characteristics, is not discussed by Breivik.

Neither does Breivik explain why he can so ardently attack Communism, Marxism, liberalism, globalism and feminism, but defend the very same Judaism that is most commonly associated with those ideologies.

This unusually benevolent stance towards Judaism is underlined by the multiple references to the work of Bat Ye’or, – who is the most energetic proponent of the Eurabia conspiracy theory – and the claim that Israel is a “cultural cousin” to Europe.

It is, true, however, that Breivik’s grasp of history is much deeper than those of the mainstream commentators whose political opinions inform the masses. He points out that the advent of the nation state, this enemy of the globalist, was itself a reaction to the religious wars that plagued Europe until the mid 17th century, and that wars predated the nation state by thousands of years.

Therefore, there is no reason to agree with the lazy consensus pushed by mainstream leftists that the end of the nation state will bring about a greater level of peace.

Ironically, Breivik “the neo-Nazi” comes across as decidedly less totalitarian than some of his enemies in certain regards. His dislike of the European Union is based in part on the phenomenon of unelected Eurocrats having more power than elected representatives of national governments.

He is correct to point out that critics of the unelected Eurocrats are often dismissed as “anti-democratic” elements – an absurdity on its face.

Although Europe has many enemies in Breivik’s analysis of the world, from the European Union to the mainstream media to mainstream academia to right-wing libertarians who deny the pull of culture, the major enemy is undoubtedly Islam: “The Islamic world always has been our enemy and always will be.”

Throughout this section, Breivik demonstrates an acute historical knowledge on the one hand, and a tendency to rapidly jump over several logic steps on the other. This leads to a number of uneasy conclusions.

Why Anarcho-Homicidalism Is Not Terrorism

The obvious reaction of someone trapped in a slave mindset, when told that they have the right to kill anyone who is trying to enslave them, is to protest that such a thing must be “terrorism” or some other crime against good order. Learning to think like a free person means learning when your rights have to be defended, and an anarcho-homicidalist has taken steps to ensure that his actions are legitimate resistance and not terrorism.

They might overlap in a lot of ways, because both use violence to bring about a vision of correct order in the world, but anarcho-homicidalism is very distinct from terrorism.

The primary difference is that anarcho-homicidalism, being a branch of anarchy, does not tolerate either hierarchy or forced collectivism. This means that, not only is the anarcho-homicidalist forbidden from killing on command, but he is also forbidden from justifying an act of anarcho-homicidalism on the grounds that his target merely shared a demographic category with someone trying to enslave him.

Both of these qualities are distinct from terrorism. Although there are terrorists who act on their own initiative, the majority of terrorist deeds are carried out by individuals who have been coerced, intimidated or tricked into action.

Also, a clear majority of terrorist actions are carried out to further one side in some “us vs. them” narrative. The Muslims who kill themselves in suicide bombings are able to motivate themselves to take action by rationalising that the collective benefit to Islam of killing many of Islam’s enemies outweighs the individual loss of life.

The anarcho-homicidalist is different from these in that he must arrive at the decision to kill out of his own philosophical reasoning, and that his efforts must be targeted upwards at an authority figure, not sideways at the lackeys of one.

The secondary difference is that anarcho-homicidalism leads to less violence – in contrast to terrorism, which leads to more violence.

In fact, a crucial element of anarcho-homicidalism is that the action ought to decrease the amount of suffering in the world. Therefore, it is legitimate to kill a politician whose actions are causing suffering, but not to start a blood feud between one group and another group that the politician just happens to belong to.

The usual example given when arguing for the merits of anarcho-homicidalism is that of conscription. It’s trivially easy to see how widespread anarcho-homicidalism would make raising slave armies impossible, because an anarcho-homicidalist would simply shoot any conscription officer that came to their house.

A terrorist, by contrast, is unlikely to shoot a conscription officer. This is because nothing about terrorism explicitly goes against the idea of hierarchy. A terrorist is more likely to bend the knee and take orders from a conscription officer, in the hope that they will get the chance to kill the enemies of whatever collective the terrorist considers themselves part of.

Another stark difference is that a terrorist is usually happy to create collateral damage. Bombing a civilian airliner is a common terrorist act, for the reason that it makes people afraid to get into planes, and because the targeted country tends to waste enormous resources on security in the aftermath.

All of these terrorist actions have the effect of causing more violence to happen, because they will either provoke the authorities into crackdowns or provoke the groups whose members were killed to violently retaliate.

An anarcho-homicidalist, by contrast, will not cross the boundary into terrorism. His action is surgical, clinical, unpredictable, unstoppable. The only terror created by the anarcho-homicidalist is in the hearts of those who would rule, and the effectiveness of his action is not determined by the destruction of an enemy but by whether it persuades the ruling authorities to treat their subjects correctly.