I know the BBC is not what it used to be, but I read today if found sane the man risks, incredibile dictu, full twenty-one years in jail. That’s the same one gets in Italy for a “standard” homicide.
Now let us make some simple calculations: the man is around 33 now. Add 21 to the 33 and he has freedom at 55 as his worst case scenario. Best case is, of course, he is declared insane, spending his 21 years (or more) in some comfortable hospital, surrounded by creature comforts and an aura of heroism among those ready to see in him a paladin of some mad Nazi cause.
He will then, very probably, still be a free man in his mid-fifties, and his statistical life expectancy will be counted in decades; that is, a much longer time than the majority of his victims had lived. He will probably make some not inconsiderable money writing memoirs for the morbidly curious and the Neonazis; but even if he won’t, the Norwegian nanny state will throw further money on him allowing him to live in relative comfort out of the taxpayer’s purse.
If he has been in jail – which in a Country like Norway must be a radically different experience than, say, in the Guantanamo prison – he will be, erm, hailed as a victim and a martyr by the other nutcases; if he has been in hospital, he will be celebrated as a smart guy who has outsmarted the system for many years and is preparing to do the same for the rest of his life.
He might, of course, stay in hospital indefinitely, but seriously: a) how likely is that, and b) would this be really so bad for him?
Clearly, people like Breivik have such an inflated, deformed ego that the feeling of notoriety and admiration – make no mistake, this is what he will get from those nearly as nuts as himself – will easily compensate for the lack – for only a fraction of his life expectancy – of a freedom which must be to him less valuable than the desire of self-aggrandisement. Breivik got a kick for his ego to last him for the rest of his days; he knew that, and lucidly accepted to pay the price.
Whilst this is obviously an ideological nut case, I can’t imagine him as mad. Evil is not mad, and can be very lucid. It is clear everything is going according to his calculations; he knew what expected him and is now going to ride the tsunami of social workers for the rest of his imprisonment/hospital days.
On the other side, we have the Norwegian justice system. A hugely expensive trial. A certainly controversial sentence. The alternative between a couple of decade in jail, surrounded by many comforts and the attention of countless taxpayer-financed social workers, and a possibly even longer permanence in a hospital, surrounded by even more comforts and even more social workers. Years of confinement during which he will feel a hero, and after which he might get comfortably provided for.
This is, clearly, the result of a system which has a problem in even admitting evil can exist, let alone exist on such a scale, and is desperately trying to put Breivik’s behaviour within the usual comfortable box of an ill-guided person who can, of course, be reformed.
If the Norwegian public opinion decides the man is pure evil, they will have to wake up to the existence of evil, and confront their own ideological blindness. If they decide the man is mad, they will make a mockery of themselves in front of the entire planet for, possibly, many decades to come.
All this is not surprising from a country which cannot even conceive the death penalty, and might give Breivik the ride of (literally) a lifetime, but is in the first line among the countries trying to impose abortion everywhere. This is what happens when a country reduces Christianity to a mockery, and starts thinking in a pure secular way. They have created their own Breiviks, and will now have to live with – and pay for – the consequences.
Take it from me: Breivik is evil, but not mad. He is, actually, rather smart, in the way a Himmler was smart.
The Norwegians, on the other hand, are certifiably insane.