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Toulouse - don't read too much into it by Jay Knott (03/20/12)       ⇌ (Civilization and anti-Civilization)       

One useful message I got from this book by Steven Pinker is not to read too much into one or two unpleasant events. His examples are world war I and world war II. I'm not sure they are very good examples of random events which just happened to be close to each other, but the recent murders in France, and the rampage of Breivik in Norway in July last year, are.

One is tempted to draw political conclusions. Both appeared to be far-right extremists - Breivik because of his writing, and the so-far unapprehended guy in Toulouse because of his targets - black soldiers and Jewish children. Who but a far-right lunatic would do that? This begs the question of whom a moderate-left lunatic would target. Suppose Breivik had not been influenced by Zionism too. Would he still have murdered Norwegian teenagers? My point is - there's no logic to his behavior. Same with the other guy.

Some journalists immediately blamed French politicians for going on about immigration. If only they'd kept their mouths shut, they imply, a nut on a motorbike wouldn't have murdered three Jewish children. There's no logic to murdering these children. Or those soldiers. Or those Norwegian teenagers. There's not a resurgence of neo-Nazi violence. Just two horrific events eight months apart.


POSTSCRIPT 21 March. It turns out the killer is probably a Muslim extremist, not a white nationalist. If so, instead of the left making political capital out of it, it will be the right. My conclusion above still holds - it doesn't logically lead to any political conclusions at all.

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