Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tyranny's Cry: The Educated Free-Thinkers Should be the First to Go

This weekend a terrible thing happened in a country that has nothing to do with the day-to-day travels I take in my boring, ho-hum life.  I have no familial ties to this place, nor do I know that much about it, other than it would probably be better to visit it in summer rather than winter.  Yet when I first heard about what had happened in a country thousands of miles away, I began to cry.  This country is the perennially peaceful Norway, home of my writer friend and fellow HP-fanatic, Cruella Collett, the kindest, sweetest person I know.  Her views of the mind-boggling violence that took place can be found here, and I beg you to read it.  This post of Cruella's reflects her determination not to give in to anger or hatred; rather, she is resolved to push forward from this point on, bolstered by the courage of her conviction to never give in.  How I love that about her, and the people of her country.

As moved as I am at the way the Norwegian people do their best to absorb this violent blow with grace and dignity, I am disturbed to learn today that the man behind this unspeakable waste of human life wrote a manifesto.  In it, he stated he believed that the well-educated people -- such as professors, lecturers and writers -- were "traitors".  He also believed the biggest offenders were journalists.  You know, those brave souls who dare to travel the world over, risking life and limb to uncover that nasty, dangerous thing -- THE TRUTH -- so that we may live free from ignorance.

This man -- this horrible, horrible man -- killed nearly 100 people, but he dreamed of killing so much more.  He dreamed of a world where he could silence the free-thinkers, the dreamers, the idealists, the educators, and the creators.  He wanted to wage war on enlightenment and understanding, simply because there are so many ideas out there that don't coincide EXACTLY with his narrow beliefs.  So he dreamed of crushing them all.

The innocent lives this man took can never be brought back.  They can never be replaced.  That hurts, so much.  The only way I can try to make any sort of peace with this -- and it's a pitiable peace at best -- is that this violent kind of you-don't-think-like-me-so-you-must-die mindset shows the world what the true face of evil is.  It's intolerance.  We MUST beware of it, even when we find it in ourselves.


  1. Pure evil. I find it hard to believe all that devastation was perpetrated by one deranged mind. I hope he was acting alone, so we know the cuplrit is safely locked away.


  2. Stacy-this was brilliantly said. You are so right--people who can't tolerate opposing views... particularly those who would silence the opposition by force, even death... definitely the face of evil.

  3. @dhole -- How I wish the man could be put safely away from the public forever, as he has proven himself to be a lethal drop of poison. Sadly, Norwegian law prohibits anyone to be sentenced to a term longer than 21 years, even for a crime of this magnitude. That means that if he's convicted, he'll only be 53-54 years of age when he's released. Certainly young enough to do even more damage once he's out.

    @Hart -- I know it's a stretch to draw parallels betweem what this man did and the general intolerance of opposing views our own governmental system fosters, but I can't help but think that the inflexibility of intolerance, of any kind, can potetially lead to what this man ultimately did. I'm not saying to be wishy-washy on issues or agree with whatever dogma anyone happens to be spouting; that's not the lesson I'm taking away from this at all. The lesson I'm taking away is to try and be more tolerant of others -- to listen and do my best to understand where they're coming from, even if I personally don't agreee with their views. And I know you're the same way. :)