Just War and Breivik

A couple of Ask.fm questions and a Twitter convo with Mandrake have prompted me to post on just war and Brievik.

Just war has two aspects jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Jus ad bellum governs whether a particular military conflict is justified, while jus in bello regulates proper action in war. I should note that I reject the concept international law, as it violates subsidiarity, as international organization aren’t sovereign and therefore can’t make law, and as law is and should be made by a government of a people for that particular people, making one set of laws applicable to differing peoples is harmful. So I am talking about moral law here, not ‘legal’ law.

Before we even get to just war, we must define war. War is conflict between nations, for a war to be a war it must be waged by a people against another people, not by a person; if a person is waging war on their own, they are simply committing murder, not committing war.

For a war to be just a state of war must be entered by the people. To do this a legitimate authority over a people must declare the war on behalf of the people he represents. Someone who is not an authority for his people can not declare a war. This declaration need not necessarily be a formal declaration of war. A surprise or pre-emptive attack may be just declaration of war depending on the circumstance. (I am unsure on the question of whether an illegitimate authority can justly declare war on the people he has authority over; it will require more pondering).

For a declaration of war to be just, it must meet three conditions:

First, it must be defensive, either in defense of your own nation, in defence of another nation, or in defence of justice. Defence is not used in its strictest sense, and goes beyond simply warding off an invasion. For example, an invasion to rescue a national citizen kidnapped while visiting a foreign nation would be a valid defence of the nation, while an invasion to stop mass murder or to punish the guilty may be a valid defence of justice.

Second, the war must have some real chance of success. If a war would have no realistic chance of success, then the war is unnecessary, and would therefore be unjust. A small chance of success is still a real chance.

Finally, war must be proportional. The expected benefits of a war must be greater than the expected evils of war.

Once in war jus in bello should be followed:

First two principles are necessity and proportionality, unnecessary violence is to be avoided and violence enacted should not be disproportionate to the goals.

The third is the avoidance of deliberately targeting non-combatants. Violence should only be enacted upon legitimate military targets.

Finally, there is the proper treatment of POW’s. It should be noted here, that spies, saboteurs, and the like are not POW’s and can be dealt with harshly.

Those are the basics of just war.

So, now we get to Breivik. I think Breivik did have a just cause for war; the rapes, violence, and slow genocide of his people by foreigners and hostile elites are just causes for war, but he was not carrying out a just war.

The first reason was that he was not engaging in war. He acted alone, not as a part of a people; there was no war, simply murder. As well, he was not a legitimate authority, so his act of ‘war’ could not be a legitimate declaration of war to begin a war.

Secondly, his actions had no real chance of success. Given that propaganda outlets are almost entirely in the hands of his enemies, the most realistic outcome was that his actions would actively hinder his cause.

He also failed to meet jus in bello principles. The targets of his attacks were not legitimate military targets. Given the nature of the conflict in Norway, I think a legitimate case could be made that the ruling elite and politicians are legitimate military targets, but the spawn of the ruling elites were not. He should have targeted the politicians, media, and bureaucrats, not their children.

A just war in Norway, would require the Norwegian people, or at least a significant minority of them, to have (or appoint) a legitimate authority to declare war on behalf of their community in order to expel (not genocide) the foreign invaders and remove the internal traitors supporting them from positions of power.

If this community can not be found, no amount of lone wolf attacks will matter. The Norwegian people will, sadly, have chosen their own subjugation and extinction.


  1. I don’t agree. Breivik lurks in the subconscious of reactionaries and SJWs alike.

    I think a decentralized “lone-wolf” campaign of violence directed at SJWs could have a multiplier effect. Terrorizing weak minded sophists, while inspiring innumerable disaffected members of the majority to finally stand in self defense.

    America could sorely use a Breivik or two.

  2. First, it must be defensive, either in defense of your own nation, in defence of another nation, or in defence of justice.

    I must quibble here, as many theories of just war do not demand the war be “defensive” but merely have “just cause.” Now, these terms are often used interchangeably, but it does help in some scenarios that would tend to be considered more offensive but I still think qualify for just war. I think it is legitimate to go to war if denied access to vital resources, for instance. This is obvious in the case of a nomadic tribe that somehow finds itself without some basic necessity and no way to obtain it for themselves. If they attempted to make a fair bargain for access to such a necessity, but they were rebuffed for whatever reason, I think it would be just for them to make war to take it. Otherwise, they face death.

    Even in cases where one does not face death, I think it might be just to make war for a vital resource one is being unjustly denied by peaceful trade. At the same time, I don’t want to give license to full blown imperial conquest sprees in the name of resource gathering. The need should be fairly basic and all means of peaceful redress exhausted.

  3. Though I don’t accept the just war theory (because I think it’s cheesy and can easily be spinned and used to justify just about any war – neocons love their “humanitarian interventions”, “just wars”, and “mercy bombings”), I completely agree with you on Breivik. While I fully support the radicalization of the Right, and think that what must be done should be done without hesitation, I think that action to be done, should be done toward reaching a meaningful end and thus shouldn’t be useless for, or worse yet, counterproductive for, your cause.

  4. Argument could be made (not necessarily by me, just advocating for the devil) that the traitorous elites of Norway have in fact declared war, by allowing the invasion, violence, & rape. Thus any member of the Norweigan people would be justified in undertaking a solo mission in that existing civil war, subject only to jus in bello, not jus ad bello, since the war has already begun.

  5. Further, compulsory exposure to the content of the public school system could arguably be considered a kidnapping attack on the children of the Norwegians, making their opponents children equally legitimate targets

  6. Obviously, this is a third rail discussion and we have to tread very carefully, but I’ll throw in my two cents based on what you’ve said.

    “A just war in Norway, would require the Norwegian people, or at least a significant minority of them, to have (or appoint) a legitimate authority to declare war on behalf of their community in order to expel (not genocide) the foreign invaders and remove the internal traitors supporting them from positions of power.”

    The question is how significant does this minority have to be, and does the leader have to actually be appointed, as in via a democratic method? You suggest I think rightly that a war could be declared by Norwegians on the current Norwegian state and this be a legitimate, just war (because of a million grievances we don’t need to go into). This war could both be justified in terms of defense (they are being slowly wiped out demographically) or in terms of justice (the people ruling over them are corrupt and diabolical, and since a product of democracy I would argue illegitimate from a Traditional perspective).

    Your gripe doesn’t appear to be with this concept, but rather Brievik’s lacking of some go-ahead from an organization (assuming his story about the Knight’s Templar is in fact false).

    Now, let me posit a real-life historical example of relatively similar circumstances in which an organization did exist. In Romania during the interwar period, the Legion of the Archangel Michael was a highly popular rightist Christian political movement dedicated to ending democracy, expelling foreigners from Romanian soil, and restoring religious power in society. This movement boasted thousands of members, and had a huge amount of support particularly in the peasant communities, but also from students and young intellectuals, as well as a lot of the country’s religious hierarchy. In the name of their struggle, the Legion carried out assassinations on high ranking Romanian officials who sold out Romanian interests, in particular ceding territory to surrounding neighbors and empowering foreigners within the country.

    Were these assassinations covered by just war theory? I would say that they were, and it seems by your own standard you would agree with this.

    Now, I concur with you that lone wolves are not a good thing politically. Yes, there can be positive effects such as inspiring others, but these are often outweighed by big negatives and tricky moral questions. I think the issue is where do we draw the line? Modernity is the aggressor in this conflict and its adherents are not shy about using violence against us. Where can we respond in kind, and where can’t we. That’s a question that really needs hashing out on the radical right

    Pode: nobody would disagree that the Norwegian government is an enemy, like all Western governments. The question is in the specific Breivik case, was he covered by just war theory because of the way in which he acted.

    As a side note: Breivik was not a Reactionary, really. He might have had some good instincts, but he was squarely with the ‘counter-jihad’ segment of online thinking in terms of his ideology. That said, I do give him props for not blowing up a mosque or something similar. He did actually “gore the matador, and not the red sheet” as I think Jim put it.

  7. remove the internal traitors supporting them from positions of power

    That’s what he did, after 200 years of liberals waging war on his people through voting.

  8. I think that in trying to try to define a war as just or not before it has been won is to risk distracting and mentally exhausting ourselves. Essentially, what decides if a war is just or not is the say so of the victor. Thus, the first rule of war is: win. Ever since the end of WW2 we’ve seen the dire consequences for the losing side and how they rattle on for decades after the last shot has been fired. Regardless of our rationalisations before and during the war, the loser is always vilified.

    Otto Skorzeny summed it up pretty well after WW2: “War is inevitable, and this time, it will be truly world wide. It will unravel everywhere and there will be no limit to its battlefields. The condemnations of Nuremberg will be one of the main reasons, which will cause this war to be a conflict whose horror will be unparalleled. These condemnations gave birth, in fact, to a new conception which makes the victor a hero and the vanquished an odious criminal. By this fact, each leader will wage war like a demon in order not to be the loser and become, consequently, a criminal.”

    His prediction turned out to be correct. We are involved in a war, and have been for a long time, regardless of whether we recognise or acknowledge it as such. In an old fashioned shooting war it’s easy to recognise this but the war we are engaged in now is not the simplistic view of war that most people have, with nations employing soldiers to shoot at one another. This is a fourth generation war, where the fight is not restricted to the physical battlefield but is waged economically, culturally, psychologically and spiritually and there are much less clear distinctions between combatant and civilian. Fourth generational warfare is not restricted to a state-on-state conflict. One or more parties can be non-state actors, and the smallest possible non-state actor is the individual man. There is no arbitrary minimum number of combatants required to constitute an enemy force. It could be argued by this definition that Breivik’s actions was an act of warfare.

    Would Breivik have needed a mandate from the Norwegian people for his war to be just? No. We reject the democratic notion that homosexuality is right just because the majority of people say so, so why should the matter of war be any different? Some things are intrinsically right or wrong regardless of the prevailing popular opinion. Breivik recognised that we are in a war and elected to take up arms against the enemy.

    For him, and many others, the moral justification for using violence against the left has now been reached. He just had the will to turn that into action. Individuals such as him do not have the resources to go toe-to-toe with the enemy on the economic front or in the realm of psychological operations but they can chasten the enemy physically. Why is it popular to publicly berate Christianity but few public figures dare to denounce Islam? Because they know that if they do men with Kalashnikovs might turn up on their doorstep. If there were more Breiviks, there would be a lot less shit-talking from liberals when they realised their smart mouths might get them killed. If more politicians realised that harm may come to them and their families as a result of their actions then the shekel might lose a bit of its lustre. These people are given great incentives for pursuing their progressive agenda. They are not going to stop unless and until there are real and painful consequences for doing so. Indeed, historically it has been the only way the left has ever been stopped.

  9. @Simon – In the geopolitical context, you are entirely correct that the justness of either side in a conflict is always determined by the victor. However, I think what FreeNortherner was talking about pertained to what is essentially the Christian moral plane. Murder is condemned emphatically in Scripture. Killing is not.

    So, we have to be very careful when we talk about killing, because we need to be sure when it is murder and when it isn’t. The moral tool most suited for analyzing killing for political or geopolitical reasons is of course Just War Theory. Any violent action taken against Liberalism has to be put to this test.

    Personally, I tend to give a very elastic tolerance for violence against Liberalism, because of how insidious it is and the violence it has inflicted on those of a Traditional mind throughout its history. Liberalism’s murder count from abortion alone is staggering.

  10. @Mark, yes I agree, there are higher laws than the laws of men, but I would hate to see Christian reactionaries paralysed into inaction while trying to reconcile their faith with their survival. I agree with FN’s premise that resistance should be organised, both on a moral and practical level – your example of Codreanu’s Legionary movement is a great example.

    War and politics have evolved much since the Just War doctrine and modern war is no longer restricted to the traditional battlefield of old. A modern war is being waged against us in ways that do not conform to the traditional definition of war. I’m not suggesting we tear up tradition, but we do risk being outflanked by modernity if we do not adapt to the changing nature of war.

  11. I wonder if the question of Breivik should be approached from another angle, that of tribal or familial conflict rather than war. An individual or small group of individuals who punish evildoers seems less like war and more like ancient forms of justice revolving around the extended family or clan – the law of feud, for example.

    The question I would lay out is that when the established authorities either cannot or will not exercise their powers of justice, does that not permit the exercise of those powers by lower authorities, epitomized by the tribal or clan leaders, the Rob Roys or Anse Hatfields? Granted, of course, the prohibition against revenge, isn’t there a moral justification to punish the wicked who escape from secular justice due to neglect or negligence on the part of said secular authorities? Would you condemn a man who killed a child molester after the court gave out two weeks community service? Even, or especially, if the child harmed wasn’t kin to the enforcer but it was done out of abstract justice?

  12. @Simon – indeed. We should never succumb to what I call ‘Teddy Bear Jesus Syndrome’ which teaches an almost Buddhist level of pacifism. Prior to the Enlightenment, we must remember that Christianity had a long martial tradition, the most prominent episode of which being the Crusades which have unjustly come under condemnation from Modern Christians.

    The Crusades were just wars against the Seljuk Turk aggressors in the Holy Land. I cannot say that the forces of Modernity are any less bloodthirsty and profane than the Seljuk Turks, in fact they dwarf them by orders of magnitude.

    But you know what they say, fools rush in. FN is right to urge caution and a full analysis of any given action or circumstance concerning just war. My hope would be that when the world around us breaks down as it inevitably will, the ‘Legionary Spirit’ will arise once more, in the entire West, and we can succeed in our mission where Codreanu was stopped so tragically short.

    @Gordian – and interesting point. Where does just war end and vigilante justice begin? I remain steadfast in my opinion that, for example, the shooting of George Tiller was wholly justified as a means of defending the defenseless from an evil that the state was unwilling to punish, and I think FN would agree that when you are actually butchering babies for a living, any Christian obligations to you concerning non-violence essentially vanishes.

  13. I just think of Mr. Breivik as a one-off troll, and we all know that the best sort of political trolls are the ones who can make their point again and again…

    We need “a fire rises” not a fireworks display.

    By the way, anxiety or anxiousness and its fruits are sinful.

    On a different note, I do not think that teenage anti-whites were or are necessarily illegitimate targets for killing, as in, the idea should not be taken off the table, with the following addendum: as long as the war is a proper guerilla war, and not lone wolf individuals who haven’t got the support to ensure any chance of his side winning. Remember how, in the Book of Exodus, Egyptian first-born were killed by the Lord Almighty. In that context, of course, an organised ultimatum had been issued to the Egyptian State…


  14. War is politics by other means
    Politics is war by other means
    Same for immigration, trade, science, technology, the list goes on an on

    There are winners and losers at the personal and national level for all of these things. Loose big enough on any of those issues and your territorial integrity and national sovereignty is over. An maybe your blood line too.

    The concept of just war stems from thinking there is some version of peace. There is not. Not in this life.

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