Zygmunt Bauman (1925–2017) was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leeds, England, and the author of scores of books, including Memories of Class (1982), Modernity and the Holocaust (1989), Liquid Modernity (2000), and Strangers at Our Door (2016). (December 2018)

NYR DAILY

‘Evil Has Been Trivialized’: A Final Conversation with Zygmunt Bauman

Flowers laid near Utoya Island after Anders Behring Breivik’s mass-murder attack, Norway, July 24, 2011

Bauman: In 2011, Anders Behring Breivik committed two mass murders: one targeting the government and contingent civilian population, the other against the inmates of a summer camp. He explained his crimes in advance in an electronically published manifesto sounding the alarm against Islam and feminism joining forces in “creating a European cultural suicide.” What strikes a thoughtful reader is the total absence of a logical link between the cause and effect: Islam, feminism on one side, and the random victims of mass murder on the other. We are being quietly adjusted to this logic-defying, indeed mind-boggling, state of affairs. Breivik is anything but an exceptional, one-off blunder of nature, or a solitary monster.