The mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch have left at least 49 dead and some 20 wounded, many gravely, including children. The attacks took place when the mosques were packed for Friday prayers, and many of the dead were immigrants from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Arab world. An Australian-born man named Brenton Tarrant has been arrested as the gunman, and three suspected accomplices also detained. Marking a new extreme in depravity, the gunman live-streamed the massacre on Facebook as he carried it out, with a camera mounted on his head. The video has been removed from the web. Alas, so has his lengthy manifesto, in which he laid out his motivations for the attack. (Ma’an; BellingCat)
The removal is ill-considered, as being ignorant of the rhetoric employed to justify mass murder only makes potential recruits more vulnerable to such propaganda. CounterVortex was able to review the document before it was scrubbed from the web, and it is a study in Red-Brown politics—employing populist phrases appropriated directly from the left and wedding them to a white-supremacist ideology.
California-based journalist Matthew Keys posted a link on his Twitter account to Tarrant’s manifesto on the doucment-hosting site Scribd. It has since been removed from Scribd, although exceprts can still be seen in Keys’ tweets. Entitled “The Great Replacement” (a reference to white Christians being “replaced” by Muslim immigrants), it has the hippie-sounding subhead of “Towards a New Society.” Below this is a logo that vaguely resembles an eight-spoked Buddhist wheel, with each section invoking a political principle. These include “anti-imperialism,” “environmentalism,” “workers’ rights” and “responsible markets,” as well as “law & order,” “ethnic autonomy” and “protection of heritage & culture.” The image seems to have originated with a US-based outfit called the Patriot Front, which Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as an offshoot of the now possibly defunct Vanguard America, whose Red-Brown procilivities was have noted before.
After an introduction ranting about “White Genocide,” the document lists among the reasons for the attack, “to drive a wedge between the nations of NATO that are European and the Turks… and thereby ensure that never again can a situation such as the US involvement in Kosovo ever occur (where US/NATO forces fought beside muslims and slaughtered Christian Europeans attempting to remove the Islamic occupiers from Europe).”
Tarrant openly admits to being a “fascist,” but more specifically an “eco-fascist.” He cites British wartime fascist leader Oswald Mosley as an inspiration, and says, “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China.”
In a Q&A format, worded to acknowledge the uncertainty that he would survive the attack, are the following exchanges:
Were/are you “right wing”?
Depending on the definition, sure.
Were/are you “left wing”?
Depending on the definition, sure.
Were/are you a socialist?
Depending on the definition. Worker ownership of the means of proudction? Depends who the workers are…. [as long as they’re white, we may assume.]
Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump?
As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure.
[Tho not as a “policy maker and leader”…]
Also cited as an “influence” is conservative commentator Candace Owens, and as an “inspiration” Anders Breivik, the author of the 2011 Oslo massacre who likewise penned a lengthy and pretentious manifesto before his attack.
Tarrant writes that he expects “an eventual Nobel peace prize. As was awarded to the Terrorist Nelson Mandela once his own people took power and acheived victory.”
His page on protecting the “natural environment” is entitled “Green nationalism is the only true nationalism.”
A section entitled “Support Your Brother Nations” bizarrely lists “even Venezuela” along with Poland, Austria, France and more likely suspects as places where the “movement may begin.” He writes that “Globalized capitalist markets are the enemy of racial autonomists.”
Yet his message “To Antifa/Marxists/Communists” concludes: “SEE YOU ON THE STREETS YOU ANTI-WHITE SCUM.”
The appropriation of left-wing rhetoric in the service of white supremacy should come as no surprise to those who understand the rise of classical fascism in the 1920s and ’30s. Fascism always exploits populism, especially in its incipient phases. Failing to understand this renders the disaffected more susceptible to fascist entryism. So does purging Tarrant’s sick manifesto from the Internet—no matter how well-intentioned this decision was.
Photo via Ma’an