Source: Matthew Pinna
The written word cannot express the true extent of the tragedy that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand — in the hazy aftermath that always follows behind a mass shooting, at least that much is already evident.
At the time of writing, 49 people have been killed at two separate Christchurch mosques, with dozens more left injured by the shooter. Both media and public officials, in New Zealand and elsewhere have chosen to lay the blame for the killings on “conservatives.”
In fact, conservatism had nothing to do with this. We need to understand exactly how people like this shooter think, and how the media is doing that admirable goal a disservice.
How do we know that the shooter isn’t a conservative? For starters, he explicitly says that he detests conservatism twice, once in the “Q&A” and again in his more ideological section, where he devotes a whole page to it:
Q: “‘Were/are you a conservative?’”
A: “No, conservatism is corporatism in disguise, I want no part of it.”
The mantra he places at the bottom of the “To Conservatives” snippet proclaims: “CONSERVATISM IS DEAD, THANK GOD.”
Instead, the shooter admits that he is an “actual fascist” — an “eco-fascist,” to be exact.
This is extremely important to point out, and not just for the purpose of exonerating conservatives. Why? Simply because — as we know — fascism is far too often conflated with conservatism by political laymen, when anybody who has actually read fascist doctrine knows otherwise. As such, the people who speak out against “conservative hate” and expect real fascists to be convinced of their faults would be surprised to learn that their actions are entirely counterproductive; the fascist agrees with critiques against conservatives, just as the communist agrees with critiques against liberals.
It needs to be understood that the racism and discrimination seen from historical examples of fascism aren’t mere elements or curable side effects of the ideology — they are fascism. Anything economic — although important and notedly based in anti-capitalist critiques — comes secondary to the supreme goal of forming the desired totalitarian ethnostate which would supposedly act vigorously towards the advancement of its own people above all others. This is because fascists reject democracy, claiming that its machinations restrain and misrepresent the natural ability and energy of the ethnicity it is governing over. Thus, it is much more advantageous to debate against fascism as if it is — and likely actually is — an ideology that cannot be represented on a simple “Left-Right” scale.
The media, of course, plays into this dangerous blanket treatment of ideologies, but while that is most certainly a disservice, it isn’t the one that I had in mind. Rather, I am more concerned with what appears to be its dismissal of the shooter’s manifesto as but a “rant” that should be ignored. If people want to actually prevent incidents like these from ever happening again, these “rants” need to be taken seriously and studied, so that these ideas can be debated and debunked, not left to fester undetected on forums.
This manifesto is “anti-Muslim,” but it is dangerous to dismiss the shooter’s writings as solely “Islamophobia.” Instead, it needs to be recognized for what it is — a piece of writing that, while disjointed and “memey” at times, is fascist to its core. Not only does the author give us his biggest influence — ”Sir Oswald Mosley” — but his second section shows that he is very well read when it comes to fascist literature; condensing large arguments into memorable mantras as he does after every single subsection is quite literally right out of Adolf Hitler’s book.
What also needs to be recognized is the fact that the standard leftist argument against blocking “hate speech” — that it gives speakers a platform from which to “espouse hate” — is what caused this problem in the first place. How can we tell? Because in the Q&A, the shooter once again tells us.
His answer is right above where he dips into giving meme responses, the reasoning for which nobody has pointed out yet. Clearly, however, it is because of the terming of the questions, specifically in how the askers frame him as being a “radical” or an “extremist.” He doesn’t appreciate that whatsoever — to him, it isn’t extreme to value one ethnicity over another — so that’s why he sarcastically cites Candace Owens, Spyro the Dragon, and Fortnite as his biggest influences.
Returning to the matter at hand, he reports that he developed and discovered his beliefs from “the internet, of course,” confirming what free speech advocates have been fighting to make people realize for years: if people want to learn about something, no matter how noxious it is, the internet will be that repository.
You can pretend that those dark sides don’t exist, but as this shooter evidenced, they do.
You can pretend that these ideas shouldn’t be debated as it would “legitimize them,” but to people like the shooter, these ideas are already legitimate — he killed 49 people to prove that.
You can pretend that it isn’t our responsibility to debate people like the shooter, but if you participate in civil society, then it doubtlessly is.
Life isn’t fair. It’s not fair that we should remain constantly vigilant for abuses against our freedoms, but it is a responsibility that we must bear to retain our liberties. Likewise, if we want to retain the lives and freedoms of ourselves and our neighbors, we must also bear the unfair responsibility of debating those who want to end those things.
Not everyone has the time and energy necessary to do this. But people need to stay out of the way of those who want to fight back. Don’t sweep what he wrote under the rug and don’t blame Republicans or Democrats for “radicalizing” this shooter. Now more than ever, we need to debate specifically against Fascists — just as we did against Communists back in the day — for Christchurch, and the future Christchurches that will happen unless we change our course.