Saturday, 16 March 2019

On the Late Massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand

As you know, gentle reader, at least 49 people were killed yesterday and another 20 injured when a well-armed man opened fire on worshippers in a mosque at Christchurch, New Zealand.

The man arrested is 28 and seems to have killed for the sake of attracting attention to his political ideas on Facebook, YouTube and other websites.

He had a firearms licence, should that question occur to you. This story is not about lax gun licensing laws.

Clearly, politically motivated mass killings are a phenomenon which we must expect to continue far into the future and probably become more common. Possibly much more common.

These mass killers are often called mentally ill and sometimes they are, though in most cases not. The mental illness explanation, however, is usually part of liberals' failure to understand human psychology or man's fallen, inherently murderous nature.

In the past, when most people were illiterate agricultural labourers, believed in God and often did what the clergy and the landowners told them, different peoples lived side by side peacefully enough, while respecting clear rules that kept communities distinct.

Unfortunately, this is not the default setting of mankind, as a cursory knowledge of history or moral theology makes clear.

Think of Constantinople for an example of a city full of different peoples that was not in the least multicultural in the modern sense or a melting-pot. It had a Christian majority and many Jews before 1914. Now, after genocide and ethnic cleansing, it is more or less mono-ethnic and has been colonised by aspirant Anatolian peasants, geographically and possibly socially mobile.

In fact the history of Europe is a history of ethnic and religious conflicts. New Zealand did not escape ethnic conflict before or after the British conquest.

Timothy McVeigh (a white American atheist) and his accomplice Terry Nichols were the first of the modern political mass murderers that I remember in the rich world. In gaol, McVeigh and his accomplice Terry Nichols were housed in "Bomber's Row", the same cell block as Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, Luis Felipe and Ramzi Yousef. Yousef made frequent, unsuccessful attempts to convert McVeigh to Islam.

After September 11th these massacres became much more frequent. Most of the ones in the West are committed by Islamists, but a series of massacres have been committed by white people in North America at places of worship used by ethnic minorities.

On October 27, 2018, eleven were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. On January 29, 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette killed six Muslims at the Islamic Cultural Center in Quebec City, on June 17, 2015, Dylann Storm Roof killed nine black people at a Bible study meeting in a Methodist church in Charleston, South Carolina and Wade Michael Page killed six Sikhs at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee in August 2012.

An Israeli journalist, Jonathan Spyer, got banned from Facebook definitively for calling the series of Islamist killings in Europe 'a low-level insurgency', though Facebook were persuaded to relent and let him back on. Mr. Spyer was unfortunately not far wrong and we are now also seeing a series of horrible mass murders by wicked and misguided white oddballs.

All these terrible killings are obviously linked to changing demographics in the rich world.

Maverick right-wing Australian senator Fraser Anning caused understandable outrage when he tweeted yesterday:

“As always, leftwing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today’s shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views, but this is all cliched nonsense. The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”

Causation is a complex matter, of course. There are different levels of causation.

This is what I posted on this blog back in July 2011 after the shocking Norwegian massacre of teenage Social Democrats in Norway. The murderer in that case might well be a psychopath, but is definitely bad rather than mad. His motivation too was fear of or distaste for mass immigration.

Did the anti-Islamic and anti-immigration ideas on the web lead this evil man to kill so many innocent people? Or the changes in Norwegian society themselves and the prevalent anti-racist ideology?

The answer is that no ideas led him to kill but an inner compulsion and satanic pride. In the lost childhood of Judas, Jesus was betrayed.

But I doubt if he is mad and I am sure he is as much a political actor as the Al Qaeda conspirators.

No-one thinks they are mad or that the restoration of the Caliphate is a literally insane reason for killing innocent people.

Why is that? Because he is one and Al Qaeda are many I suppose.
The psychology of terrorists has been explored brilliantly by one of the greatest men of the last century, Joseph Conrad, a political conservative though a modernist writer, in two of the very greatest of all novels: The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes. They also happen to be the first two examples of the spy story genre and I am sure the best.

Conrad wrote at the very beginning of the terrorist era. Since then it has become clear that mass killings will happen for the foreseeable future so long as societies remain relatively free, while state actors kill civilians in war and peace for political reasons and modern communications enable terrorists to hope to profit from their killings by gaining publicity, concessions and adherents to their causes. Like the Roman poet foreseeing he Tiber running with blood, to coin a phrase, I can easily imagine chemical, biological or nuclear weapons being used.

Actually, although I am trying to avoid knowing anything about the killer's 'manifesto' (had it been 20 pp. instead of 1500 pp. it would be more dangerous) its seems his ideas are quite sound until he decides they justify killing and some resemble my own: the Marxist origins of political correctness; the dangers of population movements and especially of Muslim immigration.

The manifesto is evidence of how deeply out of date and unfashionable prejudice is these days. Even the killer said that he was anti-racist and pro-homosexual.

He is also a Freemason and did not attend church but is still called a Christian fundamentalist. So is McVeigh, the first of the great terrorists, who went to his execution cursing God.

Perhaps murderers are a bit like the Rorschach Ink Spot Test in which the subject sees what he wants to see.

The killer (I do not know his name and do not wish to use it) seems to have rejected the modern age In plenty of ways I am out of sympathy with it. He is a lesson that rejecting, not taking part in, your own generation means narcissism and death.

(Footnote: In the face of such horror it seems wrong to talk about its political impact but it is inescapable. His actions will presumably hurt the anti-immigration argument although this is not certain and it is impossible to know how much. Certainly not so much as had he killed Muslims. It is possible over time that it will have the opposite effect. What is very strange is that the London underground bombings did not lead to support for anti-immigration and Islamosceptic politics. These things can be used by the liberals but it doesn't work the other way round. But let the children be buried before we go into this.)

Somewhere I read yesterday that Norway has comparatively few immigrants/immigrant descendants and though they make up 20% of the population of Oslo this is small compared to other capitals in Europe. Can this be true? Can it? I cannot find the link. [Footnote: Wikipedia says 28%.]
A final footnote. I came across this excerpt from a speech delivered in 2005 from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by Sheikh Issam Amira, who preaches the Islamic revolution. We Catholics pray for the conversion of England to Catholicism (or used to - liberal priests would not, I imagine) so I cannot and do not object to a Muslim wanting Norway to be Muslim. Maybe some Norwegians might.

“Listeners! The Moslems in Denmark make up three percent [of the population], yet constitute a threat to the future of the Danish kingdom. It’s no surprise that in Bitrab [the ancient name of Medina, a city in Arabia to which Mahomet immigrated from Mecca] they were fewer than three percent of the general population, but succeeded changing the regime in Bitrab.
“It’s no surprise that our brothers in Denmark have succeeded in bringing Islam to every home in that country. Allah will grant us victory in their land to establish the [Islamic] revolution in Denmark.”

After Denmark, the Sheikh said, Norway would be next and the name of Oslo would be changed change to Medina.

“They will fight against their Scandinavian neighbors in order to bring the country into the territory of the revolution. In the next stage, they will fight a holy jihad to spread Islam to the rest of Europe, until it spreads to the original city of Medina where the two cities will unite under the Islamic flag.

“We are at the gates of the Islamic revolution. The global forces of evil will be eliminated from the world and the Islamic nation will remain in place in order to bring about the world Islamic revolution, with its capital, Jerusalem.”

Charles Manson massacred innocent people to provoke a race war but his killings, horribly, gave him a sort of vogue among people on the left including Bernardine Dohrn, the American who was gaoled for the Weathermen bombings but is now a respected figure in certain left-wing circles. I wrote about this here.


  1. An excellent summary. A calm and rational one rooted in a knowledge of history and civilization. A knowledge and interest lacking here on the left coast of the USA.

  2. Some on the right will agree that the shooter's action was demented, no?

    1. I do not understand the question. Is it suggested that he is demented? I had assumed that he was sane and politically motivated, but I have no knowledge of the matter. We shall learn more, possibly.

  3. Edward Stafford commented on this on Facebook:

    One thing to bear in mind for understanding the left on this. the left now sees everything through an ethno-political lens, seeing each individual person as representative of and imbued with the vices or virtues of the group’s. This is overlaid with their need for representing all groups as either revolutionary (good) or counter-revolutionary (aka, reactionary). thus, the vile murderer in New Zealand was not some evil individual with affiliation to fringe elements of white males, but he epitomized the reality of the anti-Muslim hatred that every western, non-Muslim male bears in his heart for all unlike himself. it’s false of course, but it shapes their thinking, and underlies their attempts to demonize whole groups rather than face the true nature of human evil.