Understanding the ideology of the Christchurch killer

Understanding the ideology of the Christchurch mosque mass murderer may help prevent a repeat of something so bad happening again, or at least reduce the risks.

Mark Durie gives some good explanations in The Christchurch Killer’s Anti-Humanist Ideology

In the wake of the horrific Christchurch shootings, we need to thoughtfully engage with the ideology which influenced it. Just before the massacre, the self-confessed killer, Brenton Tarrant, distributed what is being called a manifesto, in which he unashamedly describes what he was about to do as a “terrorist attack”, and gives and account of his ideology.

We need to understand this ideology, not to give it a platform, but to learn and to equip ourselves to stand against such hatred.

Is Tarrant an Islamophobe?

Tarrant chose Muslims as a target, but his hatred is directed at all non-white immigrants. It is their “race” he objects to. He has nothing to say about Islam as a religion, making no mention of Muhammad, the Qur’an, or the Sharia.

Although Tarrant nurtures a number of grudges against Muslims, for example for the history of jihad against Europe, he makes clear that his primary reason for targeting mosques is to incite white people to rise up against immigrants in general, not just Muslims. He would drive them all out if he could.

Worshipping Strength

In Tarrant’s fascist vision, the primary good, overriding all else, is the success and dominance of the race-nation. This is a law-of-the-jungle, survival-of-the-fittest view of morality, which considers it entirely legitimate for one tribe to dominate and destroy another to its own advantage.

Tarrant’s solution to his crisis of white demographic decline is to incite conflict so that whites will be compelled to awaken, radicalise and grow strong. This is what his attack in Christchurch was all about.

Anti-Humanitarian

The deeply anti-humanitarian features of Tarrant’s ideology are particularly troubling, not least because Western societies’ movement away from humanitarianism is a discernible long-term trend, and not just among violent extremists.  Reverence for human life is no longer as dominant a characteristic of Western people’s thinking as it used to be.

…one of the reasons he says he hates migrants is that they come, he says, from groups that are “overpopulating” the world, so, he rants, “kill the overpopulation and by doing so save the environment”.

A Chaotic View of Past and Present

Tarrant’s ideology is as chaotically self-contradictory as it is revolting. His theory of history and of nations is all over the place: a complete mess.

Mad or Bad?

Is Tarrant a psychopath?  He may be. The vast majority of ordinary people could not kill in cold blood as he has done.

Tarrant’s manifesto and actions are bad, not mad. Driven, cold and calculating, and fully responsible for his actions, he had been captured by an evil ideology, which made him a hero in his own eyes.

How Tarrant was Radicalised

It is necessary to explore Tarrant’s passion over the “great replacement”.  He describes visiting France, and feeling grief-struck by the ebbing away of the French: “The french people were often in a minority themselves, and the french that were in the streets were often alone, childless or of advanced age. While the immigrants were young, energised and with large families and many children.”

In disgust and despair Tarrant pulled over by a military cemetery, overwhelmed, and wept at the sight of crosses from soldiers who were killed fighting in the two World Wars, stretching out to the horizon. He was weeping over their seemingly vain sacrifice.

By his own account, this was how Tarrant was radicalised. That was it. In front of those crosses he demanded of himself “Why don’t I do something?” Then and there he committed himself to violence in the belief that the radicalisation of other Western young men will be inevitable.

If radicalisation is to be prevented, the crucial thing is to short-circuit the progression from lament and trauma to violence. A sense of loss is and will be unavoidable, but a descent into violence need not be. To prevent this outcome moral leadership is required.

The Threat of Tarrant’s Ideology

The greatest threat is that the option of violence might become increasingly attractive to people who have turned their backs on love-thy-neighbour morality, despising it as weakness, and who also feel deeply challenged and uprooted, both emotionally and morally, by our rapidly changing world, not only by rapid demographic shifts, but also by cultural loss, environmental degradation and all of the other ills Tarrant rails against.

The greater the sense of loss, the more attractive the worship of strength could appear.  What ethical alternatives will be made available to those who are tempted by this path?

The Real Battle We Must Face

Calls to suppress Tarrant’s views from being known and discussed are mistaken. The real struggle we face in the West is over moral worldviews which despise the value of human life.

It was Tarrant’s rejection of the inherent value of each and every human life that opened the door to his raging collectivist hatred.  The challenge for us all is to discern and uproot the seedlings of his deadly ideological trend, and to plant something better in its place.

To do this we must understand and acknowledge such thinking, understand how such a worldview might germinate and grow, and be able to trace the paths of its influence, so that we can intervene and oppose it, lest it spread.

But to achieve all this we must take our heads out of the sand, not put them in it.

To understand more it’s worth reading Durie’s whole post – The Christchurch Killer’s Anti-Humanist Ideology

 

 

 

 

 

48 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  1st April 2019

    There are many fools who think that being Muslim is a race like Indian or Samoan.

    • Kimbo

       /  1st April 2019

      Just as many fools trundle out that factoid to try and cover up their bigotry.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  2nd April 2019

        Then there are those who don’t realise that not all Asians are alike…..that Asian is not a nationality.

  2. Gezza

     /  1st April 2019

    Tarrant’s ideology is as chaotically self-contradictory as it is revolting. His theory of history and of nations is all over the place: a complete mess.

    Yeah it is. He mangles up & conflates his ideas about race & culture & nationalism & peoples belonging in the places they originated. Strangely out of touch with reality & history for a white Australian.

    The challenge for us all is to discern and uproot the seedlings of his deadly ideological trend, and to plant something better in its place. To do this we must understand and acknowledge such thinking, understand how such a worldview might germinate and grow, and be able to trace the paths of its influence, so that we can intervene and oppose it, lest it spread.

    Let’s start with Saudi Arabia & see how it goes?

  3. david in aus

     /  1st April 2019

    Less from the wacko the better. We should not be posting his rants.
    Synopsis: Mein Kamp rip-off.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  1st April 2019

    So we are reduced to reading other people’s interpretation of history being disallowed from reading source documents ourselves. Puerile censorship by idiots.

    • Blazer

       /  1st April 2019

      is there anyone you …like or respect besides ..Trump?

      • Patzcuaro

         /  1st April 2019

        Trumpcare?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  1st April 2019

        Lots of folk rank higher than Trump, B. I appreciate he is doing an impossible job his way which is full of sound and fury and often unattractive and careless with the facts. If I had to deal with him personally I’d probably be pretty cautious. But his attackers have massive blinkers and biasses so I’m happy to keep applying some balance.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  1st April 2019

          As for pricks who think they know better than me what I should be able to read and think, frankly I’d jail them for dangerous stupidity if I could.

    • Duker

       /  1st April 2019

      Are you a scholar of white supremacists ideology are you- honours level of course.
      In reality most likely you are a rubber necker.

      We have seen already the attraction to schoolboy types… Same as we would quarantine a toxic virus, the same applies to this terrorist s guide book

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  1st April 2019

        See above for my opinion.

        • Duker

           /  1st April 2019

          Just because you name drop Voltaire, doesn’t make you a scholar using prime sources.
          Last I heard you were a computer coder.
          We’re you happy to accept a less than 4 page summary of Mueller’s nearly 400 pages , or were you clamouring for ‘ the original source ‘ as the only thing worth reading.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  1st April 2019

            I’m not an idiot, Duker. I’ve done a lot of things other than code. I expect prime historic sources to be available to a wide range of skills, knowledge and views for proper analysis and interpretation.

            Frankly the Mueller report is in a different category being essentially a dismissal of politically-motivated lunacy which will soon be made public temporarily excluding conflicts with ongoing court cases and more permanently details that expose national security techniques and sources.

  5. Corky

     /  1st April 2019

    ”It is necessary to explore Tarrant’s passion over the “great replacement”. He describes visiting France, and feeling grief-struck by the ebbing away of the French: “The french people were often in a minority themselves, and the french that were in the streets were often alone, childless or of advanced age. While the immigrants were young, energised and with large families and many children.”

    That’s nothing radical. I’m sure many French people would agree with him.

    Interesting he found people in Pakistan friendly. Then he does a 360 in France. That must have been some shock? Similar to what had posters on this blog losing their heads on the day of the Christchurch mosque killings. Saying this guy is a fruit loop is too easy.

    I think he saw a genuine problem, But didn’t search for context and understanding. He became myopic and allowed his emotions and hate to get the better of him.

    Evil followed. An evil people with similar sentiments will not allow to manifest.

    Of course all of this is just guessing…because I can’t see his bloody manifesto by law.

    • Duker

       /  1st April 2019

      It’s called rubber necking corky. Just as you without the previous expertise can’t analyse a fatal car crash site by sticking your head through the window to look at dead bodies and mangled limbs. Intelligence agencies are checking each of the places he visited and the people he met, which is what they are trained to do, are most likely to give a summary of conclusions which will provide more answers than an amateurs incoherent and uninformed views which are formed to fit existing beliefs . Does that sound like you ?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  1st April 2019

        Ever heard of democracy, Duker? It relies on an informed and critical voting public. As a bureaucrat your job is to serve and inform, not to rule. I know that would come as a shock to you.

        • Blazer

           /  1st April 2019

          ‘The blood on Bush’s hands will never dry. Under the guise of spreading democracy, his administration brought suffering to the world and strangled civil liberties at home. ‘

          Democracy indeed.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  1st April 2019

            He played to an American public unfamiliar with domestic terrorism and notoriously ill-informed about the rest of the world. That illustrates my point that lacking an informed public bad ideas flourish.

      • Corky

         /  1st April 2019

        What it sounds like is you are a complete nut. Your comments seem to be very shallow and lack any depth. You know what they call that, don’t you, Duker

    • Duker

       /  1st April 2019

      Thanks PG…..42 terrorist writings have been classified as objectionable. The Christchurch suspect’s manifesto, named The Great Replacement after a conspiracy theory that claims white European Christians are being slowly replaced by African and Middle-Eastern Muslims through unchecked immigration, was the 42nd.

      Have the rubber necker’s been complain in about not having access ‘as a right’.
      Of course not. As it appears the rubber necker’s are even better as showboaters…turning a tradgedy into something about them

    • Gezza

       /  1st April 2019

      If a terrorist publication did contain “an immediate call to imminent action that’s specific and dangerous”, Dr Cumin said it “should be completely and utterly banned”.

      My recollection, admittedly getting a bit hazy because it was a long & often rambling document full of red herrings & I don’t have a copy to check, is that it did. I’m reasonably it either explicitly declared Tarrant’s desire included to inspire others to do the same, or could be clearly interpreted that way.

      • Gezza

         /  1st April 2019

        * reasonably certain

      • Duker

         /  1st April 2019

        This is what the censor did say

        “Most people reading the publication will not be harmed by it. “Most New Zealanders who have read this will simply find it repellent. But most New Zealanders are not the target audience. It is aimed at a small group who may be receptive to its hateful, racist and violent ideology, and who may be inspired to follow the example set by its apparent author.”

        And even more importantly the ‘harm ‘ in the material

        It promotes, encourages and justifies acts of murder and terrorist violence against identified groups of people: [and] it identifies specific places for potential attack in New Zealand, and refers to the means by which other types of attack may be carried out. It contains justifications for acts of tremendous cruelty, such as the deliberate killing of children.”

        I think some dont really understand why its censored or even what is so utterly repellent about it.
        be careful what you want

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st April 2019

      The article contains some sensible criticism of attempted censorship of ideas. Voltaire had it right a very long time ago. Censorship will never defeat bad ideas. Only free speech can fo that.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  1st April 2019

        do

      • Blazer

         /  1st April 2019

        ‘ bad ideas. ‘……………too funny.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  1st April 2019

          You usual utterly puerile non-contribution, B. Read the last four paragraphs PG quotes in his post. That’s the point.

          • Duker

             /  1st April 2019

            Oh really …know about his path… his journey of discovery…
            phhh
            it identifies specific places for potential attack in New Zealand, and refers to the means by which other types of attack may be carried out. It contains justifications for acts of tremendous cruelty, such as the deliberate killing of children.”

            The people that disseminate that nonsense can join him in jail

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st April 2019

              Half-witted. The public need to know which places are vulnerable, why and how. They also need to understand the warped justifications for evil so they can devise and implement ways to refute and discredit them. You are as clueless as Shand.

            • Duker

               /  1st April 2019

              Im pretty sure Voltaire would have satirised that sort of thinking….. well magic thinking… a word salad.
              As its entirely clueless and devoid of any philosophical base.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st April 2019

              So no answer, just irrelevant crap, Duker. No surprise there.

  6. “Mad or Bad?

    Is Tarrant a psychopath? He may be. The vast majority of ordinary people could not kill in cold blood as he has done.

    Tarrant’s manifesto and actions are bad, not mad. Driven, cold and calculating, and fully responsible for his actions, he had been captured by an evil ideology, which made him a hero in his own eyes”

    Why is it such people are often framed within a false dichotomy of mad/bad? Its true people have difficulty killing in cold blood, hence the millions of dollars governments spend on taking 18-year-olds, putting them in the army and indoctrinating them to kill people they otherwise wouldn’t say boo to if left to think for themselves.

    I doubt the Christchurch terrorist is mad. That would be too easy to dismiss him as “not one of us” if he was just crazy. He could be safely dismissed as the ‘other’, we could locate his decision using some kind of pop-psychology…he was neglected as a child or bullied or didn’t get enough vitamins or his mum was an alcoholic or etc. I suspect he had a normal childhood, went to the same schools as the rest of us, probably didn’t litter, watched the same TV programmes, and did all the other things the rest of us did. We don’t like the idea, but he is as sane as anyone else.

    As for the ‘bad’ part. I don’t find the use of such moralistic categories useful analytically. Sure, his actions may have had repugnant consequences in moral terms but it fails to appreciate the political motivation. Having read his manifesto, it is undoubtedly an eclectic hodge podge of ideas that have been circulating on the far Right for decades, along with personal experiences. Isn’t that how everyone forms the basis of their political views ie reading stuff and experiencing things? Again, the implicit assumption in a lot of discourse around such people is that if we hugged them enough and they had a better sense of morality, they would choose to repent and become good liberals/social democrats or conservatives like the rest of ‘us’. Few people can handle the idea that the terrorist, in this case, took an internally consistent (once he accepted his initial working premise, which could externally be viewed as faulty) and in that sense ‘rational’ decision as part of a political ideology.

    The only viable starting point for opposing such people is to understand them as neither mad nor bad, but wrong. Then the challenge comes in offering a more attractive political alternative. That’s hard work but its the only starting point that has any real hope of working. Locating his actions in personal psychology or moral failure won’t do that.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  2nd April 2019

      Well said, Barrie. A lot of truth in that and you highlight just why open challenge rather than attempts at suppression are essential.

    • Dukeofurl

       /  2nd April 2019

      The censor has highlighted its much much more detailed manual than an ideology- more correctly a confused hotpotch
      -identifies specific places for potential attack in New Zealand,
      -refers to the means by which other types of attack may be carried out
      – justifications for acts of tremendous cruelty, such as the deliberate killing of children

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  2nd April 2019

        justifications for acts of tremendous cruelty, such as the deliberate killing of children

        I can really see that going down well and easily all over the country. What are you guys smoking?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  2nd April 2019

      Here’s a simple test for you censors. Would you ban your teenager from reading the manifesto?

      Hell no. I’d want them to fully understand what was in it and why it was evil and demented. I’d deliberately bring it up and go through it with them.

      Banning it is the sure way to create future trouble.

      • Gezza

         /  2nd April 2019

        Releasing it is just as sure a way to create future trouble.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  2nd April 2019

          Rubbish

          • Gezza

             /  2nd April 2019

            Don’t be a prat. Someone with a mind to read that thing & be inspired to do something similar is just as likely to do it as someone who tries to get around the ban to find it & be inspired to do it. It might assist further discussion if you were spell out exactly what you mean by “trouble”, there, but I’ve got to go out now.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  2nd April 2019

              I don’t think I can be bothered spelling out the obvious for you.

            • Gezza

               /  2nd April 2019

              Ok. Be a prat.

  7. How do you expect to counter something if you don’t have access to it?

  1. Understanding the ideology of the Christchurch killer — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition
  2. Tarrant mad or bad? | Your NZ