Send a Tweet
- Advertisement -
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 11 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 8/7/19

What the El Paso Mass Shooting Tells Us About the Operationalization of Fascist Violence

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 56004
Message Anis Shivani
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from www.commondreams.org

As repulsive as it might be to take the manifesto of the El Paso killer seriously, we must shed inhibition aside and take a close look at it. For a 21-year old, it's quite well articulated, beyond the reach of most American college students in terms of linking cause and effect and describing motivation and rationale. The murderer realizes that his manifesto might well be "meh" at this point (he hasn't had time enough to deliberate), but thinks it's better to go ahead with his planned mass murder and to make his political imprint before he "loses his nerve."

- Advertisement -

And make no mistake about it, this was an incidence of political violence, not yet another in a series of "gun shootings," such as Sandy Hook, or Orlando, or San Bernardino, or Las Vegas. There can be no underestimation of the clear political motive, and the intended reaction the shooter aims to derive from his act of political terrorism. So to resort knee-jerkingly to calls for restrictions on gun access, though they must of course be part of the debate, is to prevent the larger deliberation on our part-the citizens who are not swayed to the white nationalist point of view of the killer-from taking place.

The shooter, Patrick Crusius, reveals some crucial gaps in reasoning, but for the most part this is as succinct a statement of the classical white nationalist position-as it has evolved in twists and turns over the course of many decades-as I have ever seen. In addition, he gives a prominent role to widespread automation, to supplement the more usual fear of baby boomers dying off en masse and creating a population crisis that begs, as he sees it, for a domestic terrorist solution.

The classical white nationalist position, as it was presented by Francis Parker Yockey, George Lincoln Rockwell, Willis Carto, William S. Pierce, Richard Butler, Ben Klassen, and others until recently, was that the white race was being sidelined as the rightful owners and rulers of this country by an upsurge of migrants and migrant births. In order to keep America white, this trend must be reversed, by ending immigration from what Trump calls "shithole countries," and by encouraging (through violence, if necessary) the repatriation of the hordes of dark-skinned foreigners already here (including a certain outspoken Muslim congresswoman). Those who are too well-established to be repatriated, particularly African Americans, might be given sovereign territory within the United States, to claim as their own country. Thus the race-mixing, which elites (Crusius consistently substitutes "corporations" for elites) promote for their own profit-making motives, will come to an end, and white America can be whole again.

- Advertisement -

Automation enters the picture, for the manifesto-writer, in creating more of a pressure on the native white population than would be created by mass migration alone. Furthermore, he notes that second-generation immigrants typically do not compete for the menial jobs new immigrants are said to be desperate for, and that they outstrip native whites in educational attainment. These two factors are weak links in his argument, because if automation is such an irrepressible force then limiting migration won't solve the problem for native whites, and if immigrants within a single generation face the same jobs crisis as native whites, then there would seem to be a commonality of interests that is not appreciated.

Nonetheless, it is a serious manifesto, and it must be treated as such. Notice that it doesn't differ-except for the tirades against China that we hear from Trump-in its basics from what we have become familiar from Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and many other past and current Trump officials and supporters. Just last week Stephen Miller's attempt to drastically limit immigration by expanding the scope of the public charge clause came to light. America is under siege-Crusius repeatedly refers to his act of terrorism as being in response to the elite-sponsored "invasion"-by unpatriotic elites, and the way to counter this globalist surge, which benefits foreigners beholden to the meritocratic myth above all, is to cut it off at its sources.

In short, the contemporary white nationalist would like to be seen as only a nationalist, careful as he always is to deny racial animosity toward others, an economic nationalist in other words, a self-description that Trump has been eager to appropriate by way of the Breitbart-Bannon-Miller chain of transmission.

The Democrats, to the extent that they have been compromised by three decades of submission to the same transnational power elite that Crusius objectifies, are powerless to contest this supercharged sense of grievance, even if it's based on misapprehension of the real enemy. After each of the two Democratic presidential debates, in June and July, liberal opinion makers roundly condemned certain bold promises by the more progressive candidates: health care under Medicare-for-All for undocumented immigrants, free four-year college tuition for all, and decriminalization of border crossings. I am by no means putting New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in the same boat as Crusius, but note the uncontainable anger the columnist summoned in reaction to foundational humanitarian suggestions, almost, we might say, as a coding of nationalism from the liberal perspective.

I am trying to point out continuities between both the Republican Party (because it is now fully Trump's party) and the Democratic Party (except for the progressive wing, which remains a distinct minority among the twenty candidates assembled for the recent debates) on the one hand, and the grievances, albeit a bit confused, of a strain of political terrorism that is not likely to go away any time soon.

- Advertisement -

Often over the last twenty years, as I have considered the evolution of contemporary American neo-fascism, I have been careful to note the absence of two factors that have prevented the blossoming of a full-scale fascistic renaissance: the lack of a charismatic leader, and that of a mobilized and empowered militia. We now have both, and as for the second, unless we address the neoliberal rot that has fatally weakened democracy and turned it over to unaccountable capitalism, the spontaneous militia power (the mainstream media is still mistakenly calling their avatars "lone wolves," as though they had no ideological attachment) is likely to grow exponentially.

I have spent a long time studying the history of white nationalist violence as it has occurred over the last three decades, and I must say that we seem to have crossed some sort of a tipping point here, that this is a manifestation of something new and potentially viral, and far more ominous than the Charlottesville rally, to the extent that the Virginia event was based on a more outmoded self-presentation of white nationalism.

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Anis Shivani Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Anis Shivani is a fiction writer, poet, and critic in Houston, Texas. His debut book, a short fiction collection called Anatolia and Other Stories, which included a Pushcart Special Mention story, was published in October 2009 by Black Lawrence (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Half-truth Hillary finally exposed: This was the debate where Bernie Sanders changed the Democratic Party for good

Hillarybots, You Blew It! Thanks for Another Decade of War, Misery, and Scandal

This is our neoliberal nightmare: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and why the market and the wealthy win every time

Bush's 'Decision Points' Is A Terrifying Journey Into the Authoritarian Mind

The media's big Bernie Sanders myth: Here's how we build the coalition that shatters Clintonism, neoliberalism

Trump and the Nazis: Our troll-in-chief has a deep affinity with the alt-right -- and with their ancestors

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments


Allan Wayne

Become a Fan
Author 21546
Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Sep 9, 2008), 8 fans, 88 articles, 18 quicklinks, 1181 comments, 105 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Operationalization is such a big word that if you said it in a Walmart, the clerk would not have a clue. However, the shooter you refer to, like Charles Manson without the symbol carved on his forehead, probably had the same motive, and the same derangement; only Charlie did not use guns. Some things never change, apparently.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 7, 2019 at 7:09:38 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment