On August 3rd 2019, in El Paso, Texas, Patrick Crusius traveled a thousand kilometers then, armed with an AK 47 gun, shot dead 20 people in a mall, including children. The young man is 21, he was described as rather lonely and he was mocked in high school. He left a few-pages-long very methodical manifesto, explaining he was acting against the Great Replacement perpetrated by Mexicans.
Patrick Crusius is not a lonely wolf. Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch killer, was not a lonely wolf. The jihadist killers without concrete links with Daech are not lonely wolves. On the contrary, they perfectly are politically socialized killers, but this is a phantom sociability, or at least that is how it is understood by societies where the technological revolution is still unfolding, where the criteria for identifying « real » and « virtual » sociability are outdated, giving the former the essence of « absolute reality » but a feeble and illusive nature to the latter.
Patrick Crusius is in the same political organization as Brenton Tarrant. The first line of his manifesto is a tribute to his brother and comrade, whose vision of the world and political fighting methods he shares : the mass murder considered a merciless war.
The words we use to qualify the facts don’t matter much: hundreds of people are killed each year by soldiers of an ideological army. It’s just that this army has no need for generals or t mission orders for actions to happen on the ground. In Europe, in the USA, in Australia, men – almost all of them are men – frequenting the same websites, the same online forums, the same social media networks have decided they will kill. A few decide to target a specific individual, as the man who killed British MP Jo Cox a few years ago, or as the neo nazi who, a few weeks ago, shot Walter Lubcke, German politician in favor of welcoming refugees. More kill en masse, choosing their targets simplu on their supposed race.
It is extremely easy to make the list of what constitutes, in the globalized world of white supremacism, a globalized collective political socialization.
First is the ideology. All mass murderers base their actions on absolute racism. Absolute because it reaches the summum of deshumanization. Tarrant and Crusius insist they don’t feel « personal » hatred towards their targets. Those targets are seen as viruses, insects that must be eliminated in order to preserve a sound body that otherwise will be irredeemably destroyed. The Great Replacement theory is not only a kind of racism pointing out immigrants and their descendants as a dangerous population, because of their religion or because there are terrorists or criminals from the same origins. As ideologists like to repeat, the main danger is not sociological or political, but demographic. It’s the quantitative aspect that matters, not the qualitative perspective, with its distinction between countries of origin, cultures or religions or individual qualities. What appaers to be a paradox is the fact that theories based on hate of other human beings is actually secondary, compared to the denunciation of Numbers. Killers such as Crusius or Tarrant are just following this logic. It is totally unnecessary to look for specific targets, make a choice among public figures of the supposed race for their particular acts or discourses. So the danger has to be fought for what it is, Numbers, and you must kill as many as possible, anywhere you can. From the killers’ point of view, it’s more or less the same as finding wasp nests and destroying them by surprise, rather than dealing with the one that came into the house or stung someone. And who cares about killing baby wasps or mosquitoes’ larvae ?
However, we cannot understand mass murders and murderers without a second item that doesn’t embody lonely wolves, but absolutely socialized people, individuals that dehumanize themselves and end up as units in a totalitarian group, though it’s a phantom one. All far-right killers, just like jihadist killers who have no concrete links with Daech, are self-destructive. They are ready to die or spend the rest of their life in prison ; and yet their act of self-destruction and at the same time destruction of others appears to them as the mean, the only mean to reach out Existence, to be part of a community, True Muslims, True Whites. If Crusius’ manifesto is authentic, as the authorities seem to believe, it has a very enlightening feature. Tarrant or Breivik didn’t want at all to make personal difficulties a cause for their action. Crusius is very open and straightforward about it : he thinks the society he’s living in has deprived him of the possibility to exist. His world seems infested by foreign insects and destroyed by « the system » and the environmental crisis. His professional future has been pulled from under him by automation and the job he wished for robbed by robots. Loneliness, anomie, destruction of his destiny in the bud, that’s how Crusius’ inner world looks like. Tarrant, and Breivik too, also painted in hollow that lonely vagrancy before the mass murder, this drifting away of an individual with a sense of non-existence and can’t find anywhere this white community he pretends to defend against invaders.
It is just like Daech killers that are « isolated » in the material world never found in current islam this umma they claim to defend with blood. Actually, death or life in prison is not a problem in their own eyes , because murder is what gives life to this community, that wasn’t real enough, and makes them part of it. The torture of loneliness and anomie is replaced by a sanguinary fusion thus bringing inner peace. Before the murder, they are an American or an European person feeling alien to their life. What they expect from murder is to be transformed, at last, into Whites.
Of course, this is partly hypothesis and projections, but they are totally worth exploring, since we’re facing killers acting as fanatized agents from fascist or stalinist totalitarian organizations but with this seeming paradox that they won’t get any of the social recognition that comes from belonging to an actual army or a powerful and incorporated political organization.
This paradox only exists in reference to older types of sociability. This « virtual universe » has also become very important in our daily life. Relationships built on-line can sometimes absorb us more than those IRL. In politics, contemporay forms of militancy are less and less experienced as being the member of one centralized organization and more and more as joining virtual spheres of decisive influence over our minds. The democracy crisis touches all political tendencies and can be seen in the lack of interest for elections and traditional forms of activism, for the benefit of those « phantom » new sociabilities not yet defined or integrated in the legal and institutionnal processes of our societies.
The hypothesis we have to test is disturbing. Coming back into the physical world to embody a sociability built elsewhere, the killers somehow are one step ahead of us. They live and see themselves as parts of an actual community : the community of globalized neo-fascism, In this community, absolutely all the old sociological roles of politics are maintained, such as the ideologists. Those popular now are European and French. On that matter, Crusius alleged manifesto follows Tarrant : for those killers, France is the theorietical model, where people like Renaud Camus and the Bloc Identitaire have understood the danger. It is also the figure of the original Motherland, that first and unexampled White world. The United States and the rest of the western world can’t compete with this pure white moment, that European golden age, the time before colonization, to make it simple.
Tarrant hasn’t been the first to create this narrative, he merely expressed it in a very concise and extensive way ; but references to the Bloc Identitaire could be found in some mass killers’ texts for a few years now. Tarrant made the journey to Europe. This journey he described as initiatory, is a path from the virtual to the actual world, a passage that didn’t necessarily exist in previous killers. That transition didn’t necessarily mean going to the former modes of political socialization, ie actual meetings with the intellectual and activist movements of the European far-right. Maybe that need simply did not really exist, in regard of the intensity of virtual relationships. Crusius goes further on that theoretical logic : he clearly explains in his alleged manifesto that white Europeans have understood but can’t act, because the legislation prevent them from easily obtaining fire weapons.
He summarizes a structural movement initiated for a few years on the worlwide white supremacy networks : in the beginning of the 2010s, young Europeans were discovering the American violent far-right pioneers, notably through the translation of classics such as the Turner diaries, a text encouraging the creation of small armed units, autonomous in their actions for the preservation of the white race. The theoretical model used to come from the United States. It is now the other way around : European theoricians and activists have become references for the young killers, who think that the American legislation allows them to get weapons and becom soldiers for those European ideologists.
Virtual sociability doesn’t simply consist in reading theoricians. That is why Renaud Camus is, in a way, right when he explains that he is not responsible for the actions of the killers. It is true that the old theorician doesn’t really have any concrete relationships with those he inspires and he probably never entertains the possibility of actually interacting with this globalized sphere of people who drew practical conclusions from his thinking. Renaud Camus is an ancient with sligtly outdated methods and that’s why he launched a pathetic electoral attempt in the recent European Parliament elections, which almost didn’t generate any interest but had a significant episode. He had enrolled on his list a young racist activist, but then recoiled with horror at the face of his living theory : a young woman drawing swastikas in the sand for her bithday, a young neo-nazi that had no problems to make connections between the old genocidal fascism and the new.
That’s what it is about : this young fascists community has overshot the boundaries of the European and even American far-right. For fifteen years, everywhere far-right political forces have taken power or constituted an important part of the political field, they have pretended they had nothing to do with national-socialism or the original fascism and they have claimed that mentioning those historical facts about them is just a way to condemn them at little cost. Of course, that public discourse is consistently disproved by disclosures of the early stages of carreers, private conversations, connections with neo-nazi movements. Nevertheless, this public discourse is of importance : even if it is a lie, it shows that contemprary institutional far-right leaders believe that lie is necessary. It is something, because that contradictory relationship with historical fascism is still a barrier, something that thwarts part of instant murderous pratices. The French National Front doesn’t explicitly launches his troops into street progroms, whereas the Greek Golden Dawn Party, which didn’t deny its links with national socialism and fascism, assumed those acts. Other example : the National Front doesn’t overtly shoulder negationnist discourses on the Holocaust, but on the contrary pretends to be on the victims’ side.
Nothing like that exists in the murederous White Community. The young killers’ one. With some irony, Tarrant explained that he was not a neo-nazi, because national-socialism wasn’t possible today. And it is absolutely necessary to take seriously the new neo-fascist global community’s humour and irony. Tarrant didn’t say national-socialism wasn’t desirable, he said it was impossible today. But not as a goal, not as a racist and genocidal social project, not as an organized framework, like a party and army to conquer a centralized power.
To grasp what is this actual neo-fascist political movement, we need to understand its primary and essential feature : decentralisation, the absence of someone at the top of the pyramid, and in contrast, the development of thousands of black holes, working as phantom networks. The millions of people frequenting on-line forums and pages and walls where killers learn and grow have no intention to become committed to a conventional movement, because most of them already are committed, to this Phantom movement that launches propanga operations on a large scale. They’re spreading ideologies, rumours, conspiracy theories, like some sort of libertarian ants, taking their picks among the campaigns of organized groups, choosing their medium of information from that dictatorial government or another, from that ideologue or other, thus building their own personal paradigm from different pieces. Their relations with historical fascism has the same apparent volatility: some choose to undertake its crimes and to glorify it, others prefer to refute and relativise those crimes with the most amoral sneer possible.
This « comical » nihilism is in fact constituent of actual neo-fascism, deshumanising past and present victims of genocides or crimes against humanity, turning them into laughing matters, through jokes, or even trick pictures and obvious photo-montage, songs and viral videos. Dieudonne in France was just a trendsetter. Training centers for killers, like those for dictators’ armies, or those that were set up during the Algerian war or by Al Qaeda and Daesh in its beginning for its first killers, are not really useful anymore. The level of deshumanisation that is needed to proceed to mass crime is built collectively, and the killers are the ones who have best learnt this partly self-managed brainwash, that turns the targets of racism and antisemtitism into comical or disgusting insects only worth crushing with delight and laughter. Besides, after each mass killing, forums and millions of facebook walls and twitter profiles from the brown international converts it into an act to be mocked as much as admired or reproduced.
However, it would be a huge mistake to think actual neo-fascism as a sphere of counter-culture, in an adversarial relationship with all traditional forces. This is how this phantom community sees itself. Rebel and absolutely anti-conformist, « roting into isolation bunkers » as a Beruriers Noirs antifascist song goes ; and among all the pretences and reversing of meaning existing in this movement, this one is essential. « Yesterday’s fascism will come back with the face of antifascism », « nazislamism , « feminazism , « national-socialism was a Jewish conspiracy » and many more phrases and neologisms specific to the global universe of the brown international convey that belief. A belief that must be taken very seriously because what drives the killers into action is this suffering, this vision of oneself as a fallen knight in a society that is not appreciative, that doesn’t acknowledge them as warriors of the true Good. Counter to ideologists who are well established in the public life, counter to cynical politicians who are taking power, the young neo-nazis and their supporters, those lost souls obsessed by global internet live their life as if they were real victims. Hence this terrible jealousy of their targets, the victims of racism, sexism, homophobia or antisemitism, victims that are « acknowleded » and because of criticized and denounced.
Of course, the suffering coming from that feeling of political loneliness is illusory. In the real world, their theories and wishes have never been that much put into practices. In the real world, hundreds of thousands of people are left to rot in internment camps, swallowed by the human- crushing mechanisms of the coyly called migratory policy. In the real world, in Poland, there are « No LGBT person allowed » stickers on some shop windows. In the real world antisemitism is soaring and Jewish people are in an insecure situation everywhere in the Western world. And antisemitism is the ideology reconciling in blood the neo-nazi attacking a synagogue and the young jihadist hated by the former. In the real world, the far-right has come to power in the United States, Italy, Poland, Israel, Brazil, Russia and is interacting with other types of fascistic regimes, in Syria or elsewhere.
With this effective seizure of power, relationships between the phantom White community and the far-right more institutionalized forces can be compared to those of a family, where the angry teenager criticizes the food at every meal but still copiously feeds from it. For young killers, as for the movements they are immersed in, traditional far-right is this un-daring parent, this annoying despisesd moderate who is at the same time a role model. It is a source of hope, because the electoral successes of the far-right leaders are seen as a proof that the nation massively agrees with the most radical fraction. In young killers-to-be’s mind, the « white nation » is voting for a more drastic racist offensive than the one actually led by traditional politicians, and when those politicians fail, it is of course because their moderation discourages nations and dulls people’s will. Actually, many of those killers-to-be get mobilised anyway to have a far-right leader elected or to defend him against the rest of the political field. Besides, some of them move to more traditional and institutionalised forms of political commitment, with exaltation or with disenchantment and the feeling of doing the strict minimum.
As for institutional far-right, its relationship with that movement is dual, motivated by their belief in the « necessary pretence » about their true agenda. Froma Trump to Le Pen, they all condemn mass murders… while explaining they are the consequence of what the killers denounce : the Great Replacement. Let’s eradicate migrants, let’s persecute them, let them die, let’s imprison them, let them vanish from our territories, let’s be suspicious of their descendents who don’t belong with Us, let’s challenge the power from « cosmopolitan » Elites who really exist… and while we grant the killers their hopes, but legally, we will prevent them from doing so themselves. This is what’s heard from the lawful far-right, the same one that has been declared by dangerous idiots thinking they are experts « de-demonized » in France for years. To the hallucinated, bloody and self-destructing « I » of the fascist killer answers a perfectly rational in its monstruosity « We » from the integrated and triumphant far-right in the Western world.
So, what is there to say and do ? This is the moment when, after writing pages and pages on the assassin of innocents, a mere twenty four hours after his actions, reservations spring up for an antifascist activist. This is when our own « I » abruptly returns, totally helpless when face to face with the Phantom Community and structured far-right organizations. This is when our reservations need to be told. Don’t we accomplish the killer’s dreams when we speak of him, whereas we should tell the lives of his victims, each of them, especially if we are also, as alien and leftist, the deshumanised target of these assassins ? Should we submit and read a manifesto, once again ?
The answer is yes, because even if they say otherwise, the Killers are not isolated from us by an impassable frontier. And Patrick Crusius, from what he says of himself, even less so. A young man who couldn’t see a future for himself, a stranger in his immediate environment, perceived as totally hostile. A young man denouncing consumerism, unemployment (which he believes he is doomed to), the Earth destruction. A young man so schizophrenic in his political views that he glorifies white civilization while thinking he is the new « native American », that is to say the victim of a genocide perpatrated by this same civilization he defines as perfect before the « invadors » came.
Patrick Crusius is a terrorist and a murderer, and from now on, he will just be that, like Tarrant, like Breivik. He was arrested without getting shot and talks to investigators. For a long very long time, he’ll see himself as having fulfilled his destiny and will not forsake his murderous identity, the same Dylan Roof hasn’t forsaken his and has refused to be denied responsability in his action or be declared mentally ill, after he had perpetrated a bloodbath in a Louisiana Church. The risk of being sentenced to death seemed to him less destructive than being deprived of his crime, which provided him access to Existence.
Bur there is, on the networks of the Community, right now, hundreds of thousands of young, or not so young, people who are not yet Killers, but simply split-in-two, dually socialized beings. On one hand, they are globally organized fascists, in constant contact as never before with thousands of fellow creatures, living most of their emotions and relationships on-line, auxiliary troops for institutional far-right, lost soldiers if you will, but soldiers nonetheless. On the other hand, when they get off-line, they are wandering within capitalism, the destruction of social rights, climate emergency, the anomie prevailing in our societies.
Preventing further bloodbaths requires the rejection of that frontier of deshumanization they want to create. The understanding of how a young hurting westerner transform into a White assassin. There are so many factors it is actually impossible : the on-going propaganda of dictatorial States and traditional politicals forces, this globalized Phanton Community sphere, the international of fascists that doesn’t need supreme leader anymore (or just as meme figures repeated over and over again) and that has with its own theories and own memory a sniggering and cavalier relation.
Nevertheless, we have to try to understand. Never get to deshumanizing or seeing Monsters in them, or in young jihadists. As political activists and efficient terorists, they are responsible and guilty. They are successful fascists. But they are no Strangers to our societies, not them, not the young jihadists. They simply are the acute form of global social and political phenomena that are supported and promoted in our democracies in crisis where leaders like Trump, Orban or Bolsonaro have political plans that kill as much as the Killers, where government pretending to be opposed to far-right enforce policies regarding migrants that could have been those of the most radical parts of the far-right twenty years ago.
Don’t deshumanize the Killers in camouflage pants, don’t de-demonize the far-right in a tie or those copying them.
The only tears we can shed without just being crocodiles are those running for the El Paso and Christchurch victims as for the victims whose killer is’nt the Mediterranean sea but planned migratory policy.
Dedicated to the killer’s victims, including
Sara Esther Regalado
Adolfo Cerros Hernández
Jorge Calvillo García.
Elsa Mendoza de la Mora.
Gloria Irma Márquez
María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe
Ivan Filiberto Manzano
Mario de Alba
All the victims haven’t been identified yet, and some are seriously injured and between life an ddeath. Theur names and their stories are published here among other websites, and the information is updated