by Ivan Dobsky -
The terrorist behind the massacre in Christchurch called his manifesto "The Great Replacement". This was a nod to the book of the same name by Renaud Camus, published in 2012. In his book, Camus claimed that falling birthrates, along with immigration, have created a situation in which white people will be "replaced" within a generation.
The Christchurch killer was taken in by this paranoid vision. He began his manifesto with the words: "It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates". Later on he qualified this: "Mass immigration will disenfranchise us, subvert our nations, destroy our communities... Long before low fertility levels ever could." This is the alt right dictum in a nutshell. Veering ever closer to the absurd, the killer called it "white genocide".
At a gut level it feels wrong to even respond. The Great Replacement theory is malignant twaddle on every level. However, it has duped a lot of people around the world, especially young people, and it has been used to justify a wide range of brutalities. Much as we'd like to, we can't just ignore it. Pardon me if I get a bit sweary -- this is really lurid muck.
Let's start by looking at how the theory applies in Aotearoa/NZ. I'll start from the same source the killer used, the Wikipedia entry here (for those who want a more internationalist response, please check out the two videos below).
The wiki suggests that 74% of kiwis are of "European" descent (more on that later). It also shows that most of our new immigrants come from Britain and Ireland. Looking into the future, the Ministry of Social Development estimates that people of European descent will make up 70% of the population in 2026 (more). I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing -- it's just a true thing. The idea that there is some kind of great replacement going on, and that this needs to be urgently resisted, is nothing short of bullshit.
The killer was very concerned about "us and them", in terms of fertility. However, as the page he refers to shows, fertility rates in Aotearoa/NZ were 2.01% in 2018. That's higher than the fertility rates of China, Russia, the E.U., Japan, Korea (both North and South), Turkey, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Brunei and Qatar.
Granted, this country's fertility rate is lower than that of some African countries (not that we are allowing them into the country anyway). However, that's got nothing to do with goofy concepts of 'race'. To understand what's going on, we need to look at this data in an international context. High fertility rates are most common in under-developed nations. It just so happens that most of these are in sub-Saharan Africa. After all, grinding poverty, high levels of illiteracy and restrictive IMF loan conditions don't make birth control programmes easy. And would you choose contraception over food? So... what do you think happens when people from under-developed countries migrate to wealthy nations? Sure enough, fertility rates fall. As one European study claimed, citing at the example of France: "The fertility behaviour of most groups of descendants of immigrants is converging towards that of French natives." (more)
In other words, the Christchurch killer would have been much better off promoting development funding for Africa.
As for "white genocide", this claim is beyond ridiculous. As we all know (and check if you don't believe me), the majority of genocides have been carried out in Europe, by Europeans, against Europeans (more). The most appalling example, of course, was carried out by the far right. It is astonishing to think that neo-nazis and white supremacists would dare use this word in their propaganda.
In a similar vein, they complain about the racist killing of whites in South Africa. As has been shown time and time again, this whole narrative was quite simply made up (more). And more to the point -- what could be more ironic than racists complaining about the race-based murders in South Africa? South Africa?!
FFS, it's political incorrectness gone mad!
Unfortunately, facts and figures won't help us a jot. As George Lakov has shown, people construct their world view around their values system. If the facts don't fit, well, they must be either ignored or hacked about until they do.
The implicit set of values that underlies Great Replacement theory will not be challenged by rational debate. White supremacists believe at a gut level that there is a deep rift in society between "us and them". It's a viewpoint with roots in fear and anger. Reality will not make it go away. It is like telling a child at bedtime: "don't worry -- there's no such thing as ghosts". All this does is make them think more about ghosts. Similarly, the more the far right thinks about "us and them", the more they create it.
This same mentality set the scene for the greatest crimes against humanity in the 20th century. "Us" (if you're a white person) carried out genocides in Germany, Poland, Greece, the Ukraine, Croatia and Turkey. "Us" gave the world slavery on an industrial level, and chased it up with colonisation. The far right might argue that I am only telling one side of the story here. After all, what about the genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia, Indonesia, Turkey, Bangladesh and Brazil? That is exactly my point! The perpetrators of these crimes see the world in terms of "Us" and "Them".
This mentality is what makes the far right tick (an apt metaphor, if I say so myself!). It led to the killing of 40 million people in the last century. Unless we can grow out of it, as a species, then we can expect many more victims to come.
It only makes sense of you don't think about it
As soon as you start looking at it seriously, the notion of "Us" falls apart. A white world would include characters as diverse as Jacob Rothschild, Karl Marx, Adolph Hitler, Johnny Rotten and Divine. It would include communists, jews, antifa, post-modernists, liberals and internationalists. In Aotearoa/NZ, it would also include most immigrants. And it would include all those kiwis (89%) who are happy to have a neighbour from a different ethnic group (more). In other words, the majority of "Us" want nothing to do with the far right. Their "Us" excludes them.
Out of respect, though, let's look at their "Us" concept some more. In terms of classifications, who's in and who's out? If the notion is based around skin colour then it's just too silly to bother with. A number of African people settled in Europe about 40,000 years ago. Some farmers came along from the Near East, carrying with them TWO genes that led to a mutation: light-coloured skin. No offence to any readers here, but the white race (or, more accurately, the pink race) is just a mutation that gives itself airs.
Citing ethnicity as a basis for "Us" is even sillier. "European" is not an ethnicity. It's as simple as that. The people of Europe do not share "a common national or cultural tradition" (Stats NZ definition). Quite the opposite: they have fought each other very long and very hard to prevent that from happening. For the same reason, words like "Asian" and "African" do not represent ethnicities.
Census trends are interesting in this regard. The number of people who identify solely as "European" represents 0.7% of the population. It's a number that has declined rapidly (down from 2.4% in 2001). Rather, the largest group by far chooses to identify as "New Zealand European". This is not because they want to retain the word European in there -- there's no option on the census form to get rid of the word ("New Zealander" and "Pākehā" were removed from the form). We can only conclude that most pākehā think of themselves as "New Zealanders". And just to confuse the matter further, a growing number of "Us" choose to identify as two or more ethnicities.
If it's not about skin colour or ethnicity, then perhaps the far right's notion of "Us" refers to some idea of "race"? That shouldn't surprise us.... it was the dominant theme of colonisation. But that way of thinking was totally discredited yonks ago. Not by libtards and cucks, but by science. The whole concept of biological race passed away in the 1950s, after theory after theory had been falsified.
National Geographic put it more bluntly: "There’s no scientific basis for race—it's a made-up label" (more). In 2016 a survey of thousands of anthropologists in the U.S. looked at views on race and genetics. The group, which included both cultural and biological anthropologists, again expressed a consensus that biological race does not exist (more).
It is a strange paradox: race does not exist but racism does.
Last chance for the far right: perhaps their notion of "Us" is based upon phenotype. I had to put this in here because that's what the Christchurch killer reckoned. Take a good look at the science and theory around phenomes and genomes. I challenge anybody to explain what the hell he was talking about!
So, "us" cannot be meaningfully based on race, nationality, skin colour, phenome or ethnicity. So what the hell are the white supremacists talking about? When it comes down to it, I think we can only conclude that the "Us" they're referring to is themselves. The far right itself. To them, everybody else in the world is either an enemy or a traitor.
You know, the more I think about it the more I regret that the Great Replacement theory isn't true. I'd trade immigrants for racists any day.
Now check out the videos below for a more international perspective on the same questions.