28 August 2020

Chief Reporter

Brenton Tarrant & The F Word. The Swastika In The Room

All of the media, judicial, and political comment on Brenton Tarrant, mass murderer and terrorist, talked about his ideology.

But what is it? "Racist", "far Right", "Islamophobe". All correct as far as they go but something is missing. The F word. Fascism.

This word tends to get bandied about loosely and/or is regarded as a historical curiosity from 80 years ago that is mentioned annually on Anzac Day.

But Tarrant defined himself as a fascist, in both his "manifesto" and his livestreaming of his atrocity. He was radicalised in the online world of Australian and international fascists. His extensive international travels touched base with global fascist groups. He referenced Nazis and fascists in his written "justification".

Fascism is foreign in every sense of the word and thus of great interest to the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA). The ideological essence of fascism is the physical extermination of those decreed to be The Other. That defines Tarrant to a T.

His "manifesto" is banned in New Zealand, so an outside perspective is invaluable.

We recommend Jeff Sparrow's excellent short book "Fascists Among Us: Online Hate And The Christchurch Massacre" (see the review below by Jeremy Agar, published in Foreign Control Watchdog 154, August 2020). It was published in Australia in 2019 but was not legally available in New Zealand until after Tarrant pleaded guilty, in March 2020 (even getting the book from overseas during Level 4 lockdown was an adventure in itself).

Sparrow never names Tarrant, referring to him throughout as Person X.

Here is a key quote from Jeremy's review:

"The problem is not that conventional discussion might give too much information about (in this case, Australian) fascists but that it gives too little. Sparrow rejects euphemisms that depict them as 'far Right' or 'nationalist' (some people use 'far Left' to denote people seeking social justice or a clean environment). The more accurate term is the one Person X accurately deploys: they are fascists'".

So, let's call Tarrant what he calls himself: Mass murderer. Terrorist. Fascist.

Fascism is as much a deadly virus as the one currently confronting New Zealand and the rest of the world. And it needs to be dealt with by the same New Zealand approach - not "living with it", "control" or "mitigation".


Murray Horton


Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa,
P.O. Box 2258