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New Zealand:
The Criminalization of Dissent

[1]

The “March for Love” in Auckland on March 23.

3,955 words

New Zealand is in a state of mass hysteria in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings, which even a few mainstream media pundits are starting to question, and some are calling for calm reason. A few honest liberals are also questioning the demand for the introduction of “hate speech laws.” Hypocrisy and unreason have flooded New Zealand more so than the voices of calm, however, as there is a large amount of political mileage that can be made.

This has made some strange bedfellows, as imams have shared platforms with Trotskyites and “rainbow socialists” in condemning the bogeyman of “white supremacy” and “Right-wing extremism” as a “global threat to mankind,” in the view of one such imam. What then do Trotskyites, liberals, and “rainbow socialists” on the one hand, and Muslims on the other, really make of one another? The doctrines are incompatible, but hypocrisy submerges the differences. The slogan “we are one; they are us,” that has become as pervasive as something out of Mao’s Little Red Book during the Cultural Revolution, has become a mantra to prove one’s commitment to the totalitarian atmosphere of liberal dogma. Cynical politicization of the tragedy is the unifying factor. Any who are reticent are looked on not merely as heretics, but as potential murderers. The atmosphere makes the dreaded “McCarthyism” of Left-liberal nightmares pale in comparison. Anyone critical of multiculturalism and issues such as the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration is fair game. The term “Alt Right” is bandied about in association with “white supremacy,” Donald Trump, Viktor Orbán, ad infinitum, and into the center of this ever-expanding hit-list has been placed the Australian gunman, Brenton Tarrant.

Heirs of Robespierre

Analyzing two articles – “The ‘growing’ white nationalist group with a ‘harmful and violent’ ideology [2]” and “White nationalists ‘will re-emerge’ after falling silent over Christchurch mosque shootings [3]” by Dominion Post reporter Thomas Manch – is instructive as to the mind-set of liberal totalitarians who perhaps aspire to become Robespierre’s heirs.

Manch focuses on the Identitarian youth group, the Dominion Movement (DM), which I know something about. Dominion Movement recently celebrated its first year, when dozens of delegates from around New Zealand gathered for a convention and social. They were far removed from the stereotype portrayed by Manch and others. However, DM has withdrawn and apparently gone into “hiatus” because they could foresee from the first day that the atmosphere engendered by the Christchurch shootings would make an already precarious position as Identitarians impossible, and perhaps even dangerous, given the inflammatory language of journalists, politicians, and academics. Manch’s articles indicate the extent to which those in privileged positions will go to impose conformity by taking advantage of the hysteria.

Both articles begin by lauding a so-called “peace rally” at Auckland, organized by a group founded to oppose any expression of Right-wing opinions: “Love Aotearoa, Hate Racism.” This outfit seems to be focused on “gay socialists,” and the merchandise they sell includes rainbow-colored clenched-first t-shirts. Other groups which organized the event included Socialist Aotearoa, Unite, and Organise Aotearoa; the first is a Trotskyite organization, the second a union founded by Communists, and the third an undefined Communist organization. That an imam was willing to share a platform with such groups indicates the level of hypocrisy and the cynical exploitation of the deaths of fifty Muslims for political agendas that is occurring among those whose beliefs are antithetical. Nothing is ever said, however, about these extreme Left-wing connections. The Auckland “peace rally” was an anti-white hatefest, with Maori spokespersons using the opportunity to condemn “colonialism.” It was so politicized that Muslims and liberals walked out in disgust, and there has even been some mainstream criticism [4].

Tarred with the same brush

According to Manch, “The alleged Christchurch mosque shooter outlined his motivation in a manifesto that’s now banned. His racist views are aligned with those espoused by a group of young white supremacists who have, until now, openly campaigned against so-called ‘immigrant masses’.”[1] [5] The allusion is to the Dominion Movement, and nothing within the first sentence is a legitimate description of it. If white identity implies “white supremacy,” then any form of “identity politics” implies a xenophobic viewpoint, whether based on ethnicity or gender. However, the appellation of “supremacy” is only applicable to “white identity.” This is based on the doctrine that only white people can be “racist.”

The association of Tarrant’s views with those of DM aims to show an ideological continuum that leads to violence. Indeed, the headline describes the ideology as “harmful and violent”: “A leading member of the group identified by Stuff in some of its earliest published material, hung up when contacted last week and has not responded to further requests for an interview.”[2] [6] Given the hysteria and the attempts to vilify anyone with Right-wing views, the reporter’s attempt to “out” a member of DM is itself an act of dangerous provocation and intimidation. If the young DM member had been identified and targeted, would Manch have been held accountable for provoking violence? Of course not. The news media is not accountable. As all members of DM knew, nothing could be gained by communicating with reporters, and Manch’s articles confirm that. They decided this policy from the start.

But while the group publicly opposes violence and illegal activity, experts warn its white supremacist politics are inherently harmful. Professor Greg Barton, chair of global Islamic politics at Australia’s Deakin University, says the group’s material follows the same European identitarian ideology it appears motivated the Christchurch mosque shooting suspect. “They don’t want to project themselves as being white supremacists but, of course, when you dig deeper that’s what you get,” Barton says.[3] [7]

Barton is using the same rationale as Islamophobes. Let us put it in those terms, using Barton’s phraseology:

But while the Islamic Federation publicly opposes violence and illegal activity, experts warn its Qur’anic beliefs are inherently harmful. The Federation’s material follows the same ideology that appears to motivate the Islamic State. They don’t want to project themselves as being terrorist sympathizers but, of course, when you dig deeper, that’s what you get.

Professor Barton’s likely assumption is that most New Zealand readers will not know what “European identitarian ideology” is, and will assume that an academic is trustworthy. The average New Zealander will not know that the youth movement, Generation Identity, is a revolt against the hedonism, puerility, and consumer rootlessness of the 1968 revolution. Because it is a European phenomenon, it is labelled “white supremacy,” because such a response does not require any depth of analysis, even from within the hallowed hallways of academia. The description is intellectually lazy, but perhaps also better explained as easily fulfilling a political agenda. Professor Barton’s comment about “when you dig deeper” is precisely what will not be undertaken by liberal journalists or academics.

The political activist scene in New Zealand is small, which leads Barton to believe the suspect would have known of the “Dominion Movement”. “Given he’s been around [New Zealand] the last [two] years, I’m sure this is something the authorities are following up.[4] [8]

“Bugger this”

Professor Barton is here being as reckless as Mr. Manch. Both are attempting to criminalize a group of young people, possibly with dire consequences. There is no reason to suppose that Tarrant had any contact with DM. The organization vetted its contacts rather well, and eschewed anyone with sociopathic tendencies.

“You would expect a group that’s operating above ground, at least until recently, would by definition profess to be non-violent; that’s part of the challenge for the authorities. They profess to be standing up for victims, they see themselves as victims of a grand conspiracy . . . but of course you then have off-shoots going off and doing violent things. That’s part of the challenge for authorities is to spot somebody who says, ‘bugger this waiting around . . . I’m going to go do something’.”[5] [9]

Again, applying an Islamophobic critique and using Professor Barton’s rationale:

You would expect the Islamic Federation would by definition profess to be non-violent; that’s part of the challenge for the authorities. They profess to be standing up for victims, they see themselves as victims of a grand white supremacist conspiracy . . . but of course you then have off-shoots going off and doing violent things. That’s part of the challenge for authorities is to spot somebody who says

التافه هذا في انتظار … أنا ذاهب للقيام بشيء

What justification does Professor Barton have for assuming that every such group is latently violent, and that any claim to non-violence is nothing but a façade? He asserts an implication that all who profess Rightist views are paranoid types who believe they are victims of a “grand conspiracy.” Professor Barton should have stuck with Islamic studies. Ironically, Muslims, more than any other group, are often stereotyped as being prone to conspiratorial beliefs.[6] [10]

Yes, the young chaps at DM did say, “Bugger this waiting around . . . I’m going to go do something”; they educated themselves; wrote articles at a scholarly standard; trained physically; tramped, camped, and cleaned beaches; removed graffiti; and put up posters and stickers. Their focus was on self-development on the premise that a healthier society starts with the will of the individual. Their raison d’etre was to get young people motivated to transcend the liberal-consumer society and reach for values from out of their own heritage, while liberating themselves from the induced guilt of “colonialism.”

Naturally, Mr. Manch and Professor Barton see a nefarious façade in all of this; a violent latency inherent in the ideology. “‘The group’s website, closed to those without a log-in on March 15, initially displayed a message saying it in no way condoned the attack, would cease operations immediately, and never ‘had any communication or association with the perpetrator’.”[7] [11] The first page of the DM Website from the start had a permanent message, and a warning:

Disclaimer: We do not condone or promote violence of any kind. Anyone promoting violence or illegal activities of any kind will be promptly removed. We seek change through education and self-improvement.

But it was just part of a cunning plan, to promote violence by claiming to eschew violence. Maybe it was being dialectical?

Eco-fascist

One might begin to suspect that Mr. Manch and Professor Barton are seeing a “grand conspiracy”:

The dedication to environmentalism and personal betterment is strongly reminiscent of views expressed in the Christchurch shooting suspect’s manifesto. The suspect described himself as a [sic] eco-fascist [12], was said to have obsessively worked out at a Dunedin gym, and encouraged violence against drug dealers.[8] [13]

Here, at least, I must concede that Mr. Manch has finally provided some material that really is plausible. Not only did DM share Tarrant’s horrendous views on politics, but they had a common interest in physical fitness, “personal betterment,” and a clean environment. To paraphrase Professor Barton, “part of the challenge for authorities is to spot” those who attend gym and tidy up beaches. Quite often, school children are sent to clean rubbish from the beaches. This implies a sinister conspiracy to inculcate extreme Rightist, white supremacist ideas in children. After all, Hitler’s Germany enacted pioneering environmental laws. There might also be something suspicious about vegetarians, given the Führer’s diet. Already, New Zealand has been subjected to Nazi health laws, when the Labour government banned smoking in public places: pure Hitlerism, and indeed one Member of Parliament, Peter Dunne, commented at the time that they were “health Nazis.” As for the Labour government’s alliance with the Green Party, what are we to make of that? The creeping menace of “eco-fascism” is occurring at the highest echelons of government.

The security intelligence agencies which, according to Prime Minster Jacinda Adern, the “princess of world peace” and future General Secretary of the UNO, now have a special interest in the Right, should prepare a watch list that includes:

These categories are each indicative of latent fascism, and hence of potential terrorism.

They have been active on the website of prominent white nationalist group the National Front, and have earned the support of a senior figurehead of New Zealand’s nationalist movement.[9] [14]

DM was not associated with the NZ National Front (NF), and had no wish to be; this is simply a fact. They were not “active” on the NF Website. This is pure bunk. As it happens, the NF went into liquidation in the wake of the mosque shootings. The NF had no policy, ideology, organization, or strategy. It existed primarily as a Website critical of immigration, and frankly, many of its forum’s comments were banal. The leader is a man of particular intelligence and capability, but the organization he worked with had no potential. I posted a couple of times within the past few years on the NF Website to criticize the Islamophobia that was reminiscent of the Zionist-funded Tommy Robinson type, and to try and point out that immigration is a symptom, not a cause, and the focus needs to be on causes.

By contrast, while DM was critical of certain immigration policies, I do not recall any member ever expressing Islamophobic views. As for having “earned the support of a senior figurehead of New Zealand’s nationalist movement,” I guess that is myself, although I find the description meaningless. “Senior figurehead of the nationalist movement” . . . what does it even mean?

“Imagined”

Summoning another sociologist, Mr. Manch quotes Ben Elley of Independent Research Solutions, a New Zealand organization, stating that:

. . . the Dominion Movement presents a “nice face” similar to that seen in public-facing alt-right chapters abroad. They’re using a lot of the language about whiteness and the white state that other alt-right groups that are into ethno-states do. For them it’s not so much about white supremacy, it’s about getting back what’s lost or what’s been taken from them. The loss that they’re feeling is either imagined, or not something that they deserve to take back.[10] [15]

At least Mr. Elley concedes that “white supremacy” is a meaningless description, although the reference to DM promoting a “white ethnostate” is yet another assumption. An appreciation for one’s heritage is evidently a matter only for every non-white, and whites do not deserve any such sense of identity. They are best left as rootless consumers.

Elley says such groups attract young white men who feel disenfranchised by millennial quandaries: the global financial crisis, worsening economic and employment prospects, and widening inequality in western nations. The group’s material frequently refers to democracy, consumerism and international finance as a threat.[11] [16]

Are we to suppose that such concerns must only be raised by Leftists, who have had over a century to offer solutions and have failed? Shall we say that all is well with the financial, economic, and social systems? At least Mr. Elley indicates that DM, unlike the NF and other so-called far Right groups in New Zealand, was getting to root causes: “democracy, consumerism and international finance.” Evidently, analysis as to causes is inherently “fascist,” because it might lead to demands for a new banking system, like that of Hitler’s Germany or the 1935 New Zealand Labour government; and we all know where that leads to  . . . prosperity, reconstruction, and full employment.

As with the Christchurch shooting suspect, the group is preoccupied with a claimed white genocide. Members of the group held a “Save the Boer” banner at an All Blacks v South Africa match in Wellington, referring to a false far-right claim that white Afrikaner farmers are being systematically murdered.[12] [17]

Mr. Manch believes that all is fine for the Afrikaner; that the “Rainbow Nation” is too noble to entertain such thoughts as dispossessing Afrikaner farmers through murder, rape, and mutilation, and that such notions are part of a “far Right” conspiracy of fake news; that Afrikaners are uprooting from their ancestral lands and relocating across the world because they are delusional about what is happening around them; and that, like the DM chaps, they are “imagining” their plight.

Elley says the group’s insistence on non-violence means it can escape any accusation of being terrorists. But those politics have outcomes that are awful, but they’d like to be able to gloss over that. “What they’re talking about is actually incredibly harmful and violent.”[13] [18]

Here again we have the criminalization and demonization of an ideology to justify the suppression of dissident views: that the Right is intrinsically violent. T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, Edmund Burke, Carl Jung, Konrad Lorenz, Giacomo Puccini . . . all were repressed sociopaths. If the Right’s ideology is intrinsically violent, and those such as DM are heirs to a violent ideology, then can we also state that the Labour Party is the heir of Bolshevism through Marx, or that liberalism is the heir of Jacobinism and the Committee on Public Safety? Can we also say that the great myth of universal equality had been the most murderous ideology ever conceived? Can we say that those who are now trying to foment a witch-hunt by criminalizing dissidence are acting from ideological antecedents in Bolshevism and Jacobinism? Could we not say that it has long been the extreme Left across the world, including New Zealand, that has openly demanded the “smashing” of any Rightist manifestation through violence, and has frequently done so?

Oh God, not him again

No condemnation of the Right in New Zealand, so far as it can be said to exist, would be complete without featuring another sociologist, Dr. Paul Spoonley. His claim to expertise is that he wrote a thesis on the “extreme Right” in New Zealand, which was published as a book in 1987.[14] [19] Any subsequent research of substance seems elusive. However, Dr. Spoonley has spent over thirty years reminding New Zealanders through the news media of the ever-present threat of the “extreme Right.” If an obscure Rightist grouplet wanted a mention in the media, they’d send Spoonley some leaflets. In the wake of the Christchurch shootings, Dr. Spoonley was even able to refer to a grand total of three skinhead killings to prove that his warnings are not delusional or self-serving:[15] [20]

Massey University professor Dr Paul Spoonley said the Dominion Movement was among other nationalist groups that had fallen silent – but they would not disappear. “They will reappear, and they might not be called the Dominion Movement. We really do need agencies and the media and researchers like myself to be monitoring these groups.”[16] [21]

New Zealanders need Dr. Spoonley to keep them safe from ever-present, lurking far Right killers.

Spoonley said he maintained a map of about 70 far-right organisations operating in New Zealand during the 1980s and 1990s, watching them emerge and disband. “What’s frustrating is that, even though the organisation might have gone, the people who were members are still around. That’s the difficulty tracking the activists.” He said there were usually about 250 far-right activists in New Zealand, often young, working-class men who felt disengaged and disempowered and longed for a “racial nirvana.”[17] [22]

Dr. Spoonley presented himself to Rightists during the 1980s as “an academic with no axe to grind” (sic). I would certainly be intrigued to know the character of the “70 far-right organisations operating in NZ during the 1980s and 1990s,” as I somehow managed to miss all that, and suspect that Dr. Spoonley’s definition of “far Right” is outlandishly broad in order to get the numbers up. It certainly would be frustrating “tracking the activists” from that era, because most of them were Second World War veterans (Sergeant Keen, Colonel Elderton, Major Wilcox, Cliff Emeny) who have long since died; and one must add Ian Bing, a thoroughgoing Spenglerian and New Zealand’s first Chinese hotelier, who was prone to using the by-line “White man, think again!” in his journal Perspective 21st Century. Good luck with trying to keep track of them. For the rest of Dr. Spoonley’s comment, it is just plain nonsense: “250 disempowered young men wanting a racial nirvana”; again, I missed that one. But one must keep up the pretense, so that the media and security authorities “need researchers like Spoonley.”

“The numbers are not important – it only takes one. So, we should be concerned, no matter how small or large they are. We absolutely ought to know about them, because we need to do something about them.”[18] [23]

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here

Any form of dissent must be marginalized and suppressed. Something must be done about the ever-present threat. “They’re no different than any other gang in New Zealand, the gangs exist as a sort of alternative set of loyalties and values for people who feel marginalised,” states Dr. Spoonley.[19] [24]

Since the Mongrel Mob provided security at the “peace rallies,” can we now define those gangs as being part of the far-Left? Skinheads, according to Dr. Spoonley, are the mainstay of the far Right, and so on that basis he is able to trot out a few violent actions to associate with the Right. Gangs such as Black Power, Mongrel Mob, and Killer Bees are the non-white youth subculture equivalent of skinheads; hence, might we say these are “far Left,” or at least “brown supremacists,” whose record of rapes, murders, beatings, and drug-peddling over decades do not compare with the relatively low rate of sociopathology among skinheads? Moreover, DM was adamant, without compromise, in not having anything whatever to do with skinheads on any basis, and held them in contempt.

Call political dissent a “gang” and you have justification for suppression, as in a Communist state. Marginalization or “alienation” is also a significant part of the Marxist analysis of capitalism, but where the Rightist contends that multiculturalism and globalization lead to “marginalization,” this becomes beyond the pale of debate.

The inherent character of liberalism is self-destructive, and the only means of maintaining such a regime is through repression. Repression was undertaken in the name of “liberty, equality, fraternity” and of the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” and now repression is advocated under a new slogan in the aftermath of the Christchurch shootings: “We are one.” What Chinese, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Maori, Samoan, or Tongan thinks “we are one”? It is only befuddled whites who have any such notion, and those who don’t are “white supremacist” sociopaths.

Ironically, what remains of the so-called “Right” in New Zealand are groups that are “Islamophobic,” such as Right Minds – NZ and Islamic State Watch – NZ, but so far from being “far Right,” these are liberal capitalists and pro-Israel, being of the Zionist-funded Tommy Robinson type. But they have largely remained under the radar of the media and the likes of Spoonley, Manch, Elley, and Barton. A scrutiny of groups that actually are devoted to opposing what they call “Islamization,” such as Robinson and Geert Wilders in The Netherlands, would indicate that the worldwide campaign is being funded by Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum and other Zionist “neocons” far removed from the actual “Alt Right” – but those such as Spoonley, who are close to the Jewish community, would not want to go there.

Notes

[1] [25] Thomas Manch, “The ‘growing’ white nationalist group with a ‘harmful and violent’ ideology [2],” Stuff, March 26, 2019.

[2] [26] Ibid.

[3] [27] Ibid.

[4] [28] Ibid.

[5] [29] Ibid.

[6] [30] Jan-Willem van Prooijen, et al., “Increased conspiracy beliefs among ethnic and Muslim minorities,” Applied Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 3w2, No. 5, September/October 2018, pp. 661-667; and Medhi Hasan, “Inside jobs and Israeli stooges: why is the Muslim world in thrall to conspiracy theories [31],” New Statesman America, September 5, 2014.

[7] [32] Manch, “The ‘growing’ white nationalist group,” op. cit.

[8] [33] Ibid.

[9] [34] Ibid.

[10] [35] Ibid.

[11] [36] Ibid.

[12] [37] Ibid.

[13] [38] Ibid.

[14] [39] Paul Spoonley, The Politics of Nostalgia (Palmerston North, NZ: Dunmore Press, 1987).

[15] [40] Q&A Interview [41], TVNZ, March 19, 2019.

[16] [42] Thomas Manch, “White Nationalists ‘will re-emerge’ after falling silent over Christchurch mosque shootings [3],” Stuff, March 26, 2019.

[17] [43] Ibid.

[18] [44] Ibid.

[19] [45] Ibid.