Introduction by LO:
Rather than a right-wing conspiracy theory, the Great Replacement “theory” is – most of all – another example of Philosophy, as a Belief system (eg, my blogs of 2015 Black Twitter versus White Supremacy, and of 2016 White supremacy-2),
The development stages in our society seem to follow this order:
- Collective development stages:
- Beliefs (see my blogs on Needs, Wants & Beliefs);
- Individual development stages:
What is the “Great Replacement” right-wing conspiracy theory? (The Economist)
The Economist subtitle: And why has it spread to mainstream politics?
Date: 16 May 2022
“IN “THE GREAT GATSBY”, Tom Buchanan, a boorish plutocrat, recounts what he learned from a book called “The Rise of the Coloured Empires”, by a man called “Goddard”. “It’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it,” says Buchanan. “The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged.” F. Scott Fitzgerald was parodying, just about, a book called “The Rising Tide of Colour against White World-Supremacy” by Lothrop Stoddard. Stoddard was admired by Adolf Hitler. He argued that the “Nordic race” that he held responsible for all world progress was being outbred by darker-skinned, supposedly inferior types. In Fitzgerald’s novel, Buchanan’s support for Goddard is a sign that he is a stupid, dislikeable man.
Almost a century later, the shooting of 13 people, 11 of them black, at a supermarket in Buffalo, a city in upstate New York on May 14th, points to the continuing popularity of such racist ideas. The suspect, Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old who streamed his massacre on Twitch, a gaming website, had apparently published a 180-page document online explaining his motivations. Much of it was copied directly from a similar “manifesto” written by the man who went on a killing spree in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019. In essence, it argued that there is an international Jewish conspiracy to engineer the migration of non-white people to historically white countries in an attempt to “replace” whites with a more pliant, racially inferior population. This is known as the “Great Replacement” theory.
The document suggests that Mr Gendron got his ideas by browsing 4chan, a message-board site which for years has incubated far-right conspiracy theories (QAnon, which holds that Donald Trump is fighting a paedophile cabal that secretly runs the world, originated there). But the Great Replacement theory has a much longer pedigree. Having begun with books like Stoddard’s over a century ago, it took its latest form in one written by Renaud Camus, a French writer. In 2011 he argued that Muslims were being brought into France as part of a “genocide by substitution”. Mr Camus’s version is not explicitly anti-Semitic, instead blaming “replacist elites”. But, for conspiracy theorists, it is easy enough to jump from that to a sinister cabal of Jews.
Such ideas are spreading beyond extremist websites like 4chan to the broadcast media and mainstream politics. Tucker Carlson, a powerful Fox News host, has argued that Joe Biden and other Democratic politicians want to replace Americans with “more obedient voters from the third world”. J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for the Senate in Ohio, has claimed that Mr Biden is “intentional” in encouraging Mexican traffickers to bring fentanyl, a powerful opiate, to America in order to kill Donald Trump’s voters. In France Eric Zemmour, a failed presidential candidate, said that “an Islamic civilisation is replacing a people from a Christian, Greco-Roman civilisation”. These ideas are nonsense. But as their persistence shows, they are powerful. And in America, the people who believe them all too often have access to guns.”