White Nationalist Terrorism
“I have read the writings of Dylan Roof and many others, but only really took true inspiration from Knight Justiciar Breivik,” says Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old white Australian terrorist who gunned down 50 Muslims in New Zealand on March 15, 2019.
Roof is the white man who gunned down nine black Christians in South Carolina on June 17, 2015. Anders Breivik (who refers to himself as “Knight Justiciar,” which basically means a knight who administers justice) is the white man who murdered 69 Norwegians (mostly children) at the island of Utøya after killing eight people in a bombing of government buildings in Oslo, Norway on July 22, 2011. Including Tarrant, all three terrorists wrote manifestos insisting that white people are facing a cataclysmic replacement by non-white people which requires them to organize to resist the supposed onslaught on white society.
All three men — to one degree of linguistic refinement or another — identified the cause of this alleged apocalypse as an increasingly egalitarian global perspective which proposes that people of all races and religions can, and should, live peaceably in a multicultural society.
“As an American, we are taught to accept living in the melting pot,” complained Roof. He was horrified that this teaching coincides with a conclusion that “black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants.” Yet, he argues, white people “are, in fact, superior” to all these others. Claiming that “white culture is world culture” and “has been adopted by everyone in the world,” he insisted there is a need to “protect the white race” from pollution by other races or cultures.
Roof, who was only 22 when he penned his 5-page manifesto, apparently didn’t realize the idea he was railing against is known as“multiculturalism” — the idea that a peaceful society can accommodate people who live life in radically different ways.
Breivik, who was 32 when he waged his campaign of terror in Norway, knew enough to identify his target as multiculturalism. He hated it. His chief bogeyman, though, was not black people but Islam. He spoke of his “fight against multiculturalism and the Islamisation of Europe.” Echoing Breivik, Tarrant also denounced the idea of “a multicultural, egalitarian nation” and expressed his fear that Islam (a religion currently followed by just over one percent of New Zealanders and less than three percent in his native Australia) “will grow to replace other peoples and faiths.”
The Ideological Framework
These self-anointed crusaders for an ethno-nationalist vision of a “pure” society — a vision which, in Breivik’s words, focuses on “saving the racially distinctive character of the Aryans” — didn’t materialize from a void. These Aryan storm troopers were created by a long line of fear-mongering polemicists whose words are being put into action. While shadowy internet forums are often accused of fostering white nationalist violence (which they do), the terrorists are bred and mentally groomed by a far more developed ideological framework.
A prime example is Breivik, whose 1,500 page manifesto contains not only his own writings but also extensive excerpts from books and copies of newspaper articles by far-right writers who mirrored his fear and hatred of multiculturalism.
American author Robert Spencer, for instance, received over 60 mentions in Breivik’s manifesto. The founder of “Jihad Watch,” he was banned from entering the United Kingdom in 2014 because of his remarks about Islam. As quoted by Breivik, Spencer claims that Islam “mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose of establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society” and that this is the goal of “millions of Muslims in the West and around the world.”
While Breivik deeply admired Spencer, he was far more fascinated by Norwegian blogger Peder Jensen, who writes under the pseudonym “Fjordman” — often for The Brussels Journal.
The Brussels Journal was founded in 2005 by Belgian journalist Paul Beliën. One of its central themes is that multiculturalism is an existential threat to Western society. “Europe willingly opened the door to the Muslims, not just by allowing large-scale immigration on an unprecedented level, but also by encouraging the newcomers to retain their culture,” asserts Beliën (as quoted by Breivik). He concludes, “It is possible to share the same culture with someone from a different race, but not with someone from a fundamentally different religion.”
Jensen repeats the same theme, declaring, “Multiculturalism is not about tolerance or diversity. It is an anti-Western hate ideology designed to dismantle Western civilization.” In his mind, the greatest threat posed by multiculturalism is that, as Beliën phrased it, it has “opened the door to the Muslims.” Jensen views opening that door as suicidal because, he says, “Islam cannot be reformed or reconciled with our way of life.” He sees a dormant terrorist inside every Muslim. “There is no moderate Islam,” he says. “There can be moderate Muslims, but they can turn into Jihadists tomorrow or they can lie to deceive the infidels, which is widely practiced in Islam. There is no way for us to know.”
Thus, as quoted by Breivik, Jensen insists on dealing with Islam through “separation and containment.” Such terms are vague and open to broad interpretation. Does “separation” mean segregating Muslims in ghettos or establishing Jim Crow style segregation laws? Does “containment” mean restriction of civic rights or establishment of concentration camps? Such phrases can, in fact, be interpreted as calls for more immediate and aggressive action.
Perhaps that is exactly what Jensen wants. He suggests the West should look to the East for examples of how to treat Muslims. “If we had the humility to listen to the advice of the Hindus of India or even our Christian cousins in south-eastern Europe, we wouldn’t be in as much trouble as we are now,” he writes.
South-eastern Europe is synonymous with the Balkans. The region, once dominated by the now defunct country of Yugoslavia, gave the world the term “Balkanization,” which describes the breakup of a larger region into smaller, mutually hostile groups. That process was notably illustrated by the Yugoslav Wars of 1991 to 2001.
The “Christian cousins” to which Jensen refers are the Eastern Orthodox Christian Serbs, the largest of three major ethnic groups in former Yugoslavia. While all three groups, including the Roman Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosniaks, committed atrocities against each other during the decade of conflict, Serbian nationalists notoriously engaged in ethnic cleansing of Croats and Bosniaks from 1992 to 1995.
In 1995, Serbs staged a genocide of Bosniaks under the orders of Radovan Karadžić, who was then president of the newly-formed Serbian Republic. The killings, centered in the town of Srebrenica, claimed the lives of nearly 8,400 Bosniak men and boys at the hands of Karadžić’s Serbian forces. The victims were bound, blindfolded, lined up, shot, and buried in mass graves. On March 24, 2016, an international criminal court sentenced Karadžić to 40 years in prison, a sentence which was increased to life on March 20, 2019.
While Tarrant drove to Al-Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand to begin his massacre, live-streaming as he went, he listened to a song called “Karadžić, Lead Your Serbs” (also known as “Serbia Strong”) which ominously declares, “The wolves are coming.” Tarrant’s inspiration, Breivik, listed Karadžić as one of just seven living people he wants to meet. Praising him, Breivik wrote, “For his efforts to rid Serbia of Islam, he will always be considered and remembered as an honorable Crusader and a European war hero.”
Jensen’s reference to “the Hindus of India” is abusively broad, as it’s entirely inaccurate to suggest that all Indian Hindus advise mistreatment of Muslims (just as it’s incorrect to attribute mistreatment of Bosniaks to all Balkan Christians). However, it’s obvious which “Hindus” Jensen means considering that his writings frequently reference fellow Brussels Journal contributor Koenraad Elst, a Belgian Orientalist who is considered an apologist for Hindutva (Hindu nationalism), as well as K.S. Lal, an historian affiliated with the Hindu nationalist paramilitary Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The RSS’s Ideology
“Hindutva” is a term coined by V.D. Savarkar in 1923 (the same year that Adolf Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch tried to seize power in Munich, Germany by marching 2,000 Nazis into the city center). Savarkar developed Hindutva into a religious nationalist political ideology eerily similar to white nationalism. An attorney, he called for the Indian subcontinent to be turned into an ethno-state of Hindus, for Hindus, and only for Hindus. “India must be a Hindu land, reserved for the Hindus,” he wrote. Claiming that being Indian meant being Hindu, he insisted, “We are Indians because we are Hindus and vice versa.” In his mind, all non-Hindus in India (especially, but not only, Muslims) were foreigners who should be treated as a threat to society.
Like Jensen, who claims that Islam cannot be “reconciled with our way of life,” Savarkar stated, “The Moslems remained Moslems first, Moslems last, and Indians never.” Jensen asserts that even “moderate” Muslims “can turn into Jihadists tomorrow,” a sentiment which resonated with Savarkar. He called Muslims “dangerous to our Hindu nation” and insisted that, “We must watch [the Muslim minority] in all its actions with the greatest distrust possible.”
Long before Breivik articulated his vision of a purified Aryan ethno-state, Savarkar called for a final solution to Islam in India. “If we Hindus in India grow stronger, in time these Muslims… will have to play the part of German Jews,” he warned.
In 1925 (the same year that Hitler published Mein Kampf), K.B. Hedgewar formed the RSS with the goal of bringing Savarkar’s vision into reality. Hedgewar, a doctor who insisted on calling the Indian subcontinent “Hindustan,” stated, “The Sangh wants to put in reality the words ‘Hindustan of Hindus.’ Hindustan is a country of Hindus. Like other nations of other people (eg. Germany of Germans), this is a nation of Hindu people.” Convinced that Hindu society faced “daily onslaughts by outsiders,” he declared, “It is to fulfill this duty of protecting the Hindu society that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has come into existence.”
The RSS adopted a uniform of khaki shorts, a white shirt, and a black cap. RSS members began meeting weekly or even daily to train with lathis — bamboo staffs, sometimes bound with metal rings, which are widely used by South Asian police — and learn the doctrines of Hindutva. Only Hindu men were allowed to join.
By 1927, Hedgewar’s mentor and RSS co-founder — a doctor named B.S. Moonje — described the RSS as an institution which could produce “the military regeneration of the Hindus” and unify the people in line with “the idea of fascism.”
When Hedgewar died, a biologist named M.S. Golwalkar replaced him as head of the RSS. Like Savarkar and Hedgewar, Golwalkar believed that being Indian meant being Hindu. So he wrote, “Only the Hindu has been living here as the child of this soil.” Just in case his reader misunderstood his intentions, he also phrased it another way: “We repeat: in Hindustan, the land of the Hindus, lives and should live the Hindu Nation.”
Golwalkar thought that the only true Indian “patriots” were people who aspired to “glorify the Hindu race and Nation,” claiming, “All others are… traitors and enemiesto the National cause.” He called it “treason” for an Indian to convert away from Hinduism, writing, “It is not merely a case of change of faith, but a change even in national identity. What else is it, if not treason, to join the camp of the enemy?”
In 1935, the Nazis began redefining “national identity” in Germany when they passed the Nuremberg Laws, stripping Jews of citizenship and banning relationships between Germans and Jews. This was followed in 1938 by Kristallnacht, the first Nazi pogrom against Jews. Sharing his view on these precursors to the Holocaust, Savarkar stated, “A nation is formed by a majority living therein. What did the Jews do in Germany? They being in minority were driven out.”
In 1939, as the Second World War broke out in Europe with Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland the Nazis invaded Poland, Golwalkar detailed the RSS’s vision for an ethno-state:
“The foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no ideas but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation, and must lose their separate existence to merge into the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment — not even citizen’s rights.”
Declaring that “our Race Spirit has once again roused itself,” he compared this new racial consciousness to that washing over Nazi Germany. “The ancient Race Spirit, which prompted the Germanic tribes to over-run the whole of Europe, has re-risen in modern Germany.”
Denouncing Judaism as “an intolerant faith,” he wrote, “To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here.” He concluded that Germany had set a good example by showing how it was supposedly “impossible” for different “races and cultures” to be “assimilated into one united whole.” Thus, Golwalkar proclaimed the Nazi policy towards the Jews as “a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.”
From the days of Hitler’s first attempted coup in 1923, and throughout his rise to power, Golwalkar, Hedgewar, and Savarkar all drew parallels between their goals and Germany’s.
In 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Norway, and the Netherlands. The Battle of Britain, in which the Nazis tried bombing the United Kingdom into submission, occupied the rest of that year. Despite the ongoing bloodshed, Savarkar (having already praised the Nazis for driving out the Jews) concluded in 1940: “Nazism proved undeniably the savior of Germany under the set of circumstances Germany was placed.”
The Nazis were defeated, but the RSS has metastasized across India, swelling to an estimated six million or more members in the 21st century. From its early days, the group has devoted itself to putting into action the words of hatred which provide its ideological foundation. They have done this with a fervor sometimes even surpassing that of Karadžić’s Serbian death squads.
Although Jensen vaguely praises the Islamophobic advice of “the Hindus of India,” Breivik was much more specific. He praised “the policy of right-wing Hindu nationalism (or Hindutva) which seeks to make the Indian state into a ‘Hindu nation’” and noted that this agenda is promoted by the RSS and its “political arm,” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “They dominate the streets… and often riot and attack Muslims,” he explained.
The RSS does, indeed, dominate the streets.
Stepping to the beat of a marching band, columns of hundreds or even thousands of RSS members regularly parade through the streets of India’s cities, towns, and villages. Neatly uniformed and armed with lathis, they often perform intricate maneuvers. Gathering for special rallies at massive parade grounds, tens of thousands at a time turn out to drill with militaristic rigor. They salute a saffron flag, do yoga, chant slogans, and perform weapons exercises beneath the glare of the blazing hot Indian sun. RSS leaders watching from the high stages invariably stand in front of large — often garlanded — pictures of Golwalkar and Hedgewar.
When the pomp and circumstance ends, the RSS also often (as Breivik noted) attacks Muslims — or other minorities. One of the most horrific (and least explored) incidents was in 1947, when RSS cadres participated in ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Kashmir just two weeks before control of the region was ceded to the newly-formed Republic of India. Figures vary, but historians believe up to 100,000 Muslims were massacred.
The RSS (and its many subsidiaries) has since been linked to many other major incidents of anti-minority violence all across India. These include the 1969 Gujarat Riots (400+ Muslims killed), which occurred a few months after Golwalkar demanded a Hindu Nation at a three-day rally near the state’s capital, Ahmedabad. That was followed by the 1970 Bhiwandi Riots in Maharashtra (190+ Muslims killed), the 1983 Nellie Massacre in Assam (2,200+ Bengali Muslims killed), the 1984 Sikh Genocide in Delhi (3,000+ Sikhs killed), the 1985 Gujarat Riots (hundreds of Muslims killed), the 1987 Meerut Riots in Uttar Pradesh (hundreds of Muslims killed), the 1989 Bhagalpur Riots in Bihar (900+ Muslims killed), the 1992 nationwide riots following the Babri Mosque destruction (2,000+ Muslims killed), the 2002 Gujarat Pogrom (2,000+ Muslims killed), the 2008 Odisha Pogrom (100+ Christians killed), and countless other smaller-scale incidents.
These pogroms, massacres, and riots don’t include hundreds of other incidents of more targeted violence such as assassinations, lynchings, bombings, beatings, and general intimidation.
Such violence led the United Nations to warn in 1997 about the rise of “Hindu extremism” within the ranks of “ultra-nationalist” groups likes the RSS and its political arm, the BJP. Human Rights Watch warned, in 1999, that the RSS was responsible for violence against Christians and again, in 2002, that it was responsible for violence against Muslims. In 2005, the U.S. State Department named the RSS as an “extremist” group “implicated in incidents of violence and discrimination against Christians and Muslims.” In 2007, then U.S. Ambassador to India David Mulford explained that “the traditional muscle power of the BJP has always been the RSS.” In 2018, the CIA classified the RSS as a nationalist political pressure group.
Intersections: White Nationalism and Hindu Nationalism
As the RSS pushes its violent supremacist agenda in India, white supremacy is rising in the West.
An April 2018 report by Tendayi Achiume, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, warned about a massive resurgence of groups which embrace Nazi and neo-Nazi ideology. These groups, she said, “Believe a war between races is imminent and thus seek to train and arm themselves in their quest for victory.” Citing the example of Breivik, she added, “The killer clearly affiliated himself with neo-Nazi ideology, and his gruesome attack, whose victims included many white Norwegians, demonstrates clearly why neo-Nazism is a threat to nations as a whole, and not just to those racial and ethnic groups that are its direct target.”
In August 2018, Achiume further warned that “resurgent nationalist populism” is leading to “the spread and mainstreaming of messages of intolerance that had typically been confined to marginal, extremist platforms.” She cited India as an example. “In India, the election of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been linked to incidents of violence against members of Dalit, Muslim, tribal and Christian communities. Reports document the use of inflammatory remarks by BJP leaders against minority groups, and the rise of vigilantism targeting Muslims and Dalits.”
This wave of extremism caught Anders Breivik’s imagination. Expressing support for “Indian nationalists in general,” Breivik stated: “Our goals are more or less identical.”
Referring to “cultural Marxists” (a term he used interchangeably with “multiculturalists”), he claimed, “Hindu nationalists in general are suffering from the same persecution by the Indian cultural Marxists as their European cousins.” He advised the RSS to “consolidate properly and strike to win.” Although he praised them for dominating the streets, he advised that they spend less time “attacking the Muslims” and instead “actively seek the overthrow of the cultural Marxist government.” In conclusion, he declared, “It is essential that the European and Indian resistance movements learn from each other and cooperate as much as possible.”
Some of the leading white nationalist publishing houses in Europe and America are attempting to do just that, either by distributing books which promote the RSS’s ideology or by actually meeting directly with the RSS and the BJP to discuss collaboration.
One of those is San Francisco-based Counter-Currents Publishing, which claims to represent the North American New Right. Its newest title is The White Nationalist Manifesto. Authors it publishes posthumously include Julius Evola (one title) and Savitri Devi (four titles).
Julius Evola, born in Italy, died in 1974. Active during World War II, he published a magazine from Rome called Blood and Spirit. His writings influenced Mussolini’s doctrine of racism, inspiring an Italian flavored fascism attempting to distinguish itself from Nazism. By 1934 (a year after Hitler seized power in Germany), British historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke reports that Evola was “finding Italian Fascism too compromising” and “began to seek recognition in the Third Reich.”
Evola lived out World War II publishing books and articles through Nazi outlets and working as a recruiter for the Nazi paramilitary Schutzstaffel (SS). Goodrick-Clarke says his “ideal was the Indo-Aryan tradition, where hierarchy, caste, authority, and stateruled supreme over the material aspects of life.” He was enamored with India’s caste system, where everyone was born into an assigned position. Convinced there was an ancient “Aryan conquest of India” he identified with “the Nordic, light-skinned Aryan conquerors of India.”
Savitri Devi, born a French citizen, died in 1982, was cremated, and reportedly had her ashes enshrined beside those of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell. In correspondence with Rockwell, she said she hoped for the day when “a healthy, pure-blooded, racially-conscious, proud, and ruthless Aryan minority would become the sole ruling power in America.”
In 1932 (a year before Hitler seized power), Devi traveled to India, where she wrote and published A Warning to the Hindus. Published just seven years after the RSS was founded, the book’s foreword is by G.D. Savarkar (V.D. Savarkar’s brother), who joined Hedgewar and Moonje as a co-founder of the RSS. In the acknowledgments, Devi credits Moonje as well as V.D. Savarkar as inspirations. Clearly referencing the RSS, she praises “the vast youth movement started by Dr. Moonje” as a “Hindu militia.”
Devi advanced V.D. Savarkar’s thesis of Hindutva — that India is a Hindu Nation, of Hindu people, and only for Hindu people. She claimed that Hindu society “is India itself,” called Hinduism “the national religion of India,” and suggested that Hindus should tell non-Hindus: “We represent India; not you. Therefore India is ours, not yours.” She urged Hindus “to recover, along with their national consciousness, their military virtues of old; to re-become a military race.” The method, she said, “should be the organisation of the young men, in pledge-bound military-like batches, with Hindu nationalism as their only ideal.”
She lived out World War II publishing books and pro-Hitler magazines in India. Devi says she worked as a traveling lecture promoting Hindu nationalism alongside Nazism. “I… had to travel all over Bengal, Bihar, and Assam, lecturing in Bengali mostly in Bengal and Assam, lecturing in Hindi in Bihar,” she explained in 1978. “I was allowed to sprinkle my lectures with other things, especially with quotations from Mein Kampf, as much as I liked.” After the war, she traveled to Germany, where she was arrested and briefly imprisoned for distributing Nazi propaganda.
“Her writings first came to prominence among the American neo-Nazis,” says Goodrick-Clarke. “Such universal Nazism offers a powerful mythic rationale for resistance to colored immigration in the predominantly white nations of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.”
The man responsible for curating Counter-Currents’s catalogue is Book Editor John Morgan, Previously, Morgan was Editor-in-Chief of Budapest-based Arktos Media, which he co-founded with Swedish white nationalist Daniel Friberg in 2009.
Arktos, which claims to represent the European New Right, has published approximately 200 titles. Some of their newest titles include The Real Right Returns, A Fair Hearing: The Alt-Right in the Words of Its Members and Leaders, and Excessive Immigration: And Britain’s Colorful Dystopian Sunset. Other titles include approximately a dozen books by Julius Evola.
The company’s base of operations, from 2010 to 2014, was India.“It was good to be in a place where daily life is still for the most part an expression of the traditional spirit rather than a liberal one,” says Morgan. In early 2014, says Friberg, “I personally had enough of the Third World and decided to move our main operations back to our own civilization, Europe.”
Before leaving India, however, Friberg organized meetings with leaders of the RSS and the BJP to discuss ways they could collaborate.
In October 2013, Arktos reported that Friberg and the company’s Chief Marketing Officer “paid the Hindu Traditional-Conservative party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) an official visit.” They met with Karnataka State BJP General Secretary Arvind Limbavali and Organizing Secretary B.L. Santhosh (who later joined the national party leadership). “Topics discussed included similarities and possibilities of cooperation between traditionalist and conservative movements in Europe and Asia,” reported Arktos. They also talked about “future book projects.”
Morgan wasn’t present at that meeting because, on the same day, he was in Washington, D.C. to speak at the annual conference of the National Policy Institute (NPI). Earlier that year, NPI President Richard Spencer was described by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League as a “leader” in American white supremacist circles. He later rose to infamy for organizing the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA.
In November 2013, Arktos published The Dharma Manifesto by Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (otherwise known as Frank Morales) a white American convert to Hinduism. Morgan, who wrote the foreword, claimed that the book was not promoting “Hindu nationalism,’ or Hindutva as it is known in some quarters in India, which gave rise to political parties and groups in India such as the BJP and the RSS.” The reason, he explained was because, “although the Hindu nationalists are right… the politics they have practiced has been insufficient to bring about any genuine change in Indian society.”
Nevertheless, Morales dwells at length on Hindu nationalism. He asserts that the RSS is “reactionary” when it should be “revolutionary.” He criticizes the group at length, but differs mostly with the tactics rather than the ideology.
“The uniformed paramilitary formations, martial aesthetic, stress on character development, an egalitarian ethos combined with a rigid hierarchical structure, and much of the general patriotic rhetoric of the RSS was directly appropriated from the newly-emerging nationalist movements that were sweeping the European continent during the 1920s,” writes Morales. He criticizes the RSS for having “very few innovative ideas” and not knowing “how to successfully engage in politics either electorally (not until the 1980s) or in terms of mass mobilization (other than by borrowing heavily from the paramilitary structure developed by their European counterparts).”
Detailing a plan of action, Morales suggests that the RSS should “construct an elite political vanguard capable of leading the people by their own spiritual example.” They also need to “develop the philosophical maturity to engage in the nuanced ideological struggle necessary to win power” and “begin the hard work of engaging in real politics in the real world.”
Insisting that the RSS must become “a revolutionary movement,” he presents a 10-point program of course correction for Hindu nationalists who “truly wish to transform their nation of India for the better.” First and foremost, he says the RSS should, “Annihilate the immediate existential threat from Communist terrorists, Islamic Jihadists, and Christian missionaries.” They should then encourage children to become “warriors and leaders” instead of IT professionals, “revive the Kshatriya (warrior) spirit,” and “re-Aryanize, re-Vedicize, and re-spiritualize” Indian culture.
In December 2013, Arktos followed up publication of Morales’s book with “successful meetings with the national spokesperson of the grassroots Hindu nationalist organization RSS, Ram Madhav, as well as Ravi Shankar Prasad, the deputy leader of India’s largest right-wing party, the BJP.” The company reported: “Arktos intends to become the Indian Right’s gateway to the Western world.” Their actions and stated goal indicated they were heeding Breivik’s call for nationalists in India and the West to “learn from each other and cooperate as much as possible.”
In 2016, Morgan split from Arktos and joined Counter-Currents — a more overtly white nationalist publisher. The following year, Friberg partnered with Richard Spencer to launch AltRight.com, a website which serves as a publishing platform for Spencer’s NPI think-tank.
In a video manifesto featured by both organizations, Spencer declares his vision.
“We’re often told that being an American, or Britain, or German, or any European nationality, is about being dedicated to a collection of abstractions and buzz-words,” he says. “Democracy. Freedom. Tolerance. Multiculturalism. But a nation based on freedom is just another place to go shopping. It’s a country for everyone, and thus a country for no one.” Claiming that whites have become rootless wanderers with no sense of identity, he states, “Who are we? We aren’t just white. White is a checkbox on a census form. We are part of the peoples, history, spirit, and civilization of Europe.”
After launching AltRight.com in January 2017, Spencer began working to “dominate the streets” in America in a manner reminiscent of the RSS.
On a night in May 2017, he led a group of torch-bearing white nationalists through the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. They chanted “blood and soil” — a slogan originated by the Nazis — as Spencer spoke, declaring, “What brings us together is that we are white. We are a people. We will not be replaced.” Three months later, in August, he again led a torch-lit rally of hundreds who marched through the University of Virginia campus.
The following day, as Spencer organized a “Unite the Right” rally, he was joined by Friberg. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder with demonstrators clad in body armor and helmets, carrying rifles, and waving Nazi flags. David Duke, the infamous former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), also attended along with a host of other prominent white nationalist figures.
The rally devolved into violence before it began. A KKK leader fired a pistol at the feet of a black man who was counter-protesting. A gang of six hunted down another black counter-protestor and brutally beat him in a parking garage (three were later convicted for the assault). One 20-year-old white man, known for openly talking about his love for Hitler, drove over 500 miles to attend the rally. While there, he rammed his vehicle into a group of counter-protestors, killing one. He was later convicted of first-degree murder.
Conclusion: Examine, Expose, and Oppose Supremacism
Whether it’s smaller-scale attacks like in Charlottesville or massacres like in Norway and New Zealand, the ideology of white nationalism is manifesting in real world violence around the globe. The same motivating spirit of identitarianism, xenophobia, and supremacy is rising in organized form — and at a shocking pace — in Poland, the Ukraine, Hungary, Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, Russia, Turkey, Australia, Brazil, the Philippines, and India.
People who are concerned for peace need to understand that white nationalist terrorists don’t just manifest from a void, but are cultivated to accept and propagate a politics of hate. Tarrant, the terrorist in New Zealand, confirmed that his attack was not an isolated incident when he named Breivik as his inspiration. Breivik, meanwhile, pointed to the RSS as one of his own inspirations.
Peace-loving people must stand vigilant as these stormtroopers of hatred — who stole so many lives at the Al-Noor Mosque, the Linwood Islamic Centre, the Oak Creek Gurdwara, the Tree of Life Synagogue, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and so many other places — are seeking alliances and collaborations with supremacist movements on a global scale.
The seeds of hatred that lead these people to commit murder start small. The hatred begins long before the violence begins. It starts with indifference to the plight of one’s fellow human beings, progresses into minimization of the sufferings of other people, and escalates into veiled racism, open discrimination, and eventually open calls for violence against anyone who is different.
We have to dig out those seeds before they are sown. One of the first steps to doing so is education. That requires examining nationalist ideologies, tracing how they connect to each other, exposing them at a global level, and then standing firmly in solidarity, unity, and love with all people who want a peaceful society where freedom, equality, and justice are the only things which reign supreme.
Pieter Friedrich is a South Asian Affairs Analyst who resides in California. He is the co-author of Captivating the Simple-Hearted: A Struggle for Human Dignity in the Indian Subcontinent. Discover more by him at pieterfriedrich.net.