Thursday, May 19, 2022

Musical Chairs On The Deck Of The Titanic BEEN Underway For A Minute Now...,

theintercept | Before he walked into the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, on a mission to murder as many innocent Black shoppers as he could, 18-year-old Payton Gendron posted a rambling manifesto online outlining his motives.

His reasoning was familiar from other far-right shooters: This country isn’t going to be resource-rich enough for everyone in the future, so a race war over what is left is necessary today. However heinous, this vision of a bleak, impoverished future, in which there is not enough wealth to go around and the environment is near collapse, is motivating an ever-growing number of young men like him to carry out racist massacres across the West.

People who commit acts of terrorism tend to act for more than one reason. The racist hatred of Gendron toward Black Americans, Jews, and immigrants was ultimately what made his murders possible. For that, many are to blame, including far-right politicians and talking heads who have continued to wink at the “great replacement” as being the true source of white Westerners’ troubles.

Addressing this violence, though, also requires considering the role of scarcity — not a conspiracy theory, but a very real system of extreme inequality and ecological destruction. It is a system in which the most wealthy and powerful continue to see their wealth and power grow — at the expense of the masses. Faced with actual strained resources and environmental calamity, some of these forsaken people are turning to dark fantasies like the “great replacement theory” to make sense of it all.

This is not just about a toxic media ecosystem, but the larger way we have organized our lives in the West. This organizational structure could go by many names — neoliberalism, consumer capitalism, exploitation — but there can be little doubt that the pessimism it engenders is leading many young people into nihilism.