We join millions around the world in the condemnation of the horrible anti-Muslim hate crime that has taken the lives of 50 people and injured dozens at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Our sympathy and solidarity go out to the victims and their families and to the Islamic community everywhere.
The prime minister of New Zealand is moving toward gun control and is being praised by the international media. There are calls for mass campaigns of education to counter bigotry and white supremacy. Others blame social media, and still others call for more surveillance and vigilance by various police agencies in the Western capitalist countries to stop mass hate crimes before they can be carried out.
But the fact is that those police agencies only react to the most egregious of racist crimes. The police role under capitalism isn’t to protect people from fascism. It is to protect business property from working-class rebellion. The police are even known to encourage fascist and paramilitary organizing — now commonplace in the imperialist centers of Europe and the United States, and in other regions of the world. Fascist violence is kept in reserve in order to serve the capitalist class if and when it is needed.
The mass murderer at Christchurch published his “manifesto” on fascist websites and emailed it to New Zealand’s prime minister moments before beginning the massacre. In it, he expressed his approval of U.S. President Donald Trump’s contempt for Islam, his admiration for white supremacist Dylan Roof, who killed nine people at an African-American church in Charleston, S.C., and his adulation for Anders Breivik, a Norwegian far-right anti-immigration terrorist who killed 77 people in 2011. The killer’s jacket had an embroidered patch with the logo of the Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group Azov Battalion, whose members have now been incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard by the U.S.-backed regime.
Donald Trump is the most openly racist president since Ku Kluxer Woodrow Wilson and has demonstrated a kinship with white supremacist groups again and again. He has lent inspiration to and played a leading role in the war on immigrants and refugees. But he didn’t start it.
The rise of right-wing violence, immigrant bashing and openly fascist organizing presaged the election of Trump and has to be seen in the context of the decades of imperialist war which have thus far failed to resolve the capitalist economic crises.
Through Democratic and Republican administrations, as the Pentagon has careened from one war to another with the other imperialist powers in tow, they’ve exacted massive death tolls, the destruction of infrastructure, the end of states, and even, in the case of Libya, the reintroduction of the slave market.
Fascists and mainstream politicians alike have scapegoated those overwhelmingly Muslim refugees fleeing the Pentagon-led destruction of their homelands. The momentum for the attacks on immigrants and on Islam comes from the global capitalist ruling class, the filthy rich who depend on all forms of bigotry as a way of dividing the working class and of instilling terror.
The billionaires who reap the rewards of capitalism may not sit together in a room and plot each murderous attack, but we also can’t be fooled by the crocodile tears of the establishment press. The global capitalist class benefits from the terror against immigrants and refugees, just as they do from police brutality against Black and Brown youth.
The power of the capitalist class will not be turned against the fascist violence. Only a militant working-class movement, in solidarity with immigrants and refugees, can and will end the rising fascist threat.