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“The great substitution”: a racist idea that inspires murderers popularized from Europe

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  • Patrick Crusius, the author of the El Paso massacre, explained that he was attacking Hispanics after reading The Great Substitution
  • The book is by the French right-wing author Renaud Camus and is about a conspiracy and supremacist theory recently reformulated in the Gallic country
  • Renowned media have turned to this intellectual, who recently wondered how his book had caused that “atrocity.”

Tribute to the victims of the El Paso shooting in the United States

“Actually,  the Hispanic community was not my goal until I read The Great Substitution .” Those words of the manifesto attributed to Patrick Crusius, the murderer of the supremacist attack in El Paso, point to the writer Renaud Camus, considered one of the leading intellectuals of the French extreme right. His book Le Grand Remplacement, or The Great Substitution, deals with the replacement of a population – supposedly original from France – by another of diverse origins, the result of immigration.

“One has a population and, suddenly, in a generation, one finds that there are, instead of that town, another or several,” according to Camus. The insane crusade against the Hispanic population in El Paso de Crusius, which left 22 people dead and dozens injured, would have been inspired by the alarm signals Camus has been formulating for years. The first edition of The Great Substitution dates from 2011.

Camus is known for his current militancy in the French extreme right. He presides over the National Council of the European Resistance (CNRE), an organization destined, among other things, to “oppose the phenomenon of the substitution of the peoples that are currently taking place in our continent, including its Islamic dimension”. It is made up of a group of essayists, writers, ex-military historians and once ideologically chosen political leaders on the right. For example, its members include Philippe Martel, who has been chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, leader of the French right-wing National Agrupation (RN) party.

As Eldiario.es reminds Stéphane François, a historian specializing in the extreme right of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), “Camus has not invented anything.” In his opinion, the author “has retaken a theme” that the French extreme right has been using for decades. “In Europe, the first to formulate this idea is a former French member of the German SS, René Binet. He developed in the 1950s the idea that a great racial and ethnic substitution would be taking place in Europe,” explains François.

That belief emerged in the fifties, which Camus now defends as a “phenomenon that is taking place” and not as a theory, has remained alive in France for decades thanks to far-right organizations such as Action-Europe but also by the ideological current of the New Right, as François recalls.

For him, now talk about Camus as the main inspirer of the El Paso attack has to do with the fact that Le Grand Remplacement has become a work that has a great diffusion, especially within what is called in the United States. right or alternative right, a nationalist movement with racist ideological philias. “Camus is known in France, his work is translated into English in publishers in the field of alt-right, ” says the historian of the CNRS. Thus, his work would benefit from an ideological “fashion” obviously dangerous in view of the type of actions it can inspire.

However, Camus in France and also outside the Gallic territory, enjoy a certain “respectability”, according to François. Otherwise, the conservative newspaper  Die Welt would not have dedicated a great interview to him this week. “How could my book have caused such atrocities?”, Asked this ideologist in his statements to Die Welt.

The media presence of Camus in the French media is not negligible. Homosexual and former militant of the French Socialist Party (PS), his intellectual journey seems, although paradoxical, more attractive to those who make a career in the extreme right gala than those old French authors linked to National Socialism. “Part of the New Right’s strategy is to retake that theme of the great substitution but not with publicly recognized authors as bad, but with authors recognized as more respectable in the public debate,” says François.

This circumstance also seems to be benefiting Camus in the United States. Prestigious media such as  The New York Times or Foreign Affairs magazine have alluded to the name of Camus to realize what is the ‘The Great Substitution’ referred to by the murderer of El Paso. Little importance is being given in the United States, however, to the fact that “the American ideological tradition has that more entrenched idea than in France,” according to François. “It seems strange to me to see the newspapers in the United States talk about Camus these days,” says this scholar of the extreme right.

The radicalization of the extreme right

“In the United States, this idea of ​​the great substitution is even older. It dates even from the beginning of the 20th century or the end of the 19th century, it is in the idea of ​​the famous WASP [acronym for Protestant Anglo-Saxon whites], who once decided to set quotas to prevent people from coming from the United States from the ‘good religion’ or the ‘good skin color’, “the historian abounds.

The racist beliefs of the WASPs have been inspiring radicals of the American extreme right for decades. They drink from them from the successive versions of the Ku Klux Klan that have existed to neo-Nazi groups, through skinheads and other forms of white supremacism.

From these small groups books have emerged whose theme and vision does not differ, in essence, from the one Camus is reformulating in France. For example, they were Americans Madison Grant, author of the early last century who signed the book ‘The Passing of The Great Race’, something like “The decline of the great race”, or the white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard, author of ‘The Rising Tide of Color: The Threat Against White World-Supremacy ‘, that is,’ The rising tide against white world supremacy. ‘

These works, although old, seem not to have been overcome. At least even in present-day France, marked by the rise and influence of Marine Le Pen and its RN. “There is currently a radicalization of the extreme right. Those works are being reissued here,” says François. “In France, they are macerating these ideas, which circulate even if they are dangerous,” he concludes.

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The cause of the killings in the US is not a crisis of masculinity but the masculine power

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Massacres of the United States such as those of El Paso and Dayton have become outrageously habitual. How many people have to die before we take care of what happens?

The cause of the killings in the US is not a crisis of masculinity but the masculine power

Surely nobody asked the question when he heard about the latest shootings in the United States. Surely nobody thought “well, in the US there are a lot of completely alienated women, probably with mental health issues and very wrong opinions about immigrants, so ‘the holster’, in both cases, was clearly one of them.” No one asked because it was clear that it had not been so.

Before I come with the ‘not all men’ let me say it to me: no, not all men are murderers, something for which I am supposed to say thank you. But the truth is that I don’t feel grateful. Absolutely. Nor are all men rapists, but in the United Kingdom, we have seen how rape has almost ceased to be a crime because of the deficiencies of our judicial system.

Many men will be as shocked as I am for all this. Sounds good to me. Now lobby to change things. You have the power.

The impressive thing about mass shootings is how common they are. Seven years after Sandy Hook, the United States (or the part of the country that, apparently, counts on this issue) seems to believe that the killing of young children is an acceptable price in exchange for ‘freedom’.

This is something that comes from before Trump. It is already well of sermons on the laws to have weapons and carry them in a visible way. We talked about the issue as if it were necessary to reach a certain number of people killed before something changed. We know that we will never reach that number and we know that these shooters not only point against others. They also shoot themselves. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States were suicides.

We also know, as Joan Smith documented so brilliantly in his book  ‘Home Grown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists’ (‘Males Violence Turns Men into Terrorists’), that many of these gunmen They have a history of terrified women in their lives. A terror they call ‘domestic abuse’. They are people capable of killing their own mothers or, as the Ohio shooter did, his own sister.

We know that there are links between this misunderstood masculinity and the set of ideas about the ‘genocide of whites’, or that migrants are invading us and staying with ‘our women’. Trump spits his poisonous rhetoric daily. And the American media also don’t question it too much. As Beto O’Rourke said: ” Members of the press, what the fuck? “

One cannot refer again and again to non-white people as if they were invading bugs and then appear shocked when someone acts in accordance with that speech. Major British newspapers also reflect racism against migrants, posing as humor, or as if they simply express common sense or say what cannot be said. It’s disgusting.

“Making America great again” is not only to make America white again but also to recover a particular type of masculinity. It is part of the reaction against feminism. With such obvious racism, many are able to see the former but have resistance to assume the latter. Instead, it is as if we have to congratulate any man who admits to having feelings.

Last week I participated in a debate about men in the 21st century. It was a torturous exercise to calm consciences talking about testosterone and cavemen, and how men had ceased to be the breadwinner of the family. This approach to Jordan Peterson never considers the importance of class, culture or history. In the working class, for example, women have always worked. And in the last forty years of the US, average families have needed both wages to support themselves.

Instead of starting a complex multidisciplinary debate, everyone has to agree that, today, being a man is very difficult and confusing. Save me That ‘crisis of masculinity’ that we are talking about at all times is an alibi. Masculinity in a crisis but it is also power, something that middle-class men who complain about not being able to express themselves take for granted.

Being considered a crazy witch for expressing my feelings is something that grieves me in a lot of different ways. I feel sad, very sad for the USA because I lived there for a time and I always felt it as my future, my possibility. I have something that many people crave: an American passport. I also grew up with weapons. My father gave one to my mother and I found it somewhat glamorous. All my boyfriends in the US had weapons. There I learned to shoot and it was exciting. But the US is no longer the future for me unless I decide to accept the massacres as something that simply happens.

Male violence, because that is the problem, is everywhere and in the US it is armed to the teeth. All right, change gun laws. Surely that is easier than changing an entire culture in which men express their feelings without stopping. Above all, through death and destruction.

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For arms control and against supremacism: hundreds of people protest in El Paso against Trump

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  • The president has faced protests during his visits to Dayton and El Paso. Many, citizens and politicians, had asked Trump not to come.
  • Since Saturday of the massacre, President Trump has been bombarded by criticism for his speech against immigrants.

Protesters hold signs against the visit of US President Donald J. Trump after the Walmart massacre

Hundreds of protesters gathered on Wednesday in El Paso to protest against the visit and the president of the United States, Donald Trump, after the massacres of last weekend.

Protesters condemned the white supremacist and anti-immigrant rhetoric of the president, who they believe inspired the perpetrator of the August 3 shooting in El Paso, Patrick Crusius, who allegedly uploaded a manifesto in an online forum that warned of an “invasion” of immigrants Hispanic.

As happened earlier on Wednesday during Trump’s visit to Dayton, where on August 4 there was another shooting that left ten people dead – including the attacker – protesters in El Paso also demanded greater control over arms sales.

According to witnesses, at least three of the Mexican victims were killed in cold blood while praying and pleading for their lives.

Others pretended to be dead while listening to the blasts of gunfire at the Walmart mall where the killing took place, and some counterattacked, throwing cans of groceries at the attacker.

“All the people ran through the emergency door. There were many children and many people running, crying, screaming and pushing. Many people remained to lie on the floor when they could not run away,” Virginia Vargas, a witness, told Efe.

Since Saturday of the massacre, President Trump has been bombarded by criticism for his speech against immigrants. Following the events in Dayton and El Paso, the president declared that “hate has no place in our country.”

However, he attributed the killings to a “mental problem” of the attackers and called for restricting the sale of weapons to people with psychiatric illnesses. In this regard, the Vice Mayor of El Paso, Ricardo López, said that the current repudiation of violence related to firearms provides the opportunity to reform the laws.

“That they focus on weapons to do something else. What the president is saying is not enough; we need more leadership from him, and not only from him but from the Senate,” he said.

President Trump visited Wednesday Dayton (Ohio) and El Paso (Texas), two cities that joined the list of indiscriminate shootings that have shaken the country for years.

Trump met, accompanied by his wife, Melania, with wounded and relatives of the victims of the Dayton massacres, where last Sunday nine people lost their lives before the authorities killed the attacker, and El Paso, who on Saturday It became the scene of a shooting that killed 22 people.

Before leaving Washington, the president defended before the journalists that his rhetoric has not contributed to the violence of the shootings and, on the contrary, “unites the people”.

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The currency war between China and the US highlights the limits of the economic model of the eurozone

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  • We are facing the possibility of an open trade war with commercial and monetary measures aimed at devaluing both the yuan and the dollar.
  • In a trade war between China and the US, both countries would divert at least part of their foreign trade to Europe, but the expected appreciation of the euro against the two currencies would lead to a reduction in the trade surplus.
  • What can be expected from the US-China trade war is a deflationary impact on the eurozone, with a net reduction in trade surplus and GDP.

US President Donald Trump

This week began with the news of the designation of China as “currency manipulator” by the US Treasury. Are we at the gates of a currency war, and how can the eurozone be affected?

First, it is not likely that there will be a declared currency war. The People’s Bank of China denies that it is devaluing the currency on purpose. And the Federal Reserve does not have an objective to alter the exchange rate nor is it foreseeable to have it. However, there are other types of trade and monetary policies that have predictable downward impacts on the exchange rate, and both the United States and China are adopting them.

The last round of exchanges in this regard was the threat on the part of Donald Trump to impose tariffs of 10% on 300,000 million annual dollars of imports. This was followed by the decision of the People’s Bank of China not to defend the yuan against a drop in value below seven yuan per dollar. And the US has reacted with the statement that China manipulates its currency.

Legally this is a step that facilitates the imposition of tariffs, which seems to be the ultimate motivation of the Trump administration. China has reacted to the accusation of the US Treasury by banning imports of agricultural products from the US. This is a purely commercial measure that in principle helps to revalue the yuan against the dollar, not to devalue it.

However, the decision of the People’s Bank of China not to defend the yuan exchange rate opens the prospect of further declines in the exchange rate in response to the trade war. Bank of America analysts Merrill Lynch expect the result of the 10% rates announced by Trump to be an exchange rate of 7.3 yuan per dollar.

If the tariff rates reach 25%, as they already do for another 250,000 million dollars of imports to the United States from China, the yuan could fall to 7.5 per dollar. This would make Trump furious and lead to more protectionist measures.

An example of these measures is a bill recently proposed by Senators Josh Hawley –Republican of Missouri– and Tammy Baldwin –Democrat of Wisconsin–, which would force the Federal Reserve to apply a fee to purchases of financial assets by foreign investors, provided that the US trade deficit exceeds 0.5% of GDP. This is an essential capital control measure, but it would have the effect of depressing the dollar exchange rate with respect to the currencies of countries with which the US has a trade deficit.

We are, therefore, faced with the possibility of an open trade war with commercial and monetary measures aimed at devaluing both the yuan and the dollar. If this is not a currency war in the sense of competitive devaluations, it is very similar.

The limits of the economic model of the eurozone

The effect this could have on the eurozone is mixed. In a trade war between China and the US, both countries would divert at least part of their foreign trade to Europe. However, the expected appreciation of the euro against the yuan and the dollar would tend to reduce the eurozone’s trade surplus. In addition, cheaper imports of both Chinese and US products would act as a brake on inflation. This is the last thing the eurozone needs, as the European Central Bank already has problems to stimulate inflation sufficiently to reach its goal of about 2% in the medium term.

If the ECB adopts policies aimed at increasing inflation through the exchange rate that is applied to imports of consumer goods, it could lead to the US Treasury also considering the eurozone as a manipulator of the exchange rate. As we have seen in the case of China, this designation serves as an excuse for Trump to impose tariffs, which seems to be his primary objective.

In the case of Europe, Trump has already applied tariffs on steel and aluminum, has especially threatened Germany with imposing tariffs on cars, and has recently threatened France with tariffs if the country approves a “Google rate.” Trump, in addition, has already accused the ECB of manipulating the currency through its expansive monetary policies, negative rates and purchases of state bonds. This accusation is unfounded, but it is clear that nothing would satisfy Trump more than the fact that the ECB gave him the excuse of imposing additional tariffs on the EU.

Thus, what can be expected from the US-China trade war is a deflationary impact on the eurozone and an increase in the volume of imports and exports with both countries, with a net reduction in the trade and GDP surplus. All this without counting on the deterrent effect that a fledgling trade war can have on investment. And, if the ECB reacts by further relaxing its monetary policy, Trump is exposed to extending the trade war and tariffs to the EU.

The eurozone would be much less vulnerable to Trump’s trade wars if it were less dependent on exports for its economic growth. But the economic model adopted since the crisis is focused on reducing the foreign debt – private and public – of countries like Spain. By depressing investment, the export-based Eurozone growth model also results in low inflation and low productivity growth.

The alternative would be a more closed economy model at the continental level, with policies to stimulate investment and domestic demand. The problem is that the countries called the crisis cannot do this on their own without risking another balance of payments crisis like the one experienced at the beginning of this decade. And the countries of northern Europe are not in charge of providing the eurozone with fiscal and investment tools themselves, because they would imply transfers between countries. Thus, it is up to settle for low inflation, low investment, low growth, and vulnerability to trade wars.

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