Posted on August 13, 2019

The Deadly Myth of the “Great Replacement”

Eleanor Penny, New Statesman America, August 9, 2019

{snip} The suspect in the El Paso shooting is the latest in a ghoulish parade of white men who in recent years have taken it upon themselves to gun down crowds of civilians in the name of defending their race from the nefarious plots of suspected “invaders” bent on destroying white civilisation from within.

The document written by the shooter credits the “Great Replacement” as his central motivation. Also known as “white genocide”, this is the increasingly popular conspiracy theory that the white race and the entirety of “western civilisation” are besieged by the combined forces of non-white migration and dwindling white birth-rates, orchestrated by multicultural, globalist [read: Jewish] elites in an attempt to undermine the integrity of white life. {snip}


The phrase “the great replacement” was coined by white supremacist French philosopher Renaud Camus, in his alarmist 2012 screed of the same name. He wrote that French society is critically endangered by an onslaught of non-white, Muslim migration, a pattern of “reverse colonisation” reflected across the western world which has left white cultures – and national securities – under siege from hostile forces. {snip}]

The shadow of the Great Replacement conspiracy looms large over the mainstream right. Tucker Carlson has accused US Democrats of orchestrating “demographic replacement,” with a “flood of illegals” to create “a flood of voters for them”. In 2013, Nigel Farage intimated that some Muslim people are “coming here to take us over”.


Public-facing theories about the Great Replacement, playing for popular respectability, usually eschew direct reference to white supremacy, favouring the altogether more slippery language of diversity, cultural preservation and of self-defence. Hence, the insistence among the “identitarian” right, that if BAME people can talk about defending the survival of their own cultures and races, then so can white people. {snip}

These excuses are just as flimsy as they sound, collapsing into all-out racism under the weight of the slightest scrutiny. The soft-shuffle manoeuvre from race to culture is a routine canard of the far right to avoid accountability, and handwringing about “cultural preservation” is nothing but a dog whistle for those embarrassed to openly show their disgust for miscegenation. Moreover, the steady effects of demographic change and cultural mixing are only worrisome if you’re clinging to a rabid ideal of ethnocultural purity; a foundational doctrine of fascists everywhere. There is precisely zero evidence that “liberal elites” would be interested in the fatal dilution of whiteness, even if they did indeed have shadowy cabals of Jewish people to put their plans in motion. None of this really matters; the conspiracy is less about levelling a statistically robust world picture, and more about telegraphing a sense of global white victimhood around which to arrange a sense of political outrage. It’s about mobilising an age-old panic to build a case for extreme racial violence.

This is bait-and-switch white supremacy for media-savvy crypto-fascists distantly aware that calling for the all-out extermination of black and ethnic minority people doesn’t play well on the TV (at least for now). Better instead to gloss it with a thin patina of plausible deniability; talking diversity rather than supremacy, preservation rather than extermination.


The spectral menace of the “race war” has long haunted our political imaginaries; a frenzied Caucasian cautionary tale in which BAME people and migrants, when inadequately punished and cowed, wreak extraordinary vengeance on the white man. It can be found in desperate petitions to preserve chattel slavery as a backstop against the supposed threat of violent black people. Thomas Jefferson described the institution of slavery as “holding a wolf by the ears”. In 1898, Winston Churchill cautioned against the “militant Mahommedanism” of migrant workers. In 1968, Enoch Powell declared that an influx of migrants meant “the black man [would] have the whip hand over the white man”.


Of all the swivel-eyed conspiracies shambling through the more squalid reaches of the internet, the Great Replacement has proved uniquely powerful. Its doctrine of survival is a captivating persuasion tactic for people bent on drawing more people to the cause of white supremacy. {snip}