While much of Australia’s media and political class have studiously avoided talking about how an Australian came to commit the 2019 Christchurch massacre, journalist Jeff Sparrow’s recent book Fascists Among Us offers some timely analysis one year on.
There has been an understandable reticence to discuss the shooter’s name and manifesto for fear of widely disseminating his work, but Sparrow (who refers to the shooter as Person X) instead argues that X’s intended outcome was to narrow-cast his message to the darker corners of the internet. This, Sparrow says, is where X found a community, and where his writing, laced with references to ironic online meme culture, was pitched to and continues to be circulated. Such a blackout, he argues, does little to stop this proliferation, but prevents us from unpicking the causes head on.
In light of ASIO head Mike Burgess’ recent warnings about a rise in rightwing extremism, it’s an insightful read and an even more important conversation.
Tuesday 3 March
East Stage 12pm