Wrongheaded Twitter and Google policies prevent us from gaining easy access to the Buffalo attacker’s manifesto despite the fact that analysis is necessary to gain insight into his — and likely others’ — twisted view of the world.
In defiance of those foolish policies, a few brave folks managed to post screencaps of different portions of the manifesto, and they reveal what begins to look exactly like what conservatives and select, honest liberals have been warning about for a while.
The Buffalo shooter wrote that he wasn’t born or raised to be racist. From the scraps I read, he doesn’t seem to have been particularly engaged in much of anything, other than an enthusiasm for guns (which I share, but since I haven’t shot up any grocery stores, it’s safe to say the issue is the person, not the gun).
If I’m right, he was something of a blank slate — the kind that today’s world excels at creating. “Men without chests,” CS Lewis called them.
He directly said in the manifesto that he wasn’t racist at all until he had nothing to do due to COVID beginning (ie the lockdowns) and began perusing 4chan due to “extreme boredom.”
We can unpack two vital insights from that sentence. First, not being racist is fine as far as it goes. It’s sort of like being an empty vessel. It’s not filled with hate, but it’s not filled with anything else either.
The problem is that humans are incredibly dangerous as empty vessels because there are a lot of ideas out there looking for people to fill up, and some of those ideas are deadly — Marxism, envy, hate, Nazism, resentment, etc.
What a tragedy that the shooter wasn’t just void of racism but could have instead been filled with truth (we’re all a mess, not just one race), love (I need to do what’s best for everyone I meet because we’re all a mess), honor (the world is dangerous and chaotic, so I should hold myself to as high a standard as possible) or courage (the fallen nature of the world is deadly, but I’m going to confront it to protect myself and to protect others). Keep in mind that this is very early and based on only a small sample of his writing, but the Buffalo shooter doesn’t seem to have been filled with any of those ideas.
And make no mistake: At its highest level, that’s what the left wants. They don’t want everyone to be movement leaders or even henchmen. They want a few henchmen, fewer leaders and mostly an empty-headed populous that’s easy to manipulate.
That’s what American culture is producing with great help from the Kardashians, post-modern philosophy, empty nihilism. The left wants empty vessels it can pour rancid ideas into, and he was an empty vessel waiting to be filled. He didn’t have to wait long.
Second, thanks to blue state fanaticism about COVID, he had nothing to do. He wrote that his radicalization began in May of 2020 when iron lockdown curtains were descending across blue America.
He then wrote that “after extreme boredom” he descended into the poison well that is 4chan, gradually imbibing more and more ideas, facts and falsehoods mixed into a poison drink, blaming society’s ills on races other than whites.
It sounds trite, but idle hands really are the Devil’s playthings. And millions of us were forced to become idle thanks to the panic surrounding COVID. Had the shooter been out building, serving, farming, repairing or cooking he might never have found that hateful cesspool.
But (as if nihilism weren’t bad enough) he was prevented from doing any of those things due to the rules blue state bureaucrats passed. So he sat idle, waiting, and the Devil found him by May.
Lockdowns were so devastating because people fundamentally need to stay busy, otherwise we wither and die. Look at alcohol abuse and deaths, prescription abuse and deaths and suicides during COVID. Look at what happens to retirees when they stop doing anything. They lose hope and die. Idle hands truly are a dream come true for the Devil.
Liberals (some GOP but mostly Dems) are the ones who thought we should lock down and stay locked down. They’re the ones who outlawed restaurants, churches and parks while keeping strip clubs and liquor stores open.
They’re also the ones who ate at restaurants, had their hair done and called for an end to vacationing even as they sat on the tarmac about to fly to a lovely vacation destination.
An ancillary note is that this gets at one of the biggest problems with the welfare state. Giving people enough money to help them survive in a pinch might be noble, but giving people enough so that they don’t have to work is deadly.
Sadly, we gravitate toward suicidal behaviors if left to our own devices, and the lockdowns combined with handouts decimated employment, gave normally productive people nothing but free time and emptiness and took away their hope. The media’s reporting on a never-ending virus didn’t help matters either. You could easily argue that the left’s ideas of nihilism and policies of lockdowns led to Saturday’s bloodbath.
This brings us back to what I said at the start of this piece. The shooter looks like what Christians, conservatives and even a few honest liberals have been warning about for a while. “Men without chests.” Devoid of the deeper sentiments, traditional ideas of truth, love and virtue, and nihilistically seeing no point to life, work or faith, they are empty vessels waiting to be filled by the left and hell itself.
Carl Jung warned that instead of people having ideas, really it is ideas that have people. People don’t stay empty vessels for long. They will be filled.
It is up to us as Christians and conservatives to work hard to fill them first with virtue, character and honesty. If we don’t do that, hell is standing by to fill them with the poison we saw on display Saturday at a small grocery store in Buffalo, New York. We must work quickly.
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