Accelerationism

Accelerationism is the belief that specific forces—historically economic—should be accelerated to effect societal change. Some far-right groups have adopted a violent form of accelerationism to promote terrorism and other violent acts in order to hasten the downfall of a societal order they believe is complicit in white genocide.

Accelerationism is historically linked to Marxism and the belief that accelerating detrimental forces within capitalism will ultimately lead to its destruction. The accelerationism of the far right is inherently violent. White nationalist groups such as The Base believe that the current societal order is inherently corrupt and therefore unsustainable. The Base calls on its followers to execute non-attributable terror attacks to destabilize society in order to hasten a race war that will overthrow the government and reshape society. These groups often blame societal degradation on factors such as widespread immigration and multiculturalism. They seek to accelerate the collapse of the current corrupt system by promoting discord and chaos, primarily through violence, in order to create a new utopian society. For example, Brenton Tarrant—who killed 51 people in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, 2019—subscribed to accelerationism. He included in his manifesto a section on accelerating the destabilization of the societal order “as only in times of radical change and social discomfort can great and terrific change occur.” According to Tarrant, this radical change required radicalizing public discourse “by both “supporting, attacking, vilifying, radicalizing and exaggerating all societal conflicts and attacking or even assassinating weak or less radical leaders/influencers on either side of social conflicts.”

In white nationalist William Luther Pierce’s 1978 novel The Turner Diaries, a race war results in the murder of non-white minorities and the creation of a white nation. In the book, the race war is instigated by an underground white supremacist terrorist network that overthrows the U.S. government through guerilla warfare and terrorism. The group, known in the book as the Organization, believes the U.S. government is dominated by Jews, African Americans, and other minorities who are trampling white rights. The Organization launches a guerilla war in order to reclaim the country and create a new Aryan world order. The novel has influenced transnational acts of murder, robbery, and terrorism by those seeking to replicate the societal shift described in the book. Most prominently, the book influenced Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, whose April 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building mirrored a terrorist attack on the FBI headquarters in The Turner Diaries. In his book Siege, neo-Nazi James Mason also called for the creation of independent terror cells to create a new world order.

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On April 18, 2016, a bomb exploded on board a Jerusalem bus, wounding 21 people in an attack later claimed by Hamas. On April 20, a 19-year-old Palestinian man wounded in the explosion died from his wounds. 

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