A regular topic in the EBF office is motivation. What drives the Biffers to be so hateful? How can otherwise ordinary people embrace such malice and wish so much harm on their fellow humans?
Over the last few days I’ve made it my mission to try to answer this question, not for every Biffer but at least for some. It isn’t always easy to trawl through the comments on the Britain First Facebook page but it seemed to be a reasonable place to find the answer to my question. What did the Biffers themselves say about their concerns and how do these comments fit together to produce the hatred and cruelty they advocate?
Taking a methodical, step by step perspective was quite revealing and whilst not all that surprising did provide some insight into the way that Britain First manipulates ordinary people, just as their German forerunners did almost a century earlier.
The first thing Britain First does is create a sense of identity. Biffers need to be brought to identify with the group of ‘our people’. So Britain First regularly produces memes on social media to help them develop this sense of identity. The Biffer ‘in group’ is made up of white Brits, ex-pats and Christians. Out-groups include Muslims (of course), non-whites and immigrants (unless they come from America or Australia).
The idea of ‘white flight’ and ‘white genocide’ is a recurring theme in the identification process.
Regular appeals to increase white birth rate serve not so much to actually encourage more births but to imbue the Biffers with a sense that ‘their’ race is in peril, international statistics on normalisation of immigrant birth rates notwithstanding.
The Biffers don’t act like Christians (except perhaps for the congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church) but they repeatedly claim to be Christians. They appeal to the dispossessed and the downtrodden in the same way that early Christians did in Judea and beyond. By hijacking established tenets of traditional Christianity they can present a seemingly familiar front for their decidedly unfamiliar neo-nazism.
The comments from their supporters show just how effective this tactic is as people use a religion that speaks of peace to justify the hatred of fascism, apparently without the slightest sense of irony.
Nationalism is their biggest theme, of course. This is the mainstay of Britain First’s raison d’etre as they work toward an all-British, all-white and decidedly Aryan Britain. So the group identity of Britishness is pushed hard. And the sheeple respond.
It’s not enough to establish group identity though. That doesn’t engender hatred. For really fervent malice it’s necessary to pretend that the group is under attack, preferably from those too weak to defend themselves. Groups like minority religious populations or desperate refugees.
Exaggerated horror to come
The technique is simple. Identify with the in group. Breed fear of the out group and then play on the peoples’ newly installed fears.
Then sit back and watch the hatred develop. It doesn’t have to be rational – it just has to be visceral.
Once that groundwork has been completed it’s a short step to turn fear and hatred into open hostility and the volunteers to fund or create violence come forward of their own accord.
Keep fuelling the fire with perceived obstructions to ‘our’ way of life or evidence of ‘alien’ activities to underscore the problem ‘our group’ faces and let the people whip themselves up into their own frenzy of malice.
And watch the hatred you planted all those memes ago grow and bear fruit.