Buffalo takeaway: Without God, anything is permitted

Early in his surprisingly well-written manifesto, 18-year-old Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron asks himself one question whose answer explains everything else that follows: “Are you a Christian?”

Answers Gendron, “No. I do not ask God for salvation by faith, nor do I confess my sins to Him. I personally believe there is no afterlife.” The rest of the manifesto documents Gendron’s futile quest to find something, anything, to believe in.

Ivan Karamazov, one of the eponymous brothers in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, “Brothers Karamazov,” famously said, as translated, “If there is no God, anything is permitted.” In some translations, the quote goes, “If there is no immortality of the soul … everything is permitted.” Gendron would seem to have confirmed the truth of either translation.

For wisdom, Gendron turned to the internet. The school shutdown during COVID left him with too much time on his hands. (Yes, he was doubly vaxxed). He made the mistake with knowledge that he warns others of making with sex. He developed a “virtual relation” with human thought, not a real one.

Writes Gendron of porn, “When one is able to have a virtual relationship with an actor or simulate having sex whenever they feel like it, what encourages them to go out to have a real relationship?” Exactly.

Had Gendron tested his ideas in a room filled with sentient human beings, they could have showed him the potentially lethal contradiction in his thinking, but he did not. Like the Unabomber, whom he in many ways resembles, Gendron gloried in his own isolation.

Among the manifesto’s various contradictions, the most obvious one deals with Gendron’s hoped-for regeneration of the white race. “Without children, there is no future,” he tells us. “The birth rates must eventually be addressed, at all costs. … Whether it takes ten years or a thousand years, whilst we are facing birthrates at sub-replacement levels, then our people are dying.”

This is the same guy who later writes, “There is no Green future with never ending population growth, the ideal green world cannot exist in a world of 100 billion, 50 billion, or even 10 billion people.”

It makes more sense to blame environmentalist Greta Thunberg for Gendron’s ideas than it does conservative Tucker Carlson. “Green nationalism is the only true nationalism, ” he tells us. “There is no conservatism without nature, there is no nationalism without environmentalism.” In fact, however, to blame either Carlson or Thunberg is absurd.

For conservatives Gendron has little use, and his criticism is not without merit. “Ask yourself, truly, what has modern conservatism managed to conserve?” asks Gendron. “Not a thing has been conserved other than corporate profits and the ever increasing wealth of the 1% that exploit the people for their own benefit. Conservatism is dead. Thank god. Now let us bury it and move on to something of worth.”

After an early flirtation with communism, Gendron puts himself “in the mild-moderate authoritarian left category, and I would prefer to be called a populist.” He clarifies, “But you can call me an ethno-nationalist, eco-fascist national socialist if you want, I wouldn’t disagree with you.”

Another of the manifesto’s internal contradiction emerges in Gendron’s wild-eyed contempt for Jews, a contempt that exceeds that for any other ethnic group, including blacks. If his overriding goal is to see smart white people reproduce, one would expect him to keep Jews in the fold. Instead, as he says, “It is a matter of survival we destroy them first.”

When referring to “the Jews,” Gendron elaborates, “I don’t mean all ethnic or religious Jews. Some can be actually decent, and make significant progress to humanity. However many of them are not. Many are born to exploit the goyim and exploit the Earth for capital gain. They control the mainstream media, many government positions, and international and global banking.”

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As with Karl Marx, Jews represent for Gendron the living embodiment of capitalism, a system that disgusts him. That said, Gendron expresses admiration for East Asians, finding them “quite admirable.” He adds, “The average East Asian tends to perform better in academics than the average White, which of course leads to more skilled and higher-paying jobs. This is all due to superior traditional values and genetics.”

Gendron’s ultimate contradiction, of course, is his fight to sustain European culture while denying the core beliefs that created it. Along the way, someone needed to tell him that the Western world he seems to admire would not have emerged without its creators’ deep Christian faith.

Former communist Whittaker Chambers came to see that the individual makes but one profound choice in his life: “God or man.” Like all secular humanists, Gendron chose man. In choosing man, Gendron chose the vision that binds humanists of all stripes together.

Whether communist or progressive or, in Gendron’s case, authoritarian leftist, they all make the mistake Adam made in the garden. They see themselves as wiser than God. And having made that decision, as history reminds us, anything is permitted, including random murder.

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