Friday, March 15, 2019

Thoreau With a Machine Gun

The New Zealand shooting suspect, Brenton Tarrant, apparently said he is introverted, a racist, and an "eco-fascist by nature."

What is an "eco-fascist?" It's not what you might guess at first, which for me was some kind of right-wing climate denier who's sure green policies will be the death of the modern world. (No, that'd be a US Republican congressman.)

Apparently, eco-fascism advocates using the power of the state to enforce green policies, even if that power isn't based in popular elections and democratic processes. Naturally there's nationalism, racism and genocide involved.

Eco-fascists are "the nature-obsessed, anti-Semitic, white supremacists who argue that racial purity is the only way to save the planet."

Which would almost be funny if one of its adherents didn't just kill 49 people in a mosque.

Eco-fascism hardly seems a consistent ideology, but then consistency is about the last thing you can expect with the banality of evil. A few quotes the Reddit forum r/DebateFascism given by journalist Sarah Manavis last year:
"I believe that both the state and the state’s citizens have the right to use all means necessary to save the environment, including murder and sabotage,” one user wrote. “Murder is okay in this case, as combating climate change is sure to save more lives than it could ever hypothetically destroy.”
“To be fair, the Third Reich was one of the earliest governments to make conservationism a major focus,” wrote another.
“What really pisses me off is how everyone associates deep ecology with Communism and far left ideologies, which are deeply rooted in industrialization. It was Nazi Germany that was environmentally aware not Soviet Russia, with the rabid industrialisation,” one said.
“[Eco-fascists] have put the wellbeing of our earth, nature and animal on the forefront of their ideology.... It’s someone who has also turned away from industrial and urbanite society, seeking a more close to earth way of life.”
So, eco-fascists desire to turn away from industrial society, but only after its war engines have punched out the machine gun you need for your terrorism.

We can probably expect the usual cretins to jump on this eco-fascist angle to ensure us that, see, as we've been saying all along, climate change is just a ploy from those who hate humans, hate civilization, and hate themselves, quote unquote.

And see, one of them has gone there already! So banal.



Thomas said...

On the other hand, Breivik believed global warming was just a conspiracy. What unifies these people is hatred for muslims, the reasons for the hatred are negotiable.

DocRichard said...

Eco-fascism is a contradiction in terms, if "eco" is shorthand for someone who wishes for mankind to make a switch to a sustainable economic path, and fascism means an authoritarian state with a strong tendency to project most or all problems onto some kind of scapegoat.

Fascist states can be sustained for one or two generations, but in the end the repression and cruelty inherent in fascism leads to revolution and war, civil or otherwise (civil war is another contradiction in terms, but we won't go there).

The transformation into an ecological economy and society cannot be imposed from above, it has to come about through cooperation at every level - individual, community, business, institutional, local authority, national, international and global.

This transformation may sound utopian, but it is already underway, although at a frustratingly slow pace, and the flow of human progress is at the moment swirling in a backwards eddy. However, a tipping point will be reached where the inadequacies of the neo-liberal ideology and the absurdities of Trumpism become impossible to ignore. It may be that Brexit will deliver such a body blow to the United Kingdom (where I live) that the rest of the world will identify and reject the ideology that drove Britain to such an act of self-harm.

Or something else may happen. Whatever, eco-fascism is a contradiction in terms.