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FTR #629 It’s Not Easy Being Green, Part II: “Ecofascism”

[1]Record­ed March 16, 2008
MP3: Side 1 [2] | Side 2 [3]

Sup­ple­ment­ing infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in FTR#628 [5], the broad­cast high­lights the “green wing” of the Ger­man Nazi Par­ty under Hitler, not­ing the movement’s pre-Nazi antecedents in Ger­man eco­log­i­cal think­ing, as well as its influ­ence on some ele­ments of the con­tem­po­rary green move­ment. Among the antecedents of Nazi green think­ing were the Wan­der­vo­gel, described by ana­lysts as “right-wing hip­pies.” Their tenets close­ly antic­i­pat­ed many aspects of the con­tem­po­rary eco­log­i­cal move­ment. Most of the Wan­der­vo­gel became Nazis. Pre-Nazi eco­log­i­cal think­ing in Ger­many was both mys­ti­cal and nation­al­is­tic in nature, set­ting the stage for the Nazi “Greens.” Both Hitler and SS leader Hein­rich Himm­ler espoused many aspects of con­tem­po­rary green think­ing, includ­ing the use of alter­na­tive fuels and organ­ic farm­ing. Among the philo­soph­i­cal trends that have con­tributed to eco­fas­cism is anthro­pos­o­phy, devel­oped by Rudolph Stein­er. Right-wing anthro­pos­o­phy con­sti­tutes a major wing of the con­tem­po­rary eco­fas­cist move­ment, fund­ed in part by Ger­man multi­na­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions. [This pro­gram not be mis­un­der­stood as char­ac­ter­iz­ing the green move­ment as fas­cist, nor should it be seen as mit­i­gat­ing the Nazi evil. Rather, “greens” should view this as a cau­tion­ary advi­so­ry, man­dat­ing a watch­ful eye for fas­cist infil­tra­tion or co-option of eco­log­i­cal caus­es and insti­tu­tions].

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The pow­er­ful, ultra-right green orga­ni­za­tion the WSL and its influ­ence in con­tem­po­rary Ger­many; the role in the WSL of Wern­er Georg Haverbeck—a vet­er­an of the Third Reich from its ear­li­est days; eco­fas­cist Rudolf Bahro’s sig­nif­i­cant influ­ence on con­tem­po­rary green think­ing in Ger­many. Lis­ten­ers are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to pur­chase, read and assim­i­late Biehl and Staudenmaier’s vital­ly impor­tant book, “Eco­fas­cism: Lessons from the Ger­man Expe­ri­ence”!

1. Sup­ple­ment­ing infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in FTR#628, the broad­cast high­lights the “green wing” of the Ger­man Nazi Par­ty under Hitler, not­ing the movement’s pre-Nazi antecedents in Ger­man eco­log­i­cal think­ing.
(Eco­fas­cism: Lessons from the Ger­man Expe­ri­ence; by Janet Biehl and Peter Stau­den­maier; AK Press [SC] 1995; Copy­right 1995 by Janet Biehl and Peter Stau­den­maier; ISBN 1–873176-73–2; pp. 4–12.) [6]

2. Among the antecedents of Nazi green think­ing were the Wan­der­vo­gel. “ . . . The chief vehi­cle for car­ry­ing this ide­o­log­i­cal con­stel­la­tion to promi­nence was the youth move­ment, an amor­phous phe­nom­e­non which played a deci­sive but high­ly ambiva­lent role in shap­ing Ger­man pop­u­lar cul­ture dur­ing the first three tumul­tuous decades of the cen­tu­ry. Also known as the Wan­der­vo­gel, (which trans­lates rough­ly as ‘wan­der­ing free spir­its’), the youth move­ment was a hodge-podge of coun­ter­cul­tur­al ele­ments, blend­ing neo-Roman­ti­cism, East­ern philoso­phies, nature mys­ti­cism, hos­til­i­ty to rea­son, and a strong com­mu­nal impulse in a con­fused but no lesss ardent search for authen­tic, non-alien­at­ed social rela­tions. Their back-to-the-land empha­sis spurred a pas­sion­ate sen­si­tiv­i­ty to the nat­ur­al world and the dam­age it suf­fered. They have been accu­rate­ly char­ac­ter­ized as ‘right-wing hip­pies,’ for although some sec­tors of the move­ment grav­i­tat­ed toward var­i­ous forms of eman­ci­pa­to­ry pol­i­tics (though usu­al­ly shed­ding their envi­ron­men­tal trap­pings in the process), most of the Wan­der­vo­gel were even­tu­al­ly absorbed by the Nazis. This shift from nature wor­ship to fuhrer wor­ship is worth exam­in­ing. . . .”
(Ibid.; pp. 9–10.)

3. More about the Weimar Republic’s philo­soph­i­cal antecedents of the “green wing” of the NSDAP: “ . . . Many of these projects were pro­found­ly impli­cat­ed in the ide­ol­o­gy which cul­mi­nat­ed in the vic­to­ry of ‘Blood and Soil.’ A 1923 recruit­ment pitch for a wood­lands preser­va­tion out­fit gives a sense of the envi­ron­men­tal rhetoric of the time. ‘In every Ger­man breast the Ger­man for­est quiv­ers with its cav­erns and ravines, crags and boul­ders, waters and winds, leg­ends and fairy tales, with its songs and its melodies, and awak­ens a pow­er­ful yearn­ing and a long­ing for home; in all Ger­man souls the Ger­man for­est lives and weaves with its depth and breadth, its still­ness and strength, its might and dig­ni­ty, its rich­es and its beauty—it is the source of Ger­man inward­ness, of the Ger­man soul, of Ger­man free­dom. There­fore pro­tect and care for the Ger­man for­est for the sake of the elders and the youth, and join the new Ger­man ‘League for the Preser­va­tion and Con­se­cra­tion of the Ger­man For­est.’”
(Ibid.; p. 13.) [7]

4. Many sta­ples of the green phi­los­o­phy were adopt­ed by the Nazi hier­ar­chy. Note that this should NOT be mis­un­der­stood as qual­i­fy­ing the evil of the Nazi regime. For per­spec­tive on this con­sid­er­a­tion, see FTR#628 [5]. “ . . . Such mus­ings, it must be stressed, were not mere rhetoric; they reflect­ed firm­ly held beliefs and, indeed, prac­tices at the very top of the Nazi hier­ar­chy which are today con­ven­tion­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with eco­log­i­cal atti­tudes. Hitler and Himm­ler were both strict veg­e­tar­i­ans and ani­mal lovers, attract­ed to nature mys­ti­cism and home­o­path­ic cures, and staunch­ly opposed to vivi­sec­tion and cru­el­ty to ani­mals. Himm­ler even estab­lished exper­i­men­tal organ­ic farms to grow herbs for SS med­i­c­i­nal pur­pos­es. And Hitler at times, could sound like a ver­i­ta­ble Green utopi­an, dis­cussing author­i­ta­tive­ly and in detail var­i­ous renew­able ener­gy sources (includ­ing envi­ron­men­tal­ly appro­pri­ate hydropow­er and pro­duc­ing nat­ur­al gas from sludge) as alter­na­tives to coal, and declar­ing ‘water, winds and tides’ as the ener­gy path of the future. . . .”
(Ibid.; pp. 15–16.)

5. Among the philo­soph­i­cal trends that have con­tributed to eco­fas­cism is anthro­pos­o­phy, devel­oped by Rudolph Stein­er. Right-wing anthro­pos­o­phy con­sti­tutes a major wing of the con­tem­po­rary eco­fas­cist move­ment. Ger­man multi­na­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions fund anthro­pos­o­phy. Note in this regard that, as dis­cussed in FTR#305 [8], all of the large Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions are con­trolled by the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work and the Under­ground Reich. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance in this regard is the Ber­tels­mann cor­po­ra­tion, the largest Eng­lish lan­guage pub­lish­er and the pub­lish­er for the SS in World War II. (For more about Ber­tels­mann see—among oth­er programs—FTR#298 [9].) “ . . . It should also be not­ed that anthro­pos­o­phy is also well-fund­ed by huge multi­na­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions like Siemens and Ber­tels­mann. . . .”
(Ibid.; pp. 44–45.) [10]

6. One of the pro­po­nents of fas­cist anthro­pos­o­phy in the con­tem­po­rary Ger­man green move­ment is Wern­er Georg Haver­beck of the WSL, a well-fund­ed far right envi­ron­men­tal orga­ni­za­tion. Haverbeck—like August Haus­sleit­er dis­cussed in FTR#628 [5]—is a vet­er­an of the NSDAP, dat­ing from its ear­li­est days. “ . . . Haver­beck joined the SA in 1928 . . . . He sur­vived the Rohm purge to help orga­nize the Nurem­berg Par­ty Con­gress and join Hess’s staff. . . .” (Idem.)

7. Among the con­tem­po­rary prac­ti­tion­ers of Nazi-inspired eco­fas­cism is Rudolf Bahro: “ . . . since the mid-1980’s, Bahro has been con­tribut­ing to the devel­op­ment of a ‘spir­i­tu­al fas­cism’ that has the effect of ‘reha­bil­i­tat­ing Nation­al Social­ism,’ open­ly call­ing for reclaim­ing the ‘pos­i­tive’ side of the Nazi move­ment. Not only does Bahro appeal to a mys­ti­cal Ger­man­ist spir­i­tu­al­i­ty like the volkisch ide­o­logues of the 1920’s, he even sees the need for a ‘Green Adolf’ who will lead Ger­mans out of their own ‘folk-depths’ and into eco­log­i­cal ‘sal­va­tion.’ . . .”
(Ibid.; pp. 48–50.) [11]

8. More about Bahro’s efforts at reha­bil­i­tat­ing the Third Reich: “ . . . Since the mid-1980’s, Bahro has been remark­ably open about pro­claim­ing his embrace of the spir­i­tu­al con­tent of fas­cism for the ‘sal­va­tion’ of nature and human­i­ty. In The Log­ic of Sal­va­tion, he asks, ‘Is there real­ly no thought more rep­re­hen­si­ble than a new 1933’—that is, Hitler’s rise to state pow­er. ‘But that is pre­cise­ly what can save us! The ecol­o­gy and peace move­ment is the first pop­u­lar Ger­man move­ment since the Nazi move­ment. It must co-redeem [miter­losen] Hitler.’ Indeed, ‘the Nazi move­ment [was] among oth­er things an ear­ly read­ing of the ecol­o­gy move­ment.’ . . .”
(Ibid.; pp. 53–55.) [12]