Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

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

Record­ed March 16, 2008
MP3: Side 1 | Side 2

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, 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.)

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.)

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. “ . . . 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, 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.) “ . . . It should also be not­ed that anthro­pos­o­phy is also well-fund­ed by huge multi­na­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions like Siemens and Ber­tels­mann. . . .”
(Ibid.; pp. 44–45.)

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—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.)

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.)


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

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/28/germany-far-right-green-movement

    Ger­man far-right extrem­ists tap into green move­ment for sup­port

    Sup­port for eco­log­i­cal move­ment and con­ser­va­tion used to try to recruit a new gen­er­a­tion of sup­port­ers

    Kate Con­nol­ly in Berlin
    guardian.co.uk, Sat­ur­day 28 April 2012 18.51 EDT

    Ger­man con­sumers are being warned that when they buy organ­ic pro­duce they may be sup­port­ing the far-right move­ment, fol­low­ing the rev­e­la­tion that rightwing extrem­ists in Ger­many have embraced the eco­log­i­cal move­ment and are using it to tap into a new gen­er­a­tion of sup­port­ers.

    Debunk­ing the pop­u­lar view that equates eco-friend­li­ness with cud­dly, left-lean­ing greens, rightwing extrem­ists have even begun to pub­lish their own con­ser­va­tion mag­a­zine, which is believed to have the back­ing of the far-right Nation­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty (NPD). Along­side gar­den­ing tips and reports on the dan­gers of genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied milk are arti­cles rid­dled with rightwing ide­ol­o­gy and racial slurs. Bavari­a’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency has described the mag­a­zine, Umwelt und Aktiv (Envi­ron­ment and Active), as a “cam­ou­flage pub­li­ca­tion” for the NPD.

    “We have to get used to the fact that the term ‘bio’ [organ­ic] does not auto­mat­i­cal­ly mean equal­i­ty and human dig­ni­ty,” said Gudrun Hein­rich of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ros­tock, who has just pub­lished a study on the top­ic called Brown Ecol­o­gists, a ref­er­ence to the Nazi Brown­shirts and their mod­ern-day admir­ers.

    Hotbeds of far-right eco-war­riors are to be found through­out Ger­many. In the Meck­len­burg region in the north, they have been qui­et­ly set­tling in com­mu­ni­ties since the 1990s in an effort to rein­vig­o­rate the tra­di­tions of the Arta­man League – a farm­ing move­ment whose roots lie in the 19th cen­tu­ry roman­tic ide­al of “blood and soil” rural­ism, which was adopt­ed by the Nazis. Hein­rich Himm­ler, the SS leader, was a mem­ber. “They prop­a­gate a way of liv­ing which involves humane rais­ing of plants and ani­mals, is both nation­al­is­tic and author­i­tar­i­an, and in which there’s no place for plu­ral­ism and democ­ra­cy,” said Hein­rich, adding that the NPD is close­ly linked to the set­tlers, help­ing the par­ty become “deeply root­ed in these rur­al areas”.

    The set­tlers pro­duce “Ger­man hon­ey”, bake bread from home­grown wheat, pro­duce fruit and veg­eta­bles for sale, and knit their own woollen sweaters. Observers have not­ed that the far-right farm­ers have been able to prof­it from the cheap and spa­cious swaths of land left by a pop­u­la­tion exo­dus from impov­er­ished states in the for­mer East Ger­many, such as Meck­len­burg.

    Polit­i­cal sci­en­tists argue that the NPD is try­ing to wrest the eco­log­i­cal move­ment back from the left, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Ger­man Greens, who rose to promi­nence in the 1980s to become Europe’s most suc­cess­ful eco­log­i­cal par­ty.

    Hans-Gün­ter Laimer, a farmer in Low­er Bavaria who once ran for elec­tion for the NPD and is linked to Umwelt und Aktiv, ques­tions why the left has been allowed to dom­i­nate the organ­ic scene for so long. “What is the dif­fer­ence between my cucum­bers and those of some­one from the Green par­ty?” he said.

    A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Cen­tre for Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cul­ture, in Roggentin in Meck­len­burg, who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied for secu­ri­ty rea­sons, recent­ly told the Süd­deutsche Zeitung news­pa­per: “They want that peo­ple don’t think about pol­i­tics when they hear the word NPD. They want as far as pos­si­ble to build sub­tle bridges into the lives of oth­er cit­i­zens … eco­log­i­cal top­ics are becom­ing increas­ing­ly impor­tant for rightwing extrem­ists.”

    At the same time as it was butcher­ing mil­lions of peo­ple, the Nazi par­ty sup­port­ed ani­mal rights and nature con­ser­va­tion. But it is dis­turb­ing for many Ger­mans to think that while they sup­port local pro­duc­ers and reject genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied food, pes­ti­cides and inten­sive live­stock farm­ing, there is now lit­tle – super­fi­cial­ly at least – to dis­tin­guish a sup­pos­ed­ly well-mean­ing, left­ist Green from a far-right eco enthu­si­ast.

    The depart­ment of rur­al enlight­en­ment in the state of Rhein­land Pfalz has even pro­duced a brochure called Nature Con­ser­va­tion ver­sus Rightwing Extrem­ism, which aims to help organ­ic farm­ers resist the infil­tra­tion of fas­cists into their ranks and to be able to respond to any far-righters they might encounter. Its author, his­to­ri­an Nils Franke, said: “Because of the suc­cess of the eco top­ic in the wider soci­ety, the NPD has a height­ened inter­est in want­i­ng to fly the flag with it.”

    Biopark, an organ­ic cul­ti­va­tion organ­i­sa­tion that vets its mem­bers before cer­ti­fy­ing them as organ­ic farm­ers, said there was lit­tle it could do to exclude the rightwing extrem­ist mem­bers it knew were in its ranks.

    “I don’t appre­ci­ate the ide­ol­o­gy of these peo­ple and I can under­stand if peo­ple choose not to buy from us as a result, but I can’t vet them accord­ing to their polit­i­cal affil­i­a­tions, only based on their cul­ti­va­tion meth­ods,” said its man­ag­er, Delia Mick­lich.

    Posted by R. Wilson | April 29, 2012, 9:24 am
  2. @Robert Wil­son–

    Again, good show! My rants a week or two ago notwith­stand­ing, it is grat­i­fy­ing to see your impor­tant pres­ence return­ing to spitfirelist.com.

    As dis­cussed in numer­ous FTR’s about “volksgruppenrechte”–the rights of native peoples–the Greens have been part of the milieu that has been pro­mot­ing Balka­niza­tion and seces­sion as a way of “Reich-build­ing.”

    The UNPO is an exam­ple of the kind of thing they’ve been pro­mot­ing.

    When view­ing the hor­ri­fy­ing under­pin­nings of a minor deity like the Dalai Lama, it is daunt­ing to con­tem­plate if young folks can suc­cess­ful­ly avoid all the Nazi/fascist sand traps (“bunkers”?).

    Pirate Par­ty, Wik­iLeaks, eco-fas­cism, and stances that are, in their foun­da­tion rea­son­able, such as oppo­si­tion to exces­sive “anti-ter­ror­ism” leg­is­la­tion and the rights of minor­i­ty peo­ples present a for­mi­da­ble mine­field for the young to nav­i­gate.

    May have to give this arti­cle a FFT post in, and of, itself.

    Keep dig­ging and thanks again!



    Posted by Dave Emory | April 29, 2012, 1:54 pm
  3. @Dave: I must admit that I was one of the younger truth-seek­ers who took the hard and bumpy road.....that is, I fell for a few of the traps to vary­ing degrees.

    @R. Wil­son: Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the fringe right has been pulling sim­i­lar shenani­gans here in the U.S. for a very long time now. One must won­der if a con­spir­a­cy to dis­cred­it the efforts of hon­est & decent sup­port­ers and pro­mot­ers of green liv­ing may be in play(and I would­n’t be sur­prised if peo­ple like Hans-Gunter Laimer were indeed secret­ly try­ing to turn good peo­ple away from green liv­ing!), on top of the usu­al hijack­ing the band­wag­on, as it were.

    Posted by Steven L. | April 29, 2012, 5:27 pm
  4. of cause Hitler was for some good things. do you think any­one would vote for him if he went around say­ing, ” hi, i am hitler. i want to start anoth­er world war and i want to kill all the jews. please vote for me.”

    Posted by David | May 9, 2012, 5:42 pm
  5. Mon­go­lian neo-Nazi group now push­ing ‘resource nation­al­ism’
    By Reuters
    Tues­day, July 2, 2013 7:25 EDT


    By Car­los Bar­ria

    ULAN BATOR (Reuters) – A Mon­go­lian neo-Nazi group has rebrand­ed itself as an envi­ron­men­tal­ist orga­ni­za­tion fight­ing pol­lu­tion by for­eign-owned mines, seek­ing legit­i­ma­cy as it sends Swasti­ka-wear­ing mem­bers to check min­ing per­mits.

    Tsagaan Khass, or White Swasti­ka, has only 100-plus mem­bers but it is one of sev­er­al groups with names like Dayar Mon­gol (Whole Mon­go­lia), Gal Undesten (Fire Nation) and Khukh Mon­gol (Blue Mon­go­lia), expand­ing a wave of resource nation­al­ism as for­eign firms seek to exploit the min­er­al wealth of the vast coun­try, land­locked between Rus­sia and Chi­na.

    From an office behind a lin­gerie store in the Mon­go­lian cap­i­tal, the shaven-head­ed, jack­boot­ed Tsagaan Khass storm-troop­ers launch bizarre raids on min­ing projects, demand­ing paper­work or soil sam­ples to be stud­ied for con­t­a­m­i­nants.

    “Before we used to work in a harsh way, like break­ing down doors, but now we have changed and we use oth­er approach­es, like demon­stra­tions,” the group’s leader, Ari­un­bold Altankhu­um, 40, told Reuters, speak­ing through a trans­la­tor.

    On a patrol to a quar­ry in grass­lands a dusty two-hour ride from the cap­i­tal, mem­bers wore black SS-style Nazi uni­forms com­plete with light­ning flash­es and repli­ca Iron Cross­es.

    They ques­tioned a mine work­er against the sound of machin­ery grind­ing stones about paper work, opt­ing to return in a week when the own­er had returned.

    “Today our main goal is to save nature. We are doing things to pro­tect the envi­ron­ment,” Altankhu­um said. “The devel­op­ment of min­ing is grow­ing and has become an issue.”

    The group, found­ed in the 1990s, says it wants to halt pol­lu­tion in the land­locked for­mer Sovi­et satel­lite as for­eign com­pa­nies dig for gold, cop­per, coal and iron ore using cheap labor from neigh­bor­ing Chi­na and near­by South­east Asia. But a lot of the pol­lu­tion is caused by local, ille­gal min­ers work­ing indi­vid­u­al­ly.

    “We used to talk about fight­ing with for­eign­ers, but some time ago we real­ized that is not effi­cient, so our pur­pose changed from fight­ing for­eign­ers in the streets to fight­ing the min­ing com­pa­nies,” Altankhu­um said.

    For­eign-invest­ed min­ing com­pa­nies con­tact­ed by Reuters either were unavail­able for com­ment or did not want to com­ment.

    Mon­go­lians fear for­eign work­ers are tak­ing up scarce jobs in an econ­o­my where near­ly 30 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion lives below the pover­ty line, accord­ing to the Asia Devel­op­ment Bank.

    “Min­ing is impor­tant because it’s 90 per­cent of our econ­o­my,” said polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor Dambadar­jaa Jar­gal­saikhan. “But the unequal chan­nel­ing of this rev­enue, the inequal­i­ty in this coun­try, that’s the major issue.”

    Not help­ing the Tsagaan Khass envi­ron­men­tal cre­den­tials among main­stream observers, apart from the uni­forms, is Altankhuum’s rev­er­ence for Adolf Hitler.

    “The rea­son we chose this way is because what is hap­pen­ing here in Mon­go­lia is like 1939, and Hitler’s move­ment trans­formed his coun­try into a pow­er­ful coun­try,” he said.


    Because of com­ments like that, some observers dis­miss groups such as his as self-serv­ing and irrel­e­vant.

    “Mongolia’s neo-Nazis have been receiv­ing too much atten­tion from glob­al media, and they’ve obvi­ous­ly been enjoy­ing it,” said Tal Liron, a PhD can­di­date at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go who spe­cial­izes in nation­al iden­ti­ty. “They do not, how­ev­er, rep­re­sent Mon­go­lians as a whole, any more than neo-Nazis in Britain rep­re­sent the Brits.

    “…Mon­go­lians are cos­mopoli­tan, savvy and per­fect­ly capa­ble of adapt­ing many for­eign ide­olo­gies and fash­ions to their con­text. For exam­ple, they have since 1990 thor­ough­ly and vibrant­ly embraced rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­ra­cy, just as they embraced social­ism before 1990. I think that’s the real sto­ry here: Mon­go­lians are not and per­haps nev­er were a remote, iso­lat­ed peo­ple. And they’re also quite capa­ble of under­stand­ing irony, espe­cial­ly in regards to their con­tem­po­rary con­di­tion.”

    Resource nation­al­ism has been a major elec­tion issue in Mon­go­lia, where the largest for­eign invest­ment is the Oyu Tol­goi project, 66 per­cent owned by glob­al min­er Rio Tin­to and the rest by the gov­ern­ment.

    Oyu Tol­goi is expect­ed to boost Mongolia’s econ­o­my by about a third by 2020. Annu­al out­put in its first decade is expect­ed to aver­age 330,000 tons of cop­per and 495,000 ounces of gold.

    But Rio has said since Feb­ru­ary it will not begin exports from the mine until it resolves dis­putes with Mon­go­lia over roy­al­ties, costs, man­age­ment fees and project financ­ing.

    “They are say­ing they have signed con­tracts on it and are giv­ing some per­cent­age of that to the peo­ple,” Dor­j­go­tov Purev-Ish, a 39-year-old man­u­al labor­er, told Reuters, describ­ing gov­ern­ment assur­ances of the advan­tages to flow from Oyu Tol­goi.

    “But our fam­i­ly hasn’t received any ben­e­fit.”

    Incum­bent pres­i­dent Tsakhia Elbeg­dorj, who wants more con­trols on for­eign min­ing invest­ment, won a sec­ond term last week, rid­ing con­cerns over the fal­ter­ing econ­o­my and the grow­ing role of for­eign firms.

    Colonel Tumen­jar­gal Sain­jar­gal of the Nation­al Police Depart­ment said the right-wing phe­nom­e­non began 15 years ago when young peo­ple grew angry at the appear­ance of for­eign lan­guages on signs and made threats against busi­ness own­ers.

    “They said it was too much, that it looked like a Chi­na­town,” Sain­jar­gal said.

    “There are com­plaints that some for­eign-invest­ed com­pa­nies hire Mon­go­lian employ­ees and cheat them, use vio­lence, over work them, or refuse to pay mon­ey owed to them. After­wards, some of these Mon­go­lians call the nation­al­ist groups. There have been a few inci­dents with nation­al­ists com­ing to com­pa­nies for vio­lent rea­sons to resolve the con­flicts in their own way.”

    It seems unlike­ly Tsagaan Khass’s new green think­ing will be enough to repair its rep­u­ta­tion after accu­sa­tions of vio­lence, such as shav­ing the heads of women it claimed were pros­ti­tutes serv­ing for­eign cus­tomers.

    “We didn’t shave the heads of the women, we just cut their hair,” said Altankhu­um. “But today we are chang­ing. That was crude. That time has passed.”

    Posted by Swamp | July 2, 2013, 7:22 am
  6. Com­ing back to this one again.....btw, speak­ing of eco-fas­cism, and the peo­ple who fool­ish­ly push it, Dave, are you ever gonna take a look at cli­mate change doom­say­ers?

    These peo­ple are a small group but they are quite vocal; they make a full-time career or sorts throw­ing out crazy B.S. pre­dic­tions about “near term extinc­tion” or inevitable soci­etal col­lapse, etc., and some of them are QUITE nasty indi­vid­u­als.

    For a cou­ple of the more well-known exam­ples, I’ll post some links:


    Fear­mon­ger­ing and crazi­ness ABOUNDS with these peo­ple. They may not ALL be con­scious fas­cists, but there sure are a fair num­ber who seem to be all too fanat­i­cal about their beliefs.....

    Posted by Steve L. | July 20, 2013, 6:41 pm
  7. @Steven L.: The most promi­nent cli­mate change alarmist (that seems to con­sis­tent­ly seems to do more harm than good) I can think of is James Love­lock. In addi­tion argu­ing that nuclear pow­er is the only green solu­tion avail­able to human­i­ty, he also float­ed the idea that democ­ra­cy might have to be sus­pend­ed until human­i­ty gets the cli­mate under con­trol. And then there’s his claims that we’re all doomed by 2040 and there’s noth­ing any­one can do about it. Just last year, Love­lock did a big mea cul­pa and acknowl­edged that pre­dict­ing that human­i­ty would be almost entire­ly wiped out in a cen­tu­ry was per­haps a smidge over the top. He then went on to ques­tion cli­mate sci­ence in gen­er­al, using some rather dubi­ous argu­ments. He then came out in favor of frack­ing and now his lat­est pet top­ics are over­pop­u­la­tion and a new species aris­ing on earth more capa­ble than humans at liv­ing har­mo­nious­ly (he’s pre­vi­ous­ly argued that humans haven’t evolved the intel­li­gence required to pre­vent cli­mate change). Con­sid­er­ing the dam­age folks like Love­lock have done to legit­i­mate cli­mate alarmism (which is entire­ly appro­pri­ate giv­en the alarm­ing data) and con­sid­er­ing how impor­tant the top­ic of over­pop­u­la­tion is in gen­er­al — espe­cial­ly in the coun­tries near the equa­tor that are most like­ly to be severe­ly impact­ed by cli­mate change — the prospect of Love­lock influ­enc­ing the over­pop­u­la­tion debate does­n’t bode well. And the new species stuff is just a big red flag. You can see the “Eco-col­lapse for Evo­lu­tion!” head­lines com­ing. Ugh.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 21, 2013, 8:32 pm
  8. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10312930/Germanys-Green-Party-leader-regrets-campaign-to-legalise-paedophilia.html

    Ger­many’s Green Par­ty leader regrets cam­paign to ‘legalise pae­dophil­ia’
    The head of Germany’s Green Par­ty has expressed regret about a two-decade-old polit­i­cal pam­phlet con­tain­ing calls to legalise some forms of pedophil­ia.

    By Jee­van Vasagar, in Berlin

    3:05PM BST 16 Sep 2013

    Jür­gen Trit­tin was list­ed as “legal­ly respon­si­ble” for a 1981 elec­tion pam­phlet, which called for the decrim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of sex acts between adults and chil­dren “that occur with­out the use or threat of force.”

    Mr Trit­tin, the co-leader of the par­ty and a for­mer Ger­man envi­ron­ment min­is­ter, told a press con­fer­ence in Berlin on Mon­day: “It was also my fault and my respon­si­bil­i­ty that these mis­tak­en demands endured for so long.” He added: “This posi­tion is false, was false and last­ed too long.”

    Asked how he viewed it then, Mr Trit­tin replied: “I saw it as prob­lem­at­ic”.

    At the time the pam­phlet was pub­lished, Mr Trit­tin was a grass­roots activist for the Greens. In the mid-1980s he became a region­al MP for the Greens in Low­er Sax­ony. The demand for legal­i­sa­tion was with­drawn dur­ing the course of the 1980s after cam­paign­ing by women’s groups with­in the Green par­ty.

    The rev­e­la­tion will be a fur­ther blow to the Green Party’s elec­tion hopes. Germany’s third biggest par­ty has strug­gled through­out the elec­tion cam­paign with polls putting them as low as nine per­cent of the vote.

    The party’s sup­port for mak­ing pae­dophil­ia legal only end­ed in 1990 but the past has haunt­ed them through­out this elec­tion cam­paign.

    Mr Trit­tin argued at the press con­fer­ence that the party’s view on pae­dophil­ia was shaped by the cam­paign against Para­graph 175, the pro­vi­sion of the Ger­man crim­i­nal code that made homo­sex­u­al­i­ty ille­gal. This was abol­ished in 1994.

    He said: “In the found­ing phase of the Greens, gay and les­bian groups were cam­paign­ing to reverse dis­crim­i­na­tion of a kind you can hard­ly imag­ine today.

    “The impe­tus for lib­er­al­i­sa­tion and decrim­i­nal­i­sa­tion over­shot its tar­get. And it over­shot, because there was the fic­tion that — beyond vio­lence and the abuse of a rela­tion­ship of trust — there could be sex­u­al rela­tions between adults and chil­dren.”

    The Greens announced ear­li­er this year that they would set up an inquiry into their links with pae­dophile groups, fol­low­ing a row over a Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit’s appar­ent endorse­ment of sex with chil­dren.

    The first report of the inquiry, pub­lished last month, con­clud­ed that the Greens “set bare­ly any bound­aries on sex­u­al rela­tions between teach­ers, car­ers and their charges — or between adults and chil­dren”.

    Daniel Cohn-Ben­dit, a stu­dent leader in the 1968 unrest in Paris, claimed in a 1975 book that he inter­act­ed sex­u­al­ly with chil­dren while work­ing at a kinder­garten. The remarks came to light again this year when he was award­ed a prize by the Theodor Heuss Foun­da­tion, which hon­ours West Germany’s first pres­i­dent.

    He sub­se­quent­ly insist­ed that he was not a pae­dophile and had made the remarks sole­ly in order to shock “bour­geois” soci­ety.

    The Greens slipped to 8.6pc in region­al elec­tions in Bavaria on Sun­day, a week ahead of Germany’s nation­al elec­tions on Sep­tem­ber 22. Ger­man chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s con­ser­v­a­tive allies the Chris­t­ian Social Union von 47.7pc of the vote, a swing of more than four per­cent­age points from their 2008 result.

    Her­mann Groe­he, gen­er­al sec­re­tary of Mrs Merkel’s Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Union, said: “This elec­tion gives us tail­wind for the nation­al elec­tion.” The lib­er­al Free Democ­rats, who are in coali­tion with Mrs Merkel’s par­ty nation­al­ly, won only 3.3 per cent of the vote in Bavaria, los­ing more than half their sup­port and all their seats in the par­lia­ment in Munich. In nation­al polls the Free Democ­rats hov­er around the 5pc thresh­old need­ed to keep their seats in the Bun­destag.

    Germany’s main oppo­si­tion par­ty, the Social Democ­rats, fin­ished a dis­tant sec­ond in Bavaria with 20.6 per cent.

    Posted by Vanfield | September 17, 2013, 9:48 am
  9. And then there is this... Kevin
    Bar­rett is a typ­i­cal Truther/Holocaust denier/piece of crap.
    Nat­u­ral­ly, he is tight with Bara­ka. The site is anar­chist,
    but they back up what they are say­ing with links that are


    “The U.S. Green Par­ty is well-known to be a home for many
    anti­semites and con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists. In fact, this seems to
    be such an accept­ed fact in the par­ty that it has nom­i­nat­ed
    Ama­ju Bara­ka for vice pres­i­dent, even tho he has a very
    pub­lic his­to­ry of work­ing with Holo­caust Denier Kevin
    Bar­rett. This includes being in an anthol­o­gy Bar­rett edit­ed,
    and appear­ing on his radio show.”

    Posted by CarobSteviaMatte | August 12, 2016, 8:23 am
  10. The Men­ace of Eco-Fas­cism
    by Matthew Phe­lan

    Octo­ber 22, 2018


    We tend to assume that America’s envi­ron­men­tal move­ment has clear ana­logues in oth­er coun­tries and cul­tures, but it might real­ly be clos­er to an aber­ra­tion. Forged in the cru­cible of Viet­nam- and Civ­il Rights-era protest move­ments, and meld­ing the tra­di­tions of Hen­ry David Thore­au and Ted­dy Roo­sevelt with the ideals of the 1960s coun­ter­cul­ture, Amer­i­can envi­ron­men­tal­ism bears lit­tle resem­blance to some of its pre­sumed allies abroad.

    Across Europe, for exam­ple, a long­stand­ing cul­tur­al rela­tion­ship between Nature and Nation per­me­ates envi­ron­men­tal debate with a nativist sen­ti­ment stronger than is typ­i­cal­ly vis­i­ble in the Unit­ed States. In Ger­many, begin­ning around the turn of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, die Wan­dervögel (the hik­ing birds) began to coa­lesce around a dis­dain for moder­ni­ty and a roman­tic con­cep­tion of the nation’s Teu­ton­ic agrar­i­an past. The Hitler Youth even­tu­al­ly appro­pri­at­ed a lot of the Wan­dervögel aes­thet­ic—includ­ing its ear­ly use of the swasti­ka and its mil­i­tant Boy Scout look—and the movement’s ide­o­log­i­cal obses­sions; the way it tied local ecol­o­gy to eth­nic­i­ty in a “Blood and Soil” mythol­o­gy is still echoed today by many on the far right. (The Ger­man Green Par­ty has been peri­od­i­cal­ly plagued by this ten­sion, some­times lead­ing to the cre­ation of splin­ter groups such as the Unab­hängige Ökolo­gen Deutsch­lands, the Inde­pen­dent Envi­ron­men­tal­ists of Ger­many, whose plat­form pairs eco­log­i­cal goals with the pro­tec­tion of “cul­tur­al iden­ti­ty” and racial puri­ty.)

    Rus­sia today is see­ing the rise of a sim­i­lar eco-nation­al­ist home­steading move­ment, some­times dubbed “Ring­ing Cedars” after a series of fan­ta­sy nov­els by the Siber­ian author Vladimir Megre, whose mys­ti­cism and Old World nos­tal­gia inspired read­ers to go “back to the land.” The cat­alyz­ing force of a pop­u­lar fan­ta­sy series is odd­ly some­thing that the Ring­ing Cedars com­mu­ni­ties share with the Unit­ed Kingdom’s mid-cen­tu­ry Green move­ment, which arose in tan­dem with a large­ly con­ser­v­a­tive long­ing for the Eng­lish coun­try­side, rekin­dled by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

    Any­one who has a pass­ing famil­iar­i­ty with envi­ron­men­tal activism knows this intu­itive­ly. Lim­it­ed parochial con­cerns and self-inter­est moti­vate sig­nif­i­cant seg­ments of near­ly all local Green coali­tions; there are always peo­ple who get the “act local­ly” part, but don’t par­tic­u­lar­ly care to “think glob­al­ly.” The trou­ble is that there is a sig­nif­i­cant risk that these ten­sions between the pro­gres­sive-inclu­sive and the con­ser­v­a­tive-exclu­sive wings of envi­ron­men­tal­ism could final­ly rup­ture in the era that has brought us first Brex­it and Trump, and more recent­ly the neo-Nazi days of rage in Chem­nitz and this past sum­mer the white nation­al­ist vio­lence in that bas­tion of hip­pie-pro­gres­sivism, down­town Port­land, Oregon—this lat­ter clash mere walk­ing dis­tance from an elec­tric vehi­cle charg­ing sta­tion, a yoga stu­dio, and an estu­ary con­ser­va­tion non­prof­it.

    We live in a mul­ti­va­lent polit­i­cal atmos­phere, ver­tig­i­nous­ly com­plex despite the tired obser­va­tion that pub­lic debate has become too polar­ized. The old ide­o­log­i­cal axis of left-right—which had man­aged to reflect polit­i­cal real­i­ty since the end of World War II—has bro­ken apart, and new, improb­a­ble coali­tions are form­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly around issues pro­mot­ed as pop­ulist. Some of these unpre­dictable realign­ments have drawn a great deal of com­men­tary and atten­tion, but they have been lit­tle dis­cussed as man­i­fest­ed with­in the envi­ron­men­tal move­ment.

    “We have the poten­tial to become nature’s stew­ard or its destroy­er,” Richard Spencer, the white suprema­cist orga­niz­er and coin­er of the term “alt-right,” wrote in his August 11, 2017, man­i­festo inau­gu­rat­ing the “Unite the Right” ral­ly in Char­lottesville. “Putting aside con­tentious mat­ters like glob­al warm­ing and resource deple­tion, Euro­pean coun­tries should invest in nation­al parks, wilder­ness pre­serves, and wildlife refuges, as well as pro­duc­tive and sus­tain­able farms and ranch­es. The nat­ur­al world—and our expe­ri­ence of it—is an end in itself.”

    In that dis­turb­ing and care­ful­ly cal­i­brat­ed state­ment, Spencer clear­ly hoped to bridge the divide between those on the far right who believe that cli­mate change is a hoax, that the envi­ron­men­tal move­ment is a cryp­to-social­ist bid for state inter­ven­tion (effec­tive­ly, the Koch-fund­ed Tea Par­ty line), and those who actu­al­ly find the sci­ence under­gird­ing envi­ron­men­tal caus­es per­sua­sive (even if they ulti­mate­ly care more about intru­sions into their own per­son­al sphere, like GMO crops and flu­o­ri­dat­ed water, than inter­na­tion­al prob­lems like ris­ing sea lev­els and ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion). Spencer’s goal here is to build a con­sen­sus on pre­serv­ing the nat­ur­al environment—for the priv­i­leged own­er­ship, use, and plea­sure of West­ern eth­no-states.

    Albeit with­out the alt-right’s explic­it­ly exclu­sion­ary, trib­al­ist agen­da, this roman­tic-reac­tionary ten­den­cy in envi­ron­men­tal­ism has fer­tile ground in US Green Par­ty coali­tions, if only because many prag­mat­ic envi­ron­men­tal­ists have self-select­ed out of these mar­gin­al­ized third-par­ty engage­ments. Con­cert­ed efforts by anti-Semit­ic authors David Pid­cock, Michele Renouf, and Matthias Chang to insin­u­ate their ideas into the Green Party’s defense of Pales­tini­ans, and its cri­tique of inter­na­tion­al finance, plagued the cam­paign of Green Par­ty pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Cyn­thia McK­in­ney in 2008, and this exam­ple is not unique. In gen­er­al, what has been left is an activist com­mu­ni­ty that, while far from being a full-fledged “green–brown” alliance, is dan­ger­ous­ly sus­cep­ti­ble to eco-nation­al­ist posi­tions and pre­med­i­tat­ed infil­tra­tion by like-minds from the far right.

    Canada’s Green Par­ty has also been forced to spend the past sev­er­al years aggres­sive­ly dis­tanc­ing itself from sim­i­lar intru­sions, among them its for­mer fed­er­al can­di­date in Alber­ta, Moni­ka Schae­fer, who ran on the par­ty line in 2006, 2008, and 2011, and now describes the Holo­caust as the “biggest and most per­ni­cious and per­sis­tent lie in all of his­to­ry.” Schae­fer is a for­mer music teacher whose long gray hair is draped in two braids, one on each shoul­der, like Willie Nelson’s. She was arrest­ed in Ger­many this past Jan­u­ary while attend­ing the tri­al of a fel­low Holo­caust denier.

    More recent­ly, here in the US, there’s the unlike­ly jour­ney of Tea Par­ty orga­niz­er Deb­bie Doo­ley, whose Green Tea Coali­tion has brought right-wing groups into close col­lab­o­ra­tion with lib­er­al stal­warts like the Sier­ra Club and the Nature Con­ser­van­cy. Togeth­er, they have suc­cess­ful­ly lob­bied for solar pow­er sub­si­dies in Geor­gia and Flori­da. As Doo­ley told The Guardian, “I believe being good stew­ards of the envi­ron­ment God gave us should not be a par­ti­san issue.”

    The sheer nov­el­ty of Dooley’s exis­tence has proven irre­sistible to journalists—netting her gawk­ing pro­files in The New York­er, Harper’s, and on Nation­al Pub­lic Radio—but that cov­er­age has tend­ed to obscure her extrem­ism. Along­side advo­cat­ing for sus­tain­able ener­gy, Dooley’s oth­er pet issues are oppos­ing amnesty for undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants and increas­ing bor­der secu­ri­ty. She endorsed Trump ear­ly in the Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry, writ­ing a Bre­it­bart News edi­to­r­i­al in which she praised his strong belief in “Amer­i­can excep­tion­al­ism” and his will­ing­ness to “put Amer­i­can inter­ests first.”

    Look­ing for a clos­er appraisal of Doo­ley, I reached out to the con­ser­va­tion chair for the Sier­ra Club’s Flori­da chap­ter, Tom Lar­son, who had spo­ken along­side her (and Al Gore) at a 2015 cli­mate event in Mia­mi. Lar­son had a strong sense that even more per­ni­cious vari­a­tions of the Doo­ley phe­nom­e­non had exist­ed with­in the Amer­i­can envi­ron­men­tal move­ment for decades.

    “Folks that were get­ting into anti-immi­gra­tion issues fif­teen years ago had some inter­est in try­ing to tap the Sier­ra Club’s con­cern about world­wide resources-use pat­terns,” Lar­son told me. “It was an inter­est­ing affair for a cou­ple of years where they tried to get their peo­ple elect­ed to the [Sier­ra Club’s non­prof­it] cor­po­rate board… There was a nativist lurch at times that was hid­den behind ‘pop­u­la­tion growth’ lan­guage.”

    Carl Pope, then the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Sier­ra Club, was care­ful not to say at the time that he believed all of these upstart can­di­dates were nec­es­sar­i­ly racist. (One, in fact, was a for­mer exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Con­gres­sion­al Black Cau­cus Foun­da­tion who had joined this anti-immi­gra­tion push because he sin­cere­ly felt that the influx of migrant work­ers was under­min­ing the liveli­hoods of work­ing-class African-Amer­i­cans.)

    Yet Pope reached for a graph­ic metaphor to describe the over­all sit­u­a­tion to reporters in 2004, say­ing that it was hard to sep­a­rate a candidate’s per­son­al views from his back­ers “if some­body who isn’t a Nazi is put on the bal­lot by the Amer­i­can Nazi Par­ty.” This wasn’t mere mud­sling­ing, unfor­tu­nate­ly. One Sier­ra Club mem­ber, accord­ing to cov­er­age in The New York Times, was found to be encour­ag­ing the read­ers of VDARE—an anti-immi­grant site that pro­motes race sci­ence and is today square­ly affil­i­at­ed with the alt-right—to join the Sier­ra Club and vote for these out­side can­di­dates.

    John Tan­ton, a Sier­ra Club offi­cial from Michi­gan with exten­sive ties to white nation­al­ists and eugeni­cists, had writ­ten up a secret memo plan­ning the takeover years ear­li­er, in 1986, as the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter uncov­ered. (“The issues we’re touch­ing on here must be broached by lib­er­als,” Tanton’s memo reads, “con­ser­v­a­tives sim­ply can­not do it with­out taint­ing the whole sub­ject.”)

    Tan­ton is in assist­ed liv­ing now, but the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar net­work of anti-immi­gra­tion groups that he helped will into being, includ­ing the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR) and the Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies, has had an out­sized influ­ence with­in the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. Tanton’s phil­an­thropic pitch­es to his network’s wealth­i­est bene­fac­tor, Mel­lon fam­i­ly heiress Cordelia Scaife May, were rou­tine­ly pack­aged in their shared affin­i­ty for the Amer­i­can tra­di­tions of nat­u­ral­ism, tran­scen­den­tal­ism, and con­ser­va­tion. A typ­i­cal cor­re­spon­dence could see Tan­ton plan­ning a trip for Scaife May on which she could admire both Arizona’s “acorn wood­peck­ers, and the half dozen species of hum­ming birds” and lat­er vis­it the state’s brave INS agents busy round­ing up “the ille­gals.” (Per­haps run­ning a sim­i­lar gam­bit, for­mer Grand Wiz­ard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke spent some time in Aus­tria in the late aughts run­ning a bird­watch­ing busi­ness near the East­ern Alps.)

    These inten­tion­al­ly sub­ver­sive episodes are dis­turb­ing by them­selves. But then there have also been some strange recur­ring bloop­ers in which envi­ron­men­tal activists have hap­less­ly stum­bled into casu­al alliances with dan­ger­ous mem­bers of the far-right rad­i­cal fringe. One exam­ple was long­time envi­ron­men­tal activist and lawyer Robert Kennedy Jr.’s brief, baf­fling dal­liance with Pres­i­dent Trump last year over their mutu­al vac­cine para­noia. There was the 2013 inci­dent in which Australia’s Greens acci­den­tal­ly invit­ed the nation’s lead­ing Holo­caust-denier, Fred­er­ick Töben, to a gala fundrais­ing cruise. And the time that America’s 2016 Green Par­ty VP can­di­date, Aja­mu Bara­ka, acci­den­tal­ly allowed one of his polit­i­cal essays to be pub­lished in an anthol­o­gy edit­ed by Sep­tem­ber 11 con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist and Holo­caust “skep­tic” Kevin Bar­rett (after Bara­ka had also appeared on Barrett’s radio pro­gram, twice).

    Both by hap­pen­stance and design, sad­ly, these inter­sec­tions will con­tin­ue. Indeed, they’re like­ly to occur more often as the right’s faux-pop­ulist crit­ics of “glob­al­ism” come to real­ize the sim­ple empir­i­cal fact that we live on an Earth rav­aged by increas­ing­ly high-speed glob­al com­merce. Dur­ing the Unit­ed Nations Inter­na­tion­al Year of Bio­di­ver­si­ty in 2010, the UN pub­lished a report that tied the accel­er­at­ing rate of species extinc­tion to a vari­ety of eco­nom­ic fac­tors: urban sprawl, defor­esta­tion, over­fish­ing, cli­mate change, and the care­less mix­ing of dis­parate ecosys­tems.

    That lat­ter fac­tor is of spe­cial rhetor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance here. Glob­al trade has allowed human­i­ty to inter­min­gle count­less species—each evolved to unique region­al cir­cum­stances, oceans apart—pitting these con­fused strangers togeth­er with alarm­ing fre­quen­cy and unpre­dictable results. Take, for exam­ple, the case of Batra­chochytri­um den­dro­ba­tidis, a fun­gal pas­sen­ger on South African clawed frogs that has come to dec­i­mate the pop­u­la­tions of oth­er frog species world­wide. In the 1930s and 1940s, this species of frog trav­eled the world rather inno­cent­ly as a nat­ur­al form of preg­nan­cy test. (Hor­mones in a preg­nant woman’s urine, it was dis­cov­ered, were suf­fi­cient­ly potent to make the female clawed frogs ovu­late.) Despite a pur­pose that sounds so whole­some and unobtrusive—a rare bit of folk med­i­cine that doc­tors and home­opaths could agree on—it brought on a dev­as­tat­ing extinc­tion-lev­el event in a way that no one could have antic­i­pat­ed.

    The world is full of sto­ries like this, freak con­flicts between raw biol­o­gy and glob­al trade: bird flu out­breaks that orig­i­nat­ed in the Dick­en­sian con­di­tions of indus­tri­al chick­en farms; Burmese pythons, import­ed as exot­ic pets, sud­den­ly escap­ing into the Flori­da Ever­glades to sav­age­ly dis­rupt the food web. Every aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nal arti­cle and gov­ern­ment study on one of these inci­dents has the poten­tial to be recast with a sick­en­ing xeno­pho­bic sub­text, a gross reac­tionary gloss.

    And, to an extent, that’s already hap­pen­ing. Florida’s Burmese python prob­lem appeared in a 2014 lis­ti­cle post­ed to Alex Jones’s Infowars site designed to goad unde­cid­ed read­ers into a life of dooms­day prep­ping. (“The signs of col­lapse are all around us.”) He and his edi­to­r­i­al team have woven these kinds of stories—“supercolony” infes­ta­tions of fire ants from South Amer­i­ca, Hawai­ian Amer­i­can bees endan­gered by inva­sive plants, trans­genic Ken­tucky blue­grass escap­ing as a superweed—into their brand’s rolling, impro­vised nar­ra­tive of nation­al degen­er­a­cy and impend­ing apoc­a­lypse. It’s instruc­tive to keep in mind that one of Jones’s most instant­ly rec­og­niz­able and end­less­ly memed rants, the one about “chem­i­cals in the water that turn the frickin’ frogs gay,” ulti­mate­ly dis­tills gen­uine con­cerns about phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal waste dis­rupt­ing marine life into pure, reac­tionary sex pan­ic.

    Jones’s mop­pety Sheffield pro­tégé, Paul Joseph Wat­son (not yet banned from Twit­ter, with 923k fol­low­ers and count­ing), has also proven to be an adroit repack­ager of nuanced eco­log­i­cal debates, trans­form­ing them into inflam­ma­to­ry click­bait for his audi­ence of cul­ture war­riors. When a soci­ol­o­gist at the Uni­ver­si­ty of West­min­ster sug­gest­ed that the Radio 4 pan­el show “Gar­den­ers’ Ques­tion Time” had become a cryp­to-nation­al­ist hotbed of seething racial resent­ments, Wat­son spun it to his audi­ence as a left-author­i­tar­i­an aca­d­e­m­ic call­ing tech­ni­cal terms like “soil puri­ty” and “inva­sive species” inher­ent­ly racist. Ear­li­er this year, he and Bre­it­bart Lon­don man­u­fac­tured a con­tro­ver­sy over an off-hand­ed com­ment made by an envi­ron­men­tal reporter, Fred Pearce, who had said that the lan­guage used to describe these inva­sive species is “very xeno­pho­bic.” The bare­ly veiled sub­text in both instances is the idea that the self-described envi­ron­men­tal­ists on the left are so fun­da­men­tal­ly enmeshed in their own mul­ti­cul­tur­al delu­sions as to be whol­ly inca­pable of pro­tect­ing the nat­ur­al world. This tac­tic of ter­mite pun­dit­ry around the cleav­ages between envi­ron­men­tal­ists and the rest of the mod­ern left prob­a­bly isn’t going away—particularly since the alt-right has decid­ed that it no longer wants to entrust pro­tect­ing the father­land to a bunch of dirty hip­pies.

    “In terms of the dis­course about nations,” says Peter Paul Cat­ter­all, a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of West­min­ster who edits the his­tor­i­cal jour­nal Nation­al Iden­ti­ties, “peo­ple on the far-right tend to be pri­mor­dial­ists; they tend to see the nation as a nat­ur­al com­mu­ni­ty rather than an imag­ined com­mu­ni­ty.” (Here, again, the Wan­dervögel, who in their Teu­ton­ic mys­ti­cism saw an essen­tial pure Ger­many stretch­ing back into an ide­al­ized past, as opposed to the real­i­ty: a Ger­man nation-state that had only become for­mal­ly assem­bled in 1871.)

    “And in that same way,” Cat­ter­all con­tin­ues, “they’re hos­tile to the erup­tion into that com­mu­ni­ty of species and influ­ences from out­side, which can under­mine or affect the health of that com­mu­ni­ty.”

    There’s a strain with­in envi­ron­men­tal­ism that shares this pri­mor­dial out­look, hold­ing fast to a belief in “cli­max” or “deep ecologies”—perfectly bal­anced states of nature that would be endur­ing and eter­nal were it not for the inter­fer­ence of man. The unre­solved ten­sion sur­round­ing this con­cept has been a fea­ture of eco­log­i­cal debates since at least the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, when the Eng­lish botanist Arthur Tans­ley sparred with Amer­i­can ecol­o­gist Fred­er­ic Clements over the latter’s view of the ecosys­tem as organ­ism, striv­ing for total sym­bi­ot­ic bal­ance. Final­ly putting this to rest, with the help of decades of con­tin­u­ing research, will prob­a­bly be an essen­tial step toward sav­ing the cause of envi­ron­men­tal­ism from one of its more dan­ger­ous foun­da­tion­al myths.

    But it will not ful­ly erad­i­cate the threat that some nascent form of right-wing nation­al­ism might suc­cess­ful­ly co-opt the envi­ron­men­tal move­ment, in whole or in part, in the near future. It isn’t incon­ceiv­able that a few Sil­i­con Val­ley tech bil­lion­aires, alarmed by the specter of anthro­pogenic apoc­a­lypse (but unin­ter­est­ed in any egal­i­tar­i­an impinge­ments on their cap­i­tal flows), might cast their phil­an­thropic largess behind ever more right-lean­ing and reac­tionary envi­ron­men­tal groups.

    “There is an oppor­tu­ni­ty there,” Cat­ter­all says, “which the far-right par­ties have not yet spot­ted, and there is a risk that they could spot this, and they could use it very effec­tive­ly because, after all, there is a lot of hos­til­i­ty to science—which goes far beyond the sort of small con­stituen­cy that the far-right can nor­mal­ly trawl with­in. You can see these as being wedge issues that can give them a broad­er reach.”

    As for­mer Trump strate­gist Steve Ban­non told Real Time host Bill Maher last month, “Look in Italy right now… The Five-Star Move­ment is so Green they even want to do a bul­let train, okay? They’re the pop­ulist move­ment and they’re even say­ing, ‘Hey we got­ta stop the migrant issue,’ because they’re the ones that want to give a guar­an­teed income.” (Four of the five pol­i­cy issues—or “stars”—around which the dif­fi­cult-to-clas­si­fy Five-Star Move­ment is orga­nized are, in fact, essen­tial­ly green con­cerns: pub­lic water access, sus­tain­able trans­porta­tion, sus­tain­able devel­op­ment, and envi­ron­men­tal­ism. The fifth is a right to Inter­net access.)

    Much of what the Ger­man émi­gré crit­i­cal the­o­rist Theodor Adorno had to say about fas­cism and democ­ra­cy in 1959 applies equal­ly well to fas­cism and envi­ron­men­tal­ism today: the sur­vival of these ten­den­cies with­in envi­ron­men­tal­ism could be poten­tial­ly more men­ac­ing than the sur­vival of fas­cist ten­den­cies against envi­ron­men­tal­ism. For most of our lives, we’ve lived with the per­sis­tent threat of extreme-right move­ments backed by cap­i­tal invest­ed in his­tor­i­cal dead-ends such as fos­sil fuels and the free­dom to pol­lute. But far-right move­ments backed by new sec­tors of the econ­o­my could threat­en to be some­thing far worse. They could be sus­tain­able.

    Posted by Mother Muckraker | October 23, 2018, 2:03 pm

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