Saturday, December 17, 2005

Assuming We've Won (3)

War broke out in Iraq 5,000 years ago. We're still fighting it today, having assumed ages ago that we'd won it. The war in Iraq continues to this day, and we will have to fight in our day like every generation has fought for millenia. This is our time. This is the war between Cain and Abel.A war broke out 5,000 years ago in the Fertile Cresent, Nomads against the Settled. That war continues today in our cities, in the West, across the Earth wherever Men live in struggle against the forces of Nature rather helpless than in its clutches.

We assume that the whole of Mankind is settled and happy in cities and on farms, that those who live in forests and jungles are the tiny minority of extreme primitives who have some special place in the scheme of things, that we must be their keepers, that we must protect them from us, for we would surely kill them otherwise.

5,000 years ago we ruined the Garden of Eden where we wandered around in ignorant bliss, knowing nothing, caring about nothing, provided for by Nature and the Spirit. And then we wrecked a very good deal by seeking knowledge of things we should have left alone. It's been misery and toil since. Now there is pain and death. It's our fault. We are the post-lapsarian killers driving off the few who have remained in a state of Nature, hapyh and free from our knowledge. They, not being part of the captialist revolution, not rampaging and destroying Nature, are pure and authentic. We are our brothers' killers.
The West is divided against itself, one side favoring Abel, the other Cain. How do we live rightly? What is the Good?

Below we continue with a closer examination of our assumptions about what the Good is. Is Man meant to live cut off from Nature? Should Man be isolated from his brothers? Are cities good for people? Is Nature important to the point that Man must accomodate himself to it, or is Man supreme? Are we Abels, hunting and gathering and living rightly in touch with Nature? Or are we Men who make our way to the future? Let's question our assumptions about the world of people who live unlike our revolutionary selves. Maybe we are wrong in our approach to this garden that is the Earth.

Nature in National Socialist Ideology

The reactionary ecological ideas whose outlines are sketched above exerted a powerful and lasting influence on many of the central figures in the NSDAP. Weimar culture, after all, was fairly awash in such theories, but the Nazis gave them a peculiar inflection. The National Socialist "religion of nature," as one historian has described it, was a volatile admixture of primeval teutonic nature mysticism, pseudo-scientific ecology, irrationalist anti-humanism, and a mythology of racial salvation through a return to the land. Its predominant themes were 'natural order,' organicist holism and denigration of humanity: "Throughout the writings, not only of Hitler, but of most Nazi ideologues, one can discern a fundamental deprecation of humans vis-à-vis nature, and, as a logical corollary to this, an attack upon human efforts to master nature." 25 Quoting a Nazi educator, the same source continues: "anthropocentric views in general had to be rejected. They would be valid only 'if it is assumed that nature has been created only for man. We decisively reject this attitude. According to our conception of nature, man is a link in the living chain of nature just as any other organism '." 26

Such arguments have a chilling currency within contemporary ecological discourse: the key to social-ecological harmony is ascertaining "the eternal laws of nature's processes" (Hitler) and organizing society to correspond to them. The Führer was particularly fond of stressing the "helplessness of humankind in the face of nature's everlasting law." 27 Echoing Haeckel and the Monists, Mein Kampf announces: "When people attempt to rebel against the iron logic of nature, they come into conflict with the very same principles to which they owe their existence as human beings. Their actions against nature must lead to their own downfall."28

The authoritarian implications of this view of humanity and nature become even clearer in the context of the Nazis' emphasis on holism and organicism. In 1934 the director of the Reich Agency for Nature Protection, Walter Schoenichen, established the following objectives for biology curricula: "Very early, the youth must develop an understanding of the civic importance of the 'organism', i.e. the co-ordination of all parts and organs for the benefit of the one and superior task of life." 29 This (by now familiar) unmediated adaptation of biological concepts to social phenomena served to justify not only the totalitarian social order of the Third Reich but also the expansionist politics of Lebensraum (the plan of conquering 'living space' in Eastern Europe for the German people). It also provided the link between environmental purity and racial purity:

Two central themes of biology education follow [according to the Nazis] from the holistic perspective: nature protection and eugenics. If one views nature as a unified whole, students will automatically develop a sense for ecology and environmental conservation. At the same time, the nature protection concept will direct attention to the urbanized and 'overcivilized' modern human race.30

In many varieties of the National Socialist world view ecological themes were linked with traditional agrarian romanticism and hostility to urban civilization, all revolving around the idea of rootedness in nature. This conceptual constellation, especially the search for a lost connection to nature, was most pronounced among the neo-pagan elements in the Nazi leadership, above all Heinrich Himmler, Alfred Rosenberg, and Walther Darré. Rosenberg wrote in his colossal The Myth of the 20th Century: "Today we see the steady stream from the countryside to the city, deadly for the Volk. The cities swell ever larger, unnerving the Volk and destroying the threads which bind humanity to nature; they attract adventurers and profiteers of all colors, thereby fostering racial chaos."31

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.32

Even in the midst of war, Nazi leaders maintained their commitment to ecological ideals which were, for them, an essential element of racial rejuvenation. In December 1942, Himmler released a decree "On the Treatment of the Land in the Eastern Territories," referring to the newly annexed portions of Poland. It read in part:

The peasant of our racial stock has always carefully endeavored to increase the natural powers of the soil, plants, and animals, and to preserve the balance of the whole of nature. For him, respect for divine creation is the measure of all culture. If, therefore, the new Lebensräume (living spaces) are to become a homeland for our settlers, the planned arrangement of the landscape to keep it close to nature is a decisive prerequisite. It is one of the bases for fortifying the German Volk.33

This passage recapitulates almost all of the tropes comprised by classical ecofascist ideology: Lebensraum, Heimat, the agrarian mystique, the health of the Volk, closeness to and respect for nature (explicitly constructed as the standard against which society is to be judged), maintaining nature's precarious balance, and the earthy powers of the soil and its creatures. Such motifs were anything but personal idiosyncracies on the part of Hitler, Himmler, or Rosenberg; even Göring -- who was, along with Goebbels, the member of the Nazi inner circle least hospitable to ecological ideas -- appeared at times to be a committed conservationist. 34 These sympathies were also hardly restricted to the upper echelons of the party. A study of the membership rolls of several mainstream Weimar era Naturschutz (nature protection) organizations revealed that by 1939, fully 60 percent of these conservationists had joined the NSDAP (compared to about 10 percent of adult men and 25 percent of teachers and lawyers).35 Clearly the affinities between environmentalism and National Socialism ran deep.

At the level of ideology, then, ecological themes played a vital role in German fascism. It would be a grave mistake, however, to treat these elements as mere propaganda, cleverly deployed to mask Nazism's true character as a technocratic-industrialist juggernaut. The definitive history of German anti-urbanism and agrarian romanticism argues incisively against this view:
Nothing could be more wrong than to suppose that most of the leading National Socialist ideologues had cynically feigned an agrarian romanticism and hostility to urban culture, without any inner conviction and for merely electoral and propaganda purposes, in order to hoodwink the public [ . . . ] In reality, the majority of the leading National Socialist ideologists were without any doubt more or less inclined to agrarian romanticism and anti-urbanism and convinced of the need for a relative re-agrarianization.36

The question remains, however: To what extent did the Nazis actually implement environmental policies during the twelve-year Reich? There is strong evidence that the 'ecological' tendency in the party, though largely ignored today, had considerable success for most of the party's reign. This "green wing" of the NSDAP was represented above all by Walther Darré, Fritz Todt, Alwin Seifert and Rudolf Hess, the four figures who primarily shaped fascist ecology in practice.



We'll look again next time at the urge to return to Nature, to the life of Abel. Maybe we'll find that our enemies are completely right in their return to the primitive, and we, our brothers' killers, have no right to be anywhere at all.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Assumptions of the Benign (1)

I think it is speciesist to think that the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center was a greater tragedy than what millions of chickens endured that day and what they endure every day... (Karen Davis, PhD (!) Vegan Voice)

Animal rights. Well, why not? Everything is one at some point, and we, living in nature and being but one small part of it should respect nature rather than treat it as something of our own for ourselves. What right do we have to kill living things and wreck the world as a united living organism? What, when it comes down to it and in the larger sense, makes a man's life worth more than that of a chicken?

Last time we asked that question we aroused some ire, not from animal rights activists or from religious adherents, but from a nutter who went on about my psychic pain! Spare me. We have to seriously question what makes Man's life worth more than a chicken's life, and we must be serious in asking because there are violent people among us who can't make that distinction, and some of them are us, perhaps not to such extreme degrees as others but to degrees we might not feel comfortable with if we were to closely examine just how close we do come to irrationality and ecofascism as it was practiced by our favorite bogeymen, the Nazis.

We have to question our assumptions about ecology and nature and man's place in it because some of us who practice the beliefs of ecology hold in common with others we might dislike some very unhappy opinions, and we, naively perhaps, might follow along into ways unknown and wrong, ways we would forego if only we knew. So let's know. Let's find out more about ecology and where it leads us, or where it might lead us, and see if it leads us into other dark areas that in turn lead us to conclude for exaple that Islam is a religion of peace, or some such silliness. Let's find out if ecology is part of a vast ideology of communitarianism that is also part of identity politics that groups people rather than one that allows for individuals.

Before we delve into our latest look at ecofascsim, I'd like to point out that "like" is not "same." Wiccans, for example,might have similar ideas to wandervogel kids of the 1920s in Germany, but Wiccans are not the same as the wandervogel kids. It's in the closeness that we must be careful to avoid confusions and at the same time to recognize similarities without fear of scorn. Wiccans and Nazis might be similar in beliefs without being the same, and we must also be able to find out the truth of the sameness if it exists without dismissing it out of hand because we're all rightly sick of the over-use of the pejorative sense of the word. Wiccans might well be fat suburbanite teenage girls who can't get laid and nothing more than that, but to dismiss any investigation into the fascist roots of that kind of nature fetishization on the grounds that it's extreme and shop-worn is to betray ourselves and lay ourselves open to not challenging our own Left dhimmi assumptions. Ecology in itself is neither here nor there to most people, and most feel that over-all it's benign and worthwhile for those who are interested and committed to it. It probably is, and probably too there are only a very few extremists who go so far as the idiot, Davis, above. But where do we draw the line? Is Wicca benign? Is ecology good? Do we really know what it means to support ecologism? As one will have seen many times by now, I feel that ecologism is not a good idea. It has far too much in common with Irrationalist fascism. Ecologists might not be the same as old line Nazis, but they are in many respects similar in beliefs. We can find out where they are similar, and from there we can examine the worth of it and some of the baggage that comes with it, not all of which is pretty or functional.

Below we'll look at how similar are old Nazis and New Age ecologists. Ecology fits in with identity politics, is inseperable from it, and together they create the ground of multiculturalism, which in turn allows for the ground of Left dhimmi fascism. Like but not same.

Fascist Ecology:
The "Green Wins" of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents

by Peter Staudenmaier

"We recognize that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind's own destruction and to the death of nations. Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger. That is the fundamental point of the biological tasks of our age. Humankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole . . . This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of National Socialist thought." 1

In our zeal to condemn the status quo, radicals often carelessly toss about epithets like "fascist" and "ecofascist," thus contributing to a sort of conceptual inflation that in no way furthers effective social critique. In such a situation, it is easy to overlook the fact that there are still virulent strains of fascism in our political culture which, however marginal, demand our attention. One of the least recognized or understood of these strains is the phenomenon one might call "actually existing ecofascism," that is, the preoccupation of authentically fascist movements with environmentalist concerns. In order to grasp the peculiar intensity and endurance of this affiliation, we would do well to examine more closely its most notorious historical incarnation, the so-called "green wing" of German National Socialism.

Despite an extensive documentary record, the subject remains an elusive one, underappreciated by professional historians and environmental activists alike. In English-speaking countries as well as in Germany itself, the very existence of a "green wing" in the Nazi movement, much less its inspiration, goals, and consequences, has yet to be adequately researched and analyzed. Most of the handful of available interpretations succumb to either an alarming intellectual affinity with their subject." 2 or a naive refusal to examine the full extent of the "ideological overlap between nature conservation and National Socialism ." 3 This article presents a brief and necessarily schematic overview of the ecological components of Nazism, emphasizing both their central role in Nazi ideology and their practical implementation during the Third Reich. A preliminary survey of nineteenth and twentieth century precursors to classical ecofascism should serve to illuminate the conceptual underpinnings common to all forms of reactionary ecology.

Two initial clarifications are in order. First, the terms "environmental" and "ecological" are here used more or less interchangeably to denote ideas, attitudes, and practices commonly associated with the contemporary environmental movement. This is not an anachronism; it simply indicates an interpretive approach which highlights connections to present-day concerns. Second, this approach is not meant to endorse the historiographically discredited notion that pre-1933 historical data can or should be read as "leading inexorably" to the Nazi calamity. Rather, our concern here is with discerning ideological continuities and tracing political genealogies, in an attempt to understand the past in light of our current situation -- to make history relevant to the present social and ecological crisis.
The Roots of the Blood and Soil Mystique

Germany is not only the birthplace of the science of ecology and the site of Green politics' rise to prominence; it has also been home to a peculiar synthesis of naturalism and nationalism forged under the influence of the Romantic tradition's anti-Enlightenment irrationalism. Two nineteenth century figures exemplify this ominous conjunction: Ernst Moritz Arndt and Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl.

[We'll hold off posting further biographical details until a later date.]

While best known in Germany for his fanatical nationalism, Arndt was also dedicated to the cause of the peasantry, which lead him to a concern for the welfare of the land itself. Historians of German environmentalism mention him as the earliest example of 'ecological' thinking in the modern sense. 4 His remarkable 1815 article On the Care and Conservation of Forests, written at the dawn of industrialization in Central Europe, rails against shortsighted exploitation of woodlands and soil, condemning deforestation and its economic causes. At times he wrote in terms strikingly similar to those of contemporary biocentrism: "When one sees nature in a necessary connectedness and interrelationship, then all things are equally important -- shrub, worm, plant, human, stone, nothing first or last, but all one single unity." 5

Arndt's environmentalism, however, was inextricably bound up with virulently xenophobic nationalism . His eloquent and prescient appeals for ecological sensitivity were couched always in terms of the well-being of the German soil and the German people, and his repeated lunatic polemics against miscegenation, demands for teutonic racial purity, and epithets against the French, Slavs, and Jews marked every aspect of his thought. At the very outset of the nineteenth century the deadly connection between love of land and militant racist nationalism was firmly set in place.

Riehl, a student of Arndt, further developed this sinister tradition. In some respects his 'green' streak went significantly deeper than Arndt's; presaging certain tendencies in recent environmental activism, his 1853 essay Field and Forest ended with a call to fight for "the rights of wilderness." But even here nationalist pathos set the tone: "We must save the forest, not only so that our ovens do not become cold in winter, but also so that the pulse of life of the people continues to beat warm and joyfully, so that Germany remains German." 6 Riehl was an implacable opponent of the rise of industrialism and urbanization; his overtly antisemitic glorification of rural peasant values and undifferentiated condemnation of modernity established him as the "founder of agrarian romanticism and anti-urbanism." 7

These latter two fixations matured in the second half of the nineteenth century in the context of the v?lkisch movement, a powerful cultural disposition and social tendency which united ethnocentric populism with nature mysticism. At the heart of the v?lkisch temptation was a pathological response to modernity. In the face of the very real dislocations brought on by the triumph of industrial capitalism and national unification, v?lkisch thinkers preached a return to the land, to the simplicity and wholeness of a life attuned to nature's purity. The mystical effusiveness of this perverted utopianism was matched by its political vulgarity. While "the Volkish movement aspired to reconstruct the society that was sanctioned by history, rooted in nature, and in communion with the cosmic life spirit," 8 it pointedly refused to locate the sources of alienation, rootlessness and environmental destruction in social structures, laying the blame instead to rationalism, cosmopolitanism, and urban civilization. The stand-in for all of these was the age-old object of peasant hatred and middle-class resentment: the Jews. "The Germans were in search of a mysterious wholeness that would restore them to primeval happiness, destroying the hostile milieu of urban industrial civilization that the Jewish conspiracy had foisted on them." 9

Reformulating traditional German antisemitism into nature-friendly terms, the v?lkisch movement carried a volatile amalgam of nineteenth century cultural prejudices, Romantic obsessions with purity, and anti-Enlightenment sentiment into twentieth century political discourse. The emergence of modern ecology forged the final link in the fateful chain which bound together aggressive nationalism, mystically charged racism, and environmentalist predilections . In 1867 the German zoologist Ernst Haeckel coined the term 'ecology' and began to establish it as a scientific discipline dedicated to studying the interactions between organism and environment. Haeckel was also the chief popularizer of Darwin and evolutionary theory for the German-speaking world, and developed a peculiar sort of social darwinist philosophy he called 'monism.' The German Monist League he founded combined scientifically based ecological holism with v?lkisch social views. Haeckel believed in nordic racial superiority, strenuously opposed race mixing and enthusiastically supported racial eugenics. His fervent nationalism became fanatical with the onset of World War I, and he fulminated in antisemitic tones against the post-war Council Republic in Bavaria.

In this way "Haeckel contributed to that special variety of German thought which served as the seed bed for National Socialism. He became one of Germany's major ideologists for racism, nationalism and imperialism." 10 Near the end of his life he joined the Thule Society, "a secret, radically right-wing organization which played a key role in the establishment of the Nazi movement." 11 But more than merely personal continuities are at stake here. The pioneer of scientific ecology, along with his disciples Willibald Hentschel, Wilhelm B?lsche and Bruno Wille, profoundly shaped the thinking of subsequent generations of environmentalists by embedding concern for the natural world in a tightly woven web of regressive social themes. From its very beginnings, then, ecology was bound up in an intensely reactionary political framework.

The specific contours of this early marriage of ecology and authoritarian social views are highly instructive. At the center of this ideological complex is the direct, unmediated application of biological categories to the social realm. Haeckel held that "civilization and the life of nations are governed by the same laws as prevail throughout nature and organic life." 12 This notion of 'natural laws' or 'natural order' has long been a mainstay of reactionary environmental thought. Its concomitant is anti-humanism:

Thus, for the Monists, perhaps the most pernicious feature of European bourgeois civilization was the inflated importance which it attached to the idea of man in general, to his existence and to his talents, and to the belief that through his unique rational faculties man could essentially recreate the world and bring about a universally more harmonious and ethically just social order. [Humankind was] an insignificant creature when viewed as part of and measured against the vastness of the cosmos and the overwhelming forces of nature. 13

Other Monists extended this anti-humanist emphasis and mixed it with the traditional v?lkisch motifs of indiscriminate anti-industrialism and anti-urbanism as well as the newly emerging pseudo-scientific racism. The linchpin, once again, was the conflation of biological and social categories. The biologist Raoul Franc?, founding member of the Monist League, elaborated so-called Lebensgesetze, 'laws of life' through which the natural order determines the social order. He opposed racial mixing, for example, as "unnatural." Franc? is acclaimed by contemporary ecofascists as a "pioneer of the ecology movement." 14

Franc?'s colleague Ludwig Woltmann, another student of Haeckel, insisted on a biological interpretation for all societal phenomena, from cultural attitudes to economic arrangements. He stressed the supposed connection between environmental purity and 'racial' purity: "Woltmann took a negative attitude toward modern industrialism. He claimed that the change from an agrarian to an industrial society had hastened the decline of the race. In contrast to nature, which engendered the harmonic forms of Germanism, there were the big cities, diabolical and inorganic, destroying the virtues of the race ." 15

Thus by the early years of the twentieth century a certain type of 'ecological' argumentation, saturated with right-wing political content, had attained a measure of respectability within the political culture of Germany. During the turbulent period surrounding World War I, the mixture of ethnocentric fanaticism, regressive rejection of modernity and genuine environmental concern proved to be a very potent potion indeed.

Footnotes 1. Ernst Lehmann, Biologischer Wille. Wege und Ziele biologischer Arbeit im neuen Reich, M?nchen, 1934, pp. 10-11. Lehmann was a professor of botany who characterized National Socialism as "politically applied biology."

We see that some of our common assumptions about the benign can lead us to false paths, and once we see clearly where we're headed we can change direction and call to the attention of others that we are astray. Knowing what we do now about ecology we can see why Davis above would conclude that chickens are as important as is the life of man. In further posts we'll try to show that this line of feeling, this Irrationalist mode of epistemology leads us not only into fascist ecology but also into fascsit multiculturalism, into Left dhimmitude, into philobarbarism where we stand agape at Palestinian homicide bombers while some of our own say they are resistence fighters. It's all of a paackage, one part being next to the other. We'll continue next post with more of this essay, and we hope you'll join us.

Yalla, Dag

Cursed by Ecofascist Mystic Soil Worshippers

Modernity sucks sometimes. I'm filled with both angst and weltschmertz when I get computer daemons in the box that screw up things. We're going tosacrifice a chicken when the moon rises, I'll do a naked dance around the fire, and presto-pronto, things should be back to normal pretty soon. Sorry for the inconveniences.


Questioning Authority of Assumptions (2)

A brief precis of part two of this look at ecology as an aspect of Left dhimmi fascism reveals that what we often assume -- as a general culture of the Modernist West -- is not the ecology of warm and fuzzy stuff, of cute animals and baby birds living in old growth forests while happy people wander naked in harmony with Nature. No, ecology is far more than that, something that is in truth a sinister and repulsive and violent, hate-fueled ideology that often very nice and decent people speak of without having any idea whereof they speak. Yes, it's off-putting to write like that, bordering at first glance on the conspiracy theory level. The historical record proves that assumption to be misinformed. It's still such an assault on our conventional assumptions that most people will not believe that ecology is a term coined by a violent anti-Semite and that ecology is a pseudo-science that promotes genocide.

Ecology, when it comes down to it, isn't important to us here in the heart of a large city. Ecology is only interesting in that it is part of a larger problem we face from our fellow citizens, those who think that Nature is something great and good. It makes us nervous simply because we have to share space in this city with people who assume that some things are right, others wrong, and that's how we'll conduct our public affairs; and the nervousness arises when the right and the wrong are based in the majority mind of the public, in public opinion, on some very wrong and frightening assumptions. The idea of ecology as good isn't one thing in the mind of the public, it's part of a greater opinion. There is a linkage between ecology and Muslims blowing up buses in the city centre and politicians saying its not a problem with Islam and protesters raging at America and the West. If we ask ourselves "Why is the West flooded with Islamic maniacs committing murder at random, and why aren't our politicians doing the right things about stopping it, and why are people protesting on the streets against the West itself?" then we will have to start looking in directions not clearly obvious. We might come across as kooks when we suggest ideas not commonly assumed. We'll risk it here and hope for the best.

Half the population of the West is in a state of pathological hatred regarding America. And half of American citizens are whipped into a frenzy of rage at the sound of the name "George Bush."

What's going on here? Why is this happening? Why aren't people in the West enraged instead by Islamic fascists, by men who bomb buses and schools, who gang rape teenagers, who sexually mutilate female children? Why aren't we going nuts over the antics of our enemies? Why are we so enraged at ourselves and our own cultures?

No, it's not ecology that makes this happen. Ecology is part of the problem. Ecology is a piece of the problem that makes us see the West as evil. The positions we take emotionally as ecology supporters also means we take emotional postions that conform to that mind-set. We take it all, the good with the bad, and the result is madness-- unknown to us, the bad hidden in the good.

Ecology started badly, and though none of us here will suggest that we believe in the things the early ecologists wrote and thought about racial questions that stem from it, that the soil is polluted by having Jews living on it, it is part of ecology's history. Ecology is about clean water and the ozone layer and real forests. It is also-- and we must understand this clearly-- about priorities.

We won't likely find many people who claim that chickens suffer more than did the people murdered by Muslims on 9-11. We look at such people who equate the lives of chickens with the life of Man as lunatics. But we find thousands of people protesting on the streets in the name of anti-globalism fighting with police, smashing, looting and burning, praising homicide bombers and rapists and child mutilators, people who protest against us because we are destroying the Earth, according to them. Why? And then, why do our poiticians lie to us about Islam being the religion of peace? Why do our leaders lie to us about Islam? Why all the lies, and why do so many average people go along with the lies? Why do so many average and decent people hate America to the point they would rather support Saddam than Americasn is Iraq? Why are normal and decent people insane and hate-filled?

Part of the answer is to do with our views on ecology. It might seem crazy today to say ecology is part of the reason peole are against the Modernist West, but in five years public opinion will catch up to this and you'll be thought mad to disagree with it.

Today, ecology is a mental position in the public opinion that threatens to destroy our world as we know it. This is the second part of why.

The Youth Movement and the Weimar Era

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 this century. Also known as the Wandervögel (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 less 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 aptly characterized as 'right-wing hippies,' for although some sectors of the movement gravitated toward various forms of emancipatory politics (though usually shedding their environmentalist trappings in the process), most of the Wandervöge were eventually absorbed by the Nazis. This shift from nature worship to Führer worship is worth examining.

The various strands of the youth movement shared a common self-conception: they were a purportedly 'non-political' response to a deep cultural crisis, stressing the primacy of direct emotional experience over social critique and action. They pushed the contradictions of their time to the breaking point, but were unable or unwilling to take the final step toward organized, focused social rebellion, "convinced that the changes they wanted to effect in society could not be brought about by political means, but only by the improvement of the individual." 16 This proved to be a fatal error. "Broadly speaking, two ways of revolt were open to them: they could have pursued their radical critique of society, which in due course would have brought them into the camp of social revolution. [But] the Wandervögel chose the other form of protest against society -- romanticism." 17

This posture lent itself all too readily to a very different kind of political mobilization: the 'unpolitical' zealotry of fascism. The youth movement did not simply fail in its chosen form of protest, it was actively realigned when its members went over to the Nazis by the thousands. Its countercultural energies and its dreams of harmony with nature bore the bitterest fruit. This is, perhaps, the unavoidable trajectory of any movement which acknowledges and opposes social and ecological problems but does not recognize their systemic roots or actively resist the political and economic structures which generate them. Eschewing societal transformation in favor of personal change, an ostensibly apolitical disaffection can, in times of crisis, yield barbaric results.

The attraction such perspectives exercised on idealistic youth is clear: the enormity of the crisis seemed to enjoin a total rejection of its apparent causes. It is in the specific form of this rejection that the danger lies. Here the work of several more theoretical minds from the period is instructive. The philosopher Ludwig Klages profoundly influenced the youth movement and particularly shaped their ecological consciousness. He authored a tremendously important essay titled "Man and Earth" for the legendary Meissner gathering of the Wandervögel in 1913. 18 An extraordinarily poignant text and the best known of all Klages' work, it is not only "one of the very greatest manifestoes of the radical ecopacifist movement in Germany," 19 but also a classic example of the seductive terminology of reactionary ecology.

"Man and Earth" anticipated just about all of the themes of the contemporary ecology movement. It decried the accelerating extinction of species, disturbance of global ecosystemic balance, deforestation, destruction of aboriginal peoples and of wild habitats, urban sprawl, and the increasing alienation of people from nature. In emphatic terms it disparaged Christianity, capitalism, economic utilitarianism, hyperconsumption and the ideology of 'progress.' It even condemned the environmental destructiveness of rampant tourism and the slaughter of whales, and displayed a clear recognition of the planet as an ecological totality. All of this in 1913 !

It may come as a surprise, then, to learn that Klages was throughout his life politically archconservative and a venomous antisemite. One historian labels him a "Volkish fanatic" and another considers him simply "an intellectual pacemaker for the Third Reich" who "paved the way for fascist philosophy in many important respects." 20 In "Man and Earth" a genuine outrage at the devastation of the natural environment is coupled with a political subtext of cultural despair. 21 Klages' diagnosis of the ills of modern society, for all its declamations about capitalism, returns always to a single culprit: "Geist." His idiosyncratic use of this term, which means mind or intellect, was meant to denounce not only hyperrationalism or instrumental reason, but rational thought itself. Such a wholesale indictment of reason cannot help but have savage political implications. It forecloses any chance of rationally reconstructing society's relationship with nature and justifies the most brutal authoritarianism. But the lessons of Klages' life and work have been hard for ecologists to learn. In 1980, "Man and Earth" was republished as an esteemed and seminal treatise to accompany the birth of the German Greens.

Another philosopher and stern critic of Enlightenment who helped bridge fascism and environmentalism was Martin Heidegger. A much more renowned thinker than Klages, Heidegger preached "authentic Being" and harshly criticized modern technology, and is therefore often celebrated as a precursor of ecological thinking. On the basis of his critique of technology and rejection of humanism, contemporary deep ecologists have elevated Heidegger to their pantheon of eco-heroes:

Heidegger's critique of anthropocentric humanism, his call for humanity to learn to "let things be," his notion that humanity is involved in a "play" or "dance" with earth, sky, and gods, his meditation on the possibility of an authentic mode of "dwelling" on the earth, his complaint that industrial technology is laying waste to the earth, his emphasis on the importance of local place and "homeland," his claim that humanity should guard and preserve things, instead of dominating them -- all these aspects of Heidegger's thought help to support the claim that he is a major deep ecological theorist. 22

Such effusions are, at best, dangerously naive. They suggest a style of thought utterly oblivious to the history of fascist appropriations of all the elements the quoted passage praises in Heidegger. (To his credit, the author of the above lines, a major deep ecological theorist in his own right, has since changed his position and eloquently urged his colleagues to do the same.) 23 As for the philosopher of Being himself, he was -- unlike Klages, who lived in Switzerland after 1915 -- an active member of the Nazi party and for a time enthusiastically, even adoringly supported the Führer. His mystical panegyrics to Heimat (homeland) were complemented by a deep antisemitism, and his metaphysically phrased broadsides against technology and modernity converged neatly with populist demagogy. Although he lived and taught for thirty years after the fall of the Third Reich, Heidegger never once publicly regretted, much less renounced, his involvement with National Socialism, nor even perfunctorily condemned its crimes. His work, whatever its philosophical merits, stands today as a signal admonition about the political uses of anti-humanism in ecological garb.

In addition to the youth movement and protofascist philosophies, there were, of course, practical efforts at protecting natural habitats during the Weimar period. 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 Protection and Consecration of the German Forest."24

The mantra-like repetition of the word "German" and the mystical depiction of the sacred forest fuse together, once again, nationalism and naturalism. This intertwinement took on a grisly significance with the collapse of the Weimar republic. For alongside such relatively innocuous conservation groups, another organization was growing which offered these ideas a hospitable home: the National Socialist German Workers Party, known by its acronym NSDAP. Drawing on the heritage of Arndt, Riehl, Haeckel, and others (all of whom were honored between 1933 and 1945 as forebears of triumphant National Socialism), the Nazi movement's incorporation of environmentalist themes was a crucial factor in its rise to popularity and state power.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Path: A Reply to Rick Darby

The following post is in response to comments here last post from Rick at

Rick raised some worthwhile concerns, and I wrote back at such length that I felt I might as well post on the main page:

The essay below, Part 5 on Biehl's "ecofascism," is long and fairly detailed. It's of a piece with the seven or so essays on "Modern Agriculture" and pieces as well on Hiedegger and Darre, with more to come.

The reason for the emphasis here on ecology, something I honestly don't pay much attention to in my daily course of living, is bound also to the concept of "Identity Fascism," of which there is some here and more to come. Along with that is the third theme of "Gnostic Fascism," and then "Antiwar Fascism" and "Eschatology Fascism." Altogether the focus is on Left dhimmi fascism and it's reaction to Modernity and the triune revolutions of France, America, and Industry. There's not much chance of anyone following this blog's thesis as closely as I do, and therefore not much chance of the casual reader seeing the overall plan like I do. I'll try to summarise, if I can, to give a short version of what this is look at ecology is about:

Our epistemological view informs our life course. If we turn to Nature for our understanding of reality and our purpose in life, then we will have to limit ourselves to Irrationality as philosophy. That needn't be total. One may synthesize, as the Romantics do, Nature and Reason, giving privilege to Nature. That's the problem as I see it.

As Rick Darby points out rightly, one might try to associate ecological concerns with fascists rather than address the question of the validity of ecological concerns themselves.

The ecological "ground of existence" is German Romanticism, and within that the precepts of xenophobia, antisemitism, racism, sexism, and violent Irrationalsim. That's the historical record, and we can't legitimately ignore it. As Rick points out, to suggest that there is nothing else to ecology is ad hominem. Yes, Haekel and Arndt and Reihl are proto-Nazis; but no, it doesn't mean that ecologists today, all everywhere, are Nazis. Nor does it mean the Nazis who inform the ecological debate are wrong a postiori simply because they are Nazis. The historical record shows that those who created the modern sciences of ecology and environmentalism are proto-Nazi and later officials in the NSDAP rulership. Those who follow from then are also often neo-Nazis, and both Right and Left fascists in the classical sense. None of that invalidates valid ecological concerns. The source of truths doesn't invalidate those truths.

Rick points out the immigration and population problems that ecology addresses to some extent and in various ways.

When we look at the American scene today of unrestricted illegal immigration it pales in comparison to that in Europe, where Eurabia is a deepening daily waking nightmare. And even that is nothing compared to the realities of life in typical Third World megalopoli. We have seen here and elsewhere recently the swarmings at the border posts in Spanish Morocco of African migrants dying in the attempt to enter Europe illegally to escape from their home dysfunctions. That tells us graphically that there is a growing problem of immediate concern not only for Africans but for all of us. It is a problem of Human ecology. We are witnessing an out of control explosion of people akin to the rabbit plague in Australia that is creating before our eyes a Human wasteland, a desert of people, a clear-cut land of Human tree stumps. Our most urgent concern as residents of the West is of course to protect ourselves from irreparable resource depletion, and with the influx of destructive parasitic migrants such as Muslims our own consumption patterns become magnified and threatening to the existence of our world as it is now, and becomes increasing more desperate with each passing year. Really, we must do something, and soon. The question I wish to raise in this blog is what are we to do? And that will depend on how we organize our interpretations of knowledge itself. Our epistemological ground will divulge paths that direct us in many and varied directions from which we must choose the better.

Historically, the path of ecology is one of xenophobia, racism, violence against outsiders. That's history. We need not repeat the mistakes of the past, astoundingly evil ones at that, nor even lesser paths of bad epistemology. We have to be clear what our possible paths are in order to make a determined attempt to strike a right direction. Knowing the history of ecology might allow us to avoid past evils. The ecological problems Haekel and Arndt and Riehl and Darre faced are facing us today in ways more intense than they faced. We, if we are to be moral actors, cannot choose the past paths of the fascist ecologist, but we must also address the same problems they did. My focus here isn't on ecology itself but the epistemology of ecology, as it were. If we examine and define that ground of being in ourselves, therefrom we might move ahead rather than backward.

In numerous posts over these past years I've referred to the problem of Islam as one of the bifurcation of Humanity, the splitting in two of the paths of Humanity, the first remaining in the primitive world of tillers and toilers, the redundant people of the body politic of Modernity. There cannot be a compromise between the two paths: we cannot have a mass of subsistence farmers living side by side with people living in a rationalistic Space Age. One grouping must make way for the other, whichever that might be. The problem with that line of reasoning is that it seems to be a clear case of Social Darwinism, of cultures in a battle of the survival of the fittest. I beg to disagree. I do agree that Islam is a body of a billion people made psychotic death worshippers by an evil poligion, a political religion that informs the basest aspects of the Human experience. What, in the struggle for the course of history, is to be done about them if we Moderns prevail? Obviously if we lose the struggle against Islam we and the world will sink back to pre-feudal times and Man will again become a farm animal generally, which is the situation of the vast majority of Humans on Earth today, and which has been the lot of Man for the 5,000 years of the agricultural Revolution so far. But, if we win the struggle for the future as Modern, what will happen to the billion Muslims of now? As they are, they are psychotic. They are not simply violent, they are Irrational in the greater sense of having as a mental ground Irrationalism as epistemology. They simply cannot ever be rational in the Western sense and remain Muslim. At an intuitive level they understand that well. They also recognize that the Muslim world is being left further behind daily by the Modern Revolutions, which in turn drives them into further psychosis, further rages, further acts of "grand gesture fascism," such as suicide/homicide acts. Even further, these acts of Irrationalism as epistemology validate the death worship of Muslim culture, encouraging it more, and it will in turn provoke a response from the threatened West. In other words, a few more major attacks by parasitic psychopathic populations will goad the West into massive retaliation, eg. nuclear responses against Iran. I suggest that that is a bad thing. I see the clear possibility of a "sand diorama," a small museum construct of dress-up characters on display in a dusty museum of a lost race. What do we do to solve this problem of maddened and violent parasites swarming over our lands? It is a problem of Human ecology. Extermination is low on my personal list of options. I'm certain that's so even for the most bellicose ranters on the Internet, especially those who've never seen the results of massacres in person. I hope we can find a workable solution to this problem that includes the least necessary violence, though massive violence is definitely required even at this point.

This problem is not of ethnicity, race, not even of religion. It is a question of how we approach knowledge of the realities of life. We are Modern or we are primitive. That isn't to reduce us in the West to Mr. Spocks from Star Trek and to suggest that the primitives are cavemen. Our differences are vast, and I offer that our differences are unbridgeable. However, our differences are not insolvable. How we in the Modern West will approach the solution will come from how we understand the possibilities of knowing reality. Our Muslim cousins know reality from the Irrationalsit position of Islam. For them there is no other understanding of reality. I hope we can all forget about them as equations in this problem. Our task is to address the solution of Islam and its population of tillers and toilers, the parasitic swarms of violent psychopaths, and to see for ourselves how we might best deal with them in as humane a fashion as possible with the least amount of Human suffering on their side. We will not address this as Spockian logic fetishists. we must account for our own irrationalism conjoined with our Modernist epistemologies of universality and individualism and privacy. When struck, we must strike back, but within reason. Our debate is restricted to ourselves, excluding the object of our concern, given that they don't have anything positive to contribute. Muslims are irrelevant to the future course of what we do with and to them. They are a bloc of redundant, violent, suicidal parasites. Nothing they want makes any difference to us. Our questions will have to do with how we see reality and how we gain knowledge from it. That will determine how we act to solve this problem of Human ecology. We must do whatever we do in a Modernist and rationalist manner. Our 19th century and early 20th century forebearers acted in ways we cannot imitate. We have a problem like theirs, but our solutions must be completely different from theirs. We can be rational, reasonable, and restrained in our solutions, or we can nuke the bastards.

Our understanding of how we know what we know will decide the positions we take in our struggle to maintain the Modernity of the West. Faced with insane Islam as a poligion within and without, where do we find our solutions? First we must ask "Who are we." We will find that answer according to how we know reality. If our answers to that come to us from horoscopes, tarot cards, and runes, then we will follow a path very different from that leading from rational discourse. If our view is that knowledge is derived form the heavens, we will not be rational in our approach to solutions to the threats of Islam. We must, if we are to solve the problems of Islamic jihad and social ecology, identify who we are. Who are we protecting when we say "we?" And how do we prove that one is one of us? that will depend on our epistemology. Here we have spent some great amount of time, and will further in time, looking at the problems of identity from Herder, Fichte, and contemporary "Identity Fascism." When we know who we are, then we can determine who our enemies are. I suggest that we will know ourselves either by reason or by "Gnostic Fascism," a concept that needs wait for explication.

We, at this vague level of residents in the modern West, face a problem of Human ecology. It's pointless to ignore it, wrong to suggest that those who do are Nazis simply becasue ecology stems from evil originators. We, whoever we are, must decide how we wil solve the problem of Islam, of jihad, of swarms of violent parasites. Early ecologists opted for genocide based on psuedo-scientific clap-trap to justify their deeds. We, whether we like it or not, are faced with an intensified version fo the same ecological problems our Nazi ancestors faced. How we decide to solve our current problem will come from how we understand reality. If we allow ourselves to be guided by past ecological principles, we too will turn to racist genocide. I point out the history of ecology for the simple reason that if we do not know that history we might well blindly repeat it.

Our next post will continue this investigation of ecology. We hope you'll join us, and please feel free to write you comments on this topic or others as you see fit.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Poller on Finkielkraut and the Bobos

Finkielkraut's attackers are making a spectacle of themselves. But they don't even realize it. They've gone berserk.Why berserk? Why now?

Nidra Poller writes on Alain Finkielkraut for American Thinker. Below is part of what she writes.

French Intellectual Tells Truth, Faces Consequences
December 13th, 2005

In the aftermath of November's street fighting, French opinion-makers have pounced on an expiatory victim: philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, a man of integrity who seeks to shed light on events as they happen. His intelligent analysis of, in his words, the "pogrom against the Republic," [1] conveyed in an interview with two journalists from Israeli newspaper Haaretz, has triggered an explosion of intellectual violence against his person, his ideas, his thought process, his very existence.

A dishonest patchwork of excerpts from the Haaretz interview, deliberately slanted to make Alain Finkielkraut look like a Le Pen in philosopher's clothing, was published in the leading French newspaper Le Monde. Stupidly re-translated from the Hebrew translation of the original French, it became the basis for merciless criticism, as if those few paragraphs were the entire interview, or a fair résumé of eight pages of careful reflection on a phenomenon that no one—then or now—could claim to truly define.

Eschewing sociological stereotypes Finkielkraut analyzes the uprising as an attack against France within France. The perpetrators, French Blacks and Muslims born in France, often third-generation, are anchored to an ethnic-religious identity that precludes integration. They feed on a diet of anti-French gangsta rap, in a culture that seeks instant gratification. Instead of being shamed for their brutality, they are being flattered as victims of society, rebels with a cause. Distorted anti-racism is becoming a totalitarian ideology, that will be the bane of the 21st century as was Communism in the 20th. Competition for victimhood leads to negation of the singularity of the Shoah and its redistribution to the victims of slavery, colonization, Palestinian "genocide."

The scope and intensity of negative reactions to this analysis, or to the distorted remnants thrown out as bait, defies the imagination. Commentators blustered and choked, sputtered and fumed, could hardly find words to articulate their outrage at Finkielkraut, that racist, reactionary, neo-conservative enemy of Blacks and Muslims. They called him a schizophrenic madman. An ignoramus who knows nothing about what's happening on the ground. An evil thinker whose ideas are one of the causes of the disturbances.

Read it all below:

Biehl: Ecofascism (5) Who Fits In?

Why are you the person you are? Are you who you are from accidents of birth? What is it that makes you think this and that, act that way or not? If you'd been born a Muslim, would you really be the same person you are now or would you be the same body with a whole different mind working in it? What part and how much of you is experience and environment? How much and what is innately you? How much of that is open to influence, and by what or whom? What if you were born a neolithic creature and all that you are as a Modernist is merely poured in from outside? What if it had been some other stuff? What if it is as you read?

How independent are you in your mind? How independent are those around you? And how independent can you be even if it's terribly important to you to be so? How much do you depend on your family, your mates, your society, your culture, your history, your ethic group, your nation to define who you are and what you are?

We've looked at a number of thinkers here who have written that you are not you unless you are part of a group. Without the group to define the person, the individual is nothing, is inauthentic, not really Human at all. If you are part of a group, then you must have a place and a space in which to be at all, and to be part of a group and the group. You have to be somewhere. That somewhere is part of you identity, according to some. You become part of that someplace and it defines you as a being. If you are part of a group in a city, you are different from those in groups living in nature.

If you are alone in a city, you are barely Human, according to identity thinkers. You have no group, and worse, you have no contact with nature, nature being that which gives you meaning in a deep sense, spiritual meaning: alone in a city you are a machine-like creature going through Human-like motions without authenticity. It is contact with nature that gives you meaning as a real thing because you, as a body, are part of nature. And to be real even in a state of nature you must belong to a group in nature. What if you are all those things, and you also speak the same language others speak around you, and even if your family has lived in the same natural space with others for ages? You belong, right? But what if the natural place where you live is not your ancestral homeland? What if the spirit of nature that is the soil itself, expressed in the forests and the rivers and the sky above you, isn't really yours at all? What if you and yours came later and settled. What if, in a field of grass you and yours are weeds? What if you have different blood? And what if your blood mixes with that of those who are "authentic?"

Below we'll finish our look at Janet Biehl's fine essay on ecofascism. Her position seems to be that one must act in prudent ecological fashion, which reasonable people will agree with; but she goes on from there to suggest that one must also adapt to social conditions that determine ones being, and that the best way to do so is to create a good social situation in which to grow people rightly. There we must leave Ms. Biehl to herself. Until then, we follow happily.

Biehl addresses many of the questions we raised above. She does so from an environmental perspective. She looks again at the history of ecology, and she shows the rise of today's fascist ecology, some of which we might find appealing, and that others of our own, as it were, certainly do. What do we make of it?

Rather than allow ourselves to passively take on the attributes of our times and places, determined for us as unconscious actors consciously formed and guided by outside forces, us dependent on the whims and will of others, let's look at some of what shapes us so we can, if we choose, determine ourselves for ourselves, and even from there determine the nature of our own societies and history and the future of our world.

Social Darwinist 'Ecology': Herbert Gruhl

Bahro, let it be said, claims to look for the roots of the ecological crisis in the "sickness" in "white Nordic humanity." But the far right most often locates these roots in non-Europeans and uses 'ecology' to marshal classic racist arguments against Third World immigration. In the "Europe of fatherlands" of the "ethnopluralism" concept, each Volk requires its own specific, familiar home environment in order to thrive. Interference from outside -- including immigration -- disturbs that natural environment, the "natural ecology of the Volk." Most often, the far right claims to be defending cultures rather than races; if the Nazis persecuted those who practiced 'race mixing' and sought to preserve 'racial purity,' today's fascists say they oppose cultural mixing and seek to preserve their culture. Thus, the ecofascist and misleadingly named Ecological Democratic Party (�kologische Demokratische Partei, or �DP) calls for "asylum-seekers [to] be accepted by countries that belong to the same cultural area as the asylum seekers themselves," and they call for "Heimat instead of multiculture." 98

The hollowness of such claims becomes evident, however, when they are clothed in terms of 'ecology.' For the far right's notion of ecology is in fact nothing more than social Darwinism, the reactionary ideology that biology dictates the form of society, that genes rather than environment determine culture. Social Darwinist 'ecology' can then advance seemingly 'ecological' reasons for keeping out immigrants and for asserting ethnic or national identity -- while avoiding the terminology of race.

Social Darwinism has deep roots in the German ultra-right. When it first emerged as a doctrine in the nineteenth century, its German form was very different from its Anglo-American form. Like Anglo-American social Darwinism, German social Darwinism projected human social institutions onto the nonhuman world as 'natural laws,' then invoked those 'laws' to justify the human social arrangements as 'natural.' It also applied the maxim 'survival of the fittest' to society. But where Anglo-American social Darwinism conceived the 'fittest' as the individual entrepreneur in a 'bloody tooth and claw' capitalist jungle, German social Darwinism overwhelmingly conceived the 'fittest' in terms of race. Thus, the 'fittest' race not only would but should survive, vanquishing all its competitors in its 'struggle for existence.' As historian Daniel Gasman observes:

It may be said that if Darwinism in England was an extension of laissez faire individualism projected from the social world to the natural world, [in Germany it was] a projection of German romanticism and philosophical idealism. . . . The form which social Darwinism took in Germany was a pseudo-scientific religion of nature worship and nature-mysticism combined with notions of racism. 99

Since this social Darwinism seemed to give a 'scientific' basis to racism, National Socialism drew heavily on it to provide 'scientific' grounds for its virulent racism. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, for example, that people "owe their higher existence, not to the ideas of a few crazy ideologists, but to the knowledge and ruthless application of Nature's stern and rigid laws." Among these 'laws': "Nature usually makes certain corrective decisions with regard to the racial purity of earthly creatures. She has little love for bastards." 100 To establish their totalitarian regime and implement genocide, the Nazis easily drew on the common ideology that the Volk mediates between individual and cosmos, rendering the individual mainly a member of a larger whole, the 'Volk whole' or 'Volk community.'

It is well known among ecological activists today that Ernst Haeckel coined the term ecology in the 1860s; what is less known is that Haeckel was the primary spokesperson for German social Darwinism in the latter half of the nineteenth century, as Gasman shows. German social Darwinism was thus almost immediately married to the concept of ecology. Haeckel was also a believer in mystical racism and nationalism, so that German social Darwinism was from the beginning a political concept that lent romantic racism and nationalism a pseudo-biological basis. In fact, as Gasman argues,

racially inspired social Darwinism in Germany . . . was almost completely indebted to Haeckel for its creation. . . . His ideas served to unite into a full-bodied ideology the trends of racism, imperialism, romanticism, anti-Semitism and nationalism. . . . It was Haeckel who brought the full weight of science down hard on the side of what were Volkism's essentially irrational and mystical ideas. 101

Haeckel himself was a proponent of carrying over concepts like 'selective breeding' and 'racial hygiene' from nonhuman nature into human society.

Despite the widely different scientific concepts of ecology that have emerged since Haeckel's day, the 'ecology' that today's ecofascists draw upon is essentially the social Darwinism of Haeckel. Perhaps the most prominent social Darwinist-'ecological' racist in Germany today is Herbert Gruhl, 102 a former Christian Democrat parliamentarian whose best-selling 1975 book, A Planet Is Plundered: The Balance of Terror of Our Politics, makes an explicit social Darwinist interpretation of ecology. 103 In the late 1970s and early 1980s Gruhl participated in the formation of the German Greens with a new political group he had founded, Green Action Future (GAZ). It was Gruhl who created the slogan "We are neither left nor right; we are in front," according to Charlene Spretnak and Fritjof Capra. 104 In the early 1980s, ultrarightists, including Gruhl's GAZ, struggled with leftists and centrists for the direction of the Green Party; the center-left ultimately took control. "It is to the credit of the leftist tendencies in the founding phases of the Greens," writes Ditfurth, "that the ultra-right and neofascists were prevented from taking over ecological politics, as they were threatening to do at the time." 105

Gruhl, on the losing end, concluded that the Greens had given up their "concern for ecology in favor of a leftist ideology of emancipation" and walked out of the party. He continued his fight for his conception of ecology outside the Greens, however; with his fellow ultra-rightist Baldur Springmann, he founded the Ecological Democratic Party (�DP) in 1982 and wrote most of its programmatic literature, orienting ecology toward fascism and endowing racism and population policy with an 'ecological' legitimation. In 1989, when an �DP party congress dared to pass a resolution formally distancing the party from the NPD and the Republicans, this 'leftist victory' was too much for Gruhl, and he left to form yet another group. Since the mid-1980s, Gruhl has appeared as a guest speaker at various neo-Nazi and Holocaust-denial events and continues to publish books on 'ecology.'

Gruhl's social Darwinist 'ecology' reduces human beings to their biological attributes and applies the 'laws' of nature to society: "All laws that apply to living nature generally apply to people as well, since people themselves are part of living nature," he maintains. 107 These 'natural laws' dictate that people should accept the present social order as it is. Domination, hierarchy, and exploitation should be accepted, since "the swan is white, without anyone artificially cleaning it. The raven is black, and everything is in its natural place of its own accord. This is good. All the strivings of people . . . for organized justice are simply hopeless." 108 People should adapt to existing conditions instead of making futile attempts to change them, since "every life-form accommodates itself to that which it cannot change." 109

If society were set up according to nature, Gruhl believes, cultures would institute prescriptions against those who deviate from their existing norms, since "in the hunting grounds of the wilderness, if an animal breaks the unwritten law of the herd and goes its own way, it generally pays for this independence with its life." 110 Moreover, cultures should be kept separate from one another: "When many cultures are all jumbled together in the same area, the result will be that they live alongside each other, in conflict with each other, or . . . they will undergo entropy, becoming a mixture whose value lessens with every intermixing, until in the last analysis it has no more worth." The reason for cultural separation too has its basis in 'natural law,' "a law of entropy which we particularly have in ecology, and this law also holds for human cultures." 111

In the coming years, Gruhl believes that cultures around the globe will compete for survival over the means of life, in a social Darwinist struggle for existence. "There is no doubt that the wars of the future will be fought over shares in the basic foundations of life -- that is, over the basis of nutrition and the increasingly precious fruits of the soil. Under these circumstances, future wars will far surpass in frightfulness all previous wars." 112 The peoples who have the best prospects for survival will be those who are best armed and who best conserve their resources; those who "succeed in bringing their military preparedness to the highest level, while keeping their standard of living low, will have an enormous advantage." 113

In the interests of this struggle, Germans must not only arm themselves but preserve their environment by keeping the number of people who inhabit it down: "Violations of ecological equilibrium and the destruction of natural living spaces [Lebens�ume] are directly related to population density."

"Overpopulation" in the Third World, however, has produced "armies of job-seekers" who are entering Germany with a "capacity for annihilation" comparable to a "nuclear bomb," Gruhl writes. This "tidal wave of humanity" is a primary menace that will cause "all order to break down" in Europe. Third World immigrants are thus threatening European culture itself, which will "perish not because of the degeneration of its own people, as previous high civilizations have, but because of physical laws: the constantly overflowing mass of humanity on an earth's surface that remains constant." 115 Therefore, there is no room for immigrants in the Federal Republic: "Because of its high population density, the Federal Republic of Germany, one of the most densely settled countries on earth, cannot be a destination country for immigrants. We therefore reject the unlimited acceptance of foreigners." 116 Accordingly, Gruhl demands "an end to immigration for ecological reasons." 117

The 'laws of nature,' for Gruhl, offer a solution to Third World immigration, especially the 'law' that "the only acceptable currency with which violations of natural law can be paid for is death. Death brings the equalization; it cuts back all life that has overgrown on this planet, so that the planet can once again come into equilibrium." 118 Fortunately, in his view, Third World people will accept this lethal solution since their lives "rest on a completely different basic outlook on life from our own: their own death, like that of their children, is accepted as fate." 119

Needless to say, Gruhl does not think democracy is the most efficient way to address these problems. After all, this situation "will take on the proportions of an emergency in coming years, and attempts that will be made to prevail in it will produce a permanent state of emergency." 120 In an interview with the editors of Junge Freiheit (Young Freedom), the flagship publication of the National Revolutionaries, Gruhl was asked whether the problems of protecting the environment and life can be solved within a democracy. "Probably not," he replied, "because democracies follow the Zeitgeist, and in all countries of the world today the Zeitgeist is to raise the standard of living further. Parties that warn about this and advocate renunciation of consumption seem to have little chance." Instead, Gruhl demands a "strong state," strong both internationally and domestically -- if possible, even a state with "dictatorial powers." 121

In the autumn of 1991, the environmental minister of Lower Saxony shocked many observers by awarding Herbert Gruhl a highly prestigious state honor. "With his international best-seller A Planet Is Plundered," minister Monika Greifahn said, Gruhl has "placed ideas of environmental protection and care at the forefront of public political consciousness." 122
A Social Ecology of Freedom

" A combination of nationalism, authoritarianism, and yearnings for charismatic leaders that is legitimated by a mystical and biologistic 'ecology' is potentially socially catastrophic. Just as the v�lkisch movement ultimately was channeled into the Nazi movement, so too new social movements that appeal to these concepts must be mindful of their potential for political and social catastrophe if they are channeled into a dangerous political direction that draws on mysticism.

" A love of the natural world and alienation from modern society are in themselves innocent and legitimate ideas, and it was by no means a historical necessity that they be permutated into a justification for mass murder. Nor is 'ecology' limited to an interpretation as a social Darwinist racial jungle, or politicized along tribal, regional, and nationalist lines. Nor is 'ecology' inherently an antirational, mystical concept. Finally, the ecological crisis can hardly be dismissed; it is itself very real and is worsening rapidly. Indeed, the politicization of ecology is not only desirable but necessary.

" Although this article has focused on the 'ecological' right in the Federal Republic, 'ecological' fascism is hardly limited to that country. In Britain, a wing of the National Front issues the cry, "Racial preservation is Green!" In the United States, the notorious white supremacist Tom Metzger remarks:

I've noticed that there's an increased number of young people in the white racialist movement who are also quite interested in ecology, protecting the animals from cruelty and things like that, and it seems to me that as we are becoming more aware of our precarious state, the white man, the white woman's, state in the world, being only about 10 percent of the population, we begin to sympathize, empathize more, with the wolves and other animals." 123

" His colleague Monique Wolfing agrees: "Well, naturally. They're in the same position we are. Why would we want something created for ourselves and yet watch nature be destroyed? We work hand in hand with nature and we should save nature along with trying to save our race." 124 The noted U.S. deep ecologist Bill Devall, who is certainly not a fascist, has allowed anti-immigration themes to enter his views: He notes with apparent relief that while "population is beginning to stabilize in Western Europe and North America," there is a caveat -- "in-migration." Devall chastises those who would "justify large-scale in-migration to Western Europe and North America from Latin America and Africa" as guilty of "misplaced humanism." 125

" What is clearly crucial is how an ecological politics is conceived. If the Green slogan "we are neither left nor right but up front" was ever meaningful, the emergence of an 'ecological right' defines the slogan's bankruptcy conclusively. The need for an ecological left is urgent, especially one that is firmly committed to a clear, coherent set of anticapitalist, democratic, antihierarchical views. It must have firm roots in the internationalism of the left and the rational, humanistic, and genuinely egalitarian critique of social oppression that was part of the Enlightenment, particularly its revolutionary libertarian offshoot.

" But an ecologically oriented politics must deal with biological phenomena warily, since interpretations of them can serve sinister ends. When 'respect for Nature' comes to mean 'reverence,' it can mutate ecological politics into a religion that 'Green Adolfs' can effectively use for authoritarian ends. When 'Nature,' in turn, becomes a metaphor legitimating sociobiology's 'morality of the gene,' the glories of 'racial purity,' 'love of Heimat,' 'woman equals nature,' or 'Pleistocene consciousness,' the cultural setting is created for reaction. 'Ecological' fascism is a cynical but potentially politically effective attempt to mystically link genuine concern for present-day environmental problems with time-honored fears of the 'outsider' or the 'new,' indeed the best elements of the Enlightenment, through ecological verbiage. Authoritarian mystifications need not be the fate of today's ecology movement, as social ecology demonstrates. But they could become its fate if ecomystics, ecoprimitivists, misanthropes, and antirationalists have their way."

Who fits in our world and who doesn't, and how do we decide? What do we do with a billion Muslims at war with the West, and that same billion dependent on our Modernity for their very lives thanks to their garbage cultures that won't allow them to be self-suffcient at least but propell them into suicidal rages against us? what do we do with those people? And what do we do with those among us already, those who are us as much as we are? How do we measure the properties of belonging? Who fits, and who's a weed?

Note on the graphic:

A coloured cartoon from the first issue of the Glasgow Looking Glass, 11 June 1825, entitled "Numpskulls and Bumpskulls". The cartoonist is poking fun at members of the Scientific Society and their fashionable interest in phrenology.

Phrenology was the "science" of character divination, and its adherents believed that the shape of a skull and the bumps and uneven areas upon it revealed much about the character and "nature" of the individual. The "bumpskulls" in the cartoon are the objects of study; the "numpskulls" are the men of science who are doing the studying!

Reference: Sp Coll Bh14-x.8

Glasgow University Library, Special Collections

"Numpskulls and Bumpskulls". The cartoonist is poking fun at members of the Scientific Society and their fashionable interest in phrenology.

Phrenology was the "science" of character divination, and its adherents believed that the shape of a skull and the bumps and uneven areas upon it revealed much about the character and "nature" of the individual. The "bumpskulls" in the cartoon are the objects of study; the "numpskulls" are the men of science who are doing the studying!

Reference: Sp Coll Bh14-x.8

Glasgow University Library, Special Collections