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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Ecofascism - A New Threat

Content Warning: Some of the images in this article may be distressing or triggering. Please take care with this material. 

Note: This is intended to be a primer of sorts on ecofascism, and will cover a lot of material in a more general sense. While the title is "A New Threat," the ideologies and philosophies themselves are not new, but rather renewed in a way that we, as a society, have not previously seen. The writer of this primer would like to thank the folks with the Institute for Social Ecology (@InstSocEcology) for their assistance with the article. Additional resources to understand the threat of ecofascism will be listed at the bottom.

The first time many people heard about ecofascism was just after the Christchurch Mosque Shooting on March 15, 2019, after the killer stated he was an "ecofascist" in his manifesto. It was so obscure, and the reference immediately brought to mind the idea of "eco-terrorists," and hardline environmentalists. Unsurprisingly, White House advisor Kellyanne Conway alleged the killer was not a nazi at all, because he claimed to be an ecofascist, although she specifically used the term "eco-terrorist," because she has the integrity of a sock.

The online rhetoric surrounding the term furthered the misunderstandings. Not only does the Canadian Far-Right fail to grasp what ecofascism is, they also apply the label to essentially any environmentalist group, movement, or individual which they find disagreeable.

It is absolutely astounding that anyone can think Mosley, the leader of the British
Union of Fascists, and a hero within the neo-Nazi ideology, would be "on the left." 

The video that this links to is a short clip wherein the uploader is very 
upset with Tim Hortons taking part in Earth Hour. To them, this is "ecofascism."

The video this links to is the 2010 short film by Richard
Curtis for the 10:10 campaign. You can read about it here

This was reinforced by the likes of Molyneux and Crowder. 

So what is ecofascism?

At its core, ecofascism is the belief that environmental harmony can only be achieved 1) by white people, 2) through the creation of a white ethnostate/homeland and by eradicating overpopulation via deportation and genocide, and 3) by acknowledging the natural world and embracing environmental principles while "rejecting the modern world." If that sounds a bit like nonsense, that's because it is. It draws heavily on mystical and intellectual philosophies/writings by individuals like Savitri Devi, a French national and fascist from a young age who renounced her citizenship to move to Greece, and spent her later years in India. 

She is credited with inspiring the neo-Nazi obsession with occultism (like we see with accelerationist groups, as well as esoteric and occultist neo-Nazi groups such as Temple ov Blood and Order of the 9 Angles) and Hindu prophecies, like the Kali Yuga. 

Hindu belief that the world is constantly in one of four Yugas - Kali Yuga being the fourth, which is full of strife and struggle. After the Kali Yuga, a new cycle of Yugas begins, signalling rebirth. Devi believed Hitler was a sacrifice to bring the end of the Kali Yuga.

Imagery and posts about Devi, such as this one, are popular on 
Telegram channels maintained by virulent accelerationist neo-Nazis

A commonly found image of Devi, used by neo-Nazis

It's not surprising that the purported intellectualism of the alt-right/neo-Nazi movements borrow so heavily from people like Savitri, as well as Julius Evola, and Pentti Linkola, the Finnish deep-ecologist often praised on Arktos and Counter-Currents, whose ideas are ecofascist. The philosphies of all three are found consistently threaded throughout.

Even the Nazi slogan "Blood and Soil" is connected to ecofascism, and resonates strongly within the ideology - the nationalistic idea that the race must be protected (blood) by creating a homeland (soil), as is "Lebensraum." A German racialist (Ernst Haeckel) even coined the term "ecology." 

Another way to identify an eco-fascist is their tendency to use phrases associated with the Third Reich, but interspersed with references to the earth – such as the infamous “Blut und Boden” or “Blood and Soil”. The language captures the eco-fascist desire to have nations that are only full of people they claim are indigenous to that region (blood) and the demand for a geographically-bounded home that is preserved through environmentalist principles (soil). 
“I would say that the Blood and Soil philosophy of Walther Darré is something we all share,” Dan says, referring to the Argentinian-born Nazi who was obsessed with the idea of a Nordic race and the ideological force behind Lebensraum. “There can be no folk without its lebensraum, just as there can't be any lebensraum without the folk.”
Why is ecofascism dangerous? 

Apart from being openly fascist, it's turned into what this writer often calls an arm of the accelerationist neo-Nazi movement. Ecofascists are essentially environmental Nazi terror-aligned individuals and groups. So while Atomwaffen Division, Feuerkrieg Division, and The Base (among others) are accelerationist groups intent on accelerating a race war and causing destruction/destroying the State, these groups do so with an environmental bent.

They encourage accelerationist acts, and promote extreme violence and terrorism. Terrorgram, the accelerationist corner of Telegram, has multiple ecofascist channels, with a constant stream of imagery:

The usage of runes, particularly the Algiz, or
"Life" rune, commonly found with ecofascism

A particularly vile branch of accelerationism, Rapewaffen, shared to an ecofascist Telegram channel

Ecofascist imagery and aesthetic 

In addition to intellectualist philosphy, and throwbacks to Nazi slogans, a common theme is runes/Odinism, and the idea of "volk," or "their people." Often ecofascists combine all three. It's a bizarre mix of Asatru-style volkish paganism with imagery of nature, and philosophy. 

Imagery is particularly important to ecofascists, often blending Siege culture with fashwave, and natural elements. 

An ecofascist take on Charles Manson, revered 
amongst accelerationists and within Siege Culture. While in prison, Manson devised ATWA - Air, Trees, Water, Animals - an early version of ecofascism. Sandra Good, a still-devoted follower of Manson, ran a website focusing on ATWA

On Twitter they will often self-identify using tree emojis, which journalist Jake Hanrahan has called the "Pine Tree Community."

From The Guardian
On Twitter, the “pine tree gang”, which journalist Jake Hanrahan describes as “less a cohesive movement than a loosely connected online subculture”, have been promoting ideas that blend a sense of impending environmental catastrophe with themes taken from white nationalism. 
This subculture – which so far appears to be small in number – is frequently drawn to a so-called “terror wave” aesthetic, which elevates images of terrorist insurgency; promotes a specific, martial fashion imagery; and fantasies about armed conflict in the wake of environmental and social collapse. 
Terror wave forums and threads are full of men in balaclavas, brandishing high-powered weaponry, wearing various combinations of tactical gear, combat uniforms and cheap athleisure wear. Images from the 1990s-era conflicts in the Balkans seem to have a particular appeal.

Why is ecofascism a threat? 

There are already environmental movements being hijacked and infiltrated, including Extinction Rebellion. A fringe "White XR" movement has surfaced, and XR as a whole, with its leaderless resistance and individual actions is ripe for infiltration by ecofascists. The El Paso Shooting was inspired by ecofascism

Ian Kelly has recently promoted ecofascism on social media,
sharing a video which blends text from David Lane's 88 Precepts
with ecofascist imagery. Presumably, Kelly is referring to the
88 Precepts when referencing the "well-known text."
Lane was a member of The Order, a neo-Nazi terrorist group
active in the 80s, and wrote the 88 Precepts while in prison. 

The cover photo from Montreal-based fascist Nathalie Hebert's Facebook

Nick Charles, an Ontario-based accelerationist neo-Nazi

Northern Identity, a BC-based "identitarian" group, has also shown elements of ecofascism on their now-defunct Twitter account:

Bronze Age Mantis' Bronze Age Mindset is popular reading material amongst the ecofascist crowd

The book to the left is Finnish ecologist and fascist Pentti Linkola's Can Life Prevail

A clear reference to the Weimar-era Hitler Youth group that some academics consider to be an influence on ecofascism

Even Kevin Goudreau has jumped on the bandwagon: 

The ecofascism discussed here is centred around the accelerationist neo-Nazi movement. While there is a longstanding interconnection between racism and environmentalism (Monika Schaefer ran under the federal Green Party twice), this is a newer breed - ultraviolent, younger, and potentially more dangerous. 

Ecofascism is a complex philosophy with a complex and layered history. Given how engrained conservationism and the natural world is within Canadian culture, it's to be expected that this threat will continue to grow. It makes sense for Canadian fascists and nationalists to latch onto the ecofascist ideology. With the overall increase in neo-fascism, we must be aware of this creep. We hope this will help folks be able to spot it, however crypto or seemingly benign, and thus stamp it out where it stands. 

Additional resources to understand ecofascism:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you for this primer