Lessons from anti progress ideology
There is a close historical connection between the anti progress, 'deep ecology' branch of Green politics and the Third Reich. The modern green movement started in Germany and green politics is more popular there than anywhere else. It takes the view that human beings should have no negative impact on nature.
"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."
Ernst Lehmann, Biologischer Wille. Wege und Ziele biologischer Arbeit im neuen Reich, München, 1934
A number of völkisch movements existed prior to World War I. Combining interest in folklore, ecology, occultism and romanticism with ethnic nationalism, their ideologies were a strong influence on the Nazi party, which itself was inspired by Adolf Hitler's membership of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers' 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).
Ecofascism is an ultra conservative, right wing philosophy which advocates a return to a pre industrial, agrarian civilisation. It is deeply opposed to capitalism, globalisation and industrial expansion. Obviously, the Nazi party had a wide range of views on environmentalism. It's main supporters were Himmler, Hesse, Darre and Nazi philosopher Karl Haushofer.
In modern times, individuals connected with the deep ecology (eco fascist) movement include George Monbiot, Paul Kingsnorth, Keith Farnish (endorsed by the world's most famous climate scientist, James Hansen), the British National Party, the extreme right Goldsmith family (Edward edited the Ecology magazine) and their Nazi friends John Aspinall and Lord Lucan.
Paul Kingsnorth's Dark
Mountain Project is an appropriately named focus for this dark tendency.
Dartmouth College academic Michael K. Dorsey referred to it in the following way in the Guardian.
Everyone should stay vigilant and keep their danger sniffers on full alert when the likes of those high on the Dark Mountain and others associated with "deep ecological" tendencies get on about "crises" of "humanity." Sadly, we have a great deal of evidence now, that such 'dark' tendencies have been built upon a legacy of misanthropic meandering, petty eco-fascism and immigrant bashing-- souped up in talk of waywardness from the "myth[s] of human centrality"--by the likes of Teddy Goldsmith, the gaggle of old Ecologist sods, inter alia, some of whom helped precipitate the Cornerhouse.
Dr. M. K. Dorsey is a professor in Dartmouth College’s Environmental Studies Program and the Director of the College’s Climate Justice Research Project.
most prominent modern proponent of 'deep ecology', George Monbiot
expounds on the dangers of progress itself. That is at the very heart
of ultra conservative philosphy. He compares dangerous, environment
destroying *Jewish progress myths unfavourably with pagan cyclical
God of the Soil
The peculiarities of the Abrahamic religions - their astonishing success in colonising the world and their dangerous notion of progress (now inherited by secular society) - result from a marriage between the universal god of the nomads and the conditions which permitted cities to develop. The dominant beliefs of the past 2000 years are the result of an ancient migration from soils such as xerepts and xeralfs to soils such as fluvents and rendolls.
At Easter, the Christian belief in a permanent resurrection is mixed up with the pagan belief in a perpetual cycle of temporary resurrection and death. In church we worship the Christian notion of progress, which has now filtered into every aspect of our lives. But, amid the cracking of easter eggs and the murmur of prayer, there can still be heard the small, faint voice which reminds us that our ecological hubris must eventually be greeted by nemesis.
* Monbiot uses the phrase 'Abrahamic religions', however the only the only Abrahamic religion that existed at the time the article refers to was Judaism.
Monbiot promises, "is about resisting the urge to control nature and
allowing it to find its own way". There is a certain smug hands-off
paternalism to this image, as though the rewilder is watching from a
safe distance while nature, like an adorable little child, wanders off
haltingly on its own path.
His views are echoed here
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.” . Here, of course, we encounter the objection of
the modern pacifist, as truly Jewish in its effrontery as it is stupid!
'Man's role is to overcome Nature!'
Millions thoughtlessly parrot this Jewish nonsense and end up by really imagining that they themselves represent a kind of conqueror of Nature; though in this they dispose of no other weapon than an idea, and at that such a miserable one, that if it were true no world at all would be conceivable."
Adolf Hitler - Mein Kampf
This a larger section of the guardian article
this brings us to the central tension in his book. On one hand, nature
is considered as something we should not attempt to manage – what is
wild is just what is not cultured. Rewilding, Monbiot promises, "is
about resisting the urge to control nature and allowing it to find its
own way". There is a certain smug hands-off paternalism to this image,
as though the rewilder is watching from a safe distance while nature,
like an adorable little child, wanders off haltingly on its own path.
But the rhetorical anti-managerialism is everywhere undercut by the
explicitly described managerialism of rewilding. Choosing just which
plants and animals to "reintroduce" certainly sounds like "managing"
the ecosystem. Even more so does "culling exotic species which cannot
be contained by native wildlife". The euphemism "cull" for kill is
presumably allowed in the context of liquidating troublesome foreigners.
Bizarrely this philosophy is expounded on something called the The Georgia Guidestones, a granite monument in Elbert County, Georgia, USA
A message consisting of a set of ten guidelines or principles is engraved on
the Georgia Guidestones in eight different languages..
Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
Unite humanity with a living new language.
Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
Balance personal rights with social duties.
Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is central to the anti progress philosophy of 'deep ecology' .
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), who became the prophet of decadence, scorning the 'weakling's doctrines of optimism,' and in his diagnoses of the times undermining the pillars of modernism, including faith in progress, to allow the strong individual to stand with his radical value system above the plebeian masses. An important part of his radically critical thinking consists of the attempt to use the classical model of 'eternal recurrence of the same' to dislodge the Idea of Progress
environmentalists, there is a continuum between two opposing poles. The
one pole is optimistic, progressive, and business-oriented, and
endorses the classic Idea of Progress. For example Bright Green
environmentalism endorses the idea that new designs, social innovations
and green technologies can solve critical environmental challenges. The
other is pessimistic in respect of technological solutions, warning of
impending global crisis (through climate change or peak oil, for
example) and tends to reject the very idea of modernity and the myth of
progress that is so central to modernization thinking. Similarly,
Kirkpatrick Sale, wrote about progress as a myth benefiting the few and
pending environmental doomsday for everyone.An example is the
philosophy of Deep Ecology.
was more central to nazi ideology than race. In fact the racial
segregation ideology came from the pagan 'blood and soil' emphasis on
the local so beloved of the modern green movement. Both are based on a
romantic view of pre industrial pagan tribal cultures and their
supposed oneness with the natural world . The reality is that they were extremely cruel and brutal societies who practised human sacrifice and worse.
The anti-capitalism of the nazis is reflected in the modern environmental movement. It is generally assumed today that anti free market politics is left wing. However, the nazis were extremely anti capitalist but on the political right. They believed capitalism was a Jewish plot to enslave the Aryan race. The modern Green Party in Germany is positioned right of centre and its voters would in the main have otherwise voted for right wing parties. It is also true however that many Green activists have left wing backgrounds but they share the fundamental principle of the control of capitalism by the state.
The fundamental issue at stake under consideration here isn't right vs left but whether the world should push forward to a technologically advanced future or return as the nazis planned, to a more primitive existence. Rolling back the evolutionary clock one hundred years would see the return of privilige for an elite few and the re-emergence of subsistence poverty for those at the bottom.
purpose of this page is not to suggest that modern environmentalists
are nazis or fascists, not even to loosely accuse them of being control
freaks or anything similar. However they share with the Third Reich an
agenda to roll back the industrialised world and a return to a cleaner,
less polluting society. Not by advances in technology but by increasing
the cost of consumption (taxation and more expensive fuel) and removing
modern comforts of the poorest individuals. Comforts like home heating,
car travel, foreign holidays and indeed anything that it is deemed to
damage the environment. It is almost universally true that those who
promote these ideas have a level of income that means their lifestyles
will be unaffected by such changes. A look at the aristocrats page will
reveal that the prominent individuals are very often upper class.
Hitler’s Green Killing Machine
Historians have either overlooked or forgotten that sweeping Nazi environmental laws, all signed by Hitler and considered to be his pet projects, preceded the racially charged Nuremberg Laws, reflecting the fact that Nazi racism was rooted in ecology.
The shocking climax of the infamous 1940 Nazi documentary film entitled “The Eternal Jew” stunningly reveals a strong green rationalization based on animal rights for the looming destruction of the Jews. According to Nazi ideology, the so-called “eternal Jew” is the transcendent Jew who tries to live above Nature through economics and capitalism in the west, or through politics and communism in the east.
In Mein Kampf, Hitler specifically called this process the pacification of Nature. According to Hitler, the Jews try to pacify or tame Nature through international commerce and capitalism on the one hand, or by stressing universal political values like communistic equality on the other hand, both of which rebel against the stern rigid laws of Nature which cannot be overcome. German zoologist Ernst Haeckel, the racist Darwinist who coined the term ‘ecology’ in 1866, posited that the Jewish transcendent view of man over nature made them resistant to evolutionary biological change, and hence the Jews had become a lesser race. While Hitler eschewed some of Haeckel’s political views, he heartily agreed with this particular belief.
To the Nazis, the Jews had become a wandering and threatening invasive species because of their steadfastness to universal transcendent values in opposition to the Social Darwinian evolutionary laws of Nature. They were ‘eternal’ vagabonds, uprooted from Nature and destructive to local national populations with alien economic practices and politics. Hence, Nazi ideologues complained both about the “un-German spirit of commerce” and the “liberal-Marxist rationalism” that alienated German culture from Nature-all as a crisis instigated by the Jews. In fact, the Nazis actually believed that the sick modern world of both international capitalism and communism, led by Jews and spread by Christianity, was entirely disobedient to Nature.
While the west largely became Judaized through Capitalism, it did not go unnoticed by the Nazis that its twin sister, the liberal social gospel, coincided with the rise of Jewish Marxism. Both of these corrupting influences had since become an epidemic that was threatening the very survival of the German Aryan blood, the true original natives of Europe. Hitler actually dreaded the Jewish forces of anti-Nature. In his own mind, he was defending German Aryan culture against the weakness of western civilization brought on by the autonomous Judeo-Christian beliefs and practices over the natural world.
Many Nazis, including the Fuhrer himself, believed that the industrial age along with its emphasis upon commercialism, city life, international trade and finance were corrupting the biological substance of the German people. The Nazis thus had an extreme literal reading of Nature which would spell absolute disaster for the Jews in particular precisely because they allegedly lived by a false, “eternal,” or transcendent ethos, far above the natural world and her “scientific” evolutionary natural laws of racism.
Seen in this light through a green prism, the Nazi propaganda film “The Eternal Jew” becomes much more intelligible. The hour-long documentary keeps a steady pace throughout going from one anti-Semitic line of reasoning to the next. The Jews do not possess romantic countryside hard working rural values. Nor do they produce anything of real value. All they do is buy and sell goods in markets produced by the native populations which artificially places them on top of the financial chain. Jews are much more at home bartering and selling on dirty city streets than they are in performing hardy and healthy outdoor labor tasks. Their capitalistic international trade is comparable to a massive infestation of rats characterized like invasive species overwhelming Germany and spreading disease everywhere they go.
Below are a number of articles showing the connection between right wing, particularly Nazi politics and environmentalism.
This short BBC clip refers to the Nazi's obsession with the environment and natural purity. They believed nature was better in the past. They tried to de-evolve cattle and searched for the origins of the Aryan race in Tibet.
'Nazi' cattle being bred in UK
A Devon farmer has succeeded in introducing a breed of cattle that has not been seen in the UK for over 4,000 years. During the Second World War, the Heck cow was a symbol of Nazi ambitions to rule the world.
Himmler justifies the invasion of Poland
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.
Quoted in Heinz Haushofer, Ideengeschichte der Agrarwirtschaft und Agrarpolitik im deutschen Sprachgebiet, Band II, München, 1958, p. 266.
Policing the national body: sex, race, and criminalization By Jael Silliman, Anannya Bhattacharjee, Angela Yvonne Davis
of the most central "doctrines" or pseudo-doctrines to the Nazi Belief
System was that of "Blood and Soil" or Blut und Boden. "Blood &
Soil" was the foundational concept for other concepts such as
"Lebensraum and was rooted in occultic philosophies prevalent in German
mysticism and Ancient legend, which posited that German Racial
Identity, was essentially tied literally and metaphorically to the
land. In the beginning of the reign of the Third Reich, the concept of
"Blut und Boden" was euphemized with a'back to the land' ,
back-to-basics approach of bringing back the historical lifestyle of a
Prussian people; a history tied in farming and rural values. The
concept however was far greater than the 'back to farming ' and country
life mentality which was couched in terms of patriotism and
nationalism: the concept of the bloodlines of Germany being integrally
tied to the soil or land necessitated a German people on a German land,
with all others as intruders.
He goes on to note that even within the Nazi regime, there were differences of opinion about the meaning of Lebensraum, citing Rainer Zitelmann, who distinguishes between the near-mystical fascination with a return to an idyllic agrarian society (for which land was a necessity) as advocated by Darré and Himmler, and an industrial state, envisioned by Hitler, which would be reliant on raw materials and forced labor.
Heidegger's answers to some questions are evasive. For example, when he talks about a "national and social approach" of national socialism, he links this to Friedrich Naumann. According to Thomas Sheehan, Naumann had the "vision of a strong nationalism and a militantly anticommunist socialism, combined under a charismatic leader who would fashion a middle-European empire that preserved the spirit and tradition of pre-industrial Germany even as it appropriated, in moderation, the gains of modern technology.
Fascist Ecology: The "Green Wing" of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents
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.
"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." - Adolf Hitler
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
Darré declared: "The concept of Blood and Soil gives us the moral right to take back as much land in the East as is necessary to establish a harmony between the body of our Volk and the geopolitical space
An inveterate nature lover as well as a devout Steinerite, Hess insisted on a strictly biodynamic diet -- not even Hitler's rigorous vegetarian standards were good enough for him -- and accepted only homeopathic medicines. It was Hess who introduced Darré to Hitler, thus securing the "green wing" its first power base. He was an even more tenacious proponent of organic farming than Darré,
To explain the destruction of the countryside and environmental damage, without questioning the German people's bond to nature, could only be done by not analysing environmental damage in a societal context and by refusing to understand them as an expression of conflicting social interests. Had this been done, it would have led to criticism of National Socialism itself since that was not immune to such forces. One solution was to associate such environmental problems with the destructive influence of other races. National Socialism could then be seen to strive for the elimination of other races in order to allow the German people's innate understanding and feeling of nature to assert itself, hence securing a harmonic life close to nature for the future.
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.
'Ecology' and the Modernization of Fascism in the German Ultra-right
NAZI GERMANY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
"As our mother earth is a mere speck in the sunbeam in the illimitable universe, so man himself is but a tiny grain of protoplasm in the perishable framework of organic nature. [This] clearly indicates the true place of man in nature, but it dissipates the prevalent illusion of man's supreme importance and the arrogance with which he sets himself apart from the illimitable universe and exalts himself to the position of its most valuable element." -- Ernst Haeckel, Father of German Ecology
Source: Ernst Haeckel, The Riddle of the Universe (New York: Harper, 1900), pp. 14-15.
"Man is not above nature, but in nature." -- Ernst Haeckel, Father of German Ecology
Source: Ernst Haeckel, The Evolution of Man. 2 vols. (New York: Appleton, 1903), vol. II, p. 456.
"Man must not fall into the error of thinking that he was ever meant to become lord and master of Nature. A lopsided education has helped to encourage that illusion. Man must realize that a fundamental law of necessity reigns throughout the whole realm of Nature and that his existence is subject to the law of eternal struggle and strife. He will then feel that there cannot be a separate law for mankind in a world in which planets and suns follow their orbits, where moons and planets trace their destined paths, where the strong are always the masters of the weak and where those subject to such laws must obey them or be destroyed. Man must also submit to the eternal principles of this supreme wisdom. He may try to understand them but he can never free himself from their sway." -- Adolf Hitler
Environmentalism is Fascism
THE DARK MOUNTAIN MANIFESTO 2009
The beauty of modern
Man is not in the persons but in the
Disastrous rhythm, the heavy and mobile masses, the dance of the
Dream-led masses down the dark mountain.
The confusion surrounding the Nazis and their apparent conversion to anti union capitalism was consummated in the Night of the Long Knives
Night of the Long Knives
Hitler was uncomfortable with Röhm's outspoken support for a "second revolution" to redistribute wealth. (In Röhm's view, President Hindenburg's appointing of Hitler as German Chancellor on January 30, 1933 had accomplished the "nationalistic" revolution but had left unfulfilled the "socialistic" motive in National Socialism.)
Here is a book about American investment in Nazi Germany.