Wednesday 20 March 2019

New Zealand Mosque Massacre Suspect Says he is an Eco-fascist

Brenton Tarrant, one of four people arrested for the shooting to death of fifty people at two Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, last week, claims in a 74 page manifesto, to be, amongst other things, an Eco-fascist. The document entitled the “Great Replacement” has been posted at various locations on the web, but all appear to have been deleted now. I haven’t read the full document myself, but it appears that many people have.

A report on the Medium website has published some extracts from Tarrant’s manifesto, and I’m mainly quoting here from this report. Tarrant apparently declares:

“I am an Ethno-nationalist Eco-fascist,” in his manifesto. “Ethnic autonomy for all peoples with a focus on the preservation of nature, and the natural order.”

He goes on to say:

“Immigration and climate change are the same issue, the environment is being destroyed by over- population” and “we Europeans are one of the groups that are not over populating the world. […] Kill the invaders, kill the overpopulation, and by doing so, save the environment.”

Although Tarrant is an Australian national he sees himself as European, from “English, Scottish and Irish” stock, and advocates a hierarchical economic and political system in which an ethnically cleansed Europe will be free from the influences of cheap labour, foreign trade, and environmental destruction.

Tarrant claims to be ‘anti-capitalist’ in his manifesto and he appears to believe in a globalist conspiracy theory in which “Marxists” exact corporate control over the markets, media, academia, and NGOs. This seems to be more akin to a classical antisemitism conspiracy type of belief, with ‘Marxists’ filling the role of ‘Jewish bankers.’

Nazi Germany employed some anti-capitalist rhetoric in its ideology, but after his rise to power, Hitler took a pragmatic position on economics, accepting private property and allowing capitalist private enterprises to exist so long as they adhered to the goals of the Nazi state. Business groups made significant financial contributions to the Nazi Party both before and after the Nazi seizure of power, in the hope that a Nazi dictatorship would eliminate the organized labour movement and the left-wing parties.

Of course Hitler was anti-Marxist, usually of the ‘Jewish bankers’ variety, stating this in his book Mein Kampf and also his hatred of democracy “because it inevitably leads to Marxism.” Left wing activists were persecuted and often murdered in Nazi Germany, alongside Jews and gay people.

Hitler also admired the British Empire and its colonial system as living proof of Germanic superiority over 'inferior' races and saw the United Kingdom as Germany's natural ally. He wrote in Mein Kampf: "For a long time to come there will be only two Powers in Europe with which it may be possible for Germany to conclude an alliance. These Powers are Great Britain and Italy."

Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience, written by Janet Biehl and Peter Staudenmaier contains two essays entitled "Fascist Ideology: The Green Wing of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents" and "Ecology and the Modernization of Fascism in the German Ultra-Right." They linked German Nazism with “traditional agrarian romanticism and hostility to urban civilization”, and that ecological ideas were an “essential element of racial rejuvenation.”

The Nazi slogan “blood and soil” was coined by their foremost ecological thinker, Richard Walter Darré, who meant it to capture a mystical link between race and a particular territory.

This conflation of race and land, quite absurdly in the case of Africa, was present in the South African political and para-military organisation the Afrikaner Resistance Movement, whose leader was Eugène Terre'Blanche, in the era around the end of apartheid in the early 1990s. Terre Blanche means literally in French ‘white land or white earth.’

In more recent times, the British National Party (BNP), under then leader Nick Griffin, before the party imploded, made the argument that climate change offered a great opportunity for the advancement of fascism, with Britain likely not being in the first wave ecological destruction, and an island, with refugees from the worst hit regions wanting to get into the country. The tensions that would arise from this within the British people could be exploited for their political ends, Griffin thought.

The notion of ‘indigenous people’ is captured in this strain of nationalist fascism, a way of life challenged by the arrival of outsiders, who will change the prevailing culture. An insistence on all people in England to speak English, at all times, at least in public, is a common feature of Brexit. I once saw some graffiti in a pub toilet in east London that said: ‘the indigenous people are being discriminated against.’

The United Kingdom Independence Party, largely inherited those voters when the BNP fell apart. They seem to be courting them even more now under their new leader Gerard Batten, who has hired Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon), the fascist former English Defence League (EDL) leader, who made anti-muslim sentiment a central part of the EDL’s ideology.  

Whilst the vast majority of the people in the green movement are of the political left, aspects of the movement also bear some ideological blame for a form of eco-fascism. What is known as ‘deep ecology’ sees environmental degradation as a problem caused by ‘too many people’, advocate massive reductions in the human population, usually black and brown people, and strict anti-immigration policies.

Conveniently, they ignore that rich industrial nations, cause much more environmental destruction than the population of Africa and other poor parts of the world. This is a form of eco-fascism, however much deep ecologists try to deny the fact.

All of which means that those of us on the green left, should be aware of this alternative ecological philosophy, and redouble our efforts to challenge their narrative with a just and inclusive green politics.

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