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Ecofascism is a theoretical political model in which a totalitarian government would require individuals to sacrifice their own interests to the "organic whole of nature" and which would rely on "militarism, expansionism, and possibly racism to defend the land".
The term is also used as a rhetorical pejorative to undermine the environmental movement and in the United Kingdom, it has been used to describe far-right efforts to gain influence within the Green Party of England and Wales. Some writers have used it to refer to the hypothetical danger of future dystopian governments, which might resort to extreme or "fascist" policies to deal with environmental issues. Other writers have used it to refer to segments of historical and modern fascist movements that focused on environmental issues.
Environmental historian Michael E. Zimmerman defines "ecofascism" as "a totalitarian government that requires individuals to sacrifice their interests to the well-being and glory of the 'land', understood as the splendid web of life, or the organic whole of nature, including peoples and their states". Zimmerman argues that while no ecofascist government has so far existed, "important aspects of it can be found in German National Socialism, one of whose central slogans was "Blood and Soil".
According to environmentalist David Orton, the term is pejorative in nature and has "social ecology roots, against the deep ecology movement and its supporters plus, more generally, the environmental movement. Thus, 'ecofascist' and 'ecofascism', are used not to enlighten but to smear."
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Savitri Devi was a prominent proponent of Esoteric Nazism and deep ecology. She support animal rights activism, and was a vegetarian from a young age and held ecologist views in her works. She wrote Impeachment of Man in 1959 in India, in which she declared her views on animal rights and nature. According to her, human beings do not stand above the animals; but in her ecologist views, humans are rather a part of the ecosystem and should respect all life, including animals and the whole of nature.
Nouvelle Droite movement
The European Nouvelle Droite movement, developed by Alain de Benoist and other individuals involved with the GRECE think tank, have also combined green politics with right-wing ideas such as European ethnonationalism.
Pentti Linkola is a radical Finnish deep ecologist. Some observers describe his ideas "fascist" or "ecofascist",[better source needed] and his ideas are not widely known outside Finland.[better source needed] His book Can Life Prevail?: A Revolutionary Approach to the Environmental Crisis was published in English by Arktos Media
Christchurch mosque shootings
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the suspected shooter in the 2019 attacks on the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a self-avowed ecofascist. Jordan Weissmann, writing for Slate, described this as "an established, if somewhat obscure, brand of neo-Nazi" and quoted Sarah Manavis, writing in the New Statesman, as saying that "they believe that living in the original regions a race is meant to have originated in and shunning multiculturalism is the only way to save the planet they prioritise above all else."
Critique of ecofascism
Accusations of ecofascism have often been made but are usually strenuously denied. Such accusations have come from both those on the political left who see it as an assault on human rights, as in social ecologist Murray Bookchin's use of the term, and from those on the political right, as in Rush Limbaugh and other conservative and wise use movement commentators. In the latter case, it is often a hyperbolic use of the term that is applied to all environmental activists, including more mainstream groups such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club.
Bookchin's critique of deep ecology
"There are barely disguised racists, survivalists, macho Daniel Boones, and outright social reactionaries who use the word ecology to express their views, just as there are deeply concerned naturalists, communitarians, social radicals, and feminists who use the word ecology to express theirs... It was out of this former kind of crude eco-brutalism that Hitler, in the name of 'population control,' with a racial orientation, fashioned theories of blood and soil... The same eco-brutalism now reappears a half-century later among self-professed deep ecologists who believe that Third World peoples should be permitted to starve to death and that desperate Indian immigrants from Latin America should be excluded by the border cops from the United States lest they burden 'our' ecological resources".
Sakai on "natural purity"
Such observations among the left are not exclusive to Bookchin. In his review of Anna Bramwell's biography of Richard Walther Darré, J. Sakai observes the fascist ideological undertones of natural purity. Prior to the Russian Revolution, the tsarist intelligentsia was divided on the one hand between liberal "utilitarian naturalists", who were "taken with the idea of creating a paradise on earth through scientific mastery of nature" and influenced by nihilism as well as Russian zoologists such as Anatoli Petrovich Bogdanov; and, on the other, "cultural-aesthetic" conservationists such as Ivan Parfenevich Borodin, who were influenced in turn by German Romantic and idealist concepts such as Landschaftspflege and Naturdenkmal.
- Taylor, Bron (2008-06-10). Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature. A&C Black. pp. 531–532. ISBN 9781441122780.
- "Green historian to Brandis: My Work's Been Abused". The Sydney Morning Herald. November 13, 2003. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Wall, Derek (August 2000). "Darker shades of green". Red Pepper. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
- "...the phenomenon one might call "actually existing ecofascism," that is, the preoccupation of authentically fascist movements with environmentalist concerns". Peter Staudenmeier, "Fascist Ecology: The 'Green Wing' of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents in Germany". In "Ecofascism: Lessons from the German experience," by Janet Biehl and Peter Staudenmaier, 1995.
- Olsen, Jonathan. [date missing] Nature and Nationalism: Right-Wing Ecology and the Politics of Identity. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Matthew Phelan (2018-10-22). "The Menace of Eco-Fascism". New York Review of Books.
- Hoffmann, Helga (19 December 2004). "Ecofascism: What is It? A Left Biocentric Analysis". home.ca.inter.net. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "Fascism" by Roger Griffin, in Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, edited by Bron Taylor. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2008. (pp. 639-644)
- Pentti Linkola Fansite. "Biography of Pentti Linkola". www.penttilinkola.com. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Pentti Linkola Fansite. "Ecofascism and Deep Ecology". www.penttilinkola.com. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Weissmann, Jordan (15 March 2019). "What the Christchurch Killer's Manifesto Tells Us". Slate. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
- Fisher, Marc; Achenbach, Joel. "Boundless racism, zero remorse: A manifesto of hate and 49 dead in New Zealand". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- Bookchin, Murray. Social Ecology versus Deep Ecology: A Challenge for the Ecology Movement. Originally published in Green Perspectives: Newsletter of the Green Program Project, nos. 4–5 (summer 1987).
- Sakai, J. (2003). The Green Nazi - an investigation into fascist ecology. Kerspledebeb. ISBN 978-0-9689503-9-5.
- Weiner, Douglas R. (2000). Models Of Nature: Ecology, Conservation, and Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia. University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 978-0-8229-5733-1.