Skip to comments.Biehl and Staudenmaier's Ecofascism Revisited
Posted on 12/22/2012 10:05:42 AM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
Circa 1941, from Moscows gates to Dovers cliffs, from Norways northern fjords to Sicilys southern shores, Europa groaned beneath fascist dictators. Several million Europeans brandished fascist party membership cards. Five years later not so many. Nonetheless, a political movement of this scale disappears neither quickly nor quietly. Western Europe witnessed neither a great purge of fascists nor a long overdue attainder of fascisms social base. Thus, under cover of the Cold War fog, the fascist movement reconstituted itself, albeit bowed and broken. The main fracture separated a minority addicted to pre-1945 symbols and rhetoric (swastikas, crude anti-Semitism, etc.) from a majority advocating a major makeover. Mainstream neo-fascism became environmentalism ...
(Excerpt) Read more at ecofascism.com ...
Given that there is an American tradition of enviromentalism that doesn’t share the features of German thought described here this all looks wildly overstated and, from our American point of view, misdirected or irrelevant.
While the anti-Puritan Henry David Thoreau was an outcast of American society that few people paid attention to in the mid 1800’s, the academic halls of Germany were being inundated with anti-Semitic nature Romantics, existentialists, environmentalists, and animal rights gurus. The heart of environmentalism goes back to Germany of the early 1800’s in protest against the French Enlightenment. The very father of German Social Darwinism, Ernst Haeckel, coined the term “Ecology” in 1866. National Socialism absorbed the movement in 1934 when Rudolf Hess placed the green conservation groups under the auspices of the German Labor Front. Aldo Leopold, the father of Deep Ecology in America, traveled to Nazi Germany in 1935 to witness the brand new ecological era that the Third Reich was implementing. After 1935, Leopold moved sharply away from the Roosevelt style of conservationism, which is very different than environmentalism.
Thoreau was a Romantic, and Romanticism was largely born in Germany with Goethe (1749-1832). Romanticism strongly opposed the Enlightenment that America was largely founded upon (together with Protestantism). Romanticism was rooted in the continental philosophies of Germany that rebelled against the English and French Enlightenments that flowered in America thanks to the success of the American Revolution and the rejection of English Feudalism. Thoreau opposed such sentiments and blamed the invasive Puritans for destroying the American landscape. At the same time, Germans were blaming the invasive Jews for destroying the German landscape for their cosmopolitan citified ways. However, the ideas are exactly parallel - Romanticism vs. Judeo-Christianity. The only difference is that Thoreau was an eccentric in America opposing Protestantism, while such Romantic ideas were taught with great enthusiasm in the academies of Germany against both Jews and Protestants.
I have been very surprised by how many people defend Thoreau. Thoreau was essentially the first counter culture hippy rebel in America that we know of. His romantic religion of nature did not become popular in America until the 1960’s.