The Green Left's Fascist Roots
The current presidential administration and State Department have been long touting that global warming/climate change are just as dangerous as Russian bears and Islamic terrorists. In February 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry addressed Asian leaders in Jakarta by informing them, “Climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” With such attitudes, is it any wonder the east-west divide all the way from the Middle East to Ukraine in the north is literally on fire with no promising solution or relief to be found anywhere on the horizon? While common sense cries out that the world is entering into very serious times not seen since perhaps World War II, America has a presidential administration and a State Department seemingly far more concerned about global warming/climate change than the cauldron that has erupted in the Middle East, and the seething geopolitical dangers that could easily blow up all of Europe itself.
Worse, leftist pressure has made the U.S. military go green over the last decade. The U.S. armed forces are now buying more and more energy from expensive renewable technology contractors. Presumably by 2025, the U.S. Army will become a virtual green model of sustainability for the entire country. In other words, the Left is using the Defense Department to keep renewable energy boondoggles afloat by wasting taxpayer dollars on green pipe dreams. It would be far better to hook up the U.S. military to the Keystone Pipeline and base it squarely upon Frack Nation principles and practices so that the army will not be dependent upon foreign oil.
Such common sense, of course, would be an intellectual affront to Leftist elites who have imbibed deeply from modern environmentalism since the 1960’s. All too many of them believe primeval nature represents some kind of lost natural purity that requires the destruction of capitalism. Even worse, they also believe Nature itself knows best when it comes to public policy. Both presumptions are myths of the modern leftist imagination that have perverted science and politics to the point where politicians can now trumpet climate change as a very serious national security threat without blushing. Only the mindlessness of Nature can explain such credulity.
What many on the Left do not appreciate is that when they started to jump on the bandwagon of Nature and environmentalism, they began to drift more and more toward fascism and away from their original humanistic workingman class-warfare Marxian values. Fascism essentially means holism, which denies the otherness of the human being from nature. In fact, it was the father of German Social Darwinism, Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), who coined the term “ecology” in 1866.
In the early 1900s, Haeckel established the German Monist League, which was one of the first politically-active groups in both racial science and environmentalism. Monism means “one” and many Germans at the time believed that Darwinism established racism as a scientific fact. As such, eugenics became the scientific methodology that was to be used in order to restore humanity’s racial evolution that had been compromised by the Judeo-Christian worldview and her unnatural beliefs and practices. Allegedly promoted by Jews and Christians, humanism had led the modern world astray away from the scientific natural laws of evolutionary monism, i.e., racism, which needed to be recovered in order to save Aryan Europe from weakness, overpopulation, and inevitable decline. In those days, German Social Darwinism was called Monism, and many of Germany’s early greens were environmental racists and nationalists.
While there were some nuances that distinguished the Monist League from National Socialism, the Nazis drank deeply from Haeckel’s Social Darwinism. More than a few Nazis were very attracted to what has to be understood as an early form of environmentalism as well. With the exception of Martin Bormann, all the leading Nazis, including the Führer himself, had their fingers in a piece of the green pie that National Socialism offered to Germany -- everything from animal rights to green hunting laws, to environmental preservation and planning, to green building and a back-to-the-land farming campaign, organic farming, recycling, sustainable forestry, and even sustainable development. As early as 1935, Nazi Germany was far and above the greenest regime on the planet. Eco-fascism is thus no metaphor, but a historical fact.
In theory at least, even the dreaded ‘local only’ Four Year economic war plan (1936-40), was to be carried out under the auspices of sustainable development, something which the Nazi brass called “spatial planning”. After the fall of Stalingrad, in his infamous “Total War Speech” delivered in 1943, even Nazi propaganda Chief Dr. Josef Goebbels (1897-1945) complained, “The war of mechanized robots against Germany and Europe has reached its high point.” He went on to say, “The German nation is fighting for everything it has. We know that the German people are defending their holiest possessions: their families, women and children, the beautiful and untouched countryside, their cities and villages, their two thousand year old culture, everything indeed that makes life worth living.” In other words, in the Nazi mind, defending the fatherland included defending its environmental treasures.
The fact of the matter is, the modern green movement did not spring into worldwide action out of nowhere in the 1960s with Rachel Carson and the hippie movement. Modern environmentalism is largely rooted in Germany like a giant oak tree that tapped into German Romanticism, Existentialism, and Social Darwinism that flowered in the European continent throughout the 1800s -- all three of which valued Nature over people and laid the foundation of what is otherwise known as the green movement today. While Nazi racism is now in the rear-view mirror, it has been replaced with an anti-humanist agenda, but environmental tribalism can still be seen in its veritable worship of all things indigenous hiding behind the doctrine of multiculturalism. In other words, multiculturalism is better understood as a form of multitribalism as it celebrates the differences and attacks the classic universal American melting pot ideals where such ethnic considerations are reduced to a lower level of importance. In short, the evolution from the early German green movement steeped in racism of the 1800s to the multicultural indigenous environmentalism of the 1900s is not much of an improvement.
Closely related, one of the original gurus who championed the cause of environmentalism over national security concerns was German green activist Dr. Erich Hornsmann (1909-1999). In postwar West Germany, Hornsmann often complained that the destruction of Mother Nature was “Enemy Number One.” In 1947, Hornsmann became a founding member of the Protection of German Forests. In 1955, he wrote The Forest: The Foundation of our Existence. He warned of spreading desertification problems associated with the cutting down of trees and expanding ski resorts on mountain slopes. Dr. Hornsmann even led the postwar charge on promoting radical water conservation measures. Hornsmann also belonged to the Alliance for the Protection of German Waters and wrote extensively on how water was becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. Hornsmann applied Malthusian math to the waters of Germany as he was convinced water consumption would outstrip water supplies as personal usage of it skyrocketed with ever-increasing showers and baths. Industry itself wasted more water than entire cities combined.
Hornsmann also wrote an apocalyptic environmental book entitled, Otherwise Collapse: The Answer of the Earth to the Abuse of Her Laws. To counteract the green catastrophe looming just around the corner, Hornsmann was convinced that environmental land use planning was absolutely required to avoid doomsday. Much of the apocalyptic environmentalism so rampant in today’s political world goes back to Germany and rabid environmentalists like Dr. Hornsmann. After the war, the German greens became extremely vitriolic, since Germany had been bombed into oblivion with an industrial destruction never seen before in the history of the world. That the capitalistic Americans wound up with the nuclear bomb only made Germans more apocalyptic in fervor.
Dr. Hornsmann’s ahistorical environmental record from the 1930s and 40s is highly suspicious. Not much is known about his actions during the heyday of the green Nazi movement of the 1930s, but it is highly likely he was deeply involved in one way or another. Eco-fascist greens like Martin Heidegger, Guenther Schwab, and Alfred Toepfer have been already been caught in a web of lies, deceit, and denial. Whatever the exact case may be on how much of a Nazi was green Dr. Hornsmann, what is known is that he sent a postcard to a relative in Bloomington, New Jersey on Hitler’s 50th birthday stating, “We think of you sincerely on a great Day! We must pity, however, ‘God’s own country’ as long as it is ruled and exploited by Jews and their servants.”
Even the father of deep ecology, Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) complained of America’s ‘Abrahamic’ use of the land in his famous book called The Sand County Almanac written in 1947. Unbeknownst to many, Nazi Germany gave Leopold an all-expense-paid trip to the fatherland in 1935 so he that could observe the new environmental direction the Third Reich was implementing. Leopold was generally impressed with what the Nazis were doing. Not only did Leopold drag home the “Never Cry Wolf” cult from Nazi Germany, he also wrote the Germans, unlike the Americans, were actually doing something about environmental problems, not just talking about them. Nazi Germany was the first country in the world to protect wolves. The Führer fancied himself as “Uncle Wolf."
Mark Musser is a contributing writer for the Cornwall Alliance, which is a coalition of clergy, theologians, religious leaders, scientists, academics, and policy experts committed to bringing a balanced biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development. Mark is the author of Nazi Oaks: The Green Sacrifice of the Judeo-Christian Worldview in the Holocaust and Wrath or Rest: Saints in the Hands of an Angry God.