Fascists Are Capitalizing on Environmental Concerns to Justify Violence
With climate crisis looming, white supremacists are using the environment as grounds for a racist nationalism ideology
On June 8, an anonymous manifesto was posted to 8chan, the online message board that’s become known as a haven for extremism. The post, though long gone (but preserved thanks to Google’s cache feature), expresses a deep fear of population growth:
“Today, as a result of this industrial society, mass-consumption […] there just being too many people overall, the environment and the creatures and plants within it are threatened with extermination and destruction,” the post reads. “The Industrial Revolution laid the seeds for globalization, streamlined mass-immigration, pollution, unsustainability and the soulless consumer culture of today. It’s time to halt the destruction and turn back the clock.”
The diatribe is emblematic of a growing community — one taking root in the dark corners of the internet. This community has a name: eco-fascism.
Eco-fascism (not to be confused with the pejorative term used by few to attack those obsessed with ecology) dates back to Madison Grant, a writer known for his work in eugenics and for his friendship with President Theodore Roosevelt. Grant pushed himself out of the margins of environmentalism’s history when his pseudoscientific book The Passing of the Great Race: Or, The Racial Basis of European History came out in 1916, warning about the decline of the “Nordic” people. Since then, his work has massively influenced several generations of white supremacists. Grant’s philosophy has undergone a revival recently, thanks in large part to the rise of far-right nationalism across the world. These new acolytes are on a mission to recruit people to join their neo-Nazi ideology.
The El Paso shooter who killed 22 people this month identified as eco-fascist. So did the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter, who murdered 51 people in March.
Eco-fascists are nature-focused, primarily white individuals who hold anti-Semitic and racist views and often consider themselves ecological militant supremacists. Their sole purpose is to spread the message, which they fervently…