"eco-fascism is not the fringe hippie movement usually associated with eco-terrorism. It's a belief that the only way to deal with climate is through eugenics and the brutal suppression of immigrants."
Eco-fascism is a term which is used to describe individuals and groups which combine environmentalism with fascist viewpoints and tactics. Republicans in the United States have a long, treacherous history of climate science denial. That’s changing among younger generations of conservatives, who are more likely to see the climate crisis as a threat to our collective future. But some on the far right are adopting xenophobic, racist ideas about what’s causing climate change — ideas that are rooted in eco-fascism.
America no longer has two parties devoted to a democratic system of self-government.
Instead we have a Republican party, which is careening at high velocity toward authoritarianism. or, fascism, and a Democratic party willing to sell out its constituents for profit and comfort at every turn. What occurred in Nashville this year is a frightening reminder of the fragility of American democracy when Republicans obtain supermajorities and no longer need to work with Democratic lawmakers.And when Democrats sell out other Democrats for expediency while holding on to racial biases.
The two Black Tennessee Democrats who Republicans expelled from the Tennessee house have been restored to their seats, but the damage to democracy cannot be easily undone.The two were not accused of criminal wrongdoing or even immoral conduct. Their putative offense was to protest against Tennessee’s failure to enact stronger gun controls after a shooting at a Christian school in Nashville left three nine-year-old students and three adults dead.
They were technically in violation of house rules, but the state legislature has never imposed so severe a penalty for rules violations. In fact, over the past few years, several Tennessee legislators who happen to be white have kept their posts even after being charged with serious sexual misconduct. And the two who were expelled last week are Black people, while a third legislator, a woman who demonstrated in the same manner was not expelled and she happens to be white.
[Eco-fascism] argues [climate change] is God’s will, that there are too many people anyway, so there’s going to be a great purge and perhaps that’s all for the best. It’s environmentalism through genocide.” Some figures on the radical right - including the shooter who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo, New York supermarket in May - increasingly brand themselves ecofascists, joining environmentalism and white supremacy by contending that only whites deserve access to resources.
While it’s true human consumption harms the environment, eco-fascists place the blame exclusively on the marginalized. Because consumerism produces massive amounts of garbage, eco-fascists incorrectly blame poor people (of color) for using plastic bags and other cheap, disposable products — often without pointing to the damage done by major polluting corporations, like those in the fossil fuel industry. The young man accused of killing 22 people in El Paso, Texas, last summer included eco-fascist ideas in his manifesto, revealing that his targeting of a Walmart frequented by Mexican immigrants wasn’t a coincidence. The young man accused of carrying out a horrific mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, last spring allegedly shared similar beliefs.
Eco-fascism is not exclusive to the right. Eco-fascist myths have appeared in the narratives around the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadly defined, eco-fascism is any environmentalism that advocates or accepts violence and does so in a way that reinforces existing systems of inequality or targets certain people while leaving others untouched. It is basically environmentalism that suggests that certain people are naturally and exclusively entitled to control and enjoy environmental resources. Some types of people, in other words, are “native species” and others are “invasive.”
This fear of the effects of climate change on the white demographic is exacerbated by the fact that the median age of Black people in 2021 was 33 years, ten years younger than the U.S. white population's median age of 44. Roughly 30% of the entire Black population was below the age of 20 while 12% were 65 or older. Just under half of the U.S. Black population (45%) was younger than 30 in 2021.An estimated 50 million people in the U.S. identified as Black in 2023. The Black population has grown by more than 13 million since 2000, when 36.2 million of the U.S. population identified as Black, marking a 33% increase over two decades.
America’s white population could be facing a different kind of fear—one that is demographic rather than cultural. This is the specter of living in a slow-growing, fast-aging, and less productive nation, where government support for older generations dwindles due to a shrinking tax base as the country moves toward automation. Not only is the white population declining, but it is also getting older, as the large baby boomer generation continues to enter its post-labor-force ages. Yet the new census data tells us that help is on the way in the form of new growing generations made up of people of color. What these people—who identify as Latino or Hispanic, Asian American, Black, Native American, or two or more races (including whites)—represent is the new engine of population growth, with an emphasis on youth they will be the majority of our schools, businesses, and legislatures in the not too distant future.
The rhetoric of fear espoused by Eco terrorists continually reminds the public that as White births diminish, white deaths increase. Many believe this is due to abortion for example, in Idaho non-Hispanic white women accounted for 70 percent of all legal abortions in 2020, whereas only 18 percent of abortions in Mississippi were among white women. Also the majority of abortions for white women are for first pregnancies for black women it is usually not to have a second or third child. The pace of decline in white births intensified from 2007 to 2016, due in part to the Great Recession
Because of the quickly changing demographics, Eco-fascists often blame environmental problems on “overpopulation, immigration, and over-industrialization,” advocating violence towards immigrants. As the impacts of human-induced climate change became harder and harder to ignore, most on the right have moved away from denying it exists toward a new strategy: blaming immigrants for causing or contributing to the problem. They allege that immigrants “drive cars, purchase goods, and use public parks and other facilities. Their actions also directly result in the release of pollutants, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, which directly affects air quality.”
Eco fascism has clear roots and history that make it distinctly American”
Madison Grant, a leading figure in America’s Progressive Era (1896-1916), is often cited as the earliest example of an ecofascist. A conservationist who helped to create the Bronx Zoo and America’s national park system, including Glacier National Park in Montana, he also believed that his generation held “the responsibility for saying what forms of life shall be preserved”, as he wrote in 1909. As well as acting as steward to American public land, he wrote ‘The Passing of the Great Race, or the Racial Basis of European History’, a book that influenced the 1924 Immigration Act, which was later heavily relied upon by the liberal Franklin Delano Roosevelt to ban migration from the Middle East and Asia to the US and restrict it from Africa. The book was also described by Adolf Hitler as a “bible”, and later inspired Anders Breivik, a far-right extremist who murdered 77 young Labor Party socialists in Norway in 2011.
According to political scientist and activist Françoise Vergès, contemporary eco-fascism is the logical end point of centuries of colonial extraction and domination by European nations. “The West has long made a connection between reproduction among women of color, migrations, protection of the environment and health. Migrants and refugees ‘bring disease’ and don’t know how to keep their environment clean.” she tells gal-dem. “The tons of waste that capitalism produces are dumped in the Global South or near poor and minority neighborhoods in the north.” By dumping waste elsewhere, making it invisible to the white gaze, the North is able to keep telling itself that it is the clean custodian of environmental purity, and that people who live in the Global South or the ghettos created by whites are inherently filthy.
In contrast to claims by ecofascists and others on the right that it is the global poor who are the sole contributors to human-caused climate change, racial capitalism and the ongoing legacies of colonialism have always been linked to the destruction of the climate. “Racial capitalism was from the beginning about genocide theft and extraction until the exhaustion of the sources of extraction,” says Françoise.
“Racial capitalism and the ongoing legacies of colonialism have always been linked to the destruction of the climate”