Defining Nationalist Environmentalism
Earlier this year, an opinion columnist writing for the extreme leftist publication The Guardian, made the claim that “eco-fascism is undergoing a revival in the fetid culture of the extreme right.” His observations were in reaction to the New Zealand massacre, where the alleged shooter identified himself as an “eco-fascist.”
This accusation, that the “fetid culture of the extreme right” includes a significant cohort of genocidal eco-fascists, is gaining traction. Mother Jones just published a report entitled “Anti-Immigration White Supremacy Has Deep Roots in the Environmental Movement” that “highlights far-right extremists’ budding revival of eco-fascism.” That report reprises a New Yorker article from 2015 entitled “Environmentalism’s Racist History.”
Expect more of this from the establishment media: Right wing equals white supremacist equals genocidal eco-fascist. But where are they going with this new narrative? If their goal is simply to underscore the alleged danger presented by anyone right-of-center, is this truly the best approach? Because it doesn’t stand up to logic, and it risks exposing the illogic of most conventional environmentalist policies.
An interesting online commentator with over 450,000 subscribers on YouTube is 23 year old James Allsup. In only two years, his videos have been watched over 73 million times, and along with attracting nearly a half-million followers, he’s managed to get himself stamped as a right wing extremist and “white nationalist” by the usual suspects, the SPLC, the ADL, Media Matters, and others.
Without watching all of Allsup’s more than 200 videos posted to-date, it’s impossible to know exactly what he may have said that crossed some red line, wherever that line is drawn. But in his video just posted on August 22nd, he mocks the “white supremacist” label, correctly noting that virtually every mainstream media outlet in America is referring to President Trump as a white supremacist, and that conventional establishment wisdom holds that Trump’s hundred million supporters are also white supremacists. Allsup also amusingly notes that “white supremacy is not supported by science,” since East Asians consistently score higher than Whites on IQ tests.
When it comes to “eco-fascism,” however, Allsup’s recent video “Environmentalism is Now RACIST” not only mocks this new narrative coming from the left, but offers a four point summary of what he terms “nationalist environmentalism.”
Nationalist Environmentalism According to James Allsup
1 – Close the borders: More people means more resource consumption and more waste being generated. Fewer people generating waste means a cleaner national environment and fewer emissions that affect the global environment.
2 – Pivot from consumerism: Encourage fixing things instead of throwing them out and buying new ones, discourage wanton consumer spending, shift the culture away from buying mass produced trinkets they don’t need, encourage saving or investment.
3 – End foreign aid: Foreign aid encourages artificial population booms that are ultimately unsustainable, which in turn creates an impetus for refugee ‘crises,’ and diverts resources from domestic conservation efforts.
4 – Open up public lands: People disconnected from nature feel no need to preserve it; open up more non-commercially leased BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land for recreation and encourage good land stewardship in the public.
Allsup is on to something here. Nationalism is a term that has been weaponized by the Left to be associated with negative concepts: white supremacy, racism, xenophobia, supposedly misguided protectionism, etc. But there are alternative versions of defining American nationalism; inclusive nationalism, compassionate nationalism.
What the Left is now trying to do is weaponize the term “environmentalism” so that the only right-of-center, or, more aptly, the only nationalist version of environmentalism, is either to be a “denier” or an “eco-fascist.” Never mind that it is utterly reasonable for “deniers” to reopen the scientific debate regarding the causes of climate change and the level of threat it may represent to species and ecosystems. The stigma sticks, and now even if you’re not a “denier,” if you’re a nationalist, then you must be an “eco-fascist.”
This is absurd, of course. Allsup’s first point, close the borders, isn’t something you have to agree with categorically to get the point, which is this: No matter how responsible and sustainable you are, the more people exist on Planet Earth, the more resources will be consumed. Any American who is concerned about protecting America’s ecosystems can’t deny this simple fact, and it is the Left whose remedy is fascist.
The answer the Left has to flooding this nation with hundreds of millions of immigrants is to ration energy and water and space, cramming everyone into the footprint of existing cities, and tagging anyone who objects as both a “denier” and a “racist.” THIS is fascism, plain and simple. It’s a partnership between big government and very large, politically connected corporations, it tyrannizes and oppresses the masses, and for legitimacy it relies on scapegoating dissidents.
Consumerism built on bubbles of borrowing collateral is unsustainable
Allsup’s second point is also indisputably true, and is equally heretical. Multinational corporate growth depends not only on more people, it depends on more per-capita consumption. Especially in a financialized, debt driven economy, so-called growth depends on this, and the irony is that many leftist commentators and politicians deplore this model. Allsup is expressing a sentiment – reduce consumption – that ought to find a receptive audience among leftist environmentalists, and it is one that violates every conventional model for economic growth.
Immigration creates more consumers, urban containment (stack and pack cities) raises property values, this creates additional real estate collateral so people can borrow more to buy more products, and this enables more corporate profit. It isn’t sustainable and it certainly isn’t ecologically healthy. This is consumerism ran amok, and it typifies establishment culture. Another way corporations are trying to ensure ongoing consumption is by designing products that require upgrades and warranties and cannot be purchased but instead have to be “subscribed” to, meaning perpetual payments. This model of paying for products without ever owning them has moved from software to vehicles and appliances, and for most practical purposes, also applies to housing.
Imagine what will happen when corporations and the elites that control them decide they’re ready to move beyond the borrow and consume model for economic growth? What will they do with all the useless billions of people? It is not the alleged right-wing extremist’s alleged version of eco-fascism we should be worrying about, it’s the corporate left version that could turn genocidal. It would creep in before anyone knew what hit, wrapped up and sold as a climate crisis with cascade effects, or as an unforeseen escalation of any one of many endless wars.
Foreign aid does more harm than good
Finally, Allsup’s third point invites analysis, because it is the third leg on the stool. Along with mass immigration and rampant consumerism are the tragically flawed efforts of foreign aid. Allsup claims that foreign aid is the reason there is still rapid population growth in developing nations. He’s right. For example, most evidence gathered over the past 60 years suggests that Africa is a welfare continent in some of the worst connotations of that term. The average number of children in Somalia in 1960 was 7.3, but by the year 2000 that average had actually climbed to 7.6, suggesting that Western food aid and Western medicine lowered the death rate, and lowered infant mortality, but accomplished little in terms of female emancipation, or nurturing indigenous prosperity that correlates with lower birthrates. Somalia is typical.
Burgeoning Nigeria, a nation projected to have 410 million citizens by 2050, saw average fertility decline only slightly, from 6.4 in 1960 to 6.1 in 2000. Fertility in Ethiopia, destined to have nearly 200 million inhabitants by 2050, went from 6.9 in 1960 to 6.5 in 2000. Average fertility in tiny Uganda, where more than 105 million people are expected to reside by 2050, went from 7.0 in 1960 to 6.9 in 2000. Estimates for 2020 are just that: estimates. There is no hard evidence that the population rate of increase in sub-Saharan Africa will slow sufficiently for Africa’s projected population in 2050 to “only” reach 2.5 billion.
The ironic reality is that Africa quite likely would have been better off if no foreign aid, at least as it was formulated, had reached its shores after 1960. Not only did foreign aid play a vital role in enabling Africa’s population to have already more than quintupled since then and now, but to the extent that foreign aid was feeding people in nations that should have been developing their own rich agricultural potential, or providing medical treatment to people in nations that as a consequence had less incentive to train their own doctors, the aid instead went into the pockets of corrupt dictators who had no interest to invest in a brighter future for their nations.
Who are the true “eco-fascists”?
If eco-fascism ever takes hold in America, it will come from the globalist Left, not the nationalist Right. It is the Left that demands everyone on earth stop using fossil fuel, based on the preposterous lie that prosperity can be delivered without it. It is the Left that values compassion without conditions, without regard for consequences, and hence showers aid on dependent nations and dependent communities despite the fact that this aid only creates more dependency. It is the Left that preaches resentment instead of responsibility, and forced race and gender quotas instead of a meritocracy. None of this can last. All of this is nihilistic.
There is a vision of humanity’s future that is beautiful. But the Left doesn’t have a clue how to achieve it. This vision requires competitive economic development and innovation that rejects socialist intervention and also rejects the stultifying manipulations of multi-national corporate monopolies that seek to corner markets and squelch competition. What makes commentators like James Allsup so dangerous is they are recognizing that these are two sides of the same coin. Perhaps that’s why he’s just been banned from Twitter and Facebook.
The only difference is that a socialist cataclysm would be the result of corruption, evil, and incompetence, whereas if there is a corporate cataclysm, it is quite likely that many of them would know exactly what they were doing. And THAT is the eco-fascist threat that anyone, no matter what their nationality, should take seriously indeed.
This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.
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Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.
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