Greer's Podcast on "The Rise of Ecofascism" Now Up

David Trammel's picture

Greer has done a podcast to go with his blog post on Ecofascism. Check it out.

Alacrates's picture

I read JMG's recent blog post on the idea, as well as this podcast discussion, and I'm really interested the general ideas he is bringing up here.

Since the election of Trump in particular, the incidence of people using the term "fascism" for current political happenings, I've been aiming to do a little research on what exactly fascism means, and how it applies to modern times.

I was amused with Greer saying that its a fairly content-free snarl word to apply to one's opponents, you could translate the Latin/Italian idea as, maybe, "group-ism"! (I do note that Greer gave a more elaborate description of fascist economics in his articles on political economy in 2017:

" and labor down at the bargaining table, everybody in a given industry all at once, and make them bargain in good faith, with the citizen movement watching both sides to make sure a fair settlement is reached; there will be no more strikes, no more lockouts, no more labor troubles, just a new contract every year, and the citizen movement will enforce that by whatever means happen to be necessary [...]

"That is to say, we’re talking about fascist economics. Yes, I’m aware that this isn’t the sort of thing that comes to most Americans’ minds when you mention the word “fascism,” but that just shows how thoroughly ignorant most Americans are about history. Fascism was never about the unrestricted rule of the capitalist investment class—that’s a falsehood originally manufactured by Stalin’s flacks back in the days of the Third International, and repeated by the misinformed ever since."

Reading on the subject of Rome recently, I came upon the symbol of the fascii, basically a bundle of sticks, which I used to think was tied around an axe.

Romans conceived of the authority to rule under the concept of "Imperium". (I'm thinking this is something like the Ma'at of the Egyptians, or the Mandate of Heaven of the Chinese.)

The two annual rulers of republican Rome (consuls), as well as the judges/military commanders (praetors) were given a certain number of attendants (lictors) who carried the fascii, a symbol of state authority. Within Rome, this was a bundle of sticks, tied together, which the book I was reading said was conveyed the sense that the censor had the right to beat anyone who disobeyed their commandments. When the official was on military campaigns, the fascii became an axe, with a number of sticks bundled around the handle, symbolizing the right to execute any who disobeyed orders.

I have two other books which overview the history of fascism that I'm trying to work through, now that the topic is very relevant. So far, I've read through the intellectual history of fascism (relating to ideas of Nietzsche and the syndicalist George Sorel among others) and the early Italian fascist moment. Interesting to hear that the Nazi's did not often refer to themselves as fascist, and that the historian doesn't think that Franco's regime in Spain should really be called fascist, more that it was a reactionary, authoritarian conservative government.

One point in the podcast, I think the reference JMG is searching for when he mentions Aldous Huxley is actually from George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" of 1946 (only about one year after the fall of Nazi Germany):

"The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable,’ "

I'm amazed that only a year after WW2, Orwell was pointing out the fascism was a meaningless snarl-word to fling at one's opponents. (I've long appreciated Orwell's essays and non-fiction books as being probably more instructive than 1984 and Animal Farm. I really like his "Down and Out in Paris and London" and "The Road to Wigan Pier")

Last, that thesis that the professional/salary class is likely to drop environmentalism soon, maybe using a equation of ecology - fascism to do so.... it is interesting, I wouldn't have guessed that myself, but I think it addresses somethings that I have seen.

The people who I have seen go a bit hysterical about climate change have definitely been of the professional/salary class, definitely not the working class, who are kind of used to dealing with constant troubles. At the same time, some of the things that are implied by being concerned with climate change (reducing one's own carbon footprint) kind of disagree with some of the habits of the professional class. In particular, I remember one financial services professional I knew posting on facebook how she wanted to scream at people in the grocery aisle who were accepting plastic bags, but at the same time was posting about the international flights her family was taking (someone did call her out on this.) I don't think she's too unique though, these kind of contradictions between our beliefs and actions could be raised for many people who are concerned with environmental issues.

It's a lot of cognitive dissonance to handle, and I'm wondering if maybe the professional/salaried classes are going to give up under the strain and abandon climate change action? I've seen a lot of articles recently, like one entitled "I work in the environmental movement. I don't care if you recycle." Interesting that they pick recycling as the personal effort that they don't care about. In many cities it's pretty easy to do. It's also not related to a transportation fuel, a heating fuel, or a electricity production fuel, so it kind of hides away these areas that cause a lot of GHG emissions.

But mainly, the Vox articles says," I don't care at all what you do personally, just so long as you promote the political endeavors that will benefit me." I'd have to do more research to sort this all out, but I definitely get the feeling that the professional class who supports the climate change movement is hoping to gain a managerial role in some sort of international economy based on these things, without having to curtail their own benefits & carbon footprints related to lifestyle.

I could be wrong though, these are just my initial impressions, I definitely want to research all this some more, but am glad to have blogs like JMG's to provide these counter-cultural viewpoints to juxtapose the MSM-views I'm getting otherwise!