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Previously published on LewRockwell.com

Environmentalism Is Racism

by Eric Englund

All of the insanities of the environmental movement become intelligible when one grasps the nature of the destructive motivation behind them. They are not uttered in the interest of man’s life and well-being, but for the purpose of leading him to self-destruction

~ George Reisman

Recently, one of my favorite clients organized a salmon-fishing trip attended by his key employees, vendors, and creditors. It was highly enjoyable, indeed, to spend time fishing and chatting with professionals such as architects, structural engineers, bankers, project managers, etc. One conversation, however, impacted me the most. A lively discussion, regarding the housing bubble and its aftermath, was underway when a gentleman interjected that: "Environmentalism has cost my family a lot of money." The first thought that entered my mind was: "Where did that comment come from?" Nonetheless, after hearing his tale of woe, it struck me that environmentalism is racism.

What did this gentleman say that led me to this conclusion? His story is straightforward and disturbing. While the housing bubble was expanding, the demand for lumber was high and this made standing timber quite valuable. He had dozens of acres of his family’s property logged with the proceeds being used for paying down debt and the balance being put aside as savings. Alas, about 20 acres of his property were deemed, by local government, to be "wetlands" and he was absolutely forbidden, by law, to harvest any of the timber within this "protected" area. This cost him, and his family, tens of thousands of dollars of income that would have materialized had his private-property rights not been violated by government.

He pointed out the supreme absurdity of the applicable environmental law: "Beavers are constantly cutting down trees within this protected area; but if I did so, I would be subject to prosecution and a sizable fine. So who owns the land, me or the beavers?" He answered his own question, as he shook his head and said: "It sure seems like government favors a bunch of rodents over my family." Our conversation shifted to Wall Street’s bailout as it was clear that he was a bit agitated and wanted to change topics.

As this fellow and the others in our party discussed the Wall Street bailout, I remained focused on the surreal nature of this gentleman’s story. To be sure, it became crystal clear that government – as influenced by the Green movement – is biased against the human race while favoring plants, animals, and inanimate objects. My mind raced as I recollected other stories, from friends and acquaintances, complaining how they were not allowed to cut down trees in their own yards unless given permission by local government bureaucrats. Absurdly enough, Mother Nature may knock over trees with a strong windstorm (and this would be considered an act of nature), yet in countless locales the very same trees may not be cut down at the hand of man – as this would be a "crime" against nature.

Private property owners, assuredly, are being targeted by Green bigots (and their power-hungry bureaucratic minions) who are intolerant of those who desire to put property to its highest and best use – as determined by individual preferences and plans. If one’s plans involve mining, harvesting trees, real estate development, building a new home, or countless other beneficial undertakings, then such a property owner will be in the crosshairs of Greenies and local public officials. Unfortunately, over a period of many decades, environmentalists have succeeded in institutionalizing racism within government at the local, state, and federal levels. A contrived battle between nature (good) and man (evil) has been engaged in which private-property rights and human liberty hang in the balance.

Green racism is a pernicious concept in which the human race must be subordinated to nature with the exception of the anointed Greenies who will take charge along the lines of the former Soviet Union’s central planners. With this in mind, George Reisman pointed out in his magnificent book Capitalism: "…it should not be surprising to see hordes of former Reds, or of those who otherwise would have become Reds, turning from Marxism and becoming the Greens of the ecology movement."

Should institutionalized Green racism really be considered a threat? Has any government implemented such a radical program, on a national basis, in which humanity is subordinated to nature? The answers to these questions are found in Alston Chase’s brilliant book In a Dark Wood: The Fight Over Forests and the Rising Tyranny of Ecology. Here is a chilling excerpt:

The desire to subordinate people to organic nature led directly to racism. "The ‘scientific’ element of racialism can be traced back to Haeckel," writes the philosopher Karl Popper. Haeckel, as Robert Jay Lifton observes, in part quoting the historian George L. Mosse, "a towering figure in German biology and an early Darwinian, was also a racist, a believer in a mystical Volk, and a strong advocate of eugenics who ‘can be claimed to be a direct ancestor’ of the Nazi ‘euthanasia’ project." Indeed, as Daniel Gasman calls "Germany’s major prophet of political biology," someone who contributed significantly to the development of Nazi ideology: "The writings of Haeckel and the ideas of his followers…were proto-Nazi in character, and (as) one of the most powerful forces in nineteenth and twentieth-century German intellectual history, may be fully understood as a prelude to the doctrine of National Socialism."

"We do not need to strain at gnats to show there was a strain of ecological ideas among Nazis: the evidence is ample," writes Bramwell. As the historian Robert A. Pois observes, National Socialism was "a religion of nature," which called for the establishment of a utopian community, the Volksgemeinschaft, rooted in a perceived natural order." Throughout Hitler’s political career, writes Pois, "he would continually emphasize the importance of recognizing nature’s power over man. He scoffed at the notion of humans ever having the ability to ‘control’ or ‘rule over’ nature…Hitler sounded remarkably like contemporary environmentalists who, with ample reason, proclaim that a sharp-tempered Mother Nature… will eventually avenge herself upon those who, at least since the onset of industrialization, have tried her patience." He believed in "the sanctity of nature."

Indeed, Nazism was based largely on biological theory. As Hitler’s confidant Rudolph Hess insisted, the movement was nothing more than "applied biology" for restoring the "vitality of the German race." It sought "biological renewal" through building, said Heinrich Himmler’s legal aide, Werner Best, an "organically indivisible national community." And those who opposed these goals merely revealed themselves to be "the symptom of an illness which threatens the healthy unity of the…national organism."

Decrying man’s alienation from nature, many Nazi thinkers – among whom can be counted the philosopher Martin Heidegger – opposed what they saw as unnatural and decadent modern living. Heidegger complained that "technological domination spreads itself over the earth ever more quickly, ruthlessly, and completely…The humanness of man and the thingness of things dissolve into the calculated market value of a market which…spans the earth." Likewise, the Nazis blamed capitalists for driving farmers off the land and into towns in an effort to obtain cheap labor, thus undermining rural culture and promoting factory farms that used poisonous synthetic chemicals. Reestablishing the connection with nature, they believed, required crushing unnatural, non-German values. Private property had to be abolished, since it promoted commercialism, consumerism, and urbanization. Forests and wildlife, symbolizing Germany’s pre-Roman past, had to be preserved.

Therefore, soon after seizing power in 1933, the Third Reich launched a ruralization program to create a new more, primitive Germany. Subdivisions and private property were declared illegal. Vivisection was banned, and Hitler’s Germany became the first European country to establish nature preserves. In 1940 hedgerow and copse protection ordinances were passed "to protect the habitat of wildlife."

One cannot think of Nazism without correspondingly thinking of extreme racism. Millions of innocents including Jews, Gypsies, and other non-Aryans were murdered with the objective of purifying Nazi Germany so that it may be reunified with nature. Humanity, indeed, had to be subordinated to nature with the "wolves" in the Nazi party calling the shots.

Modern-day Green racists hallucinate on a grander scale than ever dreamt by the Nazis. For these racists fantasize about or advocate the death of billions of human beings. This is, undeniably, racism at a megalomaniacal level. So let the Green racists speak for themselves – be very, very frightened:

  • Jacques-Yves Cousteau, environmentalist and documentary maker: "It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized, and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable."
  • John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal: "I suspect that eradicating smallpox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems."
  • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University population biologist: "We’re at 6 billion people on the Earth, and that’s roughly three times what the planet should have. About 2 billion is optimal."
  • David Foreman, founder of Earth First!: "Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental."
  • David M. Graber, research biologist for the National Park Service: "It is cosmically unlikely that the developed world will choose to end its orgy of fossil-energy consumption, and the Third World its suicidal consumption of landscape. Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along."
  • Alexander King, founder of the Malthusian Club of Rome: "My own doubts came when DDT was introduced. In Guyana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria. So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem."
  • Merton Lambert, former spokesman for the Rockefeller Foundation: "The world has a cancer, and that cancer is man."
  • Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, leader of the World Wildlife Fund: "If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels."
  • Maurice Strong, U.N. environmental leader: "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?"
  • Ted Turner, CNN founder, UN supporter, and environmentalist: "A total population of 250–300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal."
  • Paul Watson, a founder of Greenpeace: "I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds, I should go out and shoot the kids who shoot birds."

What if Prince Phillip stated: "If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower American Indian population levels." Beyond a shadow of a doubt, he would be labeled a bigot, a racist, and an advocate of genocide. He would be crucified in the press. So why is it acceptable for the prince to fantasize about wiping out most of the human race? Of course, the answer is that it is not acceptable whatsoever. He has, in fact, revealed himself to be a bigot and a racist of the highest order.

At this point, you may wonder how can one associate the environmental movement with both Nazis and Communists? How can this be? Are they not polar opposites? One way to reconcile this matter is to understand that totalitarianism is always totalitarianism whether it be of the Green variety (Nazism) or the Red variety (Communism). The following excerpt, from The Black Book of Communism, provides an excellent explanation:

One thing is certain: Crimes against humanity are the product of an ideology that reduces people not to a universal but to a particular condition, be it biological, racial, or sociohistorical. By means of propaganda, the Communists succeeded in making people believe that their conduct had universal implications, relevant to humanity as a whole. Critics have often tried to make a distinction between Nazism and Communism by arguing that the Nazi project had a particular aim, which was nationalist and racist in extreme, whereas Lenin’s project was universal. This is entirely wrong. In both theory and practice, Lenin and his successors excluded from humanity all capitalists, the bourgeoisie, counterrevolutionaries, and others, turning them into absolute enemies in their sociological and political discourse. Kautsky noted as early as 1918 that these terms were entirely elastic, allowing those in power to exclude whomever they wanted from humanity whenever they so wished. These were the terms that led directly to crimes against humanity.

Environmentalists have learned well from the likes of Joseph Goebbels and Vladimir Lenin. Horrifyingly, the Greenies are succeeding in making people believe that their conduct has unfavorable universal implications, relevant to humanity as a whole. Global warming – now described using the weasel-words of "climate change" – is the big lie which has transformed political and sociological discourse along the lines of turning the human race into the outright enemy of Mother Nature herself. Regardless of how junky the "science" is supporting global warming, environmentalists will not let go of the lie. For it was Goebbels who stated: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." And it was Lenin who said: "A lie told often enough becomes truth." Hence, it is no surprise that Stanford professor, and eco-alarmist, Stephen Schneider encouraged fellow environmentalists to frighten humanity into submission. He stated the following in the October 1989 issue of Discover magazine:

To do this, we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. This "double ethical bind" we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

Just as Nazis and Communists loathed capitalism, so do today’s environmentalists. Greenies hate private property, they hate human liberty, they hate prosperity, they hate modern-day industry, and they hate the free market. They will always choose beavers, trees, and rock formations over people. Environmentalists are using climate change (the big lie), wetlands legislation, the Endangered Species Act, and myriad other legal constraints to slowly choke off capitalism and supplant it with socialism. Of course, their desire is to exercise control over a much smaller population than exists today – Jacques-Yves Cousteau even stated that the ideal human population would be "…limited to 100,000 people, but educated and respectful of nature." So who decides to kill whom? When you sum all of this up, Greenies simply detest the human race. Accordingly, environmentalism is the deepest and broadest form of racism known to mankind.

October 21, 2008


The Hyperinflation Survival Guide, Published by Eric Englund.