Dark Green II: Roots of Eco-Fascism

By M.K. Styllinski

Eco-fascism: “… A totalitarian government that requires individuals to sacrifice their interests to the well-being and glory of the “land”, understood as the splendid web of life, or the organic whole of nature, including peoples and their states”

– Michael E. Zimmerman, pp. 531-532 in Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature


Before looking at how environmentalism and ecological thinking operates today in some sectors of the world, we need to jump back and take a look at some of its roots.

Ecology is an interdisciplinary branch of biology exploring the relationships between living organisms and their natural environment. Even though he was not an ecologist, biologist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel coined the word “oekologie,” in 1866 from the Greek oikos meaning “house” and logos meaning “science.”  The doctrine of Vitalism has strong ties to the evolution of ecology which states that “living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things” [1] It incorporates the idea of “the soul” and “Spirit” as well as the theory of “ether” that bound all living things together; the elusive fifth element in Hermetic philosophy. This is a very old idea that can be traced back to the philosopher/surgeon Galen of Pergamon of the second Century Turkey. Ecology of the mind, land and social systems have tended to go hand in hand with the development of holism or “holistic thinking” so popular in complementary medicine and new science. This theory posits that parts of a whole have an intimate interconnection to each other and as such, cannot exist or be understood independently of that whole. Much work has been done on the validity of this theory that sees the biological organisation of life self-organising: “… into layers of emergent whole systems that function according to non-reducible properties.” [2]

This has never been more applicable to physical and mental disease and in sharp contrast to Cartesian and reductionist theories of mind and matter.

Distinct from environmentalism (philosophy, ideology and social movement) and environmental science, ecology attempts to explain life processes and adaptations; the distribution and abundance of organisms; the movement of materials and energy through living communities and the long-term development of biodiversity in the environment. A number of disciplines come under the umbrella of ecology including: behavioural ecology; community ecology (or synecology); ecophysiology; ecopsychology; ecosystem ecology; evolutionary ecology; global ecology; population ecology; human ecology and social ecology.

monolith Sculptures Near Amsterdam, Holland | © infrakshun

Whether ecology actually is a science is still hotly debated. The fact that it appeals to the wise and benevolent as much as the ignorant and evil is probably due to its diverse mix of disciplines. Whether physiology, evolutionary biology, genetics, or ethology, any science can be made to work for an ideology even at the cost of ramming that square peg into the round hole.  When a passionate love of “pure Nature” is present all that is needed to transform that belief into a toxic time-bomb is to mix in some neo-feudalism, Marxist theory and a touch of occultism and the race is on to control the “viral” spread of humanity under the guise of healing the planet. Though Darwinism and Malthusianism had little to do with ecology, they have often sat alongside ecological thinking and the fascist/collectivist policies that slowly rose up through their ranks.

Historian Anna Bramwell’s The Fading of the Greens: Decline of Environmental Politics in the West mammoth trilogy on ecology and environmental activism shows that ecologists were constantly aligned with fascist parties, fascistic philosophy, the aristocracy and Establishment. [3]   These often anti-transcendent thinkers were both pro-rural and anti-capitalist naturalists and according to Bramwell this mine discovering Nature to learn and: “… return with the recommendation that one clings to the wheel because it is the most sensible path of action. To do so requires sweeping away past identities, past traditions and past errors.” In effect, such a personality: “… a natural protestor.” [4]

Traditionally the seeds of fascistic thinking in ecology and environmental movements began to appear in Europe after the growth of the natural sciences in the 17th and 18th centuries and in the reaction to the exploitation of the land and communities that the Industrial Revolution eventually reconfigured or swept away entirely. Britain’s artists such as William Blake raged against the machine of industry as “Dark Satanic Mills” with pioneers such as John Ruskin, William Morris, Edward Carpenter and Henry Williamson continuing the struggle. Americans too were equally aghast at the destruction and consequent  “desacralisation” of Nature with the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman and Henry Thoreau offering activist wings to ecological thoughts.

This helped to give rise to the environmental movement headed by such people as Arthur Tansley who coined the term “eco-system” and Aldo Leopold who championed the cause of “land ethics” closely mirroring the Back to the Land Movement first initiated by Ruskin, though with a somewhat more scientific focus. Indeed, scientists were beginning to offer the world an ecological framework including Charles Elton’s animal ecology and food chains, along side Alexander Stuart Watt’s plant ecology. By the middle of the 20th Century, humanism and the environment were getting closer and the World State policies trumpeted by biologist Julian Huxley as head of the UN’s UNESCO agency reflected this change. Huxley’s naturalist and ethological background (the study of animals in their natural habitats) fed into his vision of humanity on a petri-dish which needed to be ordered and managed. Since the board of UNESCO saw fit to make him the Chairman, they obviously felt the same way.

In Britain, in the early part of the 20th century the growth of various environmental movements were largely in response to the economic depression which had hit farming hard after the prosperous years of the mid-19th century. The Dartington Trust founded in the 1920s to promote rural regeneration; The Garden City movement which placed a magnifying glass on town and garden design in urban areas; The Council for the Protection of Rural England and The Ramblers Association in the 1930 concentrated on town planning and the relationship to the countryside. Landowners and farmers had to cope with falling prices, lower rents and untenanted farms. Back to the Land came into its own with The English Land Colonisation Society creating 400 farming communities. Cooperatives were formed and derelict land and run-down farms were taken over; Arts and Crafts were revived and community increased. This was something undeniably anti-industry and a healthy reversal of the “filthy tide” of industrialisation which was making the British Empire the uncontested global manager.  The money came predominantly from the wealthy and those with aristocratic connections who were intent on “preserving the countryside, controlling development and shifting the population out of big cities.” [5]

According to Bramwell’s research, ecologists were mostly conservative, monarchist and staunch traditionalists of the “green and pleasant land” mythology which derived from the same traditions as the German Romantic Movement which in turn, came from immensely deep roots in German society. This revival of the land and nature began to be part of the green social movement which meant resisting the inexorable drive of the industrialists. But there was a shadow side. This “Blood and Soil” romanticism became a powerful influence not just in Britain but across all of Europe and America. Drawn from the Völkisch or “Völk” in German culture, it refers to ethnicity from the “Blood” or ancestral descent and the homeland or “Soil”. It places a vital importance on the notion of rural living and the place humans occupy in relation to Nature and their immediate environment. It was made more popular during the rise of the Nazi Third Reich by Richard Walther Darré a Nazi party member, race theorist and eugenics advocate. Yet Blood and Soil sentiment had been present in the  pagan cults embedded in the ecological fabric of Germany and thus a potential political force deep in the psyche of Germans outside the cities. (We will come back to Darré and Germany’s influence on Eco-Fascism later on).

Literature from the 1880s – 1940s was infused with folklore, countryside mythology and the almost pagan sensuality of nature. D.H. Lawrence was one of  the best examples of this new ecological vision. It was through such persons that the emerging environmental and nature activists re-learned vitalism and the “God in Nature.” His wife, Frieda von Richtofen, introduced Lawrence to an artist colony which had a: “… distinctive German brand of serious nature-worship and sun-worship”. This seems to have been a significant influence in his art and according to Bramwell: “appears to resemble the language of the proto-Nazis.” [6] Whether or not that is true, the link between English and German fascism and the art of the European intelligentsia  was very strong indeed.

19th century author and poet Ernst Moritz Arndt and journalist and novelist Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl seemed to personify the eco-fascism of the pre-war period in Germany. Arndt seemed to write beautifully and movingly about the plight of Nature under the Industrial Revolution and the importance of ecological awareness, yet he seemed to despise human beings. He was anti-French, anti-Slav, anti-Semitic and xenophobic, placing German land and people at the forefront of perfection. Riehl learned from his teacher Arndt but differed in focus. The same nationalism and anti-Semitism was present but he leaned towards an early version of environmental activism in which he advocated a fight for “the rights of wilderness.” This was to be for the well-being of the German people alone, however.

Blut und Boden / “Blood and Soil” propaganda card.

The Völkisch movement welcomed them with open arms and as humanist writer Peter Staudenmaier comments: “… it pointedly refused to locate the sources of alienation, rootlessness and environmental destruction in social structures, laying the blame instead to rationalism, cosmopolitanism, and urban civilization. The stand-in for all of these was the age-old object of peasant hatred and middle-class resentment: the Jews.” [7]

A good example of the latent fascism residing in aristocracy and the Establishment was charismatically expressed through politician Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet, of Ancoats, who founded the BUF. On 11 May 1920 he married Lady Cynthia Curzon second daughter of George Curzon, Lord Curzon of Kedleston and married his mistress in 1933 in Germany on 6 October 1936, in the Berlin home of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. Adolf Hitler was one of the guests.

Mosley was a distinguished orator and and one of the youngest MPs to be elected to represent his constituency of Harrow in 1918. He began as a conservative then joined the Labour Party by 1924 immediately changed his allegiance to the Independent Labour Party (ILP). Mosley and his wife Cynthia were committed Fabians right up to the start of the 1930s. [8] When Labour won the 1929 general election he was appointed to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. However, his presence in government was to be short-lived. Mosley put forward a whole scheme in the ‘Mosley Memorandum’ only to find it soundly rejected, despite the fact it preceded much of the socialist policy in the intervening years. [9]

After resigning from the cabinet in 1930 he founded the New Party which gradually warmed to fascist policies. The momentum stalled due to the General Election the following year so Mosley took the opportunity to take a tour of Mussolini’s Italy which finalised his desire to pursue overtly fascist politics back in the UK. So, the British Union of Fascists was born. His corps of black-uniformed paramilitary stewards, or “blackshirts” was constantly in the news for being involved in violent confrontations between Communist or Jewish groups which would eventually lead to the downfall of Mosley’s party. When the government passed the Public Order Act 1936 which came into into effect the following year, it marked the end for his para-military brigade.

Rather ironically, Mosley embarked on a peace campaign throughout the war and was finally interned on May 1940 along with his wife Diana Mitford and other active fascists in the grounds of Holloway prison. After the War the baron rejoined active politics and formed the Union Movement, calling for a European Super-State covering the continent of Europe (known as Europe a Nation), and later attempted to launch a National Party of Europe to this end. This time his fascism was expressed through Synarchy.

At his core, Mosley had a genuine desire to better peoples’ lives, but his powerful drive was also technocratic in that he had a precise understanding of the bureaucratic and economic machinery of his day. [10]His socialism was based on re-imagining the state towards a greater British Empire that moved into Europe and further colonised Africa as “the breadbasket for the West.”sup>[11] Thus he had a lot in common with the likes of Cecil Rhodes and his later Round Table compatriots and would be very influential for authoritarian personalities who embraced fascism in the future. Though overt environmental sympathies were missing in Mosley’s political ambitions his supporters made up for it. In fact, there have been a raft of individuals rather than groups who have both a history of environmentalist views being held by the far-right in the UK.

Oswald-Mosley-image

Sir Oswald Mosely and Diana circa 1936

Jorian Jenks was a farmer, environmentalist and political activist, serving as Mosley’s agricultural advisor in the BUF. He was “one of the most dominant figures in the development of the organic movement” [12]and yet another of the fascists who found themselves detained by the government in 1940, this time at Walton Prison and released a year later. It was after the war that Jenks moved “…  from politics to ‘meta-politics’ evolving a more spiritual ‘spiritual ecologism’ which would address the cause of national disintegration and replenish the bond between man and soil.” [13]

Niece of Lord Arthur Balfour of the Balfour declaration fame, and English farmer and organic farming pioneer, the visionary Lady Eve Balfour and her Soil Association provided Jenks with an outlet to pursue the science and practice of organic farming. He served as editorial secretary and published the association’s journal Mother Earth through which his eco-fascist views could be heard much to the delight (or consternation) of those reading the material. He stated: “An anti-modernist philosophy embracing land reform the paramountcy of agriculture; the subordination of mechanisation to organicism; the localisation of economies and the cultivation of the consciousness of the ties of blood and soil.” Jenks saw the Soil Association policy as “pure Aryan”… “though they don’t make a point of it.” [14]

Despite Jenk’s clear fascism his contribution to agricultural policy and the scientific experiments exploring the differences between organic and non-organic foods were extremely influential, as were his warnings on the dangers of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. He found his way to the Soil Association via Kinship in Husbandry which he had joined in 1942. This group had been founded by Rolf Gardiner with support from H. J. Massingham and Lord Lymington. It was essentially a platform for eco-fascist principles which had bubbled up into the Soil Association to the extent that Gardiner became co-founder; such was his passion for the future of organic farming. He was also an avid English folk dancer, naturist  and active in far right politics. Gardiner’s passion for English folk dancing helped to revive the Morris dance which was inflicted on Germany and the emerging Hitler Youth of the time. Despite the homoerotic overtones he insisted this was a thoroughly masculine and virile ritual of pagan nature worship. (The latter was part of the Third Reich’s inspirations, though it remains to be seen if they were impressed by the Morris dancing…)

dh-lawrence[1]

D.H. Lawrence

A one-time Kibbo Kift member as a Cambridge University student Gardiner had also greatly admired D.H. Lawrence  whom he visited in 1928 while in Switzerland. Their teacher-student relationship blossomed into a long lasting friendship that was based on:

“… a shared faith in the organic which was by no means confined to their descriptions of the landscape or nature. By seeking organic solutions to the problems of contemporary life – emphasising the important of ‘natural’ hierarchies, for instance, or the ‘rootedness’ of culture in the native soil, or the ties that bind language, culture and racial destiny – Lawrence and Gardiner found themselves drawing from the same wellspring which nourished Völkisch and fascist movements. Indeed in 1953, Bertrand Russell famously wrote that Lawrence’s views led straight to Auschwitz.”  [15]

Although highly ironic coming from Mr. Russell who was hoisted on the same humanist-Fabian pole, the above passage sums up perfectly the problem of the naturalists and those sensitive to the destruction of Nature who may in some instances also harbour authoritarian traits: they inevitably gravitated towards the rich history of the Völkisch and the New Order proposed by National Socialism. It was both a product of the times and a trigger which seemed to draw out the latent fascism waiting to leak from otherwise natural and healthy principles.

Writer, naturalist and farmer Henry Williamson who wrote Tarka the Otter (1927) and many other classics, supported the BUF and was greatly impressed after visiting the National Socialist Congress in 1935. (We don’t know what he thought of Gardiner’s Morris dancing, however). His growing fascist views, led him to be detained during World War II, like Mosley, under the Defence Regulation 18B. He contributed to the Anglo-German Review for whom “… the Anglo-German sympathizers of the period were united by a common interest in nature and ecology.” [16] The same Germanic sun-worshipping and pagan revivalism was found in his writings most particularly where the ancient light of the sun represented the real meaning of his own existence by illuminating his ancestral past and revealing the truth of redemption through Nature.” [17]

Like many artists of post-World War I his experiences of death and horror culminating in the Christmas truce of 1918 helped him to see Germans and the Nature worship embedded in their culture as a new light for the world. He had been seduced by the seemingly vibrant economic and cultural renaissance best symbolised by the Hitler youth with “faces that looked to be breathing extra oxygen; people free from mental fear.” Williamson was certain that National Socialism was the answer and echoed D. H Lawrence’s obsession with “blood and soil” believing that they represented: “… a race that moves on the poles of mystic, sensual delight. Every gesture is a gesture from the blood, every expression a symbolic utterance … Everything is of the blood, of the senses.” [18]

He seemed to remain a fan despite the failure of the Nazi ideal by protesting against the unjust nature of the Nuremburg trials. Although these were indeed a showpiece to cover up the fact that many of the Nazis Elite were absorbed into the American National Security State, it nevertheless showed that his sympathies remained strong. It is this paradoxical eco-fascist romanticism as sweet as syrup yet cast in molten metal that often remains impervious to any change. Just as the seeds of psychopathy have long been exposed to the right Anglo-American conditions for various strains to multiply like fungi on an otherwise healthy tree, this ecological inversion has continued from its romantic pre-war passion to much more subtle expressions. Similar to eugenics, it has insinuated itself into the fabric of society with respectable sounding names, sacred philosophies and philanthropic causes. But it is essentially the same ponerisation, yearning to control human beings, now under the cover of Gaia. [19]

That is not to say that all environmentalism has at its root latent fascism, only that we need to be aware of this inversion – roots can grow in a variety of soils given the right conditions.

In 1970, the first issue of The Ecologist magazine appeared in the UK, with genuinely fascinating and productive articles. Nevertheless, its underlying theme of “humans as virus” and ecological parasites was common throughout and a direct link back to fascistic beliefs, albeit largely unconscious.  The magazine’s founder, the late Edward Goldsmith, displayed the same beliefs as Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, in that humanity was a disease which had to be halted. Like so many who seemed to have authoritarian tendencies he displayed a frequent wish to control and micro-manage the lives of others. Government, in Goldsmith view should mimic his own patriarchal leanings and become a “schoolmaster” to “an ever more demanding and self-indulgent electorate.” In other words, we all needed to be horse-whipped into submission so that we may break free from our wicked ways. Indeed, Goldsmith went further, suggesting  that: “… radical change in our way of looking at man’s relationship with his environment, … must involve taking measures that in many cases are contrary to our accepted values. Thus, to control population we may have to interfere with ‘personal liberty’, while to reduce economic expansion we are forced to curb ‘the march of ‘progress.’” [20]

It is hear that we come to the crux of the problem with such thinking since it perfectly aligns with elite beliefs that demand populations are suppressed and managed in much the same way as Nature has been through the centuries.  The dividing line between co-creating with the planet and bending it to our will is blurred. The wild sanctity and purity of the biosphere is set against the population who are despoilers and viri – a disease to cut out so that Nature may reign once more. The problem is clear. Such binary thinking can very easily mixed up with good intentions leading catastrophic results as we have seen time and time again. The only disease is that of ponerological strains within humanity whose job it is to subvert and invert.  Ideologies born from socio-economic distress and spiritual vacuity are blended in the minds of authoritarians and their followers and grafted onto passions and beliefs which would have otherwise remained connected to a benign and rejuvenating force.

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© infrakshun

Germany also had a pronounced tradition of controlling Nature. For over 250 years it had radically drained mash and fenlands, exploited vast tracts of Bavarian moorland, managed rivers and built dams in high valleys. The impact of hydrological dams after the 1750s was enormous, changing the face of the German landscape. Where once there was fear of the vast tracts of wilderness, for some they became the new source of romanticism, especially when they began to disappear. This was paradoxical and as historian David Blackbourne asks: “Why did the pace of moorland drainage and colonization increase after the First World War? Because Germans began to see themselves after the Treaty of Versailles as a ‘people without space,’ a Völkohne Raum, so that every cultivated acre counted.” [21]

The Conquest of the Europe meant the conquest of nature which seemed to run counter to the ecological ethos that Nazism promoted. Historians Groninga and Joachim Wolscheke-Bulmanha wrote in an article in Planning Perspectives journal of 1987: “… to explain the destruction of the countryside and environmental damage, without questioning the German people’s bond to nature, could only be done by not analysing environmental damage in a societal context and by refusing to understand them as an expression of conflicting social interests. Had this been done, it would have led to criticism of National Socialism itself since that was not immune to such forces.” [22]

Though it was not to be.

At the same time technocratic and authoritarian, in order for Nature to be returned to the romantic myth of Germanic perfection the space had be created for the German people as guardians and worshippers of Nature so that the former Edenic state could return. Once cleansed of “weeds” and the uniformity of human design the superiority of the Aryan race could stand at the head of a New World Order which would necessarily mean harmony between land and people, inseparable in the National Socialist mind.

The man who had most power in the Reich second to Hitler was probably SS Field Marshall Heinrich Himmler who epitomised classic eco-fascist ideology when he mused:

“The peasant of our racial stock has always carefully endeavoured to increase the natural powers of the soil, plants, and animals, and to preserve the balance of the whole of nature. For him, respect for divine creation is the measure of all culture. If, therefore, the new Lebensräume (living spaces) are to become a homeland for our settlers, the planned arrangement of the landscape to keep it close to nature is a decisive prerequisite. It is one of the bases for fortifying the German Völk.” [23]

The adaptation of biological concepts to social systems tied up with romantic verbiage led to the strategic importance of environmental resources. This was the official policy of Lebensräume or “Living space”. Expansionist politics would mean that the Balkans would be chosen as the provider and coincide with the extermination of the Slavic races, which they deemed inferior. As Hitler stated: “Every healthy Völk sees the right to expansion of its living space as something natural.” [24]

Land, conquest and ethnic cleansing became inextricably linked with a spiritual mission.

By the time Ernst Haeckel had invented the term “ecology” there was the appearance at least, of a “… scientifically based ecological holism with Völkisch social views,” which consisted of a potent mixture of “… nineteenth century cultural prejudices, romantic obsessions with purity [and] anti-Enlightenment sentiment,” fused with “aggressive nationalism, mystically charged racism, and environmentalist predilections.” [25]Haeckel was also responsible for merging Social Darwinism and ecology into his own philosophy of “Monism” which provided an outlet and scientific cover for his belief in Nordic racial superiority. The Third Reich’s obsession with the occult was in large part due to the Germanic nature worship and which had given rise to revivalism and green politics in the intelligentsia. This was reflected in Haeckel’s decision to join the Thule Gesellschaft or Thule Society founded by Bavarian occultist and freemason Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff an instrumental in the formation of the Nazi Party. [26] The Society was the organisation that sponsored the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP), later reorganized by Adolf Hitler into the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP or Nazi Party).

The Youth movement of the Weimar Republic or the Wandervögel (‘wandering free spirits’) was a fusion of almost every type of transcendent, occult and folklore ideology that was available. Reason and rational discourse were rejected. It was effectively a nature cult elevating peasantry to mythical status joined with the authoritarian impetus of the State which was needed to show people the way. Peter Staudenmaier believes this heralded an important: “… shift from nature worship to Führer worship,” where National Socialism’s adoption of environmentalist themes of nationalism and sacred naturalism “… was a crucial factor in its rise to popularity and state of power.” [27]

The foundation of these beliefs was made concrete through two levels of ecological support within the core of the Third Reich. These were at the ministerial and planning and administrative levels, evidence of which can be found in the archives of the Reich. Agrarian romanticism and anti-urbanism was dominant and central in Nazi ideology so that most of the leading members were ecologically aware or had some overlapping naturist belief. 60 percent of the membership rolls of several Naturschutz (nature protection) organizations during the Weimar era had joined the National Socialist Party in 1939. [28]

Gleichklang Alfred Bernert‘Gleichklang’ by Alfred Bernert

Hitler as a vegetarian and an animal lover was a believer in the Völk and the value of Nature but he was also a pragmatic strategist. However, three other notable players close to Hitler represented various shades of dark green belief within the Third Reich.  His deputy, Rudolf Hess, was an enthusiastic fervent devotee of naturism, anthroposophy and homeopathy. Working for Hesse were leading ecologists who produced draft reports on the necessity for “organic, ecologically sound land use and planning.” Hess’s top land planning officer called soil: “… the foundation of the formation of the community”.[29]

Hermann Göering was a nature conservationist, animal husbandrist and the Reich’s Chief Huntsman. He favoured the forest over the rights of the farmers and their fields. He organised many International Hunting Exhibitions for the wealthy. Hitler once referred to these groups as “the green Freemasonry”. As Air Force commander he discontinued the use of animals to test weapons and used people instead. [30]

Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had a degree in agriculture, was a farmer, an occultist and neo-pagan. Power over the concentration camps, death squads and the liquidation of the Jews and other minorities lay at his door. And he, like Hitler, valued animals over people, being responsible for the Third Reich’s anti-vivisection legislation which was the first law of its kind. While Hitler soared into the mysticism of the Völk, Himmler’s beliefs veered towards theosophy, anthroposophy, astrology, Wicca, herbalism, organicism, astrology and homeopathy. He was the first true New Age Nazi with power at his hands, his interests of which inspired him to follow in Blavatsky’s footsteps by sending an SS team to Tibet in 1938 led by zoologist Ernst Schäfer, officially to conduct anthropological experiments, unofficially to open a dialogue between Tibetan Monks of Agharti which were following the “Black arts.” [31] (See: The Light Bringer)

With the infiltration of the Agriculture Ministry and National Food Estate by the SS under Himmler’s say so. When East Europe would be conquered and ethnically cleansed of undesirables a new race of farmers would be deposited on the land and given free farms, provided they passed the eugenics check list set up by the newly created Racial Office was created within the SS. [32]

Therefore three main green beliefs were personified within the Reich: The Aristocratic-freemasonic eco-conservativism of Göering; the folklore, anthroposophy and organicism of Hesse and the occult-neo-pagan beliefs of Himmler.

By 1937 Poland was under Himmler’s settlement program using state funds and seized land while Race and Settlement officers were busy searching for “… farms that could be farmed organically”. After all, it was only SS farmers who could understand “…the superiority of organic farming methods as opposed to artificial fertilisers”. And Chemical fertilizers were criminalised under Himmler’s land planning laws. [33] The SS-owned Institute for the Study of Medicinal and Alimentary Plants, (ISMAP) was an SS owned research organisation where German scientists, physicians, botanists, and chemists conducted research into medicinal properties of plants and many other agrarian experiments. An experimental farm called “Plantage” was based in the surrounding fields of the Dachau death camp and was the brainchild of Himmler but operated by ISMAP.

Marcus J. Smith, a US military doctor who was assigned to Dachau after it was liberated, was told by the former inmates that:

“… many ambitious projects were undertaken, such as the production of artificial pepper, the evaluation of seasoning mixtures, the extraction of Vitamin C from gladioli and other flowers, the potentiation of plant growth by hormone-enriched manure, and of most importance to Germany, the development of synthetic fertilizer. As a profitable side-line, garlic, malva, and other medicinal plants, and vegetable seeds, were cultivated by the prisoners and then sold; the profits went to the SS.” [34]

Other experimental farms were set up at Auschwitz concentration camp and Mauthausen concentration camps in Austria where experiments were conducted by the SS on different kinds of diets including “famine experiments” on Russian POWs. [35]

In 1935, Himmler, founded the Nazi think-tank Ahnenerbe to “study society for Intellectual Ancient History.” The goal was to find confirmation of the myths and philosophies relating to the Aryan race and Nordic populations from an anthropological and cultural perspective. With Himmler’s fascination with the Catharism, Norse mythology and the Knights Templars it led him to expend time and money attempting to uncover many of the alleged secrets behind the legends of the Holy Grail. Indeed, many voyages to a variety of destinations across the globe were carried out and funded by the SS. Among a handful of founding members included SS-Obergruppenführer Richard Walther Darré, Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture, animal breeder and one of the leading promoters of Nazi “blood and soil” ideology.

As a young man Darré was another Völkisch acolyte who joined the Artaman League, the same back-to-the-land movement of which Himmler was a member. This eventually led him to concoct the theory that the future of the Nordic race was deeply connected to soil and which subsequently led to “Blut and Boden” or the “Blood and Soil” meme. According to Nazi ideology, while the relationship to the environment over time becomes embedded in the consciousness of the dweller and vice versa, Germans, due to their Nordic ancestry had a peculiar, almost mystical connection to the land. German soil was sacred, in direct opposition to the “wandering Jew.” Nordicism or “Nordic Theory” claims that a Nordic race, within the greater Caucasian race constituted a master race, and it is this ethnic purity that Darré believed could be found once again.

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Richard Walther Darré, Reich Reichsminister of Food. “The unity of blood and soil must be restored” (photo: wikipedia)

“The unity of blood and soil must be restored” was a phrase that resonated throughout the Gothic halls of the Reich and came from Darré’s 1930 book called Neuadel aus Blut und Boden (A New Nobility Based On Blood And Soil) describing a systemic eugenics program partnered with careful environmental awareness which would clear up the problem of racial impurity and return Germany to its glorious ancient past. With a keen interest and training in farming, animal husbandry and breeding Darré merely adapted his knowledge into the human world and injected it with the usual racist ideology. Geo-political conquest was justified through: “The concept of Blood and Soil [which] gives us the moral right to take back as much land in the East as is necessary to establish a harmony between the body of our Völk and the geopolitical space.” [36]

He was also a fan of the theosophical offshoot of Anthroposophy established by Rudolf Steiner despite National Socialist ideologues being hostile to the movement. Unfortunately for Darré, anthroposophy considered “Blood, Race and Folk” as primitive instincts that must be overcome. [37] Clearly, this short-coming was not enough to quash his enthusiasm for anthroposophical principles with its emphasis on Nature, art, medicine and biodynamic agriculture all based on the theory that there is an unseen spiritual world comprising a variety of “subtle realms.” As bio-dynamic farming involved a holistic view of organic agriculture the rejection of chemical fertilisers and insecticides and by extension, the trappings of industrial capitalism it was tailor-made to elevate the mythical status of the German peasant and therefore be absorbed into Nazi ideology. Racial health and ecological sustainability would be assured. Darré even “… commissioned a top anthroposophist to start a bio-dynamic farm at Marienhole. [East Germany] The farm’s journal, Demeter, had the motto: “Health through Natural Living – Harmony between Blood, Soil and Cosmos.” [38]

The anthroposophist in question, Dr. Edhart Bartsch and his biodynamic farm was run by the research group “The Imperial Association for Biodynamic Agriculture” and was closely followed by Darré and another anthroposophical convert Rudolf Hess both of whom had substantial success in pioneering bio-dynamic principles and products. However, as anthroposophy was not following Nazi principles it was all wound up by 1941. [39] The large-scale organic farming methods and ecologically sound farming practices which Darré pioneered are still in evidence in Germany and much of Europe today.

It seems eco-fascism in Nazi ideology, while no means embraced by all, (Goebbels, Boorman, Speer) was nevertheless crucial in the implementation of Nazi designs. By using potent myths and archetypes of Nature and race which had particular appeal in the German psyche these acted as part of the moral imperative to save not just the German nation but the world. It became a mystical dogma of the most virulent kind hijacked by psychopaths happy to use any and all ideologies to manifest Pathocracy. On the one hand, you had uniforms and jackboots, on the other, a symbolic return to green wellies and haystacks. Manly blond, blue-eyed Supermen working in the fields in manly union; the conservation of nature and animal husbandry on the one hand and on the other: the systematic destruction of land and people if they did not conform. It was a mass psychosis predicated on preference for ideals which have very little to do with objective reality. These are the same influences at work today the only difference being that they are more subtle and sophisticated in their manifestations.

The ideological marriage between National Socialism, nature conservation, ecology and green issues is a cast iron one. Fascism goes hand in hand with green issues and as such we need to be more prudent when those issues become politicised by any one organisation or grouping. The Nazis were a huge, technicolor warning to that end.

Once you had a confluence of Social Darwinism, politics, a green culture and occult ideology which busily distorted an otherwise healthy attention to nature then it is inevitable that it would continue to be used as a pretext for many other directives for social control. “The Natural Order” would be synonymous with a “New World Order” where “scientific technique” of race-biology would force man into their “natural” roles. Or, in the words of the National Socialist Teachers Association: “National Socialism is politically applied biology.”  [40]

 


Notes

[1] Vitalism. In E. Craig (Ed.), William Bechtel and Robert C. Richardson, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge, 1998 | http://www.mechanism.ucsd.edu/teaching/philbio/vitalism.htm
[2] Liu, J.; Dietz, Thomas; Carpenter, Stephen R.; Folke, Carl; Alberti, Marina; Redman, Charles L.; Schneider, Stephen H.; Ostrom, Elinor et al. (2009). “Coupled human and natural systems”. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 36.
[3] Blood and Soil, Richard Walter Darre and Hitler’s ‘Green Party’, Published by Kensall Press, Buckinghamshire, 1985 | Ecology in the 20th Century, A History, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1989 | The Fading of the Greens, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1994 | All by Anna Bramwell.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] ‘Fascist Ecology: The ‘Green Wing’ of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents’ By Peter Staudenmaier taken from Eco-Fascism: Lessons from the German Experience. By Janet Beihl and Peter Staudenmaier. 1995. Published by AK Press. | ISBN 1-873176 73 2. | http://www.spunk.org/texts/places/germany/sp001630/peter.html
[8] Mosley’s name can be seen in a list of Fabians from Fabian News and Fabian Society Annual Report 1929–31.
[9] p.44; Mosley By Nigel Jones, Published by Lite & Times Haus Publishing, 2004 | ISBN-10: 1904341098
[10] Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists by Robert Edwards, Published by League Enterprises, 2002. (introduction) | http://www.oswaldmosley.net/rome-revisited-1933.php
[11] p.64; Very Deeply Dyed in Black: Sir Oswald Mosley by Graham Macklin, Published by I.B.Tauris, 2007. | ISBN-10: 1845112849
[12] R. More-Collyer, ‘Towards “Mother Earth”: Jorian Jenks, Organicism, the Right and the British Union of Fascists’, Journal of Contemporary History, 2004, (p.39)
[13] op. cit. Macklin (p.64)
[14] Ibid. (p.65)
[15] p.6; Rolf Gardiner: Folk, Nature and Culture in In Interwar Britain by Matthew Jefferies, Mike Tyldesley2011 | ISBN-10: 1409412040
[16] op. cit. Bramwell, Ecology, (p. 173-4)
[17] ‘Henry Williamson: Nature’s Visionary’ by Mark Deavin, National Vanguard Magazine, Number 117 March-April 1997.
[18] Ibid.
[19] “The Gaia theory was developed in the late 1960’s by Dr. James Lovelock, a British Scientist and inventor, shortly after his work with NASA in determining that there was probably no life on Mars. The theory gained an early supporter in Lynn Margulis, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts. […] “The Gaia Theory posits that the organic and inorganic components of Planet Earth have evolved together as a single living, self-regulating system. It suggests that this living system has automatically controlled global temperature, atmospheric content, ocean salinity, and other factors, that maintains its own habitability. In a phrase, “life maintains conditions suitable for its own survival.” In this respect, the living system of Earth can be thought of analogous to the workings of any individual organism that regulates body temperature, blood salinity, etc. So, for instance, even though the luminosity of the sun – the Earth’s heat source – has increased by about 30 percent since life began almost four billion years ago, the living system has reacted as a whole to maintain temperatures at levels suitable for life.”- http://www.gaiatheory.org/synopsis.htm
[20] ‘Living with Nature’ by Edward Goldsmith, The Ecologist July 1, 1970 (www.edwardgoldsmith.org/)
[21] p.5; The Conquest Of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany, by David Blackbourn, Published by Pimlico, 2007 | ISBN-10: 0712667261
[22] ‘Politics, planning and the protection of nature: Political abuse of early ecological ideas in Germany, 1933–45’ by Gert Gröninga & Joachim Wolschke‐Bulmahna Planning Perspectives Volume 2, Issue 2, 1987.
[23] Peter Staudenmaier Quoting from Heinz Haushofer, Ideengeschichte der Agrarwirtschaft und Agrarpolitik im deutschen Sprachgebiet, Band II, München, 1958, (p. 266).
[24] Hitler Speech, Völkischer Beobachter, 11 November 1931.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Ibid.
[27] op.cit; Staudenmaier.
[28] p.107;The Environmental Movement in Germany: Prophets and Pioneers, 1871–1971 by Raymond H. Dominick III Indiana University Press, 1992.
[29] op.cit. Bramwell; Ecology (p. 197-8)
[30] pp 182-190; Goring, a Biography, by David Irving. Published William Morrow and Co., New York, 1989.
[31] Himmler’s Crusade: The True Story of the 1938 Nazi Expedition into Tibet.by Christopher Hale, London: Transworld Publishers | ISBN 0-593-04952-7.
[32] op. cit. Bramwell, Blood and Soil (p. 132-8)
[33] op. cit. Bramwell, Ecology, (p. 202-4) | 0p. cit. Bramwell, Blood and Soil (p.132-38)
[34] ‘Work in the Dachau camp’ http://www.scrapbookpages.com
[35] ‘Using Science For The Greater Evil,’ Newsweek, Dec 1, 2003.
[36] op. cit. Janet Biehl, Peter Staudenmaier (p.19).
[37] Report of the SD-Hauptamtes Berlin: “Anthroposophy”, May 1936, BAD Z/B I 90.
[38] op. cit. Bramwell, Blood, (p. 203).
[39] http://www.demeter.net/ | “Biodynamic Agriculture: The Journey from Koberwitz to the World, 1924-1938”, By John Paul, Journal of Organic Systems, 2011, 6(1):27-41.
[40] Hans Schemm, Founder and Head of the National Socialist Teachers Association from Ernst Haeckel’s The History of Creation. 2 vols. (New York: D. Appleton, 1876), vol. I, p. 11.

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