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Eco-Fascisms and Eco-Socialisms


At the Verso blog, development sociologist Max Ajl examines contemporary eco-fascism, as expressed in the manifesto of the man who shot and killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas earlier this month. As Ajl writes, eco-fascism views immigrants as a threat to diminishing natural resources, and proposes strict border controls and nationalist politics as a solution. Ajl writes that eco-socialists must be careful to distinguish themselves from this toxic view by advocating an internationalist politics, since environmental devastation, like modern-day capitalism, knows no borders. Here’s an excerpt:

Retooling core production also paves the way for material-use convergence between wealthier and poorer countries – the basis for a just world. Luckily, development indicators are breaking free from energy use, which means such convergence could mean a good life for everyone. This is not a call for an Arcadian fantasy, but for sustainable cities, fit neatly into their bio-regions, alongside convergent and controlled industrialization, and embedded in a planet of fields.

Defeating eco-fascism means things will have to change. That should be welcome to anyone who understands mass eco-fascism as a psycho-social commitment to a certain “way of life” at any cost. Many would be willing to surrender the fool’s gold of a car-centric suburban capitalist modernity for a life with less gewgaws and less alienation, but more clean air, more green spaces, more walking, and maybe more, but not too much more, hard work, as well, of course, as a planet in decent shape for the future. That is a future worth fighting for.

Image: Wall at the US–Mexico border. Via AL DÍA News.