17 September 2010

Article: An alternative to the new wave of ecofascism

Micah White, a US activist and contributing editor at the Canada-based anti-consumerist magazine "Adbusters", is the author of an op-ed article titled "An alternative to the new wave of ecofascism", published on 16 September 2010 on the website of the British "Guardian" newspaper.

The full text of the article can be read free of charge here:


Excerpts: "It is time to acknowledge that mainstream environmentalism has failed to prevent climate catastrophe. Its refusal to call for an immediate consumption reduction has backfired and its demise has opened the way for a wave of fascist environmentalists who reject democratic freedom. One well-known example of the authoritarian turn in environmentalism is James Lovelock, the first scientist to discover the presence of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. Earlier this year he told the Guardian that democracies are incapable of adequately addressing climate change. [...] His words may be disturbing, but other ecologists have gone much further. Take for example Pentti Linkola, a Finnish fisherman and ecological philosopher. Whereas Lovelock puts his faith in advanced technology, Linkola proposes a turn to fascistic primitivism. Their only point of agreement is on the need to suspend democracy.

"Linkola has built an environmentalist following by calling for an authoritarian, ecological regime that ruthlessly suppresses consumers. Largely unknown outside of Finland until the first English translation of his work was published last year, Linkola represents environmentalism pushed to its totalitarian extreme. [...] His bold political programme includes [...] 're-education' in eco-gulags [...]. In Linkola's dystopian vision, the resources of the state are mobilised to clamp down on individual liberty. But there is no need to suspend democracy if it is returned to the people. Democratic, anti-fascist environmentalism means marshalling the strength of humanity to suppress corporations. Only by silencing the consumerist forces will both climate catastrophe and ecological tyranny be averted."

White calls for "the criminalisation of advertising" and "the possibility of death penalties for corporations". While he claims that this would be done "voluntarily and joyously", it is hard to see just how the measures he proposes are more democratic than those of the ecofascists. He too appears to be seeking to mobilize the resources of the (democratic) state to clamp down on consumerism.

Linkola, the son of a former Rector of the University of Helsinki and grandson of a former Chancellor of that same university, has had a "Fansite" dedicated to him:


On that site, he is quoted as saying (presumably originally in Finnish): "Any dictatorship would be better than modern democracy. There cannot be so incompetent dictator, [sic] that he would show more stupidity than a majority of the people. Best dictatorship would be one where lots of heads would roll and government would prevent any economical growth." / "A minority can never have any other effective means to influence the course of matters but through the use of violence." / "We will have to ... learn from the history of revolutionary movements – the [N]ational [S]ocialists, the Finnish Stalinists, from the many stages of the Russian revolution, from the methods of the Red Brigades – and forget our narcissistic selves." / "[D]emocracy and parliamentary system [...] are the most mindless and desperate experiments of the mankind ... [sic]"

The links on the website to other ecofascist resources and groups appear not to be working.

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