Two mass murders a world apart share a common theme: ‘ecofascism’

Two mass murders a world apart share a common theme: ‘ecofascism’, by Joel Achenbach.

Before the slaughter of dozens of people in Christchurch, New Zealand and El Paso, Texas this year, the accused gunmen took pains to explain their fury, including their hatred of immigrants. The statements that authorities think the men posted online share another obsession: overpopulation and environmental degradation.

The alleged Christchurch shooter, who is charged with targeting Muslims and killing 51 people in March, declared himself an “eco-fascist” and railed about immigrants’ birthrates. The statement linked to the El Paso shooter, who is charged with killing 22 people in a shopping area earlier this month, bemoans water pollution, plastic waste and an American consumer culture that is “creating a massive burden for future generations.”

The two mass shootings appear to be extreme examples of ecofascism – what Hampshire College professor emeriti Betsy Hartmann calls “the greening of hate.”

Many white supremacists have latched onto environmental themes, drawing connections between the protection of nature and racial exclusion. These ideas have shown themselves to be particularly dangerous when adopted by unstable individuals prone to violence and convinced they must take drastic actions to stave off catastrophe. …

Ecofascism has deep roots. There is a strong element of it in the Nazi emphasis on “blood and soil,” and the fatherland, and the need for a living space purified of alien and undesirable elements.

Meanwhile, leaders of mainstream environmental groups are quick to acknowledge their movement has an imperfect history when it comes to race, immigrationand inclusiveness. Some early conservationists embraced the eugenics movement that saw “social Darwinism” as a way of improving the human race by limiting the birthrates of people considered inferior. …

Conservationists have a long history of wrestling with questions about immigration and population growth. Some of those on the environmental left have seen the explosion in the human population — which is nearing 8 billion and has more than doubled in the past half-century — as a primary driver of the environmental crisis. That argument has then been adopted by racists.

The alleged Christchurch shooter began his online screed by writing, “It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates,” and then warned of the “invasion” by immigrants who will “replace the White people who have failed to reproduce.”

The document believed posted by the alleged El Paso shooter cites birthrates among the “invaders” trying to enter the U.S., and asserts, “If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.”

All sentiments much closer to Rousseau than Locke, to collectivism rather than individualism.

People of a collectivist bent just don’t seem to grasp that race realism, color blindness, and treating people as individuals rather than groups is not only more moral but avoids their nasty hangups and contradictions about race — such as race is a social construct, there is no such thing as race, all whites are racist, and treating people of different races the same is “racist,” etc. etc.