Jeffrey Tucker: The Founding Father of Eco-Fascism

The New Zealand* murderer who shocked the world with his ghastly actions also fashioned himself as a political philosopher of sorts. He released a 74-page manifesto of seemingly insane ideological ramblings that bear some resemblance to alt-right ideology. The document provides an inside look into how evil ideas can override settled moral postulates such as that killing is wrong or that human beings have rights.

He regarded the wrong kinds of human beings as deserving of death – social discards – and so took matters into own hands, without remorse.

Many observers have been confused by his preferred mashup of ideas that resulted in his own personal moniker: eco-fascist. In addition to hyper-racism, he also celebrated nature and environmentalism. He complained of “Rampant urbanization and industrialization, ever expanding cities and shrinking forests, a complete removal of man from nature, with the obvious results.”

He writes:

There is no Conservatism without nature, there is no nationalism without environmentalism, the natural environment of our lands shaped us just as we shaped it. We were born from our lands and our own culture was molded by these same lands. The protection and preservation of these lands is of the same importance as the protection and preservation of our own ideals and beliefs.

The fusion of racism and environmentalism might strike us today as strange. One hundred years ago, not so much. In the Progressive era, it was a conventional ideological position to favor eugenic strategies of mass extermination combined with a preservationist outlook on natural resources. The connection might not be obvious at first but both are rooted in the principle of scientific management toward the elimination of dysgenic choices by individuals, particularly those inspired by the commercial marketplace.

Whether this position is left or right hardly matters. The eco-fascist view grows out of a consistent opposition to the principle of liberalism that society should be left alone to manage itself. It favors government dictatorship to override individual decision making in human procreation and commercial life while pushing complete government control of natural resources to prevent them from being used by commercial interests in a way that would contradict the principle of the survival of the fittest.

Let us travel back in time for a brief examination of the founding father of eco-fascism in the Progressive Era. His name was Madison Grant (1865-1937). He graduated with honors from Yale University in 1887 at the height of the fashion for race science, and then took a law degree from Columbia University. He forged a fabulous public career for himself as an author, advocate, and close friend of President Theodore Roosevelt. He is credited as the founder of modern wildlife management. He built the Bronx River Parkway, founded the American Bison Society, and helped create Glacier National Park and Denali National Park.

As president of the New York Zoological Society, he founded the Bronx Zoo and used it as a template for the testing of his theories.

His fanatical racism is perhaps best revealed in the stunning scandal of the treatment of Ota Benga (1883-1916), a member of the Mbuti tribe of the Congo who was sold by slave traders for display in America.

Madison Grant was personally responsible for caging Ota in the zoo to live with the apes in 1906, and forcing Ota to perform for the public as evidence of the truth of then-fashionable racial science. African-American newspapers expressed outrage at Ota’s treatment. The mayor of New York intervened and arranged for his release. Ota eventually moved to Virginia but fell into depression and shot himself ten years later.

It was hardly the only death traceable to Grant’s work. He was director of the American Eugenics Society and advocated from his post the culling of the unfit from the human population. He mapped a 100-year plan to perfect the human race, killing off group after group until racial purity had been obtained. He favored a state program to “get rid of the undesirables” in jails and hospitals. He warned against “misguided sentimentalism” that would put a break on his murderous plans to wipe out “social discards” and “worthless race types.”

All these views were laid out in what became a best-selling book of the Progressive Era: The Passing of the Great Race, which went to print the same year as Ota’s suicide, sold 16,000 copies in the U.S., and was translated into several languages. Hitler himself was a huge fan and even wrote Grant a personal letter that Passing was “my bible.” It was the first English-language book brought to print in Germany once the Nazis took power, and the book was eventually cited in the Nuremberg trials as evidence that the Holocaust was not just a German thing.

Grant was also president of the Immigration Restriction League, which propagated the idea that Southern Italians, Slavs, and Jews could not be allowed into the U.S. for fear that they would certainly poison the American racial stock. The League was the major influence in the passage of immigration restrictions in the early 1920s which were eventually used to limit immigration of Jews fleeing the Holocaust.

Far from having suffered disrepute for his views and actions, Grant was heralded as a pioneer in preservationism, having been awarded the gold medal of the Society of Arts and Sciences in 1929. He was a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History and a much-sought-after expert on naturalism, the environment, and race theory. There is even a species of Caribou named after him: Rangifer tarandus granti.

His views on environmentalism are the embodiment of absurdist Darwinism. Essentially it is this: the oldest and largest trees are clearly the master race and must be protected against any commercial use. “It is scarcely necessary to dwell on the crime involved in the destruction of the oldest and tallest trees on earth.” Anyone who would cut down such a tree, he said, should be regarded as a vandal and barbarian.

He was also a pioneer in gloom-and-doom rhetoric regarding the environment. From as early as 1894 through the end of his life, he warned about the coming disaster that would befall humanity from deforestation. From his point of view, it wasn’t just the great race that was passing but all of life on earth – unless we act now to put an end to the commercial economy and the free-range procreation of humanity. Only Madison Grant and his friends knew for sure which trees and which humans deserve to live or die.

The eco-fascist screed from the New Zealand murder comes across as crude and low-level, the wild ramblers of a trash-talking 20-something raised on 4chan, 8chan, and the most hateful parts of the Internet. It was not always so. Men with the same views, much more sophisticated in expression but just as violent in aim, once came from the Ivy League, occupied the highest levels of social and professional achievement right here in the U.S., and remained heroes of “Progressivism” for many decades after the Second World War.

 

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. He is available for speaking and interviews via his email.  Tw | FB | LinkedIn . Originally published at AIER.

[* Strictly the murderer is an Australian. Even more strictly the alleged murderer. Sinc]

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19 Responses to Jeffrey Tucker: The Founding Father of Eco-Fascism

  1. Ellen of Tasmania

    Posted this a couple of weeks ago, but it is a perfect fit here:

  2. Rabid Koala

    What a load of nonsense. We are all grown ups here. Read Tarrant’s manifesto for yourself and make up your own mind. By acting as if his words are so scary we need someone to tell us what to think we are deliberately infantilising ourselves.

  3. Tel

    Good historical roundup, with some bits missing. You really must include Maurice Strong, and the United Nations Agenda 21 which is all about restricting populations, primarily by means of tightening up land restrictions, making housing unaffordable, preventing infrastructure from being built, and trying to make it impossible for families to have children. It’s only a fraction removed from the work of Madison Grant but far more relevant to modern Australians given how our government (both parties) kowtows to the UN before all others. Maurice Strong took refuge in China when his scumbaggery caught up with him, and the Chinese loved his “one child policy”. The same policy that Ted Turner wanted to inflict on everyone, other than himself of course.

    Funny how the terrorist from Grafton said how much he respected the Chinese government … one would have to presume that their population controls and central planning were part of what he finds attractive. Overall China does not have a great environmental record, but they have been extremely effective at eliminating unwanted people. In addition, the Han have a strong sense of family connection (much stronger than Europeans do) and modern China continues to claim ownership of expats based on this genetic collective. Please note: “Chinese” is a nationality, not an ethnic group. Beijing is run and operated by Han and the other ethnic groups within the nation of China clearly understand they are minorities.

    Also missing from Tucker’s roundup is the strong mix of Environmentalism, Romanticism and Darwinism floating around Germany since about 1900. Romanticism in terms of believing in a bygone age that was more pure, more honest, more wonderful than today, and Environmentalism believing that we can recreate the bygone age by locking up land and rewilding. They also believed in the strong connection between one particular group of people and their land … that is to say, everyone has a place and they belong in exactly that place. For the world to be beautiful, it must remain pristine and untouched.

    The concept of “Blood & Soil” is fundamentally a collective notion, it makes no sense for an individual. The “Progressives” are happy to embrace this when it comes to tribal lands and “First Nations” in the sense of a collective of people tied to a patch of land by genetics. The Grafton lad adapted this to his own sense of tribal association. Once you work on those principles, zero immigration becomes quite logical.

    Finally, there’s never a bad time to remind the leftists how much their darling Margaret Sanger was into eugenics.

  4. Entropy

    The progressive era.
    Love it.

  5. struth

    Good Lord.

    Now if only we could get the level of study on the manifesto of the Islamic terrorist.
    The level of interpretation.

    Oh, sorry they are just lone wolf, mentally ill victims of white racism.

  6. Siltstone

    Contemporary eco-facsists tend to populate environmental organisations and government regulators. They regard humans (except for themslevs) as feral animals to be controlled, suppressed or eliminated. Obsesssed with banning fishing, hunting, fossicking, recreation vehicle use and even firewood gathering from as much of the country as possible. True heirs to Madison Grant.

  7. jupes

    Now if only we could get the level of study on the manifesto of the Islamic terrorist.
    The level of interpretation.

    Yes no doubt Sinc will post Jeffrey Tucker’s article on The founding father of Islam any minute now.

  8. John Brumble

    The insane ramblings “bear some resemblance to alt-right ideology.”
    But then later when writing re: eco-fascism “whether this position is left or right hardly matters.”

    How very convenient.

    Look, I tend to agree that ‘left or right’ hardly matter, but if you’re going to argue it, at least argue it, don’t take the standard collectivist line that ‘if it’s left which is wrong, the left-right dialectic is rubbish, but if I can pin it on the right-wingers, then all bets are off’.

  9. What I find so disturbing about this entire event is how the MSM has embraced it with glee and tried to use it to affirm all the accusations that they have laid against anyone that questions Leftist views.

    From the very start, The Age and Their ABC were calling it a ‘terrorist’ attack the moment that it was half-confirmed that a white, assumed ‘right wing’ male was responsible. There was none of this lone wolf, mental illness, out of character etc excuses.

    Frazer Anning could have worded his comment in a different way and not drawn so much flak (as if), but I think his sentiments are what many Australians agree with.

  10. Rabid Koala

    Now if only we could get the level of study on the manifesto of the Islamic terrorist.
    The level of interpretation.

    It’s called the Koran and it is one of most evil and demented books ever written.

  11. Ellen of Tasmania

    You really must include Maurice Strong, and the United Nations Agenda 21

    A lot of good points there, Tel. I don’t think many people realise what an impact the whole Agenda 21 thing has had on local councils through ICLEI.

  12. Old Lefty

    Scratch the innocuous-sounding ‘Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population’ and you’ll find similar tendencies according to an acquaintance of mine who has met some of them. Their version is, of course, cloaked in Green rhetoric.

  13. J.H.

    [* Strictly the murderer is an Australian. Even more strictly the alleged murderer. Sinc]

    Which is exactly the same argument that Poland put forward when they objected to Nazi Death camps being called the “Polish Death camps”. Poland was getting pretty sick of it…. Israel and Poland then became enmeshed in an ongoing dispute for ages over it when they confused Poland’s objections with Holocaust denial…. I think they’ve worked it out now.

    A very interesting read. So, Mr Madison Grant is at the roots of modern Ecofascism. Socialism’s obscenities continue and abound.

  14. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Matt Ridley in “The Evolution of Everything” Chapter 11, The Evolution of Population has a very good outline of how the theories of Malthus and other population doomsayers led to some hideous social disasters:

    I think there is some persuasive evidence that a direct, if meandering, intellectual thread links the Poor Laws, the Irish famine, the gas chambers of Auschwitz and the one-child policies of Beijing. In all cases, cruelty as policy, based on faulty logic, sprang from a belief that those in power knew best what was good for the vulnerable and weak. Urgent ends justified a horrible means. Evolution was taken as a prescription for interference, not a description of an emergent process.

    Parson Robert Malthus (he’s often called Thomas these days, but in his lifetime he used his middle name, Robert, casts a long shadow over the past two centuries…. : that you have to se unkind means to justify kind ends. This trope – that being kind to poor and ill people is a bad idea- runs right through eugenic and population movements, and is alive and well even now … What’s the good of bringing economic growth to Africa: they will only have more babies – and more cars. better to be cruel to be kind. Let’s call it Malthusian misanthropy. And it is 180 degrees wrong. The way to get population growth to slow, it turns out, is to keep babies alive, to bring health, prosperity and education to all.”

    Ridley proceeds in this chapter to examine in detail the various historical attempts to do good by doing bad – and there are plenty of these. The chapter is very informative about how low humans can sink when a nasty ideology takes a grip. Anthropogenic global warming is the latest one of those, and possibly the most dangerous. Interesting to note on Outsiders on Sunday two school children ‘climate protest warriors’ enthusiastically cite the lie about 97% of climate scientists being firmly behind imminent catastrophe, obviously fed to them without any critique of the fake paper behind this fake statistic. These students show no awareness at all of alternative viewpoint. I doubt they have ever learned of the dismal failures of the catastrophic predictions made in the 70’s by the Club of Rome ‘environmentalists’.

  15. John A

    … It favors government dictatorship to override individual decision making in human procreation and commercial life while pushing complete government control of natural resources to prevent them from being used by commercial interests in a way that would contradict the principle of the survival of the fittest.

    Once again we see the internal inconsistency: a government to override individual decisions BUT wanting to preserve “the principle of the survival of the fittest” – a form of environmental anarchy.

    He’s yet another totalitarian nut-job who wants survival of the fittest as long as he is the fittest.

  16. Mr Black

    [Really? You are out of here. Please do not come back. Sinc]

  17. Helen

    In the gulag archipeligo, you can start out by killing evil, separate from good people, but how do we separate the evil and good that runs with in our own souls? Do we cut off an arm, or a leg? Do we kill our neighbour because he has one evil thought, or twenty? How do we know? Where is the line?

  18. Boambee John

    Old Lefty
    #2962604, posted on March 18, 2019 at 3:07 pm
    Scratch the innocuous-sounding ‘Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population’ and you’ll find similar tendencies according to an acquaintance of mine who has met some of them. Their version is, of course, cloaked in Green rhetoric.

    Does AESP still exist? I thought that the Green fascist left had expunged them from the world once the left got onto the Islamic immigration ponzi scheme.

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