David Icke and Ecofascism
The issue of NewAgeFascism has recently been placed under the spotlight by various concerned parties, the most notable of these have been Open Eye Magazine (who have done much valuable work in exposing David Icke - more of this later) and a new book called "Ecofascism - Lessons from the German Experience". Whilst not being the greatest work ever published (it's too simplistic/sparse and certain parts display a suspiciously unobjective admiration for Murray Bookchin - further investigation revealed that one of the authors just happens to be his wife...) it provides an introduction to a serious and previously neglected issue.
Ecofascism can be loosely defined as the mixing of concepts such as organic farming, vegetarianism and nature worship with racism and and nationalism; this mixture is not new - first appearing in nineteenth century Germany. "New Age" nazism (currently mainly personified by David Icke) uses some "green" ideas in conjunction with conspiricist theories and derivations from various pseudo-occult traditions, most notably Theosophy.
The green movement in this country is large and extremely diverse, incorporating many different groups and factions ranging from Direct Activists to FoE/Greenpeace/Green Party to a variety of New Age/mystical types - a very wide range of ideas, theories and practices come under the general heading of "green". There are no set divides betwen the various groupings and a certain degree of crossover exists.
It would be safe to say that the most important of the above - the direct action eco-movement, i.e "Earth First!" has to its credit now probably developed a strong enough commitment to social justice and genuinely libertarian and anti-authoritarian ideas and acivities for it not to be susceptible to Ecofascism. Exceptions to this may be some mystical greens (see below). There are however a number of other petty authoritarian factions within the Direct Action movement who don't quite deserve the label of fascist; these include the "vegan police" and ideological pacifists both of whose problems are self-explanatory.
It is however within the "New Age" movement that fascism is the biggest problem. Fascist tendencies have always been present within it but due to the naivety of many of its adherents these have gone largely unchallenged/noticed. A prime example of this is the enduring popularity of Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy in alternative circles in this country as well as in Germany and America. This ideology mixes bizarre racialist spiritual theory (which somewhat unsurprisingly concludes that European whites are at the summit of the heirarchical scale of humanity) with concepts such as "biodynamic farming", a form of organic agriculture which "tries to foster a more organic relationship between cultivator and soil." Many ideas current within mystical green circles have a very similar conceptual basis to those of classical Fascism (i.e. the German, Italian and Spanish models). Examples of this include a desire to return to an idealised mythical "golden age" - in this case Celtic, the celebration of "feelings" and emotions (i.e. of collectivity and unity) over reason and the cultural appropriation of pagan rituals and symbols.
The problem has become much more acute recently with the emergence of groups such as Rainbow Ark, and more populist figures such as David Icke. Icke may be a figure of fun to those who recall his "turquoise" and "godhead" phases, but his ideas have recently taken a much more sinister direction; he has successfully managed to repackage and overtly (notably "Jewish conspiracy" theories ) into a theory that has proved highly popular amongst New Agers who consider him a sort of guru. In his books called "The Robot's Rebellion" and "....and the truth shall set you free" he attacks electoralism and capitalism - at first glance a praiseworthy exercise but on the grounds that it is a global conspiracy involving a Jewish elite and the "All Seeing Eye" cult !!!! . Unfortunately his followers, the vast majority of whom are New Agers (Although it should be noted that members of the nazi group C18 have turned up at his meetings) don't appear to be able or willing to recognise Icke for what he is - a fascist. Even when publicly confronted with statements such as "A Jewish clique worked to create the First World War, the Rusian Revolution and the Second World War." they have a disturbing tendency to deny his blatant racism and anti-semitism.
Certain aspects of the "New Age" are not holistic or benign but pure poison and should be attacked and discredited at every available opportunity. This is particularly important as more people then ever are turning to New Age spirituality and conspiricism in an escapist search for answers and scapegoats to explain or forget the misery of their everyday lives. Unfortunately there aren't any answers to be found in crystal gazing (crystals which incidentally if shopbought are likely to have been mined by multinationals such as RTZ who are engaged in wholesale devastation of the Third World) or infantile conspiracy theories. The reality of the situation is that we live in an openly exploitative and oppressive society and until people recognise that the answer to the riddle of their dead lives lies in practical struggle people will look to scum like Icke peddling their shit as a solution.
Ecofascism, Lessons From the German Experience by Janet Biehl and Peter Staudenmaier is published by AK Press and is available from them or the usual lefty bookshops.
For more info on David Icke etc. contact Open Eye at BM Open Eye, London, WC1 3XX