Derek Wall's article on Ecofascism

msbrown at msbrown at
Wed Jun 19 11:01:45 BST 2002

The following is a response to Derek Wall's article on Ecofascism, 
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 09:58:20 +0100 
From: "Dr Molly Scott Cato" <molly at> 

I don't find this a helpful or particularly coherent view. It seems to link a 
whole group of people who might once have been considered towards the right of 
a single-line political continuum that no longer has any meaning and then 
attempt to suggest they have ideological uniformity. There may be things in all 
their philosophies we disapprove of, but there may equally well be things we 
approve of. This sort of argument seems rather similar to the 'Hitler was a 
vegetarian, therefore all vegetarians are loonies' line of thinking that we 
must all have suffered from. It also helps to explain why the case for monetary 
reform, a policy that would go a long way towards solving the problems we are 
all so concerned about, is rejected out of hand by many of the 'left' also 
because Hitler advocated it and regrettably associated it with his anti-

Along these lines Derek identifies Major Douglas as an anti-semite and uses 
this as a reason to reject his ideas about Social Credit. In a similar way the 
Israeli state has refused to allow public performance of the music of Wagner. A 
little study of psychology would cast an interesting light of people who find 
it impossible to deal with another's views except by banning them. Our 
commitment must be to extending our human empathy to all people including those 
who, for reasons of lack of knowledge or personal suffering, espouse inhumane 
and socially destructive views. We also need to have the humility to learn from 
the successes and mistakes of all political movers and shakers of the past, 
whether or not we consider them part of our 'group' or near our ideological 

Derek Wall's essay (or book review? its provenance is unclear) seems to be an 
invitation to begin a witchhunt within our already small and marginal movement. 
It was long a problem in the Green Party that we focused on the bits of each 
other which we found unacceptable so that people were afraid to admit that they 
ate meat or had spiritual beliefs, for example. We cannot afford to treat each 
other this way and have fortunately learned that lesson for the most part in 
the Green Party. This growth of respect for genuine diversity must spread 
within the green movement. The culture of mutual suspicion and ideological 
oneupmanship that this sort of approach might well foster would be fertile soil 
for the sort of divide-and-rule strategy that the corporations are already 
using to counter the powerful message of our movement. (This sort of activity 
is described in detail in Eveline Lubbers's new book Battling Big Business: 
Countering Greenwash, Infiltration and Other Forms of Corporate Bullying, 
published by Green Books.) 

To my mind the important distinction is between those who value, perhaps 
in a spiritual sense, all forms of life on the planet and those who have an 
inner hatred which they project onto others in groups or spaces from which 
they can exclude themselves. This might be toffs hunting foxes, Nazis killing 
Jews, or people writing, as I saw recently, that, since half the population of 
a certain country live in the cities they cities could comfortably be 
exterminated (the writer, I presume, lived in some rural idyll). 

Our future must rely on learning respect and love for the planet and its 
creatures. This is the place in our hearts from where our political activity 
must grow, otherwise we will only be able to create more of the same hatreds. 

My love to you all this cheerful summer morning! 


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