Green Politics & Liberal Fantasies
Book review by JOE PEARCE
THERE IS much within the pages of Green Politics Nationalists will find of interest and value; enough, in fact, to make its reading worthwhile.
However, there is also much else which will not be of value, save as an object lesson in how to reach absurdly illogical conclusions from essentially sound criteria. In short, it would be fair to categorise Green Politics into three broad and distinct areas, namely the good, the bad and the downright silly.
To start with the good parts of the book, it should come as no great surprise that these are confined to the genuinely 'green', i.e. ecological, discussions, whereas the bad and the silly parts derive from woolly-minded liberal interpretations of these which cloud over the clarity of genuine green thinking.
It should also come as no great surprise to find that these good parts of the book have already been adopted as integral parts of Nationalist ideology.
For instance, few Nationalists would argue with these sentiments at the beginning of chapter two:
"Among the broad spectrum of citizens who rallied to stop the spread of nuclear reactors, the pollution of rivers, and the death of the forests during the mid-1970's arose an understanding that we are part of nature, not above it, and that all our massive structures of commerce – and life itself – ultimately depend on wise, respectful interaction with our biosphere. Any government or economic system that ignores that principle is ultimately leading humankind into suicide. The more that people perceived the interconnections among principles of ecological wisdom, a truly secure peace, an economy with a future, and a participatory democracy with power channeled directly from the grassroots level, the more they noticed the absence of such ideals among the existing political parties."
Again, few Nationalists would argue with the following extract from the Federal Programme of Die Grunen, the West German Green Party:
"The worldwide ecological crisis worsens from day to day: natural resources become more scarce: chemical waste dumps are subjects of scandal after scandal: whole species of animals are exterminated; entire varieties of plants become extinct: rivers and oceans change slowly into sewers; and humans verge on spiritual and intellectual decay in the midst of a mature, industrial consumer society. It is a dismal inheritance we are imposing on future generations ..."
It is a dismal inheritance indeed, and this deep environmental awareness is fully embraced by British Nationalism.
Another area of fundamental agreement between the beliefs expounded in Green Politics and those of the National Front lies in the shared advocacy of the principles of economic decentralisation and human-scale, grass-roots democracy. For example, this extract from Green Politics could have appeared in any National Front publication:
"The global obsession with growth has resulted in a remarkable similarity between capitalist and communist economies. The two dominant representatives of the so-called opposing value systems, the United States and the Soviet Union, are in reality not all that different. Both are dedicated to industrial growth and hard technology, with increasingly centralised and bureaucratic control, whether by the state or by so-called private multinational corporations."
In response to this "obsession with growth" the Greens come to conclusions which mirror those of the National Front. They demand "an orientation toward a self-reliant internal economy", i.e. national self-sufficiency, and "a grassroots democratic economy ... that allows for self-managed, cooperative enterprises, in which those involved in the production process are able to decide themselves what is produced, as well as how and where it is produced", i.e. distributism.
Another striking similarity between Green and Nationalist thinking is the belief of both in the principle that economic structures, where possible, should be human-scale, a view arrived at by both as a result of studying pioneering books such as Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher.
These parallel visions, shared by Greens and Nationalists alike, mean that both ideological groups have more in common with each other than they have with establishment parties. Nonetheless, other areas of Green thinking, the bad areas, delineate major differences.
For example, the Greens have inherited ethno-masochistic tendencies which lead to them championing both the concept of multiracialism and the causes of ethnic minorities.
Greens and Nationalists both recognise the harm done to the environment by Capitalist and Communist economies alike. Above: the consequences of acid rain pollution, the darker the shaded area the heavier the acid rain fall.
Thus, the West German Greens condemn 'discrimination' against that country's four million 'guest workers' and demand that foreign workers and their dependents be considered "an important and fully equal part of the population."
Ironically, multiracialism can be shown to be illogical according to the Greens' own criterion that "we are part of nature, not above it". Nature, as expressed in sociobiological reality, has made man instinctively more sympathetic to 'in-groups', i.e. his own-kith and kin, than to 'out-groups', i.e. strangers, foreigners or those of different races.
Consequently, this instinctive racialism, inherited in our genes and therefore impossible to eradicate by external, environmental factors, will lead to constant and permanent division and conflict with a multiracial society rendering true ecological harmony impossible.
Another faulty tenet of Green thinking is a political internationalism summed up in their slogan "Think Globally, Act Locally".
The Greens justify their internationalism by pointing out, quite correctly, that some ecological problems are international in scale and therefore their solutions must be international in scope. It is undoubtedly true that environmental problems, such as acid rain pollution, are international in scale and require international cooperation if a solution is to be found.
However, this does not necessitate, as the Greens imply, that national sovereignty should be surrendered and that nation states should be broken up. On the contrary, a truly Green perspective must acknowledge that any international world order, whether it gives itself the label of communist, capitalist or ecologist, will, in reality be less answerable to grassroots pressure than are the governments of large nation states.
After all, it is plain that nothing can be less 'human-scale' than a World Government! This being so, all attempts at lessening National Freedom are also an affront on individual freedom, something the Greens profess to hold dear to their hearts. By all means power should be devolved to the grassroots level, and this is advocated wholeheartedly by the National Front, but It must be done within the framework of a free and independent nation.
Finally, we move on from the good and the bad tenets of Green politics to the downright silly ones.
The Green movement is infatuated with feminism and with the need to embrace "post-patriarchal attitudes". In truth, however, feminist philosophy is riddled with self contradictions and what George Orwell called doublethink. For instance, feminism condemns 'sexism' while its very raison d'etre is sexist. Thus, feminism redefines the very essence of existence along sexual, and sexist, lines.
All virtues, such as peace, patience, compassion, gentleness, understanding etc are described as feminine traits, while all vices, such as violence, aggression, war, oppression etc are described as masculine.
The doublethink comes into play when one points out that women throughout history have often played an equal part in the instigation, if not the instrumentation, of wars and conflicts.
For example, feminists deflect claims that Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female Prime Minister, is perhaps the most aggressive, oppressive and militaristic British leader since the war, by stating dismissively that spiritually she is a man in a woman's body! Other such hermaphrodites this century would include the likes of Indira Ghandi and Golda Meir!
To conclude, it should be reiterated that Green Politics is well worth reading. Within its pages, the diligent Nationalist will discover the good, the bad and the ugly face of the Green movement. No doubt also, upon reading the book, he will come to the conclusion that the National Front is more 'green' than the Greens!