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The Menace of Eco-Fascism (2018) (nybooks.com)
50 points by casefields 69 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 52 comments

> The sheer novelty of Dooley’s existence has proven irresistible to journalists—netting her gawking profiles in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and on National Public Radio—but that coverage has tended to obscure her extremism. Alongside advocating for sustainable energy, Dooley’s other pet issues are opposing amnesty for undocumented immigrants and increasing border security.

Enforcing current immigration law, which would leave legal immigration into the US at the near-record 1.1 million per year, is now (presumably anti-immigrant) extremism? In almost any other country, this would be pro-immigrant extremism!

To give a sense of comparison, 15.1% of the US population is foreign born, compared to 1.7% for Japan, and 0.1% for China.

For New Zealand it's 25%, Australia 22%, the UK 14%, France 9%, Germany 12%, Canada 22%, the Netherlands 19%

Frankly 15% is about average for Western Countries

I think talking about averages is somewhat misleading. There has been a steep upward trend in the US and Europe. In the 1960s we'd be talking about less than 5% for the US and Europe so that is a big change. It's fair to say that there have been major policy changes over the past 50 years but it's misleading -- I'm not accusing you, just pointing out -- to say it's an average because that implies a steady state.

I don't think USA/EU is at 15% yet. Europe trends just a little less than the USA (at least from 2016). I was just skimming this article today (below). I may have misinterpreted it so feel free to set the record straight. See Fig 1.

Peri, G. 2016. Immigrants, Productivity, and Labor Markets. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 30(4): 3–30.

Canada and Australia have had very high rates for a long time. Australia's is higher though. I'm not sure why Peri chose to combine the series because they are quite different but higher than the US.

The AU/NZ (and Canada too I suppose) cases are interesting because they all have very overheated housing markets and prices are historically high relative to average wages. The USA went through a market correction and let the housing bubble burst but these markets did not. I've heard it argued that increased immigration to major housing markets is considered to be one way to keep the construction industry and house/rent prices sustainable. I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts or insight into this.

Maybe "average" was the wrong word, perhaps "unremarkable" is a better one.

Before Trump the US was proud to describe itself as a nation of immigrants (I was one for 20 years) but Americans have this myth that they take in far more immigrants than anywhere else, it's just not true

Well it does a pretty remarkable job. Recall too that the stats are foreign born as a percentage of the population (Peri, 2016 that I mentioned above).

The USA is larger than all Canada, Australia, UK and NZ combined. So, let's not pretend that the US is not taking new comers at all. We're still in the ballpark of close to 50 million people. This compares to about 7 million in Canada.

I think that percentage gives a reasonable job of looking at the impact that immigrants have on the existing system - NZ takes in far fewer immigrants than the US, but compared with their population they're taking more and would be expected to have a larger impact on society (NZ has lower taxes that the US)

If you look at countries sorted by population [0] - and my justification for that is that communities don't scale up linearly - the US, Germany, Turkey and the UK are clear outliers.

And Australia isn't necessarily a target; Australia is basically importing a new population every century - ignoring natural population growth. That sort of growth requires a bit of thinking to justify; it isn't going to be for everyone. And if it is even achievable off a high starting population (without overwhelming infrastructure, etc) is questionable.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_net_migra...

> France 9%

These numbers don't reflect the complex reality in France. Most of the population descends from immigration (although only 9% directly from their parents).

It's very rare especially in big cities to meet people with only "French" origins (except in the bourgeoisie). And even those "French" origins are ethnically/culturally varied (bretagne/ch'nord/occitanie/martinique/corse...) even though many people from these places will tell you they've been colonized by France and they want to get rid of the imperialist invader.

What i just said is probably true of other countries. I just know more about France.

In the US everyone except for the native Americans are descended from immigrants .... something in the range of 99% - here in NZ it's more like 80%

China and Japan are both quite unfriendly to outsiders and ridiculous choices to compare with a country formed almost entirely of immigrants from the quite recent past.

In the past few years Japan has realised it's heading for demographic issues, it's opening up its immigration, I expect this to change quite quickly

Did it become any easier to get a permanent visa for instance ?

Japan has a long history of allowing a mass of low wage workers to come in with very bounded conditions (work limited to elderly care for instance) and it rarely translates to the worker staying in Japan ore than a few years. I don’t know if it’s what you were thinking about ?

Japan is actually getting quite friendly lately, as a full-time remote worker have been investigating moving there for a while.

The Japanese government is opening up, but it's gonna take some time for Japanese society to do the same. I can tell you from experience that integrating as a foreigner in Japan is...challenging.

Eh, such generalizations, I've lived and worked in very racist homogenous societies for years and still never struggled to find local friends.

There's always cool folks to befriend, unless the insinuation here is no foreigner should move to Japan until a hundred million people change their ways?

My opinion is _we_ all should change, and waiting for that to happen may take a while.

True, but still hardly any kind of extremism.

Except for a very small minority, aren't you all immigrants in the US? Or is there a rule for when immigrants can label themselves 'natives'?

American here. The way we use the word "immigrant" is that if you were born here and grew up here, you are not considered an immigrant.

Unless you're not white, in which case you're called an "anchor baby" or "second-generation immigrant".

This is how Europeans (and maybe not only us) commonly think about Americans, all immigrants from Europe first, from the rest of the world next. However probably it's not how they think about themselves. I'd like to hear from them.

Close to 100% of Americans are descended from people who were foreign born.

> The sheer novelty of Dooley’s existence has proven irresistible to journalists

This is the real problem. It doesn't matter if your ideas are good or even popular, if they're controversial enough the news media will magnify them for you.


Please don't take HN threads further into ideological flamewar. That just leads to predictable, tedious...flamewars.


> Giving everyone equal rights and opportunities is a supposedly founding principle of your "democracy".

It's not 'my' democracy - I and my ancestors remained in Europe. And lets not engage in revisionist history - that founding principle was explicitly limited to "free White persons of good character" [1]. While the at once ineffective and cruel manner the US enforces its borders leaves much to be desired, that doesn't make the very concept of controlling immigration unjust. There are countries other besides the US to immigrate to.

As for your comparison with Nazi Germany, perhaps it would have more weight if the US was incredibly restrictive with immigration (and, as always in these matters, ignoring that people weren't scrambling to get into Nazi Germany..) But as it stands, not only does the US have the largest rate of immigration in the world [2] (though not per-capita), but it also grants citizenship to anyone born there - a practice almost exclusive to the Americas [3].

I'm sorry if this reply seems harsh, but I find it utterly mind-boggling how you could compare the Nazi ethno-state, to a country where the majority ethnicity is voluntarily becoming a minority. They are going from 87% white in 1970 [4], to minority-white in 2044 [5]. That's in 74 years, a single lifespan, from overwhelming majority, to minority. Literally the opposite of what Nazi Germany was doing. But if this is comparable to ethnic cleansing, then what does that make almost all other countries? Some sort of ultra-nazis?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalization_Act_of_1790

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_net_migra...

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_soli

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_State...

[5] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/22/us/white-americans-minori...

Glad we agree on some points. Also your reply does not sound harsh to me but rather like healthy skepticism.

> if the US was incredibly restrictive with immigration

This is the case! Take a look at ICE raids on workplaces/housing. Look at police and fascist militias preventing migrants passing the southern border from getting help (eg. destroying survival necessities such as water buckets left by humanitarian non-profits). Look at the for-profit business of locking up people (the prison industrial complex) making shit-tons of money on migrant retention centers.

I mean if millions of people are demanding now to #AbolishICE, it's precisely because the US has a very harsh policy against immigrants.

> But if this is comparable to ethnic cleansing, then what does that make almost all other countries? Some sort of ultra-nazis?

Did i say the US government was currently doing ethnic cleansing on its own soil? Sorry that was not my intention. There's plenty subtler ways to destroy people's lives than outright genocide.

I chose the word carefully - the US is definitely, as you say, very cruel with immigration enforcement (due to all the reasons you pointed out), but it is not restrictive, due to the large legal immigration.

For example, if they allowed everyone in the world to immigrate, except for 10 guys, but they enforced the border using flamethrowers against those 10 guys, then they would be cruel, but not restrictive.

As for implying that you said the US was engaged in anything similar to genocide, that was not my intention either, sorry. The sentiment was more that, if you were to compare the US to Nazi Germany, then almost every other country would compare even closer (on the topic of immigration, at least).

In the end our business leaders and state leaders are too busy exploiting science to empower and enrich themselves to have any actual concern about science, i.e. ask environmental scientists what they should do in their business and political decisions... And similarly the alt-right is weary of science because it gets in the way of its dreams of domination, control, supremacy and tribalism. They have more in common, the supposed would be Eco-fascists and the business interests than the casual observer is led to believe.

Science is better paired with idealists who can imagine a better world using science than with rationalists who are simply exploited by business interest and the state for more power and profit... solving trivial issues like how to get more eyeballs for ad dollars.

“These fascist love the planet, and here is why that’s a bad thing”

Give me a break.

The primary caution of the article is of fascist or nativist tendencies infiltrating environmental organizations and movements.

I guess the time has come to point you all to the archdruid: https://www.ecosophia.net/the-next-twilight-of-environmental...

What was that? Hitler was a vegetarian?

FWIW, the environment really is the ultimate non-partisan issue and I think we are about one or two heat waves or water shortages away from finding that out.

This made me think we'll see unilateral geoengineering by e.g Bangladesh before it gets too hot: https://spaswell.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/dr-gwynne-dyer-geo...

I don't think there's anything intrinsically authoritarian in ecology, if anything evolution is anarchy, but I can entertain (and be dismayed by) the thought that e.g. Chinese Communism may turn out to be the successful system in a hundred years. Recall "How is China able to provide enough food to feed over 1B people?" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20537409 that describes regenerative ecological farm systems.

At a local level environmental decisions are highly political. Try building a road, a wind farm, a cycle lane, or a pedestrian precinct and you will get a lot of anger and passion. And a lot of interventions have a number of unintended consequences that affect people.

A lot of these environmental decisions have winners and losers. That makes them political and partisan. But politicians often don't want to deal with that. They want to delegate authority to a bunch of experts and independent organisations who can make objective decisions. Except there are still loosers who will be angry. And they just see a faceless beurocracy that doesn't care what they think.

We should accept that the environment is political and try and win the argument. Stop relying on science and actually pursuade people on an emotional and moral level.

Personally, I think the problem is Spiritual, and no amount of politics will fix it. We are divorced from Nature, we treat life as a thing to exploit rather than neighbors to live with. I don't think we can save ourselves without a deep shift in our world view, a renewal of our relationship with life.

I think we will either reach a crisis and transform (in a biologically-rooted variant of the Singularity, IRL not cyberspace) or we will crash and burn.

Of course, there's a third possibility: we scrape by without crashing and without spiritual renaissance, e.g. some combination of geo-engineering and ecological agriculture lets us off the climate-apocalypse hook. In the first two scenarios we don't need politics anymore, but in the third it still exists and is caught up in the strange loops of modern space-age-a-go-go life.

They were missing another prominent case: Jörg Urban, now the AFD leader in Sachsen, who was a former Green League party leader. I guess you can call that an eco-fascist party, but I'm not an expert. You may call him a Neonazi officially though. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6rg_Urban


In Europe environmentalism is a fundamental part of every left leaning party and overpopulation is a topic old as stone — parties usually have some kind of stance here that goes as follows:

“Do what you can to raise the standard in Africa while making that investment help their economies and help the planet by absorbing CO2. A raised living standard reduces birth rates and migration while at the same time it could help the environment if done right.”

There are ideas like solar farms in africa that produce hydrogen which is in turn beeing shipped and used for electricity etc.

So to say they don’t have concepts says more about you than about those who you try to criticise here..

If we haven't learned how to live sustainably by 2100, we'll have wrecked the planet anyway. Future environmentalism will likely be about helping developing countries skip the extremely polluting stage of development.

I think that many 'carbon offset' payments work by paying for less polluting technology to be installed in developing countries in the method you describe.

You mean by 2010

The KISS solution would be to shoot all 1.4B cows on earth. That would slow climate change significantly and give us enough time to transition the world into using renewable resources. Also before I get downvoted for suggesting such an appalling idea as going on a cow murdering genocide, stop and reflect about the origin of that big piece of meat you ate for dinner tonight. Let's kill these cows once and for all.

Methane accounts for less than 20% of all GHG emissions (in CO2 equivalent units), and cows are only responsible for a part of that. Reducing the number of cattle is important, but killing all cattle would only buy us a few years before we have to completely decarbonize the global economy. In industrialized economies, agriculture's relative impact is even lower, since we emit so many GHGs from other sources.

It's still a significant contributor of methane. This change wont happen overnight of course but more alt meat companies such as beyond meat and impossible burger will be able to engineer superior food products that will eventually price real meat out of the market. The cow populations will suffer slowly as will their corporate slave masters.

Cows are happier being farmed than not being.

[citation needed]

The extinct elephant in the room is the fact that those cows are going to be slaughtered for food anyway.

As a human maximalist, I could care less about what those cows think. The problem we face as a society is that too many of us are cow maximalist to the point we're prioritizing these cows lives over our own. Buying that cheese burger at McDonalds is a vote for more cows which has far more negative externalities than eating veggies.

Cow meat makes me strong. Veggies makes me poop.

What you have just stated is a very good example of eco fascism.

But may nevertheless be necessary. Polite neoliberal capitalism will not see us through this challenge.

Are there any steers in the theater tonight? Get 'em up against the wall...

Cow breeding is an almost entirely human-controlled process, we could phase them out in a few years while eating them unwastefully. But the problem is not the cows, it's the owners whose livelihoods you've stolen.

Also, destroying calorie production at gunpoint is historically a great way to start mass death human famines.

Sounds good to me. The moral argument is null and void considering we already participate in immesurable evil through mechanized industrial murder of billions of animals for consumption. Killing them all, except a small breeding stock so we don't lose the genetic qualities of cattle, in order to save our environment seems like a very wise thing to do indeed. I'd vote for this in a heartbeat.

The only arguments against it are capitalist.

I did not have kids, I won't have kids. If you want to have a lasting impact on earth, refrain from having kids. Problem solved.

In the meantime, I'll keep eating beef in an effort to get rid of the 1.4B cows you want dead.

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