Development of eco-fascist narratives demonstrates evolution of extreme-right threat

by Paul Jackson

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to fresh attention on ‘eco-fascism’, or the blurring of environmentalist politics with extreme right-wing activism. For example, in the United Kingdom at the end of March 2020, images of stickers plastered on lampposts stating ‘CORONA IS THE CURE HUMANS ARE THE DISEASE’, alongside an Extinction Rebellion (XR) logo, went viral on social media after being tweeted by a fake XR East Midlands Twitter account. Extinction Rebellion activists quickly dissociated their left-wing environmentalist campaign from such activism. Linking extreme right messages with environmental concerns is not restricted to the UK. In the state of Virginia in the United States, on the day before the notorious 11 August 2017 Unite the Right demonstration in Charlottesville, prominent alt-right figure Richard Spencer published a 20-point statement online decrying Jewish people, promoting white supremacism and explaining that the natural world needed to be protected as ‘an end in itself’. Nazi-style Blood and Soil slogans were chanted at the rally itself. More worryingly, the manifestoes written by several alleged perpetrators of recent extreme-right-inspired attacks and terrorists, such as Brenton Tarrant and Patrick Crusius, have included environmental themes, used as part of their justification for their killing sprees.

An image of a fake Extinction Rebellion sticker with a message on the Covid-19 pandemic that conveys eco-fascist themes, that was posted by a now-suspended Twitter account. The stickers were left on lampposts in Bedford and Brighton. (Twitter)

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The Covid-19 pandemic has led to fresh attention on ‘eco-fascism’, or the blurring of environmentali...

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