Most literally, ecofascism (ecological fascism) names a collectivist political regime that uses authoritarian measures to achieve its major goal, protecting nature. No such regime has yet existed, although German National Socialism (in)famously included two components that later, both explicitly or implicitly, became viewed as ecofascist. The first was an organic-corporatist authoritarianism that overrides all individual liberties and the second was a nativist racism that justified protecting German blood and land (Blut und Boden) from the polluting presences of non-Germans. Beginning in the early 1980s, claims of “ecofascism” have been used by philosophers of varying kinds to criticize a range of views that could be regarded as “eco-authoritarian.” Some have also used “ecofascism” to attack arguments that environmental wholes trump the interests of individual organisms (human and nonhuman). In the 1990s a number of historians, literary critics, cultural studies scholars, and philosophers, turning attention to the intersection of nineteenth-century nature Romanticism and racism, have argued, without explicitly using the term “ecofascism,” that the mainstream American environmentalist movement could usefully analyze the darker origins and consequences of some of its own assumptions and aims.

This essay may be found on page 64 of the printed volume.

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