Perhaps the greatest “gain” from upholding the image of a demonic figure and calling out for all to hear “fear this demon, fear this demon”, is that you inspire greater interest in the demonic figure, psychically empower the demonic figure as being worthy of your fear, bring the demonic figure to the attention of potential followers (who are likely to be more interested, given the power you have bestowed upon the figure), and shown your hand as fearful and disempowered. I’ll give some examples. The most significant “achievement” of the war on terrorwas the empowerment of Jihadist-militarist-suicide-bomber ideology, with the subsequent intensification of statist measures. Similarly, the fear Christians have shown towards Satanist imagery and aesthetics has, more than anything else, gifted the idol greater psychic-influence (inspiring many young individuals turn to the trv kvlt Satanist black metal world). Donald Trump’s political popularity is also largely due to his being upheld as an image of fear for the non-Christian, non-conservative, anti-US-agenda subterranean realm of non-white, non-American, lizards.
I have no desire to empower those I find revolting and favour the destruction of idols, both saintly and demonic. It is out of this desire that I write this now. I have previously articulated multiple oppositions, critiques and challenges to green-nationalism, eco-extremism and political-misanthropy, while having received bad-faith accusations of being an ally to these ideologies. Here I am going to articulate a criticism of an attempt to challenge these ideologies, that seems to play directly into their hands. This is written with absolutely no desire to empower green-nationalism, eco-extremism or political-misanthropy, but only with a desire to disempower the image of eco-fascismbeing proliferated amidst radical discourses.
The writers of the collection Against Green Reactionaries have not sought to empower green-nationalists, eco-extremists and political-misanthropes, through their challenge to eco-fascism. Gillis did not seek to grant eco-extremism a pedalstool for the ideology to be upheld, neither did Campbell (or the publication It’s Going Down that Campbell is associated with). But they have. If I were an advocate of ITS’s practices or Anglin’s neo-Nazi ideology, I’d likely feel thankful for the writers of Against Green Reactionaries.
The main gift that this collection gives to these ideologies is that, through an attempt at linear historical-tracing, they have presented an argument to justify the falsity that environmentalism is fascistic and that fascism is eco-centric. This is the focus of the main essay within the collection, written by Bevensee and Reid-Ross, titled Confronting the Rise of Eco-Fascism Means Grappling with Complex Systems. The immediate issue with this essay is how much it is a reductionist work of Reality-construction, with rigidly delineated pathways that seeks to provide a route directly from the hypothesis to the conclusion. It’s construction is meticulous and obviously designed to perform a specific function, but this piece actually does more than its function. What this “more” is, if we are to accept the writers arguments (which I do not), it succeeds in presenting a pathway to direct environmentalists away from anarchist praxis and towards fascism. The potential added capability of this construction they have built is that of a potential means of blowing up bridges between anarchist and environmentalist activities, which would be awful to happen.
After the main essay there are three pieces focused on eco-extremism – 1 piece on the publication of the Atassa journal, written by Gillis, and 2 on ITS, 1 by Campbell and 1 joint statement from multiple Mexican anarchist groups.
Campbell’s piece is easy to sum up in his statement that “[t]he purpose of this piece is to condemn the recent acts of eco-extremists in Mexico …”. Condemnation is the focus of this piece. Condemnation is conceptually linked to the idea of divine punishment, as in the damned being sent to the demonic realm of hell – “God condemns the wicked to hell, for their sins” type positioning. This is precisely where Campbell perpetuates the same type of theological-theatrics that ITS has thrived on, as necro-psychic-capitalists. Through positioning ITS as demonic evil figures, listing what sins have landed them in hell, this piece serves to make ITS attractive to those who idolise the images of demons – like how Satanism has become more attractive to black metal loving kids, who hate their Christian parents and neighbours, precisely through their parents and neighbours condemnation of black metal music.
As I see it, the best way to challenge ITS is to humanise them, as a techno-morphic Reality, switching between virtual-realms and the technologically-mediated means of weaponry they use for their (tame) attacks, that require no animal-bodily (wild) presence. Once humanise, you can deconstruct their efforts and destroy them, as they are largely successful only in presenting opportunities for state-apparatus to strengthen itself.
The piece On No Platform and ITS, by Gillis, is focused on Little Black Cart (my former publisher) and the Atassa journal. It is a polemic that basically argues that Little Black Cart betrayed anarchists by publishing the journal, which includes anti-anarchist and non-anarchist ideas, including ideas that are terrible from an anarchist perspective. Gillis is correct that there is a lot that is terrible and revolting about the content of the Atassa journal. However, I feel that Gillis has missed what Little Black Cart seemed to intend to do, by publishing the journal. As an ideology that manifested out of disenfranchised green-anarchists, an ideology that engages in activities that are worthy of revolt and challenge, it seems more desirable to me to critically engage with eco-extremism, to deconstruct and destroy the ideology in ways that strengthen anarchist ideas and activities. To do this though, eco-extremism needs to be included within the conversation, which is uncomfortable and in many ways terrible to imagine. However, if we want to see the destruction of eco-extremism, we have to get close enough to stick a (metaphorical/discursive) knife in its body, rather than point to it and yell “demon”.
By far the best piece within the collection is the joint statement, entitled ITS, or The Rhetoric of Decay, as this piece excellently destroys the image of ITS. It is a shame that this piece is the final one and so short compared with the others, with so much space being given to pieces that seem to better serve the ideological needs of eco-extremism, green-nationalism and political misanthropy. I am grateful for this piece being published, though I feel that it would be better positioned as the first (or only) piece, as it is a better challenge to the usurpers of environmentalist thought, who would seek to use it for non-earthly politics.
My criticism’s here of the collection Against Green Reactionaries and of eco-extremist ideology draw from the same ideas that I wrote about in chapter 3 of Feral Consciousness, on terrorism supporting state structures, and chapter 5 of Feral Iconoclasm, on the destruction of icons as a means of de-structuring their authority and radical-empowerment. I have included more critiques of eco-extremism in the book I am publishing later this year, titled Feral Life.
As I stated in my essay An Eco-Pessimist Revolt Against Fascism, I will not gift any environmentalist space to fascism, because I find fascism to be entirely the enemy of environmentalist thought and action. The more individuals seek to tie ecological-praxis with fascism, even from an anti-fascist perspective, the more they grant space to fascism that I have no desire to see it gain. I do no know what would be worse, anarchists to denounce environmentalist praxis out of it being tied to fascism by anti-fascists or environmentalists embracing fascism out of belief that fascism shares values with environmentalism. Both seem terrible. My concern is that one or both of these will be the main achievement of individuals, like the writers included in Again Green Reactionaries, who grant eco-fascismsuch attention as to make it real – as ideation eventually reaches production.
As I have been accused of this before, when refusing to embrace this concept that ultimately only serves to build bridges between fascism and environmentalism, I will state here that this is not “only semantics” – though there is a semiotic-linguistic aspect to my argument. Language affects perception; this much is obvious. Like it or not – perception matters. My desire is only to challenge these ideologies that I have no tolerance towards and part of that involves destroying any signs that seek to point environmentalist down the pathway towards fascism or anarchists away from environmentalism.