How did Rosa Luxemburg, in her The Accumulation of Capital and other writings, analyse the development of the working class and other subordinate classes under capitalism, and how did she view the relationship between these classes and those living in ‘natural economic societies’? Following primary sources closely, the present essay reconstructs and evaluates Luxemburg’s class analysis of global society. It is shown that Luxemburg pioneered a truly global concept of solidarity from below, including the most oppressed – women and colonised peoples.
We had just finished having supper. Opposite me sat my friend, the banker—a well-known capitalist and tycoon—absent-mindedly smoking his cigar. The conversation had been gradually petering out for some time and now lay defunct between us. I tried to revive it with an idea that had just surfaced in my mind. Smiling, I turned to him and said, “I know what I’ve been meaning to ask you. Someone told me a few days ago that you used to be an anarchist.
The reappearance of fascism in many western countries threatens all the freedoms the left movements have managed to gain over the last half century. Equally disconcerting is the attempt by fascist ideologists and political groups to use ecology in the service of social reaction. This effort is not without long historical roots in Germany, both in its nineteenth-century romanticism and in the Third Reich in the present century. In order to preserve the liberatory aspects of ecology, the authors, as social ecologists, explore the German experience of fascism and derive from it historical lessons about the political use of ecology. Comprised of two essays—”Fascist Ideology: The Green Wing of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents” and “Ecology and the Modernization of Fascism in the German Ultra-Right,”—Ecofascism examines aspects of German fascism, past and present, in order to draw essential lessons from them for ecology movements both in Germany and elsewhere.
Table of Contents:
Fascist Ecology: The “Green Wing” of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents by Peter Staudenmaier
The Roots of the Blood and Soil Mystique The Youth Movement and the Weimar Era Nature in National Socialist Ideology Blood and Soil as Official Doctrine Implementing the Ecofascist Program Fascist Ecology in Context
‘Ecology’ and the Modernization of Fascism in the German Ultra-right by Janet Biehl
Neofascist ‘Ecology’ National Revolutionaries The Freedom German Workers Party The Republicans The National Democratic Party The German People’s Union Anthroposophy and the World League for the Protection of Life Rudolf Bahro: Völkisch Spirituality Liberating the ‘Brown Parts’ Social Darwinist ‘Ecology’: Herbert Gruhl A Social Ecology of Freedom
In this book first published in 2008, Jaime Semprun and René Riesel examine the attempt by predominantly First World governments and NGOs to utilize the specter of an environmental apocalypse as an alibi to save “industrial civilization” by imposing a rationed form of “survival”, justified by a terroristic propaganda campaign based on fear, enforced by an expansion of the state’s coercive powers, and facilitated by the mass conformism and resignation that “industrial society” has induced in the population by creating an “anxiogenic environment” of “insecurity and generalized instability”; “[f]or the fears proclaimed by the experts … are in reality nothing but orders”.
Herbert Marcuse, lecture at FU West Berlin 1967, published in Five Lectures
Today any form of the concrete world, of human life, any transformation of the technical and natural environment is a possibility, and the locus of this possibility is historical. Today we have the capacity to turn the world into hell, and we are well on the way to doing so. We also have the capacity to turn it into the opposite of hell. This would mean the end of utopia, that is, the refutation of those ideas and theories that use the concept of utopia to denounce certain socio-historical possibilities. It can also be understood as the “end of history” in the very precise sense that the new possibilities for a human society and its environment can no longer be thought of as continuations of the old, nor even as existing in the same historical continuum with them. Rather, they presuppose a break with the historical continuum; they presuppose the qualitative difference between a free society and societies that are still unfree, which, according to Marx, makes all previous history only the prehistory of mankind.