The National Socialist Movement of the United States and the turn to environmentalism – Greenfingers or Brownshirts?

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review

Abstract

One of the largest North American neo-Nazi groups, the National Socialist Movement, became a prominent feature of protests especially around the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Through a multimodal analysis of its visual propaganda and supporting texts, this chapter explores how a key anti-democratic extreme-right actor within the United States far right has circulated traditional fascist and National Socialist tropes via the language of environmentalism. The chapter explores how the traditional Nazi understanding of the linkages between people and place, known as Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil), meant that environmentalist language and concern of the landscape could be used to transmit complex ideas to those within and without the movement. It also examines how appeals to a greater environmental good, and threat to the environment, are utilised in ecofascist rhetoric. This includes consideration of how visual discourse around the environment helped create a sacred space, and how this helped develop the sense of a cultic milieu. It also shows how ‘eco-activism’, custodianship of ‘the land’ (and its border) and outdoorsmanship were used to create a welcoming environmental space that the movement staked a claim to, and which it used to try and draw people deeper into the milieu.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImaging far-right environments: Visual communication and the politics of Nature
EditorsBernhard Forchtner
PublisherManchester University Press
Chapter10
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Environmentalism
  • Environmental activitism
  • neo-Nazi
  • Ecofascism
  • Settler colonialism
  • cultic milieu
  • sacred space
  • heroic nationalism
  • green politics
  • fascist minimum
  • ecology

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