Fascist groups are using environmental propaganda to communicate their own message
The marrying of green and fascist groups is not something many people would associate, but it seems to be making an appearance.
There is a staunch green movement within Germany. Germany, as a powerful European nation and some might say, forerunners of Europe; have long advocated green agendas.
Recycling has been an integral part of German culture for some time now. It was as attune to Germans, as putting out the black bin was to us back in the 1990’s. Separating plastic, paper and glass was par for the course, and was surprising to hear from my perspective as a British citizen.
It is also true that Germany is an agricultural nation. Much of Germany is not bordered by water and their climate is moderate. This means no longer season than any other: spring lasts as long as summer.
Also, they are the third largest exporter of agriculture in the world.
Germany No Longer An Agricultural Nation
Yet, there seems to be an attitude towards German agriculture that presumes Germany to no longer be, an agricultural nation. Wikipedia quotes information that suggests German agriculture to have largely demised due to a decrease in employment since the 19th century. This is in reference to the advance in technology that has meant less need for manual labor.
However, the yield has largely increased due to technological advances. After World War II, a farmer was able to feed ten people per yield, but now that figure has risen to 142.
This is not information that suggests Germany to no longer be an agricultural nation. Half of Germany is used for farming. The Wikipedia article does cite problems within the information they have, as it only relies upon one source.
In fact, the Wikipedia article references sources that are largely promoting organic farming. The one other source used is to discuss migration and the birth of industrialisation.
From the outset, it appears the Wikipedia article is suggesting globalisation as a bad course in history for Germany’s agricultural prosperity. The article begins denoting Germany as: no longer an agricultural nation, for the fewer people it involves.
It is true that Germany’s agriculture only accumulates a GDP of 6.74 Billion Euros, which is way behind its manufacturing and construction industries. However, we live in a modern world whereby other industries have naturally taken over.
Even by Wikipedia standards, there is a suggestion that globalisation is being fiercely opposed within Germany. At least from an agricultural standpoint. On the contrary, Germany has benefitted from globalisation within agriculture: it has meant an increase in demand for German crops. It has meant Germany has become the third largest exporter of agriculture in the world.
‘Despite the sector’s relatively small work force, that continues to decline in the 21st century and the mere 0.9 percent value share in the national GDP (2007), its use of more than half of the country’s surface area, its impact on the environment and its fundamental connection to health issues, makes it politically very important’.
This is further implied by the statement above. Some fractions of Germany are not happy about globalisation and what it has done to farming. And perhaps this is good fodder for fascist groups to grasp a hold of.
10% of farming within Germany is now organic, and this is set to grow. It is particularly appealing for farmers because it yields a much higher return for fewer crops.
It also provides an outlet for fascism: use the farmers converting to organic, when they are at the peak of their intolerance, having had enough of globalisation.
A New Ideology
It can be understood why there might be growing affiliation towards a green ideology within farming communities.
Green groups are also advocating for wind farms. Yet, with half the country used for farming alone, this is difficult.
Hypothetically, if more farmers were to move into organic farming, this would create more land for the wind farm initiative.
As well as creating more fertile land for Germany to grow in agriculture and renewable energy, it also creates room for some far right groups to spread their wings.
Fascist Groups Look to Manipulate Green Movement for Own Gain
There have been movements within green groups appearing as the environmental agenda, but with a very different message in the background.
The Guardian reports of one particular supposed green gathering held in Germany. An event offering all that organic produce has to bestow, organic canapés, and discussion, centred around ‘farms instead of agricultural factories’. However, this was then followed up with ‘let’s chase the globalists off our acres’.
Apparently, these fascist agendas are making their way into environmentalist groups as a trend, rather than a sole event. Daniela Gottschlich (political scientist) who conducted a survey to look at this trend, found many environmental groups to have contact with far right groups.
The messaging is subtle, yet effective. Marr their message with ours and somehow, quietly creep our way into the mainstream.
Prime Ground for Far Right Movement
The current growing frustration within the farming community, regarding government policies on the use of pesticides, could very well encourage a move into organic farming. And with it, a perpetual anger at the ‘globalisation’ inflicted upon them. The use of pesticides has been challenged by Germany’s European neighbours, who question their safety. It has in turn pushed Germany to limit their use within production.
And so, fascist groups are using ‘organic farming’ and ‘green’ initiatives to impinge their own ideals. Profiting from the timing.
These situations are prime feeding fodder for fascist groups, looking to infiltrate a vulnerable situation. And tired Germans uncertain of the future. Vulnerability, anger, as well as ‘enthusiasm for a new way of life’ are often strategies taken by the far right.
Hitler’s Nazi Youth was born on the fresh enthusiasm and camaraderie of the young-revolution. Take what people are tired of, and use it to bear new ideals. Whether they are aware of the real message or not.
Vulnerability and naivety are common ground for fascist groups and a scary prospect for Germany’s farmers, who are often the backbone of the community.