New Right, fascism and globalisation

E.C.Apling E.C.Apling at
Thu Aug 5 02:06:34 MDT 1999

I agree with Philip that it is a great mistake to regard all indigenous and
ecological struggles as inherently progressive.  Only too often they have
obscurantist, anti-rationalist, anti-scientific and ultra-conservative

Glorious examples which are creating havoc in Britain are one the one hand
the Greenpeace Anti-GMO campaign led by Lord Melchett which is nothing mless
than anti-science and anti-agriculture terrorism - with a spate of
destructive attacks on experimental crop trials; and the so-called Animal
Rights campaigners with their attacks on establishments and the homes of
individual scientists involved in research which necessarily involves the
use of animals.  Such campaigns cannot by any stretch of the imagination be
termed progressive - and indeed have fascistic overtones.  To some of these
people the main problem on earth seems to be the existence of humans
(presumably THEY belong to a different RACE!!!! [genus?]).

I also doubt whether the CPGB merits the term sect - it is just too early to
tell with such a new organisation;  I would certainly apply the term to the
SPGB (Socialist Party of Great Britain) - which has been crying in the
wilderness for the whole of the past 70-80 years with no discernible links
with any effective progressive campaigns.

As to indigenous campaigns - I just plead ignorance - though here I also
have my doubts when they extend to demands for retribution or recompense for
injustices suffered in past centuries, when common people in Britain and
other major countries ALSO were equally downtrodden....

Greetings from
Mailto:E.C.Apling at

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-marxism at
> [mailto:owner-marxism at]On Behalf Of Philip L Ferguson
> Sent: 05 August 1999 06:47
> To: marxism at
> Subject: Re:New Right, fascism and globalisation
> Lou P writes:
> >On the other hand, we are also dealing with a serious lack on the part of
> >Marxism to come to terms with indigenous and environmental struggles.
> >Welch's own sect, the CPGB, printed an article soon after LM aired its
> >infamous Channel 4 documentary "Against Nature" that failed to come to
> >grips with the pro-corporate tilt of the tv show. The answer to
> Veldman and
> >Goldsmith is not "brown Marxism" but a class struggle orientation to
> >indigenous and ecological struggles.
> Perhaps "a class struggle orientation to indigenous and ecological
> struggles" *is* "brown Marxist", whatever that means.  In other
> words, that
> a Marxist orientation is to be highly critical towards these things.
> On David Welch and the CPGB:
> Although I disagree with the CPGB on a few important things, they
> generally
> seem keen to engage a range of opinions in their paper and open it up to
> other groups and to differences within the organisation.  Indeed
> they allow
> public tendencies within their group, as far as I understand.  They also
> fought very hard for a united left list in the recent Euro elections in
> Britain, without regard to the fact that they would only be a small
> minority within such an electoral bloc.
> To dismiss people's views as those of a 'sect' every time they disagree
> with one of your shibboleths is not helpful.
> Now the substantive point/s:
> One of the problems with your conception of indigenous and ecological
> struggles is that you seem to find them inherently progressive.  I cannot
> see that this is the case at all.
> Ecological politics tend to defend the status quo, in particular in
> alibi-ing the inability of capitalism to deliver *more* and *better*.
> During the early 1970s phoney 'oil shortage', the Greens nicely gave the
> oil cartles a hand by claiming that the 'shortage' was genuine
> and that the
> world was running out of oil.  Of course, the shortage was actually one
> contrived by the 'seven sisters' who controlled the global oil
> industry and
> who wished to push up prices.  Known oil reserves now are larger than what
> they were in 1973, even though we have used a huge amount of oil in the
> meantime.
> Ecological politics, I would suggest, have an inherent conservatism.  Much
> of what they are about is preserving an old world which may well have been
> the best possible in its time, but is no longer so.  It is no wonder that
> fascists are often attracted to ecology; the subjective impulse
> is the same.
> On indigenous struggles, well there is a whole problem there as
> well, which
> I am somewhat loath to get into as Lou and I are on quite good terms at
> present, and this is one of the biggest differences between us
> and attempts
> to get into it usually lead into all kinds of problems.
> One of the big problems in terms of indigenous struggles is that there is
> no way that pre-capitalist social formations can be preserved in the
> capitlaist world economy.  So what usually happens is that indigenous
> claims become a way of demanding resources in order to develop capitalist
> enterprise and place a narrow layer of 'indigenous' leaders in the new
> business ventures.
> This process is highly developed in New Zealand in relation to Maori.
> Becoming 'Maori' is a career move for a section of the middle class.  The
> leader of the Ngai Tahu 'tribe' used to identify himself as 'Irish'; now
> he's 'Maori' and his 'consultancy agency' earns several hundred thousand
> dollars a year for 'services' it provides to Ngai Tahu Trust
> Board of which
> he just happens to be the leader.  Ngai Tahu corporate headquarters
> building alone employs 95 people.  Ngai Tahu is not a tribe, let alone a
> nation; it is a business.  Indeed it is the largest corporate property
> owner in the South Island.  And the much-vaunted attachment of Maori to
> nature and the land and so on - which is not distinctly Maori but
> common to
> all people, including Europeans, in precapitalist societies - goes right
> out the window when possibilities for making big bucks from property sales
> and 'development' arise.
> Meanwhile the vast majority of Maori continue to be stuck in poverty, high
> unemployment, high rates of imprisonment, and all the other
> statistics that
> accompany sections of society being racially oppressed.  Attempts to
> artifically preserve pre-capitalist culture, culture which has been pretty
> completely corroded by 150 years of capitlaism anyway, is no solution at
> all.
> Lou, we will probably disagree forever about this; but I think you have
> bought into a crock.
> Cheers,
> Phil

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