Ecology Viewed from the RightWilliam de Vere
Whatever its contemporary associations, the natural home of political ecology lies on the Right – not the false Right associated with the Republican Party in America, of course, whose conservatism is little more than a desperate and self-destructive attachment to the liberal principles of the Enlightenment, but what Julius Evola has called the True Right: The timeless devotion to order, hierarchy, and justice, entailing implacable hostility against the anarchic and disintegrating principles of the modern age.
However, while a commitment to ecological integrity has long been a mainstay of the European Right, in the United States it is typically regarded as a plank in the progressive political platform – part of its prepackaged offering of open borders, economic redistribution, and amoral individualism. The absence of any broad Right-wing consensus on environmental questions in this country is partially due to the fact that our mainstream conservative party, a tense coalition of Protestant fundamentalists and neoliberal oligarchs, has proven unable (or unwilling) to actually conserve most vestiges of traditional society. This includes the purity, wholeness, and integrity of our native land, which constitute a significant part of the American national heritage. Articulating a Rightist approach to ecology while exposing its subversion by the political Left therefore remains a necessary task, due to its invariably progressive connotations in this country.
My argument for the essential place of ecology in any program of American Restoration, as well as my ideas concerning the form it should take, will differ markedly from other well-known “conservative” approaches. It is not premised merely upon our duty to wisely conserve natural resources for future human use, nor upon the restorative power of natural beauty and recreation, nor is it a patriotic commitment to preserve the heritage of our native land. These have their place, but are subordinate to the ultimate principle of ecology rightly understood: that the natural world and its laws are a primordial expression of the cosmic order and accordingly deserve our respect. Recapturing the metaphysical and ethical outlook of the traditional world, and restoring a society in accordance with it, therefore demands a defense of the natural order from those who would seek to subvert it.
To begin, it is necessary to distinguish between the Right- and Left-wing variants of political ecology, which differ so greatly in their metaphysical foundations and political ramifications as to constitute two wholly separate approaches to ecological preservation.
Leftist or progressive ecology is essentially an outgrowth of Enlightenment ideals of liberty and egalitarianism, extended to the natural world. Progressive ecology comes in two guises. The most well-publicized is the elite, technocratic, internationalist version associated with the European Greens, the American Democratic Party, and myriad NGOs, international agencies, and celebrity advocates across the globe. When it is sincere (and not merely a power grab or a cross upon which to nail ecocidal white patriarchs), this variant of progressive ecology pins its hopes on clean energy, international accords, sustainable development, and humanitarian aid as the necessary means by which to usher in an ecologically sound society. Its symbolic issue is global warming, fault for which is assigned almost exclusively to the developed world and which can be defeated through regulations penalizing these nations for their historic sins.
The other version is more avowedly radical in its political prescriptions, and might best be understood as the ecological arm of the New Left. It finds its army among the adherents of the post-1980s Earth First! and the Earth and Animal Liberation fronts, as well as green anarchists, anarcho-primitivists, and ecofeminists; its tactics are mass demonstrations, civil disobedience, and minor acts of sabotage that are sometimes branded “eco-terrorism.” Activists subscribing to these views tend to reject civilization altogether, and work to combat its many evils – hierarchy, racism, patriarchy, speciesism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, statism, fascism, white privilege, industrial capitalism, and so on – in order to end the exploitation and oppression of all life on Earth. “Total liberation” is their rallying cry. Though drawing upon romantic primitivism and New England Transcendentalism, the philosophical foundations of Leftist ecology can be traced more directly to the ‘60s counter-culture, critical race theory, feminism, and the peace and civil rights movements.
Despite their ostensible commitment to natural preservation, both variants of Leftist ecology (for reasons discussed below) ultimately devolve into a fixation on “environmental justice” and facile humanitarianism, lacking the features of a genuinely holistic, integral ecological worldview. However, despite the apparently monolithic nature of American environmentalism, the progressive understanding of ecology is not the only one to take root in this country.
To many of its earliest prophets, such as the Romantic poets and New England Transcendentalists, as well as nineteenth-century nature philosophers and wilderness advocates, nature mysticism was the contemporary expression of a primordial doctrine, one that emphasizes natural order and a devotion to forces that transcend mankind. For men of the West, this ancient doctrine and its understanding of the cosmos are expressed, symbolically and theoretically, in the traditional Indo-European religions and their philosophical offshoots.
According to some proponents of this tradition, while primordial man – with his unfettered access to divine reality – might have possessed this wisdom in its entirely, when mankind fell from his early state, these ancient teachings receded into distant memory. They are dimly echoed in the traditional religious doctrines of the ancient world, such as the old European paganisms, Vedic Hinduism, and early Buddhism. Philosophical traces of this old wisdom can also be discerned in the metaphysics of the Pythagoreans, Neoplatonists, and Stoics.
While certain strains of Christianity have emphasized a strictly dualistic and anti-natural conception of the cosmos, this is not the only or even the predominant view. The more esoteric Christian theologians and mystics (largely Europeans influenced by their ancestral pantheism or Neoplatonism) have also regarded the natural world as an unfolding of divine reality, expressed in the theology of Franciscan and Rhineland mysticism, as well as the Christian Hermetism of the Renaissance.
Finally, to counter the development of Enlightenment liberalism, socialism, scientific materialism, and industrialism in the modern era, Romanticism and German Idealism offered a new artistic and philosophical iteration of the ancient holistic worldview, which later achieved its most radical expression in the anti-anthropocentrism of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Robinson Jeffers.
Of course it would be an exaggeration to claim that all of these thinkers were proto-ecologists or, for that matter, even remotely concerned with the preservation of wild nature. The point is rather to understand how they all offer, in languages and concepts adapted to different cultures and epochs, a particular way of approaching one primordial truth: that the cosmos is an interconnected, organic whole, a natural order which demands our submission.
The fundamental metaphysical orientation of the traditional world, and therefore of the True Right, might be technically described as “panentheistic emanationism.” Simply put, there is an ultimate reality, a silent ground that contains and transcends all that is, known variously as God, Brahman, the Absolute, the Tao, the One, or Being. All that exists is an unfolding or emanation of this primordial oneness, from the highest deities and angels to material elements in the bowels of the Earth. While there is a hierarchy of being, all that exists has dignity insofar as it participates in this divine unfolding. Everything in the cosmos is an emanation of this transcendent reality, including all things on Earth and in heaven: the animals, the plants, the mountains, the rivers and seas, and weather patterns, as well as the biological, chemical, and ecosystemic processes that give them order and being.
This includes the race of man, which occupies a unique station in the cosmic hierarchy. Into the primordial oneness, the seamless garment that linked all other known creatures in their unbroken fealty to the natural law, human self-consciousness arose. Though partaking of the material form of other animals and “lower” orders of creation, mankind also possesses reason and self-will, introducing multiplicity into the divine unity. We find ourselves between Earth and Heaven, as it were.
On the one hand, this renders us capable of transcending the limitations of the material world and obtaining insight into higher levels of being, thereby functioning as an aspect of “nature reflecting on itself.” By the same token, unique among other known emanations of the Godhead, we are capable of acting out of self-will, violating natural law and setting ourselves and our own intelligence up as rivals to the Absolute. In addition, given our self-will, artificial desires, and unnaturally efficient means of obtaining them, humans cannot in good conscience pursue the purely natural ends of propagation, hedonism, and survival at any costs. To truly achieve his nature, to reintegrate himself into that primordial oneness from which he is presently alienated, man must transcend the merely human and align his will with that of the Absolute. Certain humans are capable of approaching this state: These are the natural aristocrats, the arhats, the saints, the Übermenschen.
Of course, given our flawed and fallen nature, most humans will remain attached to their self-will and material interests. Thus, while the religion of egalitarianism proposes a basic anthropocentrism whereby all humans are equal simply by virtue of being human, in the traditional doctrine this is negated by the fact of human inequality. As Savitri Devi observed, a beautiful lion is of greater worth than a degenerate human, given the lion’s greater conformity to the natural order and divine Eidos. For this reason, both traditional metaphysics and an ecology viewed from the Right require that we reject the sentimental humanitarianism of the modern Left, according to which each and every human life (or, indeed, non-human life, in the case of animal rights) has equal value.
An additional implication of this view is that, humans being unequal in their ability to approach the divine and to exercise power justly, social arrangements must ensure rule by the higher type. This is the essence of the tripartite Indo-European social structure; the caste system of priest, warrior, and merchant/artisan that formed the basis of traditional societies. The regression of castes characteristic of the modern world, the collapse of all traditional social structures and the enshrinement of democratic rule, does not truly mean we are self-ruled. It merely means that instead of being ruled by priestly (spiritual) or kingly (noble) values, we are ruled at best by bourgeois (economic) or at worst by plebeian (anarchic) values. The values of the bourgeois and the plebeian are invariably oriented towards comfort, pleasure, and acquisition, rather than transcendence or honor. The tripartite organization is therefore necessary in order to place a check on humanity’s most profane and destructive impulses, towards itself and towards the natural world.
The corollary to this outlook is a suspicion of the philosophical underpinnings of late modernity, with its unbridled reductionism, atomism, and purely instrumental view of man. Other sociopolitical implications follow.
Rightist ecology entails a rejection of both Marxist-Communist and neoliberal economics, the former for its egalitarian leveling and both for their reduction of man to a purely economic being. In addition to its toxicity for the human spirit, this tyranny of economics leads humans to regard the world not as the garment of God but as a mere standing reserve, a collection of resources for the satisfaction of human desires.
While advocating for technology that genuinely improves human life and lessens human impact on other species, the Right-wing ecologist rejects technology which encourages ugliness, hedonism, weakness, and feckless destruction.
While understanding the importance of cities as centers of culture and commerce, the Right-wing ecologist prefers the Italian hill town, attuned to the contours of the land, with a cathedral standing at its highest point, over the inhuman modernist metropolis or manufactured suburb.
This ecology also entails an opposition to excessive human population growth, which threatens spiritual solitude, the beauty of the wilderness, and the space needed for speciation to continue. Quality and quantity are mutually exclusive.
Additionally, contrary to the “totalitarian” slur often employed against it, the True Right believes that difference and variety is a gift from God. Rather than viewing this as a categorical imperative to bring as much diversity as possible into one place, the right seeks to preserve cultural, ethnic, and racial distinctions. It should therefore also strive to preserve the world’s distinct ecosystems and species, as well as human diversity of race and culture, against feckless destruction by human actors (unavoidable natural catastrophes are another matter). As the world of mankind sinks into greater corruption, the natural world remains as a reflection of eternal, higher values, a unified whole unfolding in accordance with the divine order.
A possible objection bears discussion. All Indo-European beliefs, and indeed most traditional doctrines the world over, posit an inevitable end to this world. Whether it comes to a close with the Age of Iron, the Second Coming, the Age of the Wolf, or the Kali Yuga, most teach that this cosmic cycle must end in order to make way for a new one. This generally entails the destruction of the Earth and everything on it. How can this be reconciled with a Right-wing ecology, which posits a duty to preserve those vestiges of pure nature most reflective of the divine order? What, indeed, is the point, if it is all destined to be destroyed anyway?
First of all, this apocalyptic scenario is also a dogma of modern science, inescapably implied by its theories of cosmic evolution. Life on Earth will be destroyed, if not by some anthropogenic insanity then by the expansion of the Sun or the heat death of the universe. The difference is that the progressive ecologist has no abiding, objective reason to preserve the pristine and the authentic in nature beyond personal taste; no escape, in fact, from the jaws of complete subjectivity and nihilism. This is why progressive ecology typically devolves into a concern with social justice, when it is not merely a personal preference for pretty scenery or outdoor recreational opportunities.
For the ecologist of the Right, however, the end of all things human is no argument against living with honor and fighting dispassionately against the forces of disintegration and chaos. The Man Against Time may, in the long run, be destined to fail in his earthly endeavors, but that does not lessen his resolve. This is because he acts out of a sense of noble detachment – the karma yoga of the Bhagavad Gita, Lao-tzu’s wu-wei, or Meister Eckhart’s Abgeschiedenheit – whereby action flows from the purity of his being and his role in the cosmos rather than from utilitarian calculus or willful striving. Upholding the natural order demands that we defend its purest expressions: the holy, innocent, and noble among mankind, as well as the trees and wolves and rocks that were here before us, which abide in an unconscious harmony with the cosmic order to which man can only aspire.
In his commitment to live in conformity with the natural order and to uphold it against the arrogance of modern man, the Right-wing ecologist accepts the role of detached violence. Most environmentalist rhetoric one hears nowadays is couched in the effete verbiage of contemporary Leftism: rights, equality, anti-oppression, “ethics of care,” and so forth. In addition to its stronger metaphysical bent, the ecology of the Right also offers a more virile ecology, a creed of iron which disdains the technologization and overpopulation of the world because it leads to the diminishment of all life; which upholds the iron laws of nature, of blood and sacrifice, of order and hierarchy; and which is contemptuous of human hubris because of its very pettiness. It is an ecology that loves the wolf, the bear, the warrior, as well as the thunderstorm and the forest fire, for the role they play in maintaining the natural order; that wants to keep large tracts of the Earth wild and free, that cannot bear to see it rationalized, mechanized, and domesticated. It is ecology that disdains softness, ease, sentimentalism, and weakness.
The ecologist of the Right knows that “life in accordance with nature” is no Rousseauian idyll or neo-hipster imperative to “let it all hang out,” but demands stoicism, hardness, and conformity to a thousand stern laws in the pursuit of strength and beauty. This is a virile religiosity, an ascesis of action rather than mere personal salvation or extinction.
Seen in this light, ecology is a necessary feature in the restoration of traditional society. By “traditional” we mean not the free-market, family values, flag-waving fundamentalist zealotry that the term implies in twenty-first century America, but rather an outlook that is grounded upon the divine and natural order, which dictates that all things abide in their proper place. With respect to man and nature, this means that mankind must acknowledge his place in the cosmic order and his role as the guardian and self-awareness of the whole, rather than seeing himself as its tyrannical overlord. It demands the wisdom and introspection necessary to understand our role in the divine plan and to perform our duties well. It demands authenticity, recognizing the cultural and historical soil from which we emerged, and preserving the traditions and memory of our forefathers. This reverence towards the cosmic order demands that we respect its manifestation in the rocks, trees, and sky, whose beauty and power continually serve to remind us of the transcendent wisdom of the whole.
An earlier draft of this essay was published in Social Matter Magazine.
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While personally I can agree with this wholeheartedly, what I see around me is people virtue signalling their non-use of plastic bags and straws and bragging about their electric cars, eating vegan, and after buying all the gadgets they need declaring that they are not giving Christmas present this year. Its so consumerist. Not to mention protesting a pipe line while driving to the protest in huge trucks and vans. Oh of course welcoming those poor refugees who declare they will enforce Sharia law as soon as they have a majority. Duh. The idea of a spiritual practice that tunes you to the Tao or the universe or God and informs your practice is just too hard. (internal jihad) Besides there is a party Satuday night or a children’s birthday party where the adults all attend and partake of the goodies with their good buddies the kids. The superficiality just kills me and it is across all ages and classes. What do you mean Repent? I am love and you are love. Get with the program.
Of course there are individuals who do things that others will not do, but you do not hear them bragging about it on facebook and getting kudos because they paid forward a coffee at Tim Hortons. Good grief I hate the modern world.
The basis is there from Konrad Lorenz, Alexis Carrel, Knut Hamsun, Henry Williamson, the coiner of the word Haeckel, and Rudolf Steiner.
Proving that ecocide is against some kind of mystification, whether it is called “divine order”, “legislating Logos”, or what not, is a futile effort. Arguing that it is against the interests of life, and by extension, of human self-preservation, is rather easy. Why the mystification then? Well, so that the priest is not left without a job.
Not “to wisely conserve natural resources for future human use, nor (…) the restorative power of natural beauty and recreation, nor is it a patriotic commitment to preserve the heritage of our native land”.
Well, what are the “environmental questions” then ?
“Recapturing the metaphysical and ethical outlook of the traditional world, and restoring a society in accordance with it, therefore demands a defense of the natural order from those who would seek to subvert it.”
You described the sickness of modern Left eco-movements – they are indeed suicidal, and I suspect in many instances inspired/controlled by our adversaries in a “Great Game”.
But, what are the propositions of modern Right eco-movements ?
Are you asking the 21st century people, in the age of Science, Educationi, Technology and Information, to submit to “order, hierarchy, and justice” that presumably are reflected in Nature, not a presumptuous and risky proposition ?
Are you asking for Middle Ages like solution of economic and political destruction, feudalism, “Italian hill town, attuned to the contours of the land, with a cathedral standing at its highest point”, serfdom, etc ?
You may be surprised, but it is my understanding, at this time, that we in the broader Western World may get what you are presumably asking for ?
Look for a historical example of rise and fall of Roman Empire – there are many similarities (financialization/overspeculation of economy, run-away military-industrial complex, excessive taxation, capital escape, surveillance capitalism, monetary system collapse, etc).
China will become the biggest economy in the world and take the spotlight as the Financial Capital of the World, for a hundred years if not longer.
Euro-Asia will become the center of the world – for better or worse.
What are your answers to those challenges ?
What you describe as primordial ecology, natural wisdom, God and religion, race of man, etc are philosophical questions and solutions – they are important in forming our minds.
But they do not provide political and economic answers to modern adversaries – yes, they are adversaries, make no mistake about it. They could become deadly if allowed – weakness and void are an invitation to them to probe and to fill, to attack in any space possible.
How do you want to integrate both to ensure our (Western World) long-term success ?
“China will become the biggest economy in the world and take the spotlight as the Financial Capital of the World, for a hundred years if not longer.
Euro-Asia will become the center of the world – for better or worse.”
I wouldn’t be too sure. Nobody trusts the Chinese. Nor do they have the confidence necessary to do what you suggest.
They also have huge ecological problems. Pollution and contamination. My advice on a more prosaic level is to ingest nothing from China, if you can help it. Unfortunately, our leaders do very little to protect us from the corruption and disorder of Chinese food production.
China is actively influencing Western political systems (US, Canada, Europe).
Money (incl. laundering), lobbying, technology (e.g. Internet, 5G), immigration.
Here is a case of Australia:
They are actively pursuing economic/trade goals in Africa, Arabia/Near East and Latin America – they want to secure natural resources. But you can not effectively do that without building military bases in strategic countries, so they do that too (in cooperation with Russia, the “former” soviet influencer in those regions).
Just watch the news and see where the trouble spots are, and whose interests clash.
China isn’t so much rising; it’s more likely that the West is falling and China is simply filling the ecological vacuum. The Chinese are behind the worst ecological damage done today. They spend huge sums on herbal teas made from the body parts of tigers, rhinos, lions and many other of earth’s creatures. They believe drinking such potions gives them courage or other desirable qualities. They have created genetic monsters in their crazy destructive drive to harness nature. There are no birds or thousands of other creatures in China. The countryside is deathly silent. Southeast Asia in general is animal hell.
Your leaders, both government and private, know all this of course, and make sure the rest of us are kept focused on passive consumption and other distractions.
The Dude abides
Ironically, there was an article just published on November 26 by the Council of European Canadians website which covered this very issue. The writer had a very different, and I think, for Pro-White purposes, more compelling take (emphasis mine):
“If race and IQ are positively correlated with efficient natural resource management, then the best environmental policy is to encourage more industrial economic activity, i.e. more factories, more smokestacks, more burning of fossil fuels and more R & D, but only in white racially homogeneous societies. Government policy will not preserve nature for us, but encouragement of ethno-nationalism and racial separatism among whites will.
“Environmentalists are too pessimistic; the large number of geniuses that have shaped the course of Western civilization since the time of Plato and Aristotle are the white man’s greatest resource. Average men see limited resources, but to a genius, the list of potential resources is infinite; for all we know, man’s next most vital resource may be all around us, like water or air. All that is lacking are the men with the IQ and creativity to discover novel industrial uses for them. The scientific method ensures that man is not the prisoner of his own biology or even the laws of thermodynamics. As Western man’s knowledge increases, his limitations quietly recede into the background.”
It is true that the White Race once bowed before the laws of nature and lived in accordance with what it perceived to be the “Natural Order,” but that was thousands of years ago, before even the time of Greece or the Roman Empire. The Tripartite System has not been in place in any Aryan civilization since ancient India between 1500 BC and 1000 BC.
Times have changed, and our people have changed as well. We bowed before nature not because we wanted to, but because we had to. But once we began making scientific discoveries and technological advancements, particularly after the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery, we learned that we could bend nature to our will and make it serve us, as opposed to the other way around where we were at the mercy of nature.
The fact is, no sane White man or woman is going to go back to a system of “Natural Order” where people dropped dead from preventable hunger and curable diseases. The economic system we’ve had for the last 500 years has worked for us, and the only reason it’s not working for us right now is because we surrendered control of our institutions to racial aliens who intend on using that institutional power to destroy us.
More to the point, now that we’ve overcome nature to a large extent, the next step is continued progress and development until eventually we discover things like deep space/light speed travel, time travel, and how to physically live for as long as we want. The overpopulation problem is easily solved by a rigid system of Eugenics and by discovering other habitable planets in this endlessly gigantic universe of ours. We don’t need to follow the old ways of thousands of years ago in order to survive as a race or as a species.
Well, let me present to you a sceptic’s view.
“More to the point, now that we’ve overcome nature to a large extent, the next step is continued progress and development until eventually we discover things like deep space/light speed travel, time travel, and how to physically live for as long as we want. ”
We are the last humans
“The overpopulation problem is easily solved by a rigid system of Eugenics and by discovering other habitable planets in this endlessly gigantic universe of ours. We don’t need to follow the old ways of thousands of years ago in order to survive as a race or as a species. ”
Economic Collapse: The end of Man
The big question is: are we doomed because of Nature’s Law of Life or an economic and political system ?
Chad Crowley wrote a very similar, but more relevant article on this topic sometime ago. Whatever happened to him?
Very good article. The crass desire to exploit animals is something we are going to have to reckon with more than ever as the world population explodes. Overweening pride, what the Greeks called hubris, leads to Nemesis, or punishment. Beware you who anger the gods and try to become one yourself.
Actaeon was turned into a stag and torn to pieces by his own dogs because he accidently came upon naked Artemis. The goddess Artemis was associated with nature and more importantly was a virgin. This myth, in my opinion, is an allegory about the danger of defiling innocence, even when done unintentionally. Although, curiously, Actaeon had just finished slaughtering animals and was tainted with their gore.
Greek myth was more interested in discovering correct form rather than the Christian emphasis on sin as a means to understand divine order.
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