Sunday, June 21, 2009

How Green Were the Nazis?

If you're a regular reader of Infowars and/or Prison Planet as well as a Jones listener, you've noticed that whatever crawls up Jones' butt and dies gets hauled out by his stable of "reporters" and slapped up on the websites. Usually with extreme haste. Paul Watson, Kurt Nimmo, and the rest don't really go out into the world to look for stories; they just wait for something to irk Jones. This makes for some sad, sad "reporting".

Example: Jones mentioned in a recent broadcast that Hitler was an environmentalist and a vegetarian. (FYI, by today's standards Hitler wouldn't be considered veg, because he regularly consumed meat broth. And trying to link fascism to any particular diet is a hopeless task. Kim Jong Il reportedly loves Italian food and Mao liked fatty meats with hot peppers; Mussolini drank bucketloads of milk for his ulcers. While most dictators drank little to no alcohol, Pinochet liked his pisco. Later in life, he adored the same diet cola as G.W. Bush* - but Chavez, who once flirted with dictatorship, has banned it from Venezuela. Just try to figure that sh-- out.)

Anyway, on Thursday someone posted "The Green Nazis"by Jurriaan Maessen** at Infowars. The article supposedly exposes Hitler's environmentalist thuggery, yet the subject doesn't really come up until the very end. Even then, it's just a few lines from a book titled How Green Were the Nazis?***, noting that the Nazis "created nature preserves, championed sustainable forestry, curbed air pollution, and designed the autobahn highway network as a way of bringing Germans closer to nature." Rather than conditioning Germans to sacrifice personal liberty for the greater good, as Maessen contends, these were really just the sort of cosmetic measures that Hitler loved. Apparently, he wanted the whole country to look like a freaking Dick and Jane book.
Even Maessen has to admit that most of the Nazis' environmental efforts were soon replaced by the war effort. And he fails to explain how sustainable forestry, clean air, and nice parks in any way contribute to a totalitarian milieu.
As with the food thing, trying to link environmental policy to fascism is an exercise in futility. Historians of ecology generally agree that Mao raped the environment; carbon emissions soared and water standards plummeted under G.W. Bush*; Ferdinand Marcos depleted rainforests in the time it takes most people to nap. On the other hand, Mussolini reduced newspaper sizes to help conserve wood. Somewhere in the middle there was Slobodan Milosevic, who loudly decried the environmental destruction of Kosovo without actually doing a single thing to alleviate it.

But if you really want to waste your time equating environmentalism with fascism and eugenics, check out Lisa Makson's "
Rachel Carson's Ecological Genocide: Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot ... Rachel Carson", posted at the severely Islamophobic Front Page Magazine on July 31, 2003. It will show you just how warped such thinking can get. Makson, like a few other reactionary conservatives (Limbaugh, Pat Robertson), tries to make DDT look like the nectar of the gods. If you're truly patriotic and humanitarian, this line of reasoning seems to go, you'll happily tolerate air pollution (the smell of progress!), environmental disasters (collateral damage!), and dismal corporate farming practices (yum!).

*Yes, I know he wasn't a bonafide dictator. Shut up and let me have my fun. You can't honestly expect me to be 100% serious on a blog devoted to Alex Jones.
** I don't know either. He might be the co-author of The Secret of Zionsburg, which attempts to link a mysterious 2003 fire at a famous Dutch estate to the Crusades and Holy Grail. Srsly.
*** Ohio University Press, 2007. Edited by Franz-Josef Bruggemeier, Mark Cioc, and Thomas Zeller - all university professors, if you can believe it. Shortlisted for the very prestigious Diagram Prize in 2007, this book lost out to If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs by "Big Boom".


Eugene said...

This really takes the whole "well if the Nazis did it then it MUST be bad" line of reasoning too far.

Besides why pick on environmentalists when the Nazis actually pioneered something far more sinister: Reality TV!!!

SME said...

OMFG. "An Evening With Hans And Gelli"? Nazi snuff films?
It's almost as awful as The Bachelor. Almost.

TK said...

I think, fundamentally, Jones knows very little about Fascism as an ideology, and even less about Nazism. He slaps the label onto anything that irks him. It shows a pretty shocking level of ignorance. To him it appears that the Nazis weren’t real people with a real set of scary beliefs who perpetrated real atrocities; they're bogeymen who act as a blank canvass for his neurosis.

As a vegetarian, I've had the Hitler-was-a-vegetarian thing a few times. It beggars belief that anyone thinks that's meaningful. And yet they do. Hitler breathed too, so lets all hold our breaths and fight fascism.

Creepy, creepy article, Eugene, especially for the insight into what might have been. Though the comments below the Britain is not Nazi Germany, and neither Gordon Brown or Obama are Hitler.

If Jones was British, they would be his audience (some of them possibly are, he does have some U.K. listeners).

Perry Logan said...

Hitler was a vegetarian.

Ghandi was a vegetarian.

Conclusion: if you want to change the world, become a vegetarian.

Anonymous said...

So, let's see, Hitler set up nature preserves, therefore setting up nature preserves is evil. Why? This is an obvious logical fallacy ('Hitler was evil, Hitler did X, therefore X is evil') and does not bode well for Jones' critical thinking abilities.

Sadly Jone DOES have UK listeners. A few years ago I had to tell the son of a friend of mine that Jones was a moron and the things about 9/11 that he was saying had little relation to reality.

Anonymous said...

As with so many things, Office Space demonstrates the abusurdity of inflexible minds trying to bend logic beyond it's sensible limits:

It's not wrong. Initech is wrong. Initech is an evil corporation, all right? Chotchkie's is wrong. Doesn't it bother you that you have to get up in the morning and put on pieces of flair?

Yeah, but I'm not about to go in and start taking money from the register!

You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair but they made the Jews wear them.

SME said...

Well, flair is horribly wrong, but I agree - it's bending logic so far beyond its natural limits, it would make a Cra-zee straw look like a ruler.

From The Tao of Steve: "Doin' stuff is overrated. Hitler did a lot of stuff."

Dag said...

You missed the point of the book, which is an attempt by a coitery of academics to distance Ecology from the Nazis, pesenting the argument that the Nazis simply used ecology as a lure to win sympathy from the German peasantry. It's a serious academic work here that is assumed to be so ridiculous that no thinking person would ever ask such a question. Hence, we get unthinking commentary.

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