White Skin, Black Fuel: Fossil Fascism and Colonialism's Inky Legacy

White Skin, Black Fuel: Fossil Fascism and Colonialism's Inky Legacy

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"What's Happening in Iran?" "What's Happening in Iran?" Strategy: The Socialist Approach to Rebuilding the Unions" "What's Happening in Iran?" fossil fuel fossil taste fossil fuel fossil fuelled fossil fueled technologiesFossil-fueled technologies down downtown downtownt downtown stalele an Andreas Andreas ole an Andreas Andreas ole luffemi [Captioner standing by] Test test test MODERATOR: Thanks, everybody, for authors test MODERATOR: Thanks, everybody, for authors of "White Skin, Black Fuel" some of whom are with us today. Dounia, Andreas, andSt¥ le. Looking forward to a good discussion about this book, "White Skin, Black Fuel". It has got a lot to disagree with Significant to disagree with to historicalreferences from centuries ago and covers the far-rightwing parties and old corruption stories around climate change. There is a lot to dig into and I am looking forward to digging intro it with the authors and of course all of you. Let's get right down to it. I am going to ask a few questions to the authors who are with us today and after we discuss a few of the questions I have prepared, we will get to your questions. The first of line is about

something that comes up throughout the book but is explained in the introduction and the first few chaptures which is the -- chapters which is the discussion of various climate denial from the right. The authors offer the history. It derives from an older version where aches ExxonMobil's claim of no issues started to what we have in 2016 where there is a full idlogical version of denialism and all of these denialism shield fossil capital despite not all being funded or directly controlled by the forces of fossil capital. These denialisms it would seem play in the possibility of fossil fascism which is what the book is about. The question is what's fossil fascism and how did we get it or the possibility of it and how does it relate to there various denialisms talked about throughout the book. Let's start with Dounia. >> Dounia: Thank you for having us. It is a big honor to be here. I hope for a great discussion. Before answering

your question, I would like to take a second and give a little shout-out to the rest of the group and just introduce us briefly. We are a collective and an international group of 20 people, so a lot of people. And we are a group of researchers, of scholars, and volunteers and students, and we were born back in 2018 with the vision of human ecology at London university. We were brought together by Andreas who made the important obseniorobservation that many had written about the rise of the far right and many had written about the worsening of the climate crisis, no one had actually looked into what the far-right -- what role the far-right plays in the climate crisis. This is what the book is about. It tries to fill out this gap in research. What we try is to dig deep into what it is that

far-right parties have said and done about the climate crisis. And another thing that this book tries to put forward is how interlinked the climate crisis and the use of fossil fuels and development of fossil fuel technologies are interlinked with racism and also colonialism. Another purpose of this book is also to build a bridge between the climate which is unfortunately still predominantly white movement. To build a bridge between the climate movement and the anti-racist movement. This book should also be understood as a wake-up call to these two movements to kind of be like we are fighting the same battle and we need to join our forces and, yeah, fight these fascist essentially. If we fail to do so and if this

goes unchecked, we might very possibly as this book points out find ourselves in a state of fossil fascism. What is fossil fascism? You need to understand what fascism is in order to understand. Fascism is a very broad term and it is very difficult to explain. It is one of these things that get thrown around a lot. In our book, we use Roger Griffin's definition of fascism. So the way that he explains what fascism

is by defining it as a set of ideas that are rooted in this belief or myth that one's nation is -- one's nation must above all be reborn. And a nation here should be understood as an organic community or a civilization that is united by heritage, by blood, or by race. The term that Griffin uses to define fascism is palingenetic nationalism meaning the resurrection and ultranation ultranationalism but ultra so essentially a nationalism that's on steroids. What guides fascism as a set of ideas is the belief that one's nation or one's race or one's culture was at some point back in history this grandiose thing and now it is at a crisis point and that it is being attacked by alien forces, by those who do not fit in this ethnically defined group and that there is a need to gather forces and make your nation great again. Here Trump's slogan make America great again is a prime example of this. In our book, we explain was -- what fossil fascism is by

using this term that Roger Griffin uses, this term and we add a palendefensive element to it. Fossil fascism essentially is about having to defend the nation again and defend its privileges against foreigners and people that are not white and that are perceived as enemies to the white nation and so they do this using very aggressive tactics. That said, it is also important to make a distinction between fascism as merely a set of ideas and then fascism as a real historical force and so we use here Robert Packston who argues that in order for materializes to come into force there needs to be a real crisis that instigates social instability, social unrest. You need the dominant ruling class to feel like it is losing its power and hold over a society and invites the far-right into power. In a sense, when this happens, it can also be understood as a desperate move from the dominant classclass. They have kind of

exhausted all of the tools they had and so they pull out this joker card which is the far-rightsfar-rights. And yeah. Just to clarify, we are not in a fossil fascist state yet because we haven't had this crisis, this climate crisis is not happening yet at least in the northern part of the world, the most affluent parts of the world, because, yeah, climate crisis is a reality for the global south and for many people. And yeah, so our book makes us a really good case of showing that we are getting close to fossil fascism. We are not there yet but almost.

I don't know if that answers your question. MODERATOR: It does. I think the palendefensive aspect is important. I want to see if St¥le and Andreas want to get in.

>> St¥le: I can add more. And great question and thanks for having us, Haymarket. To add to the question, it is one of the key questions that drive the discussion of fascism and that's which crisis creates fascism and the historical answer to that was discussed approximately a 100 years ago was economic crisis obviously. Social crisis, political crisis, political are representation crisis like major, we posed basically the question can the climate crisis also be such a crisis that might trigger or facilitate or help fascist get to power? And of course, as always with talking about the future, we need to be humble but that might be the case. There are good arguments

for that. I think we will talk a lot about that and discuss that. It is not imp imatic because these crisis might be considered capitalist crisis. But there is something different with the climate crisis than economic crisis. For example, for economic crisis we

know that the capitalist class will need to do whatever it can to solve the economic crisis at any cost. The capitalist states will need to help them to keep them as capital states and the capital class will do this in order to reproduce themselves as the ruling class. This is why the capitalist reproduce and survive and all that. With climate crisis, the ruling class, the capitalist class don't really need to solve it. That's also a mystery or twist on the crisis part of it. They

could let it escalate. That brings a little bit different thing to it but due to political pressure, due to, yeah, social pressure, social mobilization, due to science, due to common sense, they need to address it somehow. They cannot avoid addressing it. We have a crisis that needs to

be addressed but don't need to be solved. That's a little different than the economic crisis. Why look at what will happen with climate global warming, we can see aspects or points or directions where we can see something like fascism might be there cure. In the book we talked about places in the mitigation process say that there will be some kind of political pressure that will start producing emissions 7% or sit 2 degree as the limit and if it is not possible to solve that we will change the system. If it

is actually that political parties come with the power and political process is being in power and political forces being in power, what will the capitalist class do if they feel threatened about it? Will it go to fascism as the solution? Is that a possibility? Also yes. Pointing at a different direction, which is more like the adaptation part of it, what happened with more and more heat waves and more and more fires and will there be opportunities for fascism to grasp those moments? State of emergency, those kind of crisis? Absolutely, yes. There is different routes in for fascism here. We would ask and they don't have to solve it. We can come up with all kind of mixed positions and mixed things. I guess we will speak more about nationalism later but it is possible to point it out in that direction to see fascism in the future -- it is not even like, for example, OK, it was climate change. It was climate change and caused by humans but now it

is happened and too late. We need to start putting blame somewhere. We can easily see the far right -- put the blame on capitalists. These are scenario we are pointing too. In the discussion of how could like climate change lead to fascism. MODERATOR: We can't assume the acceleration of climate change and relevant events will be a progressive force idlogically and there is room for maneuver on the right. -- idealogical. That was one of the more compelling parts of the book.

Andreas, do you want to hop in? >> Andreas: No, it is fine. Go ahead. MODERATOR: Unless anyone has anything else to say on the relationship between denialism and fascism, I want to move to the second question I had which is about the role of immigration in what is not yet fossil fascism but what could become fossil fascism. The discussion in the book ties the particular issue of immigration to photo fossil fascism but not just as some kind of wonky technocratic issue. This is a primary connection to race that

is involved in these kind of political nexuses. Generally how would you explain the role of immigration in what could become fossil fascism as you see it? Is it largely a similar story in different parts of the globe? At least in different parts of the globe you studied? Or are there differents worth keeping track of at the party level between the party known and alternative for have Germany? Or if we prefer between the kind of political personalities like France and Trump in the U.S. Or are we dealing with maybe not a homogenous but similar enough to have unity? >> Dounia: The role that immigration and fossil fascism is a very central one if you think about the definition of like what fascism is it is rooted in this belief that anyone thatss not white is the enemy of the nation. In a sense, if you are an immigrant, and especially in the EU, if you are an immigrant and a Muslim you are really hated on and blamed for all the ills that hap -- that's happening in society.

When you have something like the climate crisis, the blame is, of course, going to be on the immigrants. When it comes to climate change, the global south is often blamed for having -- for overpopulating the planets and this way of thinking is very dangerous because one, it is not true, and two it leads to this green nationalism which we talk about in our book and should be understood as this more advanced form of climate denialism. nationalism. If you look at what is happening in France with the party, they define themselves as green nationalist, and as being national ist ists so they went from being a party that is flatout denying climate change to almost overnight becoming a party that knowledges the climate crisis and acknowledges that this is something we need to do something about. But they keep going, they keep on denying what the root cause of the climate crisis is and shift the blame on to immigrants. Nationalism, the idea behind the

nationalism, is the climate crisis is to be dealt with closing off the borders, and sending non-white people back to where they came from. Yeah. MODERATOR: St¥le and Andreas? MODERATOR: Andreas, I think you are muted. >> Andreas: You can hear me now? Obviously I conquer with everything that they said. I want to stress immigration is there central

preoccupation in Europe. It is not as central in Brazil, the country we study. I am not sure it is as central to the far right in the U.S. as it is to what we have here in Europe. All of the European parties that you mentioned are obsessed with it and one relation between immigration and the whole climate question is the incessant attempt by the far right to shift focus away from the climate crisis and from ecological problems to immigration and constantly harm on the theme as immigration as the big existential threat to us. These issues compete for attention all of the time. We see it in Germany where after the floods that were so suddenly legal in Germany this summer, the green started trying to push the climate issue back on the agenda, a little bit like it was in 2019 before the pandemic broke out, one of the AFD, the far-right, is of course, trying to say it is the big threat to the German nation. And this mitigation scenario

that we sort of sketchl -- and our prime are both saying we will not let the Afghans come here. Micron is using terms we like we have to protect ourselves against the wave of immigration. And they are saying we are not going to go back to what was supposedly when Sweden received a number of refugees fleeingfrom Syria, and Iraq and Afghanistan as well for that matter.

This figures in a sense fascism because so much of the politics is about keeping those into that where so much of Europe has been on fire or underwater. There is still causes. You can see a crisis no component in the climatet and this you can read about in out fits like the "New York Times". Afghanistan has been hit with concerted global attempt warming hit the agricultural sector very bad. This coupled with to COVID-19 is a compound crisis in Afghanistan that you have spoken about. And the Taliban on top of that.

to Taliban on top of that. If indeed, Afghan people make it to Europe and you have countries almost building walls to keep them out clearly there is a relationship between climate break kdown and how European nations deal with immigration. It is unfolding as we speak. MODERATOR:

I feel like that ties back to something St¥le was explaining earlier in terms of climate crisis being something that the present capitalist order has to address but not necessarily solve. Thepolitical expedeancy of focus on immigration is in part, in the short and maybe medium term, it distracts from having to address the root causes of, you know, what's displacing people in the first place. And, of course, in so doing, that obscures the role some of these countries played in those root causes. But

I want to stay here a little bit longer because there is also a kind of deeper deeper, less short-term, political story that you tell in addition to this expede ncy story in the call it fossilized whiteness. You talk about the production and reproduction of a social order that can make it so that, the example you give in this chapter is a little girl born in Stockholm bears a different relationship to the project described earlier than if her parents were Somalia or from a Europeann countryparticularly Swedish in particular. I was wondering a bit about issue to this longer story of the establishment of race as a global order beb yawned -- beyond the short termpolitical expediance. Maybe Andreas? >> Andreas: Yeah, I can try to say something. I mean,

immigration in Europe has a link to colonial history. In France, parts of Spain, there UK and quite a few others, UK and quite a few others, immigration comes from, stems from former colonies colonies. Sweden is seen as country without a colonial history. It is far more complicated but we have had a lot of soldiers in Afghanistan waging war for quite a long time and now that some are trying to reach safer ground there is this hysteria where they are into the country where we have been waging war on their territory for quite a few years. Our

attempt to sort of scratch the surface, and I really want to stress we are not doing more than that to scratch the surface of the history of fossilized whiteness, it is about how did fossil fuels and their technology articulate with whiteness and this goes back to the colonial period of the nineteenth-century and particularly there British empire who was the first to use fossil technology on a global scale in quite a few of their colonies and a way to project their power around the world. We argue the idea white people were superior came to be based on the perception that white technology was superior. Whites were better in controlling nature and had more powerful machines and therefore they stood above everyone else. As we show some

examples of, and I am sure there are many others RNGS this was quite often explicitly said to be about us having coal or steam or the other fossil fuel technologies and this is why we are better. This fossilized whiteness where whiteness became stabilized if you will, because it is a fictional and very fuzzy category, as you can see over time but it became stabilized, congealed around a technological core made up by steam power and various machines and based on coal. Then we try to study how it has operated in later parts in history in the twenty-century through there automobile and to an exan extent aviation as well. In the late 20th century, immigration, if we focus on Europe for the moment, immigration becomes a moment when all of a sudden you have non-white populations established on European soil and that poses a kind of challenge to whiteness as a location in social space where you have a concentration of privileges. The far right really needs to be understood as an aggressive defense on privileges or privileges. That's the role in the climate crisis. Those privileges cannot really be extracted from the buildup of fossil fuel technologies and their role in the global division of labor and things like that. These are complicated matters and I am not saying we

are revealing the truth. It is more like science for further inquiring. But yeah. At the present moment, you really see immigration and fossilized whiteness, at least in Europe, meeting and crossing paths and intersecting. MODERATOR: Nice. St¥le, any any addition? The third question I have prepared for the authors here is about the thing they call fossil factors. There are particular

forces we have in climate emergency. In the introduction, there is a revealing claim about these forces and their relationship to fossil fuels. Fossil capital, the authors say is not a class fraction, but rather this thing they call primitive fossil capital is a permanent mission of the subset of the capitalist class in a way no particular merchant, or slave trade or fragment of the earlier capitalist or protocapitalist if you prefer class was solely responsible for what is called primitive accumulation. Primitive fossil capital is more of a function of capital as is currently configured. Primitive fossilfossil capital is facing a

crisis because we do and from potential renewable energy driven Alturnalternatives to the current social order and some renewable energy driven Al alternatives would as St¥le implied maybe have capital reinvent itself in a non-fossil fuel driven version of itself but maintain a capitalist world order and system. If all of that is the case and correct me if and mischaracterized anything, what's the role of fixed fossil capital? Machinery, stranded assets, physical infrastructure. What is the role of all of that in the future we trying to build which presumably avoids >> St¥le: That's a massive question. I can try to throw something in. I love there

question. I think there is two parts. One is role of capital and one is role of the infrastructure. They become two different things. Both are super interesting questions. When it comes to the first one, this is, yeah, different ways to go through it. I wrote a paper a few years back with a comrade on this dual crisis of economic and ecological crisis and what creative destruction do we need now so to speak. The conclusion or topic we want to discuss was that could some kind of created destruction of the primitive fossil capital as a class fraction be the kind of creative destruction that we need? And we framed it as some kind of reform. I think that's a very good question we pose. The

answer there and that's kind of a socialist. The whole capitalist class and that they need to start particularly with this. This minor part. I can also say something on physical infrastructure but if someone wants to go on this. Dounia or Andreas? >> Andreas: Well, I mean, there are two parts of the question.

One is the role of the stranded assets and fixed capital maybe in general in the situation and another is what do we want to do with it and let me just say first that the relentless expansion of fossil fuel is a force that lend weight to the far right in a sense. What I mean is if you open up -- next to the Shetland Islands that oil field has to -- for a long time before getting profit. The Norwegian government says it is supposed to run until 2017, I think. These are so gig antic and physical things and they require a long time before the revenue comes flowing back to the investor and they can yield continuous profit for a long time and they create an immense inertia that builds and this means objectively the investors are going to want to defend these things and prevent them from being stranded and prematurely liquidated which is what went do. That is one of the deep

material factors in our society that points in the direction of something like fossil fascism because in a particular historical situation, the far can pose as the most reliable defender of these. We saw that with the Trump victory and the victory in Brazil as well. You can speculate on how that could unfold in the future if you had attempts to shut it down and the far says no, we will continue. This is what the far-right is

doing in Germany with the coal mines . The other part is what do we want to do with these things? I think this points to the question of carbon dioxide removal when it comes to oil and gas at least. Here it can be made that we don't see things in all these installations and the knowledge built up but rather they are repurposing toward the task of drawing down the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Obviously the point is to send the discussion in another direction but it something we need to discuss on the left and the climate movement more wildly. We can't have a blanket objection of carbon monoxide removal but rather the idea we should take over and socialize fossil fuel companies in so far as they are private and terminate their fossil fuel prodetection -- production and retrofit their infrastructure and use their skills to accomplish that quite enormous task. These are just some thoughts. question is how do we turn them to sucking carbon out of the atmosphere especially if there is no profits to be made.

needed. We need to suck carbon out of the atmosphere but how do we get there? Do we take these infrastructures over? Or Yeah. Obviously that is what is yeah. MODERATOR: I just quickly want to make the observation on the one hand of having extractive fossil fuel infrastructure seems to come with the political effects Andreas was describing. It seems to provide an impetus and financial ration Al e for continuouscontinuous. One thing to do is blow up the

pipelines. Maybe that's a thing to do. But on the other hand, it seems like some of the visions for an alternative involved keeping some of the infrastructure and alongside that observation is another that only a certain amount of the assets we are talking about are owned by private companies and many of the assets are under national control already. It seems as though there is maybe two different conversations to be had about the kind of private fossil capital capital -- capitol and whatever the rest ought to be up to as governments. >> St¥le: A lot of discussion goes about we have a city. How

can we imagine a city being different? Discussion is about the physical things in the city. Can we use them differently or tear them down? We have the same discussion about physical infrastructure and how to use it. Somehow it start at the wrong end. Doesn't matter what kind of infrastructure we have.

We have to start with basic like economic planning questions of what do we want to produce, where, how, whom, what kind of technology do we need and how to do that and all of the questions of landscaping, how to build cities, how to organize transportation and all that follows from that. We can start with the question of how to organize production and distribution according to needs and needs of nature, the question, the whole question of infrastructure and the physical landscape will follow which is, yeah, to avoid some kind of fascism. That's maybe a boring question. It is better to speak about what to do with the platform. We could use it to pump down carbon into the ground but yeah. And we can use the same organizations to do this and also we can create new ones. MODERATOR: All right. I feel like I could ask you folks

questions for forever, but we should address the audience questions as well. If there aren't any lingering comments on that last question, maybe I will move to the first question from the audience. This one is from Jordan Kinder. They ask I would like to hear thoughts on the massive appeal of fossil fascism among the working class? For example, Canadian yellow vests and how to counter >> Yeah. Should I go -- I can throw out something. I think and

it is coming more and more into discussion now as I see different team talking about makingg changes into a class issue which is what it is all about. It is not simple but need to be done by all left. The easy way is out is to say more green jobs but socialist revolution is about more than producing more jobs but that is one certain component especially if the old platform is there cannot just shut it down without having a plan B for workers, of course. That's one thing. Having a radical new green deal points in the direction. Another side is about not mobilizing work.

Saying who is causing climate change and who is drifting on the day one. For a while, it is a capital class. Actual capitalists. It is creating drift and the ecological crisis. Start pointing names and

businesses to create class struggle which is not we are unity but also we are not. We are not the capitalist class. There is something else and that's also ground for the book we discuss a little bit the subsection that's called fossilized where the discussion of the level of working class for these parties and for their anti-climate agenda and we reject the simplified view of the far right as a kind of working class force as to kind of representative of the forgotten of globalization. It is undeniable there is some -- some -- -- >> You are breaking up. >> Sorry. >> Want to try summing up what

you said? All right. Hopefully his connection comes back. I will say just a thing that occurred to me when I read the question is after I read the book, I was less confident than other that I understood the appeal of fossil fascism. I think going into the book I would have given a reductive answer about how at least the fossil fascists have answers to the -- or I shouldn't say fossil fascist but I should say the forces of fossil capital have answers to questions, working class people ask like how am I going to get a job Etc. They are

not necessarily good answers but they are answers. You know, if I were to have said based on a kind of U.S. centric, I guess way of thinking about it, if I were to guess what the appeal was I would haveb given an answer along those lines. One of the things I got out of there book was how truly idealogical this kind of newer, more newly ascendant version of climate denialism was. I think it is a question worth investigating or, you know, if you folks out there in the audience are familiar with people who have investigated just who where and why this appeals to in a granular sense I would be interested to hear. That's the

first question. Why does it appeal to them in the first place and I think the things covered in the book goes some distance to explaining that a bit. Anything else folks want to say in response to this? >> There is also questions of gender needs to be imposed. When it comes to the so-called

thinking about and talking about male climate denialist from working class, they are more or less all men so to speak. And how, yeah, how for some it is rooted in the car and history of being white and in relation to driving car. But I think that's a small majority that really loves the capital in that sense. Coming from the West Coast of

Norway where this is particular big issue with the oil industry and people from the oil industry, some of them would easily switch to a green job if it was a possibility but it is not. It is not at all. We more or less have a situation where a lot of capital -- or a lot are denialists because they gain from it and they win a lot from being denialists. They gain a lot from continuing while the working class are denialists because they don't have an alternative. That's true for the West Coast of Norway and similarly situations for people work ng working in capital industries. MODERATOR: You think the far-right stories at the level of political parties is very elite driven? Would that be fair to say? The people who are making it about immigration and tying that to the question of wind power or whatever else. Is that

your impression? >> It is coming from somewhere, right? It is not not at all an organic movement but it is coming from above as well definitively. It is coming from every election and all kinds of political discourses and all of that all of the time. Especially in Norway where the fossil industry is linked to the state apparatuss. It is impossible to avoid it basically. In that sense, in Norway it is coming from the whole state apparatus leadership including social democrats and conservative party. >> I hope so. >> So far, so good.

MODERATOR: The next question from the audience is from Grace, I think. I apologize for profobs profobs -- pronouncing that. How do you use racism in the work? Just to include cultural? >> Dounia: Um. Maybe if you could start I could jump in. I am not sure I entirely understand the question. >> Yeah, I think we explicitly

do not use the U.S. centric notion of race and racism as necessarily attached to skin color. In so far it is the American position on these things. I think that the best scholars of race in the U.S.

would deny that race is necessarily about pigmentation and skin color. Obviously, you know, racial formations differ and race and racism work in many different ways and in different context. I don't think there is one-size-fits-all for understanding how this works but whiteness as we define it and try to use the category is not necessarily about being pale like me or something like that. It is about a particular location in the social distribution of privileges that at a certain point can become associated with pigmentation. But people who are defined rather as non-white need it be necessarily very dark skinned, we use the case of immigrants from Middle Eastern countries that come here and can be pale but treated as non-white still because they have certain markers that are defined as making them belong to that category. They have Muslim names or can be identified as being of

Muslim heritage and things like that. We try to use a more flexible and realistic understanding of race and how it works in different concrete samples. I don't know what you think when you read the book if we are having a consistent way of dealing with these things. Or if it is too electic. >> My perception of the U.S. politics around this is there is very much a connection between what would more often be called Islamaaphobia here than race but it seems, you know, it didn't strike me as being, you know, U.S. centric which isn't to say it is right or wrong. It just seems different from how we talk about race here which is maybe whyy, you know, which is maybe a not so good part of our immigration politics because I think we are a lot more surprised about how strong right-wing immigration politics is than we thought it to be. But that's, you know, that's just

one person's opinion. any symbolism in my background? Maybe it is just going to be a long few years. No, no symbolism. Not to make light of it, somebody messaged me pointing out that maybe noteverybody would be cool with having alcohol in the background so apologies for that. I will sit somewhere else next time. Let's see. Next question. Is Alexandra -- to succeed in oppose the far don't right? Since the far-right is in we power and they mentioned the Green New Deal. I take it that's one version of succeeding and opposing the far-right.

What do youfolks think? >> Should I go? Dounia? Andreas? I am not speaking on behalf of the book because it is not discussed explicitly in the book. Shout-out to what I want to say for myself. Is that OK, everyone? I think of course, yes, we want to use those politics. It

is critical. There is a second part ofit. It needs to be as of courseparty politics is never just that. It is related to labor union, anti-racist movement and climate movement and all of the that. It says

in the question Green New Deal question mark as if that's the same thing as opposing the far right. This is not a question. What is the Green New Deal? I have been reading a bit about it and I am still not really sure if Green New Deal is what people say it is. It isstill more

or less some kind of center left politics. Imagine that, this is not from the bookand just from the top of my head, imagine that the capitalist class need to relate to the climate crisis, imagine that Green New Deal is popular and everybody wants a Green New Deal and the political center and right jump on the wagon and make it social liberal or social conservative Green New Deal. There is nothing in it is that's inherently left or pro-labor. It can be like as people point out massive problematic sides about. And new energy colonialism or whatever we want to call it has been a reaction of the Green New Deal. I am pro-greenn New Deal but

I think that concept should be taken and stole by reactionary group and that's something that should not like invest too much in the concept but there content, of course. It may be obvious but there concept is becoming such a popular thing. >> Dounia: To answer the first question, if we need to use political parties to meet the right and yes, wedo. But

to get the political parties to act in favor of the population, I think, you need a movement. You need to push political parties to act in our favor because whether they are left or right they will act in their own favor and try to protect their own privileges. So, yeah. I think we need a

sort of social movement, mass movement to instigate a change in politics. >> I mean, let me just -- let me just push Dounia on this. Denmark is a fascinaing example of how it is not sufficient to dislodge the far-right and get another party in power. Or would you say? The social democrats were supposed to be the anti-far right party. >> In Denmark you have the social democrats which on paper is a leftparty but the politics and policies they have been implementing for the last couple of years are really to the right and they do this because they want to get reelected and they know that's the way to get reelected. To

takeover the policies that the far right want. going to add something? Or should we move on? >> You can move on. MODERATOR: Next question is from Neila political. They ask can the systemic qualities be alienated from the them? I am taking that's a reference to the last systemic qualities be alienated from the the last question I asked about what to do about -- cut out -- so can systemic qualities be alienated from the understand out -- so can systemic qualities be alienated from the understand kind of infrastructure the question but if it argument the question but if it argument I had around carbon dioxide removal I take the question to mean can you really maintain any of the material infrastructure that fossil capital has established without it having that kind of effect. Just use it for another purpose or something. Well, clearly that would be very difficult but it is also the case that if you want to do something like direct air cap ture using technology to capture C O2 from the air and pump it into the ground, the companies that know most about how to deal with Co2, how to inject it into the ground, scrub it out of the air, happen to be the oil and gas companies so why not make use of that knowledge and those technical skills for that purpose. This is not an

argument I have invented. It is others who have made that argument. It is pretty convincing in myview. This would entail a massive class struggle or at least not necessarily a class struggle in the old fashion sense of workers against capitalist but definitely require that we inflict an ethical defeat on primitive capital. As this? Somehow force them to stop extracting fossil fuel for-profit and instead make them clean up the mess they have done. In an ideal

world, you would have ExxonMobil and Shell and BP and others based in the global North do this, you know, clean up the mess they havecreated, and you would make it an obligation for rich countries, for those who areresponsible for accumulating most of the Co2 in the atmosphere to restore the climate by doing this kind ofcleanup work. I don't know if you agree with me to the whole question of climate reparations but I think that in the long term, more or less, but in the next few years and decades thisis an argument we should make and that you rich people, you capitalists, investors, you can't just wreck the planet without taking any responsibility for it. If you don't, we are going to force you to take on this responsibility and clean up all this rubbish that you put up there. I don't know. I have also found Buck's arguments pretty convincing on this. In a way, it is the

furtherest you can go as far as emissions goes. Shutdown the fossil fuel companies and shutdown emissions says, BP and ExxonMobil should emit zero and make zero profit off those kinds of technologies. We are saying not only should it be 0 but it should be negative. That's where the reparations comes in to the extent that both global north based multi-national companies and global north countries themselves can be put on the hook for this the better. That would be, as you said, the kind

of world historical victory against primitive fossil capital and also be a world historical political victory against those on top of the world order. Those countries on top of the world order and it is, not the sort of thing we can, you know, it is not the sort of thing we can expect any center left party to champion. It is the sort of thing that would be the product of a mass movement.

Any other comments on this question? The next one I SFRAUM have from the audience is from David Simon. Other than green nationalists, any alliances between right-wing and green parties in Europe in terms of voting together or temporary voting blocs? >> For sure. You are seeing Hungary and Poland creating alliances and wanting to create this Christian white Europe. I mean these far-right parties in Europe have been wanting to get out of the EU but noticing that maybe the voters aren't for that idea so now they want to create an inner circle within the EU so you could, in the future, possibly see far right parties creating their own EU that's based on Christianity and white privilege. This could go ahead and actually happen. >> There is also a case in Austria where the government consists of the conservatives who are very far-right an immigration and Islam and the Greens in a coalition.

>> Yeah. And just to throw in now we are talking about the big parties. If we go into the real far right and the nut heads you find connections to, yeah, between the real Nazi or conspiracy nutheads which is a problem. If there are only neo Nazis that's one thing but they try to get into the environmental movement and we see it in Sweden as well. That might be a problem as well. And also in Norway, something like,

one of the -- it is a very minor environmental movement but really large in attention having the population as the main threat. If you go further on the nut head scale you can you will find that. MODERATOR: I think that ties in the next question what Jason Harris asks. Their question is I

am wondering if the panelist can talk about how fossil fascism and Eco or green fascism connect? >> Yeah. I can give my view of this. When we have been saying we are working on a book about the far right and the environment often people responded by saying aha. It is about Eco fascism because very often people have this sort ofb aassociated far right and Nazi movement. Our argument in the book is the far right both in its manifestation as classical fascism and compemporary politics promotes the most destructive technologies. There is a current or streak within it of environmentally sounding rhetoric that never had any substance because it was all about beating up the Jews back in the 1930s and now when you find similar green national ist rhetoric on the far right, perhaps most notably in France, it is all about beating up the non-whites and Muslims and perhaps the Jews again. It is not about undertaking any real

climate action. In our view, green nationalism can be seen as a kind of derivative or secondary form of climate itnial with it blames the climate crisis an immigrants. It is not, so far at least, it doesn't seem to be as distant. It sounds differently. It is really about protecting the privileges and blaming non white people. Then we speculate on the possibility of their actually emerging something like ecological fascism as in the scenario of a far-right party taking power and actually, I don't know, closing down ExxonMobil or BP and forcing emissions by 10% per year while at the same time attacking immigrants or African Americans or whatever. You can see some signs in that direction. I mean the Danish government might be one case where you have a social Democratic Party in power being reasonably progressive in the climate politics while extremely reactionary on immigration. So

far I would say that's anmarginal phenomenon. The rule is green nationalism and the equal sounding of the far right is just another aspect of something that goes into the direction of fossil fascism. >> I can completely agree. We talk about the nut heads. These are under the idea and at the idealogical level. When fascism comes to power it is always the most modern form of capitalism. Or was the most modern form. [Cutting out]

>> And it will be based on fossil fuel and depending in the liberal media we will read how the transition is going. I agree. The far right party was just taken shortly. More or less denialist party. Coming to government together with there conservative party. Having the most offensive or Having the most offensive or reactionary policy I have ever seen. And then leaving the

government and going back to more denialist policy and popular policy. The question on the levels -- cutting out -- it the position is going back to there earlier -- that makes sense -- definition of fascism that Dounia went over. Fascism is a historical force that might have strains of rhetoric that are maybe green sounding. Doesn't necessarily mean you have green fascism in the objective sense that involve nationalizing. Got it. >> I will say green fascism if there is a party coming to power called green fascist it doesn't give a damn about the rest of the world in terms of extracting minerals. That's one thing. It will most likely be pure rhetoric. We need to keep that in mind.

to -- MODERATOR: Let's move to a question from John McDonald. From Haymarket. One of the most interesting parts of the book as a U.S. reader was a discussion on the way which denialism has grown in Europe as the severity of the climate crisis is more apparent yet there is a sense in the United States that Europe is much better on questions of environmentalism than our government is. Any thoughts on

why this sense of Europe as leading the way persists? >> Yeah, this is a fascination of mine. I have to take the opportunity here to present a little piece of evidence we excluded from the book. It is from David Wallace Well's the uninhabittable earth. He writes climate denialism has captured one political party and one country in the world and that's a reference to the republicans. He writes there is nothing like

climate denialism beyond the U.S. border. This was written in 2019. To me, it is quite incredible that a very well informed guy could write that in 2019 when Europe is filled with parties that deny climate change and are just as crazy as the republicans. We didn't include this in the book in the end because we didn't want to pick on him and his book which is great generally but it is factually incorrect. I think it speaks to liberals in the U.S. looking at Europe as a much more

enlightened and sane continent then what they have to contend with in the U.S. Unfortunately, I don't think that's the case any more if it ever was. Perhaps this has something to do with the historical absence of a working class party in the U.S.

and the perception of European social democracy and labor traditions as more progressive than what has existed in the U.S. To an extent that's true as a historical fact. I would say that our countries in Europe are in the grip of as many collective cycle pathologies as what you have in the U.S. You know, our countries in Europe might be on fire or might be flooded or whatever and they still are completely obsessed with immigration. That doesn't change. Or so far it doesn't at least. isn't in any way an explanation for this misconception but just an attempt to underlie it really is a misconception between the difference of U.S. and

Europe. >> Dounia: I think you said it all, Andreas. Maybe it is because the U.S. is just -- it feels or takes up more space in the media or I don't know. Yeah.

It definitely isn't true. >> If your President is named Donald Trump you really feel you are living in the stupidest country in the world but now you don't any more. Maybe you go look for stupid in five years? I don't know. Europe has been quite good on trying to have some kind of capitalist managementt. Yeah. What kind of policy is looking green. EU

looks green right now. It might change soon. Biden might look more green in five years. MODERATOR: As an American, I feel like I should try to answer this question but I am not sure there is much more to say than that it is maybe just the regular boring story of American exceptionalism. We are exceptional in military interventions and just assume we are exceptional in other ways but we aren't were the most part. I think we are about at

time. I just wanted to go around and give everybody a chance to say anything in closing. One more round of thanks for Dounia, St¥le, Andreas for being here and for Haymarket for setting it up. John for helping us figure out how technology works.

Ethernet cables and what not. Dounia, would you like to go? >> Dounia: I just want to say thank you again for having us and a great discussion. >> St¥le: Same. Thank you so much. Nice discussion. One little thing. When I

see a bunch of people on the internet talking about fascism it sounds negative. Fascism might occur. Things might go to hell in the coming years. But the climate crisis is always an opportunity for socialists every day. It is

easy to forget that when digging down this depressive hole of when and how fascism could the problem. Trying to create reforms for years. Stopping global warming at 2 degrees is biggest form ever. If suddenly people said we are going to do that independently of the consequence of the economy, they said that's what woo want but it is massive opportunity for socialism. We should never stop being optimist optimists is my last word. >> Andreas: Let's leave that as the last word. MODERATOR: Thank you, everybody,

for being here and listening to us. Thanks. See you.

2021-08-23 09:31

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