The greening of white pride

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At first glance, it is surprising that contemporary racist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan advertise a pro-environmental stance. This fact, however, might be expected by Luc Ferry, who argues for a connection between the racism and nature protection laws of the Third Reich. Ferry argues that a non-anthropocentric approach to nature makes it easier to dehumanize humans so that a non-anthropocentric environmental ethic can transform into racist environmentalism. Does this contemporary case vindicate Ferry? We argue that it does not. When the underlying theoretical foundations and historical conditions that gave rise to the racist environmentalist movements and the contemporary non-anthropocentric environmental left are analyzed, quite different pictures emerge: one type of non-anthropocentric environmentalism is racist, one type of anthropocentric environmentalism is racist, and one type of non-anthropocentric environmentalism is not racist, meaning that any relation between a non-anthropocentric approach to nature and dehumanizing the Other is more complex and historically contextual than Ferry allows.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Philosophy Gettysburg College Gettysburg PA USA

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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