October 31, 2019 | Reading Time: 2 minutes

QT: It’s going to get worse

Climate change could accelerate growth of global fascism.

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I’ve always been the kind of person who wants to hear the truth even if the truth is close to unbearable. Well, friends, here’s the truth: it’s all going to get worse.

Fascism has reemerged as a force to be reckoned with in America and around the world. Climate change may end up making it feel all the more permanent.

In a recent piece for the World Post, Nils Gilman of the Berggruen Institute, said as people around the world face the consequences of a warming planet, they may turn away from liberal democracy and search for alternatives “that I believe we are about to see the new right embrace—and what it will produce is what I call ‘avocado politics.’”

“Avocado politics” is a play on that saying among old-world conservatives that the European Green Party is “watermelon politics.” Green on the outside, but red (or “communist”) on the inside. “Avocado politics” is equally deceptive, Gilman says.

“Green on the outside, but brown(shirt) on the inside. Just as watermelon politics repackaged the political wish list of the left on the basis of the environmental crisis, so avocado politics reiterates the policy agenda of the far right, but now justified on the basis of the environmental crisis,” he writes. “Far from forcing the right to embrace the left’s prescriptions for anthropogenic global warming, our climate crisis may provide a powerful new set of justifications for the far-right policy program.”

Those policy programs could be: highly anti-immigrant, militaristic and “highly antagonistic to Chinese and African development.” “All of these policy proposals are already in place on the far right. The environmental crisis will simply provide a new set of justifications for them and a new way to do political outreach,” Gilman wrote.

Like I said, it’s going to get worse.

How will liberals respond?



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John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.

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