Analysis: ‘The Link between Extreme Environmentalism and Hard-Core Racism’
By Jeffrey A. Tucker
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
In my reading and writing on the history of eugenics (here, here, and here), I’ve begun to discern a common trait between the people called environmentalists and racists from a century ago.
They share a common outlook that is illiberal to its core. They imagine that a wise and powerful state can better plan a future for both nature and man. Both groups were panicked about unplanned progress, assuming it could only resort in degeneration, mongrelization, and destruction. They dreamed of a future in which they and not the unwashed masses would be in charge of how resources are used and how the human race propagates itself.
Madison Grant Saves the Trees and the White Race
Thanks to Mother Jones, my suspicions have been confirmed. An essay that pleads with the progressive movement to deal forthrightly with its own grim history of racism discusses the life and work of Madison Grant (1865-1937). This bushy-lipped aristocrat was the hero of the environmentalists in the Progressive Era. He saved the redwoods of California from logging. He was the guru behind the creation of national parks. He undertook the most aggressive efforts ever to preserve species from extinction. He was handsome, urbane, ridiculously well educated and well connected, and “the greatest conservationist who ever lived.”
Also, Grant wrote the book that Adolf Hitler described as “my Bible.” The book is the 1916 The Passing of the Great Race. A bestseller for many years, on the coffee tables in all the fashionable houses, it is quite possibly the crudest, crankiest, and most bloodthirsty racialist tract ever written; and there’s a lot of competition for that title. He championed segregation, exclusion, sterilization, immigration restrictions, a welfare state (to keep women from working), a high bar for professional employment (minimum wages), and aggressive central planning.