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What could carbofascism look like?: a historical perspective on reactionary politics in the COVID-19 pandemic


Acker, Antoine (2020). What could carbofascism look like?: a historical perspective on reactionary politics in the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal for the History of Environment and Society, 5:135-148.

Abstract

Political reactions to the COVID-19 crisis in the USA, Brazil and elsewhere have revealed the power of a proto-ideology which articulates environmental destruction with the sacrifice of human health to preserve a segregationist project of modernity. This essay suggests that this political trend which denies ecological connections and promotes a carbon intensive society could correspond to the notion of ´carbofascism´, coined by the environmental historian J.-B. Fressoz. It addresses this trend in a historical perspective to discuss its ideological filiation with past fascisms and provide a hypothesis for the causes of its emergence. Carbofascism is possibly a product of the deep historical entwinement of modern democratic regimes with anthropocentric principles and the growth of fossil fuels. The coronavirus pandemic represents a turning point in which the integrity of human and non-human life is tested against the lingering toxicity of our patterns of energy dependency, making the transformation of carbon democracy into ecodemocracy urgent.

Abstract

Political reactions to the COVID-19 crisis in the USA, Brazil and elsewhere have revealed the power of a proto-ideology which articulates environmental destruction with the sacrifice of human health to preserve a segregationist project of modernity. This essay suggests that this political trend which denies ecological connections and promotes a carbon intensive society could correspond to the notion of ´carbofascism´, coined by the environmental historian J.-B. Fressoz. It addresses this trend in a historical perspective to discuss its ideological filiation with past fascisms and provide a hypothesis for the causes of its emergence. Carbofascism is possibly a product of the deep historical entwinement of modern democratic regimes with anthropocentric principles and the growth of fossil fuels. The coronavirus pandemic represents a turning point in which the integrity of human and non-human life is tested against the lingering toxicity of our patterns of energy dependency, making the transformation of carbon democracy into ecodemocracy urgent.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of History
Dewey Decimal Classification:900 History
Uncontrolled Keywords:Anthropocene, Carbofascism, COVID-19, Fossil Fuels, Democracy
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:10 Jun 2021 14:28
Last Modified:16 Jun 2021 13:50
Publisher:Brepols Publishers
ISSN:2506-6730
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1484/J.JHES.5.122470
Official URL:https://ojs.ugent.be/jhes/article/view/18282

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