Recently I wrote an article about Green ideology, and in particular, I explored the tension between environmentalism, human rights, equality and social justice. This is an important issue, because how ideologies are translated into policy often has profound and far-reaching social consequences.
I discussed the environmentalism and “blood and soil” philosophy underpinning the Volk and Nazi movements, the Nazis being an exemplar of the problematic issues I raised. I also discussed Malthus, and his ideas on population growth and the finite nature of resources. I linked some of the Green philosophy and policies with Malthus’s ideas. My point was that it is not the ideas in themselves that are problematic: it is the context, the application, the way those ideas are translated via policy and the consequences that warrants some discussion.
Malthus’s ideas both informed and were informed by a context of Social Darwinism, eugenics, laissez faire capitalism, competitive individualism, all of which were the basis of a dominant paradigm at that point in history. One consequence of that was the terrible Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834, which saw the introduction of the dreadful, punitive workhouses.
One person – Tanya Jones, a Green Party Parliamentary candidate- engaged very courteously with some of the issues raised, and said thanks for the opportunity to discuss them. That was the kind of response I had hoped for.
However, the overwhelming majority of responses that followed the article being published constituted an organised hate campaign by a group of Green supporters and Party members on Facebook, Twitter and on my blog site. Whilst I appreciate that some Green supporters – those included on my friend list, for example – engage in dialogue that is civil and cooperative, I’m finding that many others don’t.
There’s always the possibility that some of the comments and threats are not from Green supporters at all, of course, but I can say that there has been two years worth of comments on Facebook that constitute quite vicious personal attacks, and these definitely come from a known group of Green Party supporters.
Here are a few of the comments and threats I have received: