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_The Fading of the Greens: The Decline of Environmental Politics in the West_, published in 1994 during the Clinton administration by Yale University Press, by British author Anna Bramwell is a sequel to her 1989 book _Ecology in the 20th Century_ that attempts to show why Green politics has largely failed in the West. Bramwell who lived for a time in a Herefordshire small-holding where she experienced the rural life, has written extensively on environmental and Green politics beginning with a book on Walther Darre. She is obviously influenced by libertarian and free-market ideology and sees an increase in statist influence as detrimental. In her previous books, Bramwell has attempted to trace the heritage of Green politics noting how such movements began as part of a "soft" political right often imbued with romantic ruralism and "blood and soil" mysticism and merged into a "soft" political left often aligning itself with progressive causes, humanitarianism, and feminism. Bramwell maintains that many on the political left have attempted to deny or expunge the right wing heritage of environmental politics. Further, she maintains that such political movements which began as localist and ruralist have been replaced by diabolical influences from Maoists, radical feminists, and other extreme leftists. Bramwell maintains that while nearly everyone agrees that the planet must be saved from catastrophe, that Green politics has largely not succeeded in the Western world. She attributes this to the increasing concern of Greens for other progressive causes as well as their pronounced statist solutions to environmental problems. One issue of conflict that has developed concerns the role that science is to play in Green politics.Read more ›
Having been as I mature more attracted to "localist" and "distributist" ideals because of their promise as a method for dealing with the contradictions of a declining population in fertile nations and ecological destruction from global warming in my native Australia, I had been eager to read "The Fading of the Greens" by Anna Bramwell after one of my Amazon friends recommended it as an illustration of how Green politics had been moved towards a statist and anti-human model, which Bramwell sees as making no distinction amongst the animals of the world between those which might be dangerous and those which are inherently valuable.
However, upon reading "The Fading of the Greens" thoroughly for the first time today I can only say I was rather disappointed. It is true that the book does offer a quite interesting history of Green politics in West Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom, showing a great many unexpected twists in their evolution that surprised me quite a bit. Bramwell is also to be credited for exposing the problem with the ideas of many influential thinkers such as Ivan Illich and Arne Naess, whilst at the same time showing some of what they had to say that really is of value. The sections on how the Stalinist governments of Eastern Europe were resisted by groups concerned with the vast environmental abuses and pollution in those countries is also of great historical interest.Read more ›
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