Eco-Fascism and the Climates of Counterinsurgency

Diren Valayden, Binghamtom University

It is now argued that counterinsurgency is becoming a general mode of governance in the United States and beyond. Drawing from this thesis, I argue, in this paper, that far-right politics emerge from the social forces produced by imperial relations of governance established by counterinsurgency. Counterinsurgency as a form of governance frames social problems – political dissent, social violence, crime, migration, or urban heterogeneity – as insurgencies that must be eradicated to preserve social order. I draw upon the example of “adaptation” to climate change to show the continuities between liberal conceptions of imperial violence and far-right vigilante violence. While military strategists propose a vast program of counterinsurgency to counter climate change disruptions (and hence secure the social order), far-right activists embrace “eco-fascism” as a grassroots response to preserve the “natural order.” The paper concludes by arguing that the emergence of far-right politics is not simply a response to “crises,” but a development within liberalism’s core principle, namely the question of how to govern maximally while intervening the least.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 153. Presidential Session: New Directions in the Critical Study of Global Counterinsurgency and the Police-Military Continuum