Where the old leftists still believe in the virtues of a centrally planned economy and the evils of capitalism, the green utopian leftists consist mainly of people who have developed a vague vision of an anarcho-agrarian society. Leftists originally joined the greens (environmentalists) with the intention of using them in the fight against capitalism. (there is an ongoing dispute as to who joined whom) But a funny thing happened to many of these cultists on the way to their socialist revolution: their anti-capitalism was transformed into an anti-industrial ethic. They abandoned their visions of a workers’ state to embrace the fantasy of a green Elysium that only the elect can enter. These people could also easily be classified as Luddites.
This is why they had no difficulty in deserting the materialism of Marx for Rousseau’s fantasy of the “Noble Savage”. None of this is really surprising. Their utopianism is obvious to any informed observer. Incredible as it seems and despite all the evidence to the contrary, these dangerous clowns actually believe that profit driven economic growth (is there any other kind?) creates mass unemployment and wholesale destruction of the environment.
What is really striking, however, is the resemblance of the green movement to revolutionary millenarianism — with one crucial difference: the top echelon of the green movement consists largely of intellectuals, the spoiled and selfish offspring of an affluent and indulgent capitalist society. In one subtle ideological move, “the dictatorship of the proletariat” has been transformed into the dictatorship of the lumpenintelligentsia.