The ‘Extinction Rebellion’ movement is fascinating. And in many ways it matches the events in Shades of Green.
A shaky economy, a government that has lost its way, an establishment that has lost confidence in itself as things fall apart. And determined voices come forward to set new agendas.
And, of course, the issues are of vital importance. But where will the well-intentioned and mostly good-natured coercive tactics of the protesters lead?
Shades of Green offers some insights into how things might turnout.
The Extinction Rebellion movement seems to be following the Green Earth Movement playbook. Number 3 of their demands is the setting up of Citizens’ Assembly to drive government policy.
This concept is central to the action in Shades of Green, becoming a focus for politics while Parliament slides into irrelevance.
Fascism can come from any direction – from the right or the left, out of religious, revolutionary or activist groups. And as a moderate consensus around individual rights, democracy and the rule of law seems to be under increasing pressure every day, what are the signs we should be looking for to identify emerging fascism?
Based on past fascist movements – both those that took power and those that have tried but failed – here is a list of tell-tale signs to watch for:
- A philosophy of action – taking decisive action while being careless of the impacts on individuals
- Exaggerated appeals to patriotism based on portraying the country as being a victim of internal and external enemies
- A pose of standing up for ‘the little man’ while drawing existing powerful interests into positions of power
- Building on the image of victimhood an aggressive agenda to restore or recreate a past ideal state
- A view that constitutional rights and the rule of law should not impose restraints on necessary executive action
- Creating artificial crises in order to concentrate more power in the executive
- Demonising minority groups, especially those powerless to respond
- Increasing violence of language of leader and supporters in denouncing these enemies and all who oppose their politics
- Extra-judicial and judicial measures to limit freedom of expression
- Being led by someone who believes he embodies the will of the people, though without securing a majority of votes
- Disregard of facts when launching big initiatives
- Leaders believe willpower and determination will triumph over the facts on the ground – careful deliberation is seen as a sign of weakness
- Purging of individuals in state institutions
- …. Leading to ‘harmonisation’ of institutions with the outlook and structures of the regime
- Almost manic insecurity on taking office, until a point is reached where a crisis – real, exaggerated or artificially created – is used to establish complete domination of the executive over representative institutions and the bureaucracy.
Is it possible to see any of these signs around the world today?
Fascism at root as coined by Mussolini means essentially ‘togetherness’, maybe even ‘solidarity’. It’s about the strong bond that ties ‘us’ together. And it’s about taking strong and punitive action against ‘them’ when ‘they’ oppose us.
In practice it always draws together a coalition of interests – the true believers, powerful opportunist interests, and various shades of anger that often seek to pull the movement into new and extreme directions.
Delighted to find another 5 star review on Amazon.co.uk:
“What an enjoyable, intricate view of alternative politics, showing several sides of the same argument. It gave a balanced intelligent picture which was very thought-provoking, but added to that was an underlying tale of drama and intrigue which kept on building magnificently. Even the English grammar was good – what more can you ask?!”
Here are some highlights from reviews on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com:
“Shades of Green is a truly outstanding book and has the potential to one-day rank among dystopian classics like Orwell’s 1984”
“Shades of Green is a fast paced political thriller centred around the accession to power of environmental political parties and movements…
… I look foward to the day when this gripping read is adapted into a gripping movie.”
“In this fascinating book we follow the growth of a strengthening political philosophy, the appearance of its disciples, the slow subversion of the middle-ground, and the eventually near surrender of control. There are shades of 1984 and shades of Nazism, of fascism, of Talibanism, of state controlled communism, of any self-righteous doctrine that strives to subvert and then dictate.”
“This is England where this kind of thing doesn’t happen…”
“Shades of Green, by Andy Lake, is powerful, unsettling, chilling and enlightening. It is a compelling, page-turning read that kept me up late many evenings because I absolutely had to know what happened next.”
Under the Green Earth coalition government, Earth Day comes to replace Easter as the major public holiday in Spring. If we’re serious about the environment, why not? Christianity originally adopted and adapted other festivals and harnessed them to the cause, to change beliefs and culture. The Green Earth Movement will do the same.
And Earth Day will become a pivotal day for saving the planet.
More than that I cannot say without spoilers …
There’s a couple of good reviews from Amazon added to the site now – Read here
Shades of Green has now been published!
The paperback version is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
If you buy it, I recommend downloading the Green Spectrum (link in menu above) as a graphic character list.
What would happen if a government committed to green policies and animal rights principles were elected, and had the will and determination to carry them through? Like a Green Taliban, only better organised and with the resources of a modern state at their disposal.
In Shades of Green, that’s just what happens.
Against a background of continued economic flat-lining, a series of environmental crises propel Don Mason’s Green Earth Movement into government. Their ‘Green Revolution’ puts tens of thousands of Green Volunteers onto the streets, climate change projects launched to transform the economy, eco-criminals hauled off to eco-camps for re-education and every aspect of society examined for its environmental virtue.
As the initial wave of euphoria subsides, Mason’s government moves towards ever harsher measures to reduce the impact of humanity on the natural world. Caught in the middle of this are the ‘Kitson Circle’, led by the ambitious Liberal-Green politician Peter Kitson. As a compromise between prosperity and environmental virtue becomes ever more elusive, Kitson and his family find themselves at the mercy of forces they cannot control.
With Britain’s first ‘Green King’ and a conservative US President playing pivotal roles, Shades of Green has a cast of memorable characters caught up in the events at the centre of this challenging and politically incorrect novel.