Libertarian and Green Values: Ecological Wisdom
This is a libertarian perspective on ecological wisdom.The questions are from a paper on ten key values of the greens.
How can we operate human societies with an understanding that we are part of nature, not on top of it? Only by understanding that we are part of society, not on top of it. Human society is not separate from us. We cannot "operate" people without dehumanizing them. We can change our behaviors to reflect our beliefs. We can also encourage and inspire others to change theirs. But forcing others to conform to our beliefs is oppression.
How can we live within the ecological and resource limits of the planet, applying our technological knowledge to the challenge of an energy-efficient economy? As the availability of any resource starts to dwindle, the price will rise. This rise in price is the most certain, fair, and automatic way to conserve any resource. Not only does it require no rules or bureaucracy but it generates the funds to finance the creation of alternatives. The rise in price of a resource causes the alternatives to become economically viable. The increasing cost of vanishing resources not only causes universal conservation and the search for alternatives but funds the development of alternative technologies without any need for central control or planning. Centrally planned tax funded projects often exceed ecological and resource limits worse than private projects. Government is without question one of the worst despoilers of the environment and wasters of resources. Countries such as the former Soviet Union, where the government took complete responsibility for the environment, have suffered environmental catastrophes far worse than anything the market would ever produce.
How can we build a better relationship between cities and countryside? The relationship between city and country interests should be symbiotic and harmonious. Each forms a market for the goods and services produced by the other. Regulations and tax structures divide city from country interests and set people against each other. City planners often use their power to take control of the land from country dwellers creating an adversarial relationship. The different cultures which arise in the city and country should provide enrichment and entertainment for everyone. When a strong government imposes the same cultural values on both the former harmony is replaced by fear of forced change to an alien culture.
How can we guarantee the rights of non-human species? Kindness to animals is a cultural trend which we applaud and expect to continue. But enforcement of any guarantee would require violence against humans who disagreed and thereby constitute a violation of human rights. Increasing consumer awareness has lead many producers of foods and cosmetics to change their practices in order to avoid losing market share to their more sensitive competitors. This is a natural, appropriate, and nonviolent way to improve the treatment of animals.
How can we promote sustainable agriculture and respect for self-regulating natural systems? Self regulating natural systems are the most efficient and economical for the farmer in the absence of senseless bureaucratic interference but present national and state agricultural policies are destroying both the environment and the farms. Government subsidies and regulations have led to the evolution of a wasteful and polluting agricultural system. Subsidies favor larger over smaller farms and tax structures encourage excessive investment in fertilizer and capital equipment. The inheritance tax in particular has forced family farms to incorporate to avoid being eaten away. Deregulation will allow sustainable agriculture to flourish.
How can we further biocentric wisdom in all spheres of life? The political and cultural agendas of government run schools rarely include biocentric wisdom since that pressure group is not as well funded as others. It is not in the interest of the government that the people learn biocentric wisdom since this might make them skeptical of bureaucratic central control. The more influence the government has on our daily lives, the media, and the educational system, the less we will be exposed to biocentric wisdom in these spheres. Compulsory state education is not teaching biocentric wisdom, alternative schooling can.