Libertarian and Green Values: Grassroots Democracy
This is a libertarian perspective on grassroots democracy.The questions are from a paper on ten key values of the greens.
How can we develop systems that allow and encourage us to control the decisions that effect our lives? By reducing the ability of the government to prevent us from controlling the decisions in our lives. People like to control their own lives but the mission of government is to prevent people from controlling their lives. The more we support it and give it power the less control we will have. It is a reflection of how far we have fallen that we need to develop systems to "allow" us to control our lives.
How can we ensure that representatives will be fully accountable to the people who elected them? By not giving them excessive power. The egotism and disrespect shown by our "representatives" is so blatant as to need no comment. The anti-incumbent, anti-tax, and term limitation movements are positive signs that the people are waking up to how badly their trust has been abused and taking positive action towards change.
How can we develop planning mechanisms that would allow citizens to develop and implement their own preferences for policies and spending priorities? People constantly plan and implement their own preferences and spending priorities when government allows them. Every time you purchase any kind of goods or services you implement your preferences and spending priorities. Attempting to control the way your money is spent after the government has taken it away from you is hopeless but your own spending preferences and priorities are manifested every time you buy anything. Tariffs are a deliberate effort to alter spending priorities geographically. People addicted to nicotine and alcohol are impoverished by misguided governmental efforts to control their spending priorities by imposing excessive taxes. Graduated income taxes are intended to prevent the wealthy from implementing their spending priorities.
How can we encourage and assist the "mediating institutions" -- family, neighborhood organization, church group, voluntary association, ethnic club -- recover some of the functions now performed by government? Join the libertarians; these are our goals. Taking power back from the government is the main goal of the libertarian movement. Mediating institutions won't need any encouragement or assistance once they are allowed back into their rightful niche in society. They will grow into their functions naturally since they reflect the genuine will of the people. Libertarians are tightly focused on transferring power away from the government and thus empowering other institutions such as families, neighborhood organizations, church groups, voluntary associations, and ethnic clubs.
How can we relearn the best insights from American traditions of civic vitality, voluntary action, and community responsibility? Join the libertarians; these are our traditions. All these traditions were strong when the government was weak. Regulations often interfere with civic vitality, voluntary action, and community responsibility. There is a direct conflict between the growth of centralized control and these traditions.