Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fresh Shoots from a Dead Tree: The Bioregional State Compared and Contrasted to Green and Libertarian Ideologies (4/4)

Join Watersheds, Or Die.

For the rest of this post, I will show libertarianism as highly divided: as a variety of different political ideologies. I will analyze some policy and institutional solutions aspects of libertarianism and green ideology as well as comparing both to the 'nested decentralization' or 'bioregional commonwealth' of the bioregional state.

The typology of different libertarian schools derives from an interesting and informative half-comical/half-serious list that I recently read in Mother Jones Magazine.

To summarize where we have been so far, as mentioned in part one, there are historical similarities between the libertarians and the greens, with a bit o’ green in the history of libertarianism and a bit of libertarianism in the history of the greens. From that previous post, green ideologies are very similar to a strong libertarian/decentralization sentiment:

“Some Greens feel that the principle of decentralization should have been a fifth pillar, as it is essential to Green politics. All Green proposals are built on the conviction that people must have more direct control over the complex interplay of social, ecological, economic, and political forces. They maintain that overbureaucratization and the hierarchical structure of government thwart the initiative of citizens. Moreover, the Greens state that the impenetrability behind which various economic and political interests hide has become a danger to democracy. They oppose the strong tendencies in industrialized nations toward authoritarian measures, such as surveillance and censorship of books [or demotion of technological/commodity choices]. To facilitate greater participation by citizens, the Greens advocate decentralizing and supplying administrative units with a greater share of government revenues going to states, regions, counties, towns, and neighborhoods....The Greens advocate not only small units of domestic government but also smaller countries, which they refer to as regions. They believe the nation-state is inherently dangerous because the enormous centralization of power is inevitably used for economic competition, large-scale exploitation, and massive wars. Many Greens mention Max Weber's observation that the state is the seat of legitimized violence. They argue that smaller units of population would result in a safer world on all counts, and they suggest that cultural and ecological boundaries could determine the regions. [This is a tenet of bioregionalism--instituted in the 'bioregional commonwealth' of the bioregional state]. There are many such regions in Europe, usually determined by a shared dialect. They often stretch across [current] national borders, such as Friesland (West Germany and the Netherlands), Flanders (Belgium and France), Alsace-Lorraine (West Germany and France), and Dreyeckland (West Germany, France, and Switzerland).” [p. 47-8, in Spretnak's Green Politics]

Given the officially unrecognized green pillar of decentralization, a split developed immediately in the German green movement: a split between the Ecological Democracy Party and Die Grunen--both equally green. The Ecological Democracy Party disagreed with Die Grunen’s heightened statism and co-option that has only grown over time.

On the other hand, the bioregional state argues that smaller units may lead equally toward more systemic warfare. Such autarky has little capacities for coordinating support for the type of pollutive flows across jurisdictions that would require forms of cross-watershed democratic feedback to solve on a long term basis--in the name of maintaining local watershed security actually. Another post already addresses this issue.

Additionally in the previous part one, I summarized much of the information of the bioregional state with informative links.

In the previous part two, I analyzed the 'internal difficulties' of attempting to work toward sustainability only through an informal party. I argue [1] it is unlikely to put all the spectrum of greenness into one party because greenness translates poorly as an ideology: instead it represents an ecological self-interest, more geographic and cross-ideological based on location, than ideological vehicles called for political parties. The moment green parties form, they become splinter groups of a particular limiting variant of greenness. I argued [2] splinter groups of a particular limiting variant of greenness set themselves up for co-option and merely participating in the ongoing greenwashing of environmental degradation despite greenness being a global majority viewpoint now.


More information at the link.

In the previous part three, I analyzed the 'external difficulties' of any decentralization party--green or libertarian--keeping them from participating via current, huge systemic vote fraud and corporate/media corruption interlocks in many countries of the world.


(Douglas Campbell, Legal Green Candidate for Michigan Governor, 2002: Physically Carried off Stage of "Public Debate" and Roughed Up While Democrats and Republicans Twiddle)


(Legal Libertarian Presidential Candidate Badnarik's arrest armband in ‘the land of the free,’ for seeking to debate other legal candidates openly.)

This 'external difficulty' in addition to the previously mentioned 'internal difficulty' belies expecting such informal parties--by themselves, I still support them--can be the first strategy toward sustainability. Instead the institutions of the bioregional state are recommended as instituted first to assure a competitive framework of parties first as well as direct ecological self-interest politics into the state developmental policy cycle in a long term arrangement. One way out of 60+ in the bioregional state, is by using watersheds as permanent, ungerrymanderable, electoral districts. This is more ecologically sound as it removes the formal gatekeeping of pre-existing corrupt party frameworks in power that encourage environmental degradation. It removes the gatekeeping against the global green majority to have a more competitive framework as all parties will struggle to be more representative of particular stable ecological districts.

In this part four, the short point is that bioregional state has been compared by some to a form of green libertarianism. However, instead of an ideological position either green or libertarian, the more accurate term for the bioregional state is a form of Green Jeffersonianism or Green Madisoninism: it is a green constitutional engineering against various forms of tyranny that lead to environmental degradation and can only be understood as such. We require an Ecological Reformation of the state (and a whole lot else):

“This is a wholly novel ecological approach to democratic political theory and the purposes and responsibilities of democratic states. It is a wholly novel formal institutional design concept for how to achieve sustainability. It involves asking what was unfortunately left out of Enlightenment democratic theorizations, and it involves asking what are the other formal prerequisites for an age of sustainability. It means joining our sense of formal institutions and environmentalism as interrelated instead of unrelated topics. The significance of the bioregional state is that it is the first attempt to analyze sustainability or unsustainability as the outcome of the way formal democratic institutions are organized. Most environmentalists and academics entirely lack the vocabulary to discuss this.

First, in terms of what Enlightenment theorists neglected, different formal institutions of democracy always are involved in different informal political and environmental contexts which have been left under-theorized as to their interactions with the formal institutional frameworks. These three factors of formal institutions, informal politics, and environmental contexts should instead be considered holistically as one piece in the bioregional state, instead of simply concentrating on a biased approach that only analyzes formal institutions by themselves. Otherwise, only formally degradative states which facilitate and underwrite informal politics of environmental degradation can result because existing formal institutions are based on ignoring and denying these innate interconnections.

Second, following from this, I would argue that on these informal political and environmental factors that influence all formal states, existing democracies are innately biased on levels of formal design by informal political interests toward expanding environmental degradation and ignoring citizen input from particular geographic areas that aim to re-prioritize state politics toward more sustainable developmental paths. Formal institutional biases are what are maintaining an informal politics of environmental degradation.”[p. xi, Toward a Bioregional State]

This means “rescuing Jefferson” from an anachronistic reading that he was only proto-individualist in liberty issues. A more accurate wider reading is that he was more interested in demoting public government tyranny and demoting private corporate tyranny while a lobotomized form of anti-statist economic libertarianism argues we can ignore tyranny coming from private economics equally. See Thom Hartmans’ book on the subject of Jefferson misguided appropriation for only right wing anti-government tyranny sentiments. From a review:

"The right for years has sought to co-opt the Founding Fathers, particularly the great spokesman for liberty who penned America's Bill of Rights, Thomas Jefferson, as one of their own. If a liberal dared to quote Jefferson, a right-winger would smirk and say, "Have you ever read Jefferson? You liberals want big government. Jefferson stood for limited government. He wanted to extend individual liberty [sic], not create a gigantic bureaucracy like you people do."

Thom Hartmann has done an adroit job of puncturing this right wing myth in his thoughtful and energetically researched work, "What Would Jefferson Do?" The principle launching point that draws the distinction between what the right has long proclaimed and the reality of Jefferson's beliefs is the period and circumstances under which Jefferson and the Founding Fathers who synergized with him,...such as Benjamin Franklin and James Madison, lived and functioned.

It was Hartmann who authored the thoughtful work "Unequal Protection," and this book segues snugly into the same ideological framework. A major element of concern in the time of Jefferson and Franklin, which remains increasingly prevalent today, is the existence and robust operation of the corporation. In "Unequal Protection" Hartmann traced the road traveled in the post-Civil War nineteenth century to eventually succeed in legally constructing an important governing principle of the corporation as a fictitious person, investing it thereby with gargantuan powers unforeseen by the citizenry at the time of America's creation.

[I note that De Tocqueville predicted as early as the 1830s that he saw a form of hereditary aristocracy coming into being in the United States with the expansion of the corporate form of economics, arguing that the 'private' corporate form was hardly only a form of economics--it was a form of public aristocracy and inequality among citizens because of the political economic power of who controlled (and inherited) the major corporations and who was left out of that control.]

Hartmann reveals that Jefferson sought to expand [public governmental] rights of the average citizen, putting him thereby in the liberal or progressive ideological camp rather than that of the doctrinaire rightists who for so long have insisted that he was one of them. At the time of the country's beginnings Jefferson and other exponents of individual liberty were successful in fighting for limitations of time and scope on corporations, recognizing that they were, if unchecked, gigantic octopus-like instruments that would suffocate democracy.

Thom Hartmann fine-tunes his arguments by jumping back and forth between the America of Jefferson and the one emerging today. It was Jefferson, he notes, who opposed Alexander Hamilton's efforts to create a highly expansive national bank, which he saw as a dangerous instrument of control.

When he campaigned for the presidency the High Federalists who linked themselves to the early economic [state corporatist] establishment fought Jefferson tenaciously....Jefferson's bitter opponents sought to destroy him politically...because they feared his steadfast opposition to...[big private] corporate designs [instead of merely opposition to big public government designs]."

Mentioned in the previous post, greens are already the supermajority (and perhaps always are given the durable ecological self-interest). We only require a mechanism like the bioregional state to create a form of durable, networked decentralization. Solving this issue will solve a major issue why states decline in the midst of institutionalized environmental degradation.

Greens, Libertarians, and Green Libertarians are welcome in the watershed of the bioregional state (as much as any other ideological version), just assuring that they avoid polluting other watersheds and respect generalized civil rights.

Libertarian, Green, and Bioregional State: An Institutional and Policy Comparison

In reading an article in Mother Jones Magazine about libertarian variants, the editor of the libertarian magazine Reason, Nick Gillespie, opines about the variants of libertarianism: "it is an endless operation of trying to figure out more and more ways in which people who agree on 99.9 percent of everything can really hate each other's guts." [P. 44, Mother Jones, January/February 2008]

This sounds familiar: it seems libertarians are as internecine as the (ever fluctuating mutually antagonistic) coalitions of "the left." A more stable route of politics is to appeal to the durable ecological self-interest--where geography instead of ideology is appealed to formulate durable democratic policies and durable states (states that avoid self-destruction due to environmental degradation).

It fits well given the global majority is openly green--solidly green instead of adhering to an outmoded spectrum of despatialized ideologies called right and left. Left and right increasingly are seen as openly ideological manipulations run by the same corporate funding, globally. [1] [2] [3] [4].

(Surely you know about this?)

Thus, both the left and right as the same state corporatist gatekeeping are unable to get to sustainability when they are joined at the hip in a political economy creating environmental degradation--working against the multiple areas of the 'local wing' of politics: the ecological-self interest.

There are equal disagreements among greens as they attempt to take the geographic, non-ideological, cooperative, localist ecological self-interest and turn it into an ideological vehicle, mostly through unlikelihood of bottling green and putting it in one political party:

"The idea of moving a singular political party into the state and then reorienting the state from only that singular political party basis is a faulty model of sustainable change. Instead, the state should be reoriented first to generate a more competitive party framework to remove the gatekeeping of any party--because the grand majority of the population supports a combination of green sentiment in many countries worldwide."

For example there is the aforementioned early split in the Greens in Germany into the left and right wings of the movement, the Die Grunen side and the Ecological Democracy Party, respectively, because greenism is unable to be captured in one ideological movement since it is a geographic politics [1].

Similarly, the libertarianism we know presently started out as a form of ecological self-interest, then turned into many placeless ideologies and mere philosophical positions as well. Variants of this earlier version of the ecological self-interest movement are very splintered in counteroppositions just as the green movement's ecological self-interest is splintered into ideological dissension (and co-option) when it ignores the geographic basis of its original concern.

However, for greens the issue is seen as additive instead of divisive: the optimism (and hard data) of Blessed Unrest is that environmentalism is the largest mass institutional movement in world history, and surprisingly, none of its variants are counteropposed, and even more surprisingly, many of them are starting to network together. The bioregional state would be ideal venue to channel this Blessed Unrest into constructive movements and policy deliberations for the long term toward sustainability in particular areas--particularly the CDI and commodity ecology frameworks to start in each watershed of the world.

Authors@Google: Paul Hawken
59:26 min

Environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author Paul Hawken discusses his latest book "Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It" as part of the Authors@Google and Google.org series. This event took place on May 9, 2007 at Google's main campus in Mountain View, CA.

(This compatability is untrue for one supposed green group--or I should say greenwashed group: the more statist and eugenic 'greens' (like Die Grunen now) and other elite state managerial wings attempting to steer the movement toward old fashioned 1930s fascism and authoritarian policies.)

Against this, even Republicans from Texas can sound like Greens sometimes in opposition to authoritarian, corporate-state, crony versions of greenness that have little to do with solving environmental difficulties, and only solidifying venues that create it like the unrepresentative centralized state.

Representative Ted Poe, R-TX, Talks of Why Subsidize Eco-Suidical China as an "Environmental" Energy Strategy in the USA
May 13, 2008 C-SPAN
5:13 min

I am unable to agree with his pitch for oil at the end (I can almost here the "and now a word from our sponsor..."), though everything else he says is worth thinking about: about why U.S. "energy" policy is designed to subsidize totalitarian ecocidal China instead of bringing about a plurality of domestic energy alternatives; and why "energy" policy frameworks are chosen to be very carceral and authoritarian strategies instead of pro-democratic--when an authoritarian unrepresentative state is the best recipe for environmental degradation and corruption there is, these being one in the same issues.

This co-opted totalitarian green side even adopts a latter day Nazi-heritage of eugenic plans that I discussed before--as they attempt to greencoat the 1930s fascist eugenic policies to sell them once more. And they have the same family salesmen. Follow the money and people from the 1930s fascists and they lead right to the same people in the 1970s eugenical Club of Rome. You can see this greencoating clearly at the link.

You might do well to read part one's list of forms of green libertarianism as the true origin of the movement, though for the current de-geographic versions of libertarianism, without further ado:

A Typology of Libertarianism: 13 Variants

Gillespie’s libertarian spectrum of disagreements is compared to some forms of green ideology as well as to the bioregional state:


"Anarcho-Capitalists: The most radical of the lot, they want to abolish government entirely (though, unlike regular anarchists, they do support private property rights. "The state acts like a band of thieves and killers," explains Lew Rockwell, the best-known exponent of the strain. "The private sector doesn't do that."

This position is being willingly blind by ignoring issues like the WorldCom bankruptcy, the Enron scandals, the DotCom collapses, and the fact that 90% of US capital is tied up in speculation of private ‘thieves and killers’ instead of stable investment.

From the bioregional state view, the private sector and the public sector are entirely wedded together, and their 'difference' is a false figment of political discourse, a media spectacle only: private property always depends upon the public state to protect it in all cases. Instead of this airless and empty ‘either/or’ philosophical argument, the bioregional state argues that it is important to discuss what kind of socially-moderated property rights would help create sustainable property relations instead of creating environmental degradation. For examples of sustainable public/private admixtures of property relations, Elinor Ostrom’s work is beneficial in this regard.

It is different than two ideologically opposed variants: the easily brushed aside so-called 'tragedy of the commons' discourse. To the contrary, there are many commons that are durable even now, and little success of a ‘free market environmentalism’ approach to securing environmental sustainability that is based on merely individual self-interest. These ideas for policy are equally leading to environmental degradation.

On the other side, is the desire for extreme nationalization--which can only lead toward corruption as well as entirely a privatized framework.

On the contrary and avoiding this dichotomy, there is the long term interactive, group self-interest of different individuals that leads them toward more cooperative local arrangements of property rights. A mutual check and balance between public and private property rights durably, similar to Ostrom's examples worldwide, would seem to be required in particular watersheds to give people in a specific watershed a long term institutional choice of access and feedback instead of forcing them into one ideological position of property rights jurisdiction one way or another (entirely public or entirely private). I believe this can be done with the local political and economic commons-facilitating institutions of bioregional state: the CDI and the commodity ecology in each watershed, respectively. Institutionalize choice. Institutionalize both. Ostrom notes it is good for sustainability in her Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action (1990).

"The governance of natural resources used by many individuals in common is an issue of increasing concern to policy analysts. Both state control and privatization of resources have been advocated, but neither the state nor the market have been uniformly successful in solving common pool resource problems. After critiquing the foundations of policy analysis as applied to natural resources, Elinor Ostrom here provides a unique body of empirical data to explore conditions under which common pool resource problems have been satisfactorily or unsatisfactorily solved. Dr. Ostrom first describes three models most frequently used as the foundation for recommending state or market solutions. She then outlines theoretical and empirical alternatives to these models in order to illustrate the diversity of possible solutions. In the following chapters she uses institutional analysis to examine different ways--both successful and unsuccessful--of governing the commons. In contrast to the proposition of the tragedy of the commons argument, common pool problems sometimes are solved by voluntary organizations rather than by a coercive state. Among the cases considered are communal tenure in meadows and forests, irrigation communities and other water rights, and fisheries.

"In this ambitious, provocative, and very useful book Ostrom combines a lucid theoretical framework with a series of diverse and richly detailed case studies...she tightly reviews and critiques extant models of cooperation and collective action and argues powerfully that communities of actors are sometimes able to maintain a common resource for long periods of time without outside intervention."...."Ostrom's book is an important contribution to the problems of Commom Property Resources that is, the lack of well-defined property rights over a certain resource. Elinor Ostrom convincingly shows that there are many different viable mixtures between public and private, in particular self-organization and self-governance by the users of the common property resource. The book makes fascinating reading, particularly as it is well written."...."This is an important book that deserves to be read widely in the policy community as well as the scholarly community....this analysis leaves us with provocative questions whose examination promises to broaden and deepen our understanding of human/environment relationships at many levels."...."Students of common-property resource regimes will find much of great interest in the volume."...."...timely, well-written, and a useful addition to our understanding of the challenges of natural resource management....useful for undergraduate and graduate students as well as field practitioners interested in the development of scientifically based research. It provides a firm grounding in the theoretical underpinnings that should guide empirical investigations....Ostrom offers a unique source of information on the realities of resource management institutions coupled with the challenge for continued examination of institutions in order to develop better ways to address the CPR challenge."...."This is the most influential book in the last decade on thinking about the commons. For those involved with small communities...located in one nation, whose lives depend on a common pool of renewable resources....Governing the Commons has been the intellectual field guide."...."A classic by one of the best-known thinkers on communities and commons."

The bioregional state can remove that philosophical dichotomy about property management solution strategies and their environmental impact with two institutions that should be in every watershed: the aforementioned CDI and commodity ecology frameworks--very similar to Ostrom's demonstrations. They link producers and consumers in teamed relationships to work toward a specific human-environmental optimal solution for a watershed in the long term. Institutionalize our options instead of supporting crony raw material regimes of centralized power and we can get to sustainability.


Minarchists: Archrivals to the anarcho-capitalists, they support a minimalist version of government: Let the state handle roads, policing, and defense--but nothing more. Many, including Ron Paul, view the Constitution as the ultimate minarchist document.”

There are commonalities with some green thought in this minarchism. However, the bioregional state view is that the bioregional commonwealth arrangement in a “join or die” motif is the wider protection and conflict resolution framework for maintaining local sustainability, since autarky is little security that the next-door watershed will remain pollution free and keep its pollution out of a better-managed watershed. Moreover, autarky would be inherently dangerous to local civil rights of minorities. I discuss both these points about the 'humanist greens' of the bioregional state.


Only forms of cross-watershed conflict resolution can maintain this. Ignoring ascriptive inequalities and losing universal civil rights protections is the result of such a ‘hard minarchism.’ This is why the bioregional state “denote[s] democratic control of a natural commons and local jurisdictional dominance in any economic developmental path decisions--while not removing more generalized civil rights protections of a larger national state." Humanist greens of the bioregional state, unite!

It should be clear that decentralization serves sustainability in only economic issues (with wider local capacities for prioritization of optimal technologies and materials for a particular ecological niche concerns and material availability--exemplified in the commodity ecology of a watershed) while ‘nested decentralization’ serves it in politics.

However, complete ideologically-hard decentralization (or centralization) in politics leaves forms of social inequality in gender, ethnicity, sexuality, handicapped status if the local area or the national state is misogynist, racist, classist, religious bigoted, etc. There’s a tyranny to structurelessness, as Jo Freeman noted years ago. There's an old fashioned tyranny to centralization as well.

For protecting general civil rights protections it is important to maintain as a resource the larger national state, while economic issues can be decentralized. It is true that national states can be equally ascriptively biased, though that ignores that issue of the bioregional state being an ‘either/or’ capacity of local feedback choices and national feedback choices instead of forced support of either one only by demoting other options. There is a more detailed discussion of this point in the book Toward a Bioregional State.


"Cosmopolitan Libertarians: Term used by the minarchist editors of Reason to describe their embrace of world citizenship and their rivals as hayseeds."

There is a similar 'cosmopolitan greenism' division in green thought about this ranging from local autarky/green anarchy (critiqued earlier by the bioregional state to the cosmopolitanism of green consumerism and international ‘fair trade’ movements. However, the bioregional state leaves this open to decide for people in their local democratic watershed institutions instead of having an ideological ax to grind or impose over all.

"In other words, if a lot of "green anarchists" (or anyone) wanted to get together and run their watershed they way they wanted, that's fine because that's the way it would work--as long as externalities to other watersheds are demoted. It would be up to the people involved in a particular watershed, of which there would be many different variations--as long as externalities to other watersheds are demoted."


Economic Libertarians: worship free-market absolutists like Milton Friedman…”

Friedman was actually an uber alles state-centric supporter of imperialistic military action. Milton in his own state-centric words: “For globalism to work, America can't be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is....The [so called] hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist...McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.” – Thomas Friedman, from "What the World Needs Now" in the New York Times, illustrated by an American Flag on a fist.

Friedman failed to believe in laissez-faire like all corporate imperialist apologists before him. He was such an ideologue that he conveniently ignored that the people most interested in his ideas were his worst enemies: the corporate monopolies (the monopolists disguise it as ‘free trade’ discourse, when it really means 'their freedom to expand their monopolies' and destroy locality). He was guilty of doublethink to think that military power interactions across the world could support open markets.

Friendmanites and their likes (as the corporate libertarian 'guru-of-the-month' has always been updated in its face for 200 years in the ongoing US/UK co-empire though always with the same ideology) have covertly relied on state coercive power.

For a detailed view of the earlier Friedmanites--the ‘classical economists’--being equally state-centric, read Perelman. Perelman quotes their own words:

The Invention of Capitalism: Classical Political Economy and the Secret History of Primitive Accumulation, by Michael Perelman

"The originators of classical political economy--Adam Smith, David Ricardo, James Steuart, and others--created a discourse that explained the logic, the origin, and, in many respects, the essential rightness of capitalism. But, in the great texts of that discourse, these writers downplayed a crucial requirement for capitalism’s creation: For it to succeed, peasants would have to abandon their self-sufficient lifestyle and go to work for wages in a factory. Why would they willingly do this? Clearly, they did not go willingly. As Michael Perelman shows, they were forced into the factories [the ‘shock doctrine’ of the 1700s] with the active support of the same economists who were making theoretical claims for capitalism as a self-correcting mechanism that thrived without needing government intervention. Directly contradicting the laissez-faire principles they claimed to espouse, these men advocated government policies that deprived the peasantry of the means for self-provision in order to coerce these small farmers into wage labor. To show how Adam Smith and the other classical economists appear to have deliberately obscured the nature of the control of labor and how policies attacking the economic independence of the rural peasantry were essentially conceived to foster primitive accumulation, Perelman examines diaries, letters, and the more practical writings of the classical economists. He argues that these private and practical writings reveal the real intentions and goals of classical political economy--to separate a rural peasantry from their access to land [and to politically deprive them of other options that insulated them and gave them a choice against wage labor]. This rereading of the history of classical political economy sheds important light on the rise of capitalism to its present state of world dominance...."

However, it’s hardly ‘capitalism,’ as an identifiable phenomenon. That 'capitalism' is just a discourse for mystifying a dynamic of corrupt state corporatism and crony monopolization involved in environmental degradation instead of ever being able to separate the Janus face of political economy like the academic discipline of economics misleads and mystifies us into believing is possible.

Merely for the United States case in one example, a state corporatism instead of ‘the economy’ or ‘capitalism’ was the germane core issue in environmental degradation, state corruption, and 'economic' expansion. Browse through this 50 book list of mine:

So you'd like to...Know How U.S. Became a Corrupt Corporate Empire, What To Do?

Recently even ‘natural disaster’ forms of terrorism have been utilized to covertly introduce highly politicized state-corporatist policies under the mystifying guise that such change is a neutral ‘market’ move instead of a crony politicized monopolist move. Such huge privatization moves occur under extreme privation of political coups and 'natural disasters'. Threats of further disasters and dislocations are a 'selling tool' so it is hardly chosen as a ‘market solution’ willingly. It is chosen under state-duress and 'markets' are sometimes only chosen because of dictatorship. Naomi Klein discusses this in her recent book The Shock Doctrine. Read Naomi Klien’s The Shock Doctrine and John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit man back to back with Dave McGowan and you will see the pattern of shock doctrine in economics (Klein's work on the Shock Doctrine and Perkins' in Confessions) and in politics toward pressuring people to accept a more militarized public of police states (McGowan's work).

"John Perkins started and stopped writing Confessions of an Economic Hit Man four times over 20 years. He says he was threatened and bribed in an effort to kill the project, but after 9/11 he finally decided to go through with this expose of his former professional life. Perkins, a former chief economist at Boston strategic-consulting firm Chas. T. Main, says he was an "economic hit man" for 10 years, helping U.S. intelligence agencies and multinationals cajole and blackmail foreign leaders into serving U.S. foreign policy and awarding lucrative contracts to American business. "Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars," Perkins writes. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is an extraordinary and gripping tale of intrigue and dark machinations. Think John Le Carré, except it's a true story.

"Perkins writes that his economic projections cooked the books Enron-style to convince foreign governments to accept billions of dollars of loans from the World Bank and other institutions to build dams, airports, electric grids, and other infrastructure he knew they couldn't afford. The loans were given on condition that construction and engineering contracts went to U.S. companies. Often, the money would simply be transferred from one bank account in Washington, D.C., to another one in New York or San Francisco. The deals were smoothed over with bribes for foreign officials, but it was the taxpayers in the foreign countries who had to pay back the loans. When their governments couldn't do so, as was often the case, the U.S. or its henchmen at the World Bank or International Monetary Fund would step in and essentially place the country in trusteeship, dictating everything from its spending budget to security agreements and even its United Nations votes. It was, Perkins writes, a clever way for the U.S. to expand its "empire" at the expense of Third World citizens."

That's the so called market: a corporatist monopoly, intelligence-agency riddled empire of banks, corporation construction contract, and money transfers to merely expand empire on the backs of citizens of both the USA and other countries, lathered with bribery and corruption on both sides' governments.

Here's Naomi Klein talking about the economics side of this Shock Doctrine.

Six minute film about the Shock Doctrine in economics:

The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein

6:46 min
Views: 387,735

Naomi Klein - The Shock Doctrine - Part 1 of 6
6 min

Naomi Klein talks about her new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

Instead of only in the USA where "disaster capitalism" (I would have called it "disaster crony corporatism") disguised sugar coated as "economic libertarianism", even English stock markets fail to show autonomous market action in their so-called ‘economic history’ and show a bit of how the shock doctrine of the 1700s was utilized by different political economic factions to decimate each other's economic holdings intentionally.

If ‘capitalism’ fails to exist in either the USA or in the UK variants, where on closer case inspection it looks like endless versions of "disaster corporatism" fighting different variants of each other with economic warfare or against the people at large, then 'capitalism' fails to exist period. This discourse of mystification called 'capitalism' was required more than elsewhere in the USA and UK to hide these open high level corporatist/financial manipulations that are more prominent in the economic history of these core countries.


Hippie Libertarians: worship freedom-loving freaks like Larry Flynt [sic, Mother Jones’ phrase instead of mine.]

As I said above:

"In other words, if a lot of "green anarchists" (or anyone, including hippie libertarians) wanted to get together and run their watershed they way they wanted, that's fine because that's the way it would work--as long as externalities to other watersheds are demoted. It would be up to the people involved in a particular watershed, of which there would be many different variations--as long as externalities to other watersheds are demoted."


Religious Libertarians: Worship deities of their choosing, care about politics primarily as it affects religious freedom. In 17th-century England they were Puritan Roundheads. In 21st-century America they are Mormons."

On this point, greens are for religious freedom and choice and a separation of church and state. Libertarians certainly would hold the same position as the greens here.

The bioregional state concurs: separation of church and state and religious freedom is required in the interest of keeping the state from becoming a one-party state, or, moreover and more subtly, keeping the democratic state from being legitimated entirely based on one form of economic ideology (another name for a theocracy). It is additionally in the interest of keeping religious sentiment unmanipulated by state elites for private unsustainable clientelistic goals that this separation should be maintained. I think the latter was originally Jefferson’s argument for separation of church and state: that the corruption in the human heart and spirit in a linked church/state theocracy is important to avoid as well.


Gold Bugs: Advocate a return to the gold standard, or some equivalent, as a way to diminish the fiscal powers of the state: dismiss foes as “inflationists”

Greens generally support forms of local currencies as additions that keep money ‘at home’ and in circulation. This is opposed to having money consolidate and flow to distant banks that creates artificial financial scarcity regimes in localities that give the latter wealthier organizations huge relative financial power through banking inflation of currency and loans to consolidate wealth.

The bioregional state supports tangible store of value currencies (your choice in particular areas) as a check and balance against such private (or public) manipulations against the people that would remove their hard earned currency earned by their labors by artificial inflations or recessions to manipulate the value of currency either by the public state or the private banks. An interesting book on this topic is Gold Wars: The Battle Against Sound Money As Seen from a Swiss Perspective.

The bioregional state would allow local currencies to be accepted as legal tender, for debts public and private, i.e., local currencies accepted in paying state-level transactions (like taxation and fines). Federal level forms of taxation have a federal currency. Private banks shall be disallowed from consolidating themselves across state boundaries--with the state being the largest level of public consolidation allowed instead of cross-state banking empires that corrupt the purposes of a federal structure and lead to huge amounts of unsustainable power clientelism and unsustainable developmental policy pressures. A central private bank is the epitome of corruption and manipulation in this manner. It only benefits its owners and those it corrupts. Read the bank chapters in The Unseen Hand by Epperson or watch The Money Masters.


"Objectivist": Followers of philosopher Ayn Rand and love morality tales, hate anarchy, and endorse a scorched-earth foreign policy. If "flattening Falluja in the Iraqi insurgency will save American lives," Ayn Rand Institute director Yaron Brook has written, "to refrain from [doing so] is morally evil."

To the contrary, the current crop of Libertarians in the USA are more decidedly pro-peace--around Libertarian/Constitutional sentiments of Dr. Ron Paul. Greens are for peace--as well as for dismantling empires and violent states into a 'decentralized state' arrangement:

"...[T]he concept of a non-military, decentralized Europe of the regions is [or was] the official Green position, in West Germany as well as any other European countries. The idea of a [bio]regionalized Europe has resonated especially strongly in Belgium which, perhaps more than any other European country, is an artificial unit composed of three cultural groups--Dutch-speaking Flemish, French-speaking Walloons, and a small German minority....For many Belgians their state has no real significance and the Green concept of ecological and cultural regionalism seems very natural to them. [p. 189, in Spretnak's Green Politics]

"In advocating a cooperative world order, green politics rejects all forms of exploitation--of nature, individuals, social groups, and countries. It is committed to nonviolence at all levels." [p. 190, in Spretnak's Green Politics]

There is dissension within greens on this point of peace somewhat (particularly in the 'green anarchy' versions) though only on property issues and development policy--instead of against the principle of avoiding violence to people.

Like many peaceful libertarians, greens have a ‘live and let live’ view.


"Neo-Libertarians": Libertarian neocons; big supporters of the [war profiteering in the] Iraq war.

This is another example of how libertarianism gets manipulated to legitimate and to mystify the corporate state, calling neofascist corporatist ideologies "politically neutral" and "neutral free-market" when on closer inspection there is nothing of the kind. Halliburton's illegal noncompetitive contracts and monopoly relationship with the U.S. Army for supplying, make it a latter-day I.G. Farben.

These libertarians are very similar to the economic Libertarians of Milton Friedman’s shock doctrine--people who encourage economic blitzkrieg, destruction, and military coups as a form of 'developmental terrorism' to wipe away the old and institute novel relationships, mostly corporate crony fascism, under guise and discourse of libertarianism.

Olbermann and Greenwald expose war profiteers
6:11 min



"Paleolibertarians": Old-schoolers who despise neo-Libertarians for selling out to the system. Also think atheism is overrated.

Though that was meant flippantly for the very religiously conservative opposition to the neocons from the right, many Greens as well might be said to think "atheism is overrated" despite believing in personal religious choice. Much of green politics is involved in a somewhat religious-identity change movement. Once more drawing from Germany in the 1980s, many greens then agreed that 'atheism was overrated' though without implying they desired a theocracy:

"[T]he first step in overcoming the crisis is to recognize a new "paradigm"—a new vision of reality....The paradigm that is now beginning to recede as dominate our culture for several hundred years, during which it has shaped our modern Western society and has significantly influence the rest of the world. This paradigm, or worldview, consists of a number of ideas and values, among them the belief in the universe as a mechanical system composed of elementary material building blocks, the view of the human body as a machine, the view of life in society as a competitive struggle for existence, the belief and limited material progress to be achieved through economic and technological growth, and--last, not least--the belief that a society in which the female is everywhere subsumed under the male is one that follows a basic law of nature. During recent decades all of these assumptions have been found severely limited and in need of radical revision....The emergence of green politics in many countries is part of that revision. It is an ecological, holistic, and feminist movement that transcends the old...framework of left versus right. It emphasizes the interconnectedness and interdependence of all phenomenon, as well as the embeddedness of individuals and societies in a cyclical processes of nature. It addresses the unjust and destructive dynamics of patriarchy. It calls for social responsibility and a sound, stable economic system, which is ecological, decentralized, equitable, and comprised of flexible institutions, one in which people have a significant control over their lives. [This sounds rather like the first libertarianism in the late 1800s, with their green equity ideas, eh?] In advocating a cooperative world order, green politics rejects all forms of exploitation--of nature, individuals, social groups, and countries. It is committed to nonviolence at all levels. It encourages a rich cultural life that respects the pluralism within a society, and it honors the undergrowth that leads to wisdom and compassion. Green politics, in short, is the political manifestation of a cultural [and religious] shift to the new paradigm.” [P. xxv, in Green Politics]

“The Greens include in their analysis of our into related crises in the "spiritual decay" and "spiritual impoverishment" of our industrial societies, and they call for the inclusion of "spiritual subjects" in the education of our children....Many, if not most, of the greens...consider themselves Christians but are not often involved with institutionalized religion. When we asked Greens at all levels of the party and in most parts of the country whether there is a spiritual dimension to green politics, most emphatically answered "Yes" although almost no one could discuss the concept except in vague terms. The main reason spirituality remains largely on articulated in the Green party is that Hitler manipulated the pre-Christian Teutonic myths, or sacred stories, to serve the propaganda machine of his National Socialist party. Hence, as Petra Kelly remarked, the overt linking of spiritual values and politics is mostly forbidden: "A problem in the Realpolitik of West Germany is that anytime you mentioned spirituality people accuse you of talking about something perverted--because it was perverted by the Nazis." In addition to the Nazi legacy, there is the Marxist insistence among most of the radical-left Greens that the spiritual dimension of life does not even exist so naturally it is not permitted to be discussed in connection with political goals....Many of the early members of the Greens recalled that the spiritual impulse was stronger in the days before the movement became a party, partly because moving into party politics within the post-Nazi context they been cautious about expressing spiritual principles and partly because the influx of radical-left members after the impressive showing in the European Parliament campaign in June 1979 squelched expressions of spirituality. However, during the early period of the Green movement the Anthroposophists, followers of Rudolf Steiner's spiritual and ecological teachings, played an important role,...They are still a strong force in the Green politics of Baden-Wurttemberg: Dr. Giselna von Kugelgen, a wise and charming white-haired woman who is well-known in the Anthroposophist community, was the top vote-winner for the Greens in the Stuttgart city Council election of June 1980." [p. 53-4, in Green Politics]

Other religious backgrounds to green politics are seen in the Netherlands:

“After long negotiations, which were pressured by the fall of the Second cabinet...and the subsequent earlier elections, the party entered in the 1989 elections as part of the GreenLeft. They are joined by the progressive Protestant Evangelical People's Party. Ria Beckers was top candidate and she became chair of the GreenLeft parliamentary party. In 1991 the PPR dissolved itself into the GreenLeft. In the same year the GreenLeft's only MEP, former PPR-chair, Verbeek announced that he would not give up his seat in the European Parliament, to allow a former member of the PSP to enter the European Parliament. He would continue as an independent and would be top candidate for the Greens in the 1994 European elections, without result....The name Political Party Radicals referenced the origin of the party, it was founded by the a so-called Christian Radicals: progressive Catholics. Because they wanted to open their party to all Christians as well as to non-Christians, the dropped the reference to Christianity in their name....Although the party had Christian roots, it denounced a direct relationship between religion and politics. The party can be seen as an early green party with a post-materialist agenda consisting of environmental protection, third world development, nuclear disarmament, democratization of the economy and grass roots democracy. During its existence the party changed from a Christian ally of the PvdA with its roots in the Catholic trade union movement to a party on the left of the PvdA with links to the environmental movement.” [p. 176, in Green Politics]

The bioregional state supports a separation of church and state, in the interest of avoiding corruption, one-party statism, and theocracy (religious or economic policy types of theocracy). All of this can demote the integration of the non-ideological 'grain' of the world--the multiple, local, ecological self-interest groups in particular areas. It can lead to their repression instead of expression.


"Technolibertarians": Extropians, transhumamists, sci-fi-fans, they strive to transcend humanity's meat-puppet limitations and take self-determination final frontier”

Perhaps this comes out of asocial computer geeks developing a comfortable political philosophy for separating themselves further from their fellow human beings? This of course has been a recipe for earlier dark movements of eugenics killing off whole populations. It represents a techno-cultural form of corporate fascism implanted into the body similar to the Borg in Star Trek. They think they're getting freedom and enhancement, though in many cases there is the danger of getting only a mass-market corporatist form of their own self and future sold to them. A world of massive social and intellectual bio-tech enhancement would have triage leading to bioenhancement inequalities like a caste society would encourage.

Greens typically support more natural, shared, equal access, and low-impact forms of medical choice of options and self-enhancement:

“The American holistic health movement...spread to West Germany...via a stream of books, pictures, and workshops. Since that movement is a leading force in the development of a new understanding of human nature, the relationships between people, and our indebtedness in the surrounding ecosystems, it is not surprising that the Greens' Federal Program calls for a system of "ecological medicine": "Ecological medicine is holistic medicine. The sick person must be treated as being subject to various environmental conditions [where the technolibertarians might be treated for computer addition and their microwave radiation toxicity]. His or her self-conscious and self-determining personality must be strengthened and placed at the center of all care. Ecological medicine supports peoples bodily defense mechanisms. Treatment should not focus on a single organ, as it often does in the current medical system. The patient must neither serve as a guinea pig for the pharmaceutical industry nor as a factor in the cost-benefit analysis for expensive pieces of [technological bioenhancement] equipment. Hence ecological medicine must avoid the over consumption of drugs, unnecessary surgery, and overly technological mega-clinics....In addition, alternative healthcare projects exploring methods of natural healing and promoting healthy life-styles should be developed....The Federal Program of the Greens identifies old-paradigm thinking as a major part of the problem with health care, not only the invasive allopathic treatments mentioned above, but also the unrealistic separation between health problems, environmental conditions, and "our work, our leisure, our life in general." They maintain, "The forces destroying our health and the health of our environment are the same forces driving the present economic system." [p. 121-22, in Green Politics]

The bioregional state perspective is that of American Framer Benjamin Rush. American Founding Father Benjamin Rush wanted medical freedom as a basic human right in the U.S. Constitution, arguing that "Unless we put Medical Freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship . . .[T]o restrict the art of healing to one class of men, and deny equal privilege to others, will be to constitute the Bastille of Medical Science. All such laws are un-American and despotic and have no place in a Republic....The Constitution of this Republic should make special privilege for Medical Freedom as well as Religious Freedom."

Rush sounds like a combination of green and libertarian ideological sentiments--from the late 1700s. Same as anti-corporatist Jefferson.

This "Bastille of medicine" is the case with the “cancer ‘(non-)treatment’ industry” in the USA and in many countries worldwide that have made illegal any known, free, workable options that target malignant cancers naturally. Apricot or Essiac anyone?

G. Edward Griffin - A World Without Cancer - The Story Of Vitamin B17

55 min
Cancer is a lack of an essential food compound in modern man's diet. That substance is vitamin B17. In its purified form developed for cancer therapy, it is known as B17 or laetrile...


South Park conservatives: find their politics articulated in a show created by two Libertarians; a seminal episode follows a race for school mascot between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. Which, says Reason's Gillespie, “pretty much sums up how most libertarians approach politics.”

On the contrary in the real world, instead of the limited world of the TV addicted, Greens and Libertarian Parties at least in the USA agree to support competitive democracy of factions. They support transparent voting infrastructures against the privatized election infrastructure that the USA has at present, discussed earlier in part three.

U.S. Voting: Place Your Rigged Bets (Larger version click here)


"Paulitards": Blogosphere dis’ for those who annoy online masses by relentlessly shilling for their man and comment threads, polls, and social networking sites.” [Mother Jones, January/February 2008, page 44]

"Paulitards" are hardly a separate libertarian category, since much of Dr. Ron Paul’s ideology is one of a paleolibertarian gold bug with ideas of economic libertarianism and minarchism. Say that three times fast.

In conclusion to this review, Greens are hardly libertarians though the point is that there are interesting commonalities of these two decentralizationist ideologies--as well some common origins and common point of agreement to talk about in making a more competitive party system and a more sustainable world if the libertarians regain their original green roots.

The bioregional state holds that a more competitive party system would be innately more sustainable. This is because democratic gatekeeping and democratic corruption keeps a form of selective, unsustainable, environmentally degradative cronyism in place politically and expands it. However, as said above,

"The idea of moving a singular political party into the state and then reorienting the state from only that singular political party basis is a faulty model of sustainable change. Instead, the state should be reoriented first to generate a more competitive party framework to remove the gatekeeping of any party--because the grand majority of the population supports a combination of green sentiment in many countries worldwide."

Overall, as I absorbed the libertarian typology and reflected on the issue of a green libertarianism mentioned in the first of this series, I think ‘plain vanilla’ libertarianism is unable to maintain itself in the face of the reality of civil inequalities both political and economic that can come from both a state though can come from a private form of power they desire as well. In other words, states can be beneficial in moderating ascriptive civil rights. This is hardly in all cases: that is the point in the bioregional state of having a ‘dual doctrine issue of the state’—having a choice between CDI and commodity ecology, as well as local and federal interactive issues instead of only one and the other.

In short, ‘neutral non-state’ political claims are quite ideological. Many libertarian ideologies can promote sources of maintaining systemic social/ascriptive inequalities. Such policies of libertarianism even would destroy the 'libertarianism utopia' itself in practice as political inequalities mounted and were studiously ignored instead of were demoted.

Conclusion: Some General Issues of the Bioregional State, Summarized

The bioregional state is an institutional support of interlocking checks and balances against many forms of tyranny instead of coming directly from an ideological view of left or right.

It is an institutional vehicle for competitive democracy and sustainability rolled into one since they are interactive:

1. Competitive Factional Democracy and Sustainability as the Same: Demoting Gatekeeping Informality and its Crony Developmentalism against the Ecological Self-Interest.

To catch a quote from my review of the book:

"…[T]he bioregional state continued an interest in facilitating competitive party democracy as much as human health, ecological, and economic security. Soon, I found that 'theoretically' the main thread through all the additional checks and balances were coalescing around was the demotion of the 'gatekeeping issue,' i.e., the demotion of the informal clientelism issue of power that destroys both competitive democracy as well destroys citizenship developmental feedback toward ecological security. That same issue of gatekeeping and clientelism in democracy takes the blame for supporting and expanding ecological and human health damage as well. Thus, the issues of democratic facilitation and ecological security circled back on each other and were shown to be one in the same."

2. Bodily integrity against State Tyranny

In the bioregional state, there is a 'bodily integrity' line "that government shall not pass." This is very much a libertarian sentiment I think as well as a green one. From a fuller quote of bioregional state principles in Toward a Bioregional State's Ecological Bill of Rights:

"Attempts of some to pressure government to enforce certain moralities to regulate internal bodily issues are forms of bodily tyranny that break the skin barrier that government shall not pass. The Constitution of Sustainability shall assure bodily integrity through upholding bodily rights, instead of demoting them."

3. Gun Rights and the Bioregional State

The original purpose of private guns in a democratic constitutional setting is to protect against corrupt government. Private guns are a formal check and balance of government in other words. This is seen in (voluntary) state militias and in private guns--both against a federal government intentionally. That is the way the U.S. checks and balances were arranged.

These state and individual arrangements are major checks and balances militarily against “the most dangerous of all monopolies”--the undesired monopoly on violence, a quote from James Madison at the following link just in case you were skeptical that they thought about tyranny of their own federal military. The link succinctly notes that ‘gun control is not a leftist position’:

Gun control is not really a leftist position historically or currently. Gun control is a right-wing (or left-wing) totalitarian, genocidal, classist, ethnic caste, and religious caste domination policy by powerful minorities. I'm really surprised that more lefties don't want to understand it though as they say "there are none so blind who don't want to see". The Chinese have a version of this I have read: "you can't wake a man who is pretending to be asleep." At least you'll have to pretend to be asleep now. Don't simply blame those people introducing such legislation, you should blame yourselves for having your idealism manipulated by very cold blooded people against your own very rights. If scale of unrequired deaths shows anything, there are many other things that you could concern yourselves to talk about--from the first chart below.

Top Underlying Causes of Preventable Death* in the United States, 2000

Cause Number.........................................Percentage of All Deaths
Iatrogenic [induced inadvertently by treatment] deaths...783,936
2001 heart disease annual death rate.....................699,697
annual cancer death rate.................................553,251
Diet/activity patterns...................................100-400,000....17%
Bacteria and viruses c...................................75,000.........3%
Toxic agents.............................................55,000.........2%
Motor vehicles d.........................................43,000.........2%
Sexual behavior..........................................20,000.........1%
Illicit use of drugs.....................................17,000.........1%

* deaths caused neither by old age nor by genetic disease
a Estimates vary.
b Number of deaths is a rough estimate, since different studies have looked at different locations (in-hospital versus out-of-hospital) and different types of errors (surgical, medical, pharmacological).
c Does not include deaths related to HIV, tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, or infections caused by non-microbial diseases.
d Includes motor vehicle accidents linked to drug use, but not to alcohol use.
cites here: http://www.mercola.com/2004/jul/7/healthcare_death.htm

And the U.S. has a 'war on drugs' and a 'war on guns'? That chart only proves only one thing: guns or illicit drugs are not really a problem, hardly of much concern. However, they are a concern since they have been a cover for introducing police state legislation and infringement on individual constitutional rights.

Frankly, a "war on bad diets and pesticide poisoned foods" would be more appropriate way to address mental imbalance if that is what this is. If schools had organic food, everyone would be much better. A 'war on bad medicine' would be even better. A 'war on bad food' even better. Impeaching Bush (and the enabling Democrats) who have paid to have 665,000 Iraqis killed recently would be even healthier.

Some will still argue for gun confiscation thusly:

"It is often pointed out how different the contemporary world is from the one in which Madison and Jefferson lived. In those days what passed for tyranny was "send[ing] hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance," "cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World," and calling "together Legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant," and other such complaints. [However,]...[e]ven with the example of the French Revolution before them, Madison and Jefferson could hardly have imagined in detail the characteristic perils of the twentieth century [like systemic state genocide typically undertaken only after gun control/confiscation legislation was created]. But they certainly understood the crux of the problem. After all, more than two thousand years earlier, in 416 B.C., the Athenians put the population of Melos to the sword, exempting only those deemed suitable for sale as slaves. The lesson Thucydides drew from this incident remains persuasive today: "The strong do what they will, the weak endure what they must." The Founders of American democracy saw the persistence of this Thucydidean reality. They rejected the concept of a [federal] state monopoly of armed power--"the most dangerous of all monopolies," according to Madison--****in favor of "the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation."**** http://law.wustl.edu/WULQ/75-3/753-4.html

A federal state monopoly on armed power (combined with a disarmed populace) is a form of invitation to rapacity and corruption--and historically it has been the institutional recipe for genocide.

The key ingredient of state genocide has been gun confiscation. In the interest of avoiding more genocides by criminal, corrupt, and unrepresentive states--since unrepresentative state elites are the largest murderers in the world--gun ownership is a right in the bioregional state because the other terrifying alternative (confiscation and genocide) is visible in the historical record for horrible contemplation:

This book is a must read for all those opposed to "gun control", and all those who support "gun control" will be horrified to find the murderous downside to it; genocide. Lethal Laws proves that all murderous governments of the 20th Century, which included Communist Russia and Nazi Germany, had previous "gun control" laws, allowing them to disarm the population and murder them later on with such horrible acts in history like the Holocaust. Lethal Laws also destroys any argument for "gun control", stating firmly that an armed citizenry is the only way to end mass murder....This book gives you hard proof that the downside to "gun control" is genocide, not inconvenience to firearms owners. [Perhaps that will get more leftists concerned.] Lethal Laws contains the authentic original texts of "gun control" laws--with facing translations--that cleared the way for seven major genocides between 1915 and 1980 in which 56,000,000 persons, including millions of children, were murdered. The book also shows how America took all but the last step of a major genocide just over 50 years ago, with the approval of the Congress and the Supreme Court. This work proves that "gun control", which is really civilian disarmament, delivers not safe streets but mountains of corpses.” There's little evidence that gun control makes for less crime either: it tends to make for more crime because only the criminals have guns then.

So this martial check and balance via a rejection of a monopoly on violence was the point of view of the U.S. Framers noted above: “They rejected the concept of a state monopoly of armed power--"the most dangerous of all monopolies," according to Madison--in favor of "the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." And for the leftists: “Gun control is not really a leftist position historically or currently. Gun control is a totalitarian, genocidal, classist, ethnic caste, and religious caste domination policy by powerful minorities.”

In conclusion, it is interesting to note that private gun ownership and private parity with government in martial force is rightfully interpreted as a form of check and balance. At least in Madison's view, he wrote it was the most important check and balance.

4. Protecting Local Minorities in their Universalistic Human Rights

The bioregional state "denote[s] democratic control of a natural commons and local jurisdictional dominance in any economic developmental path decisions—while not removing more generalized civil rights protections of a larger national state." Given that most gun control legislation starts out as going after ‘minorities’ historically, state protections for universalistic human rights protections should be a concern for libertarians as well since gun control historically is a classist, ethnic caste, and religious caste domination policy by powerful minorities—that only expands to everyone later.

I think you can see how all these four points interlock well to support one another. Breaking one can lead to others being broken. This may get libertarians more concerned about universalistic human political rights.

With informal corruption yielding an unrepresentative developmental policy and yielding in turn environmental degradation, the same corruptions can be linked to forms of human inequalities in party politics and forms of maintaining inequalities in ‘life-chances' in the population at large--where typically a social minority experiences the brunt of environmental degradation. This is why universalistic human rights are very important in environmentalism:

"Environmental racism can be defined as: Racial discrimination in environmental policy making and the enforcement of regulations and laws; the deliberate targeting of people of Colour communities for toxic and hazardous waste facilities; the official sanctioning of the life-threatening presence of poisons and pollutants in our communities; and the history of excluding people of colour from the leadership of the environmental movement.1

Others have added to that definition by saying environmental racism refers to "any government, institutional, or industry action, or failure to act, that has a negative environmental impact which disproportionately harms - whether intentionally or unintentionally - individuals, groups, or communities based on race or colour."2

It is important though, to understand environmental racism in an historical context. "The exploitation of people of colour has taken the form of genocide, chattel slavery, indentured servitude and racial discrimination - in employment, housing and practically all aspects of life. Today we suffer from the remnants of this sordid history, as well as from new and institutionalised forms of racism, facilitated by the massive post-World War II expansion of the petrochemical industry."3

In the United States, the victims of environmental racism are African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, and Pacific Islanders, who are more likely than Whites to live in environmentally hazardous conditions. Three out of five African Americans live in communities with uncontrolled toxic waste sites. Native American lands and sacred places are home to extensive mining operations and radioactive waste sites. Three of the five largest commercial hazardous waste landfills are located in predominantly African American and Latino communities. As a consequence, the residents of these communities suffer shorter life spans, higher infant and adult mortality, poor health, poverty, diminished economic opportunities, substandard housing, and an overall degraded quality of life.

For more than a decade environmental racism in the United States has been well-documented by NGOs, universities, and even the US government.6 However, the government has provided no effective remedies to the victims of these racist practices, nor has it taken effective action to stop such practices from occurring in the future. Environmental racism, therefore, is a new manifestation of historic racial oppression. It is merely "old wine in a new bottle."

In other words, inequality and corruption can utilize the discourse of libertarianism to maintain itself. The same can go for greens. In Germany, it has started utilizing the green discourse to this effect. That is why only state institutional frameworks are the ‘best philosophy.’ Particularly if these institutions can help engender forms of long-term local civic enhancement outside the state as in the bioregional state’s CDI and commodity ecology arrangements.

Ideological philosophies are things one falls for--and which can be puppeted by hypocritical delocalized elites and twisted into something entirely different (like the current Die Grunen or the ‘neo-libertarians’ mentioned above), instead of based on frameworks of common belief or trust.

A full exposition of the checks and balances against all this are in Chapter 21 in Toward a Bioregional State, a.k.a., the Constitution of Sustainability.

Whether green or libertarian, mass delocalized party ideologies can be utilized by unscrupulous elites to maintain themselves over the public, aping discourses they fail to believe in (like Leo Strauss, the progenitor and tutor to many of the Bush neocons who encouraged intentional hypocrisy and democratic erosion as state elite policy). This co-option of a discourse makes it difficult to challenge hypocritical elites and their gatekeeping, because as Bush rightly said, “you can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you have to concentrate on.”

That is why all ‘reform’ should cut to the chase and be formal institutional instead of merely philosophical or party-based participation and self-delegitimation in the same broken institutions. Any attempts to decant ‘new wine of reform into old corrupted bottles’ will only leak in the existing broken arrangement in other words. Concentrate on making a better bottle first and the best wine will be enjoyed for much longer.

In conclusion, the bioregional state is hardly a philosophical position like libertarianism or greenism. It is a series of institutional adaptions uncapturable by any singular philosophical/ideological discourse except perhaps its interest in identifying the common theme of many different ways to demote various forms of public and private tyranny via added checks and balances on power.

These added checks and balances on power deal with informal corruption of many kinds that equally lead to environmental difficulties.

The conclusion here is that elites will eventually perhaps come around to this position--seeing all their hubristic dreams being built on sand without the bioregional state providing for durability of democratic competitive party politics, economic sustainability, and ecological diversity against their own self-destructions.

The irony is that as the U.S., U.K. and Zionist neoliberalists rush to consolidate the(ir) planet under one military regime, the strategies being chosen for this consolidation are completely self-defeating. It’s like they want to lose their grip, and want to see us win? It’s coming down to Blessed Unrest of six billion meeting the G8 Shock Doctrine.

The point of this four-part post is to note differences between the bioregional state and a mere ideological/policy position of both green ideology and libertarian ideology.

The bioregional state aims to expand the types of formal checks and balances we have in democracy into environmental issues and toward party politics to interrupt and to solve issues of state decline processes and unsustainability that are typically intertwined historically.

The bioregional state additionally aims both engender as well as reflect pre-existing 'bioregional civic virtue' that can animate such bioregional commonwealth institutions in the long run.

The bioregional state is a work of political philosophy, based on empirical sociological and comparative historical study of processes of environmental degradation. It is designed to avoid a common theme of state failure--typically in the midst of self-created environmental degradation, mixed with consumptive consolidation, and mixed with general public immiseration.

The global sustainability politics of the ecological self-interest of people is already here. It is seen in polls that show supermajorities worldwide supporting such a plan based on the huge scale of how poorly world populations think their current states are performing in the face of environmental challenges.

Since a supermajority in many states of the world considers their current forms of state doing poorly on getting to sustainability, this would be a good basis to achieve what the bioregional state promotes: green constitutional engineering to get to sustainability combined with commodity ecology in every watershed.

We are beyond arguing about ‘converting’ people to green thinking when the majority of the world already is exhibiting different shades of green.

Our solutions are more clearly conceived by focusing on how we got environmental degradation in the first place: through unrepresentative politics. This unrepresentative ‘gray’ political economy is being organized against a population already gone green.

Environmental degradation is a political organizational problematic that requires political organizational solutions. This includes solutions based on ideological/ecotheological or technological change. However, these ecotheological or technological changes will be stillborn without a long-term backing organized by political changes channeling the common ecological self-interest into maintaining them in the short and long term.



Blogger Mark said...

Green movement forgets its politics

Ann Pettifor

Ann Pettifor

Organisations campaigning on climate change need to learn the lessons of the anti-slavery and anti-apartheid movements, says Ann Pettifor. By focusing on individuals rather than governments, initiatives such as the recent Energy Saving Day are bound to fail in their bid to reduce emissions, she argues.

Martin Luther King portrait. Image: AP
Could the US civil rights movement be a model for climate campaigners?

Climate change is the issue of the day.

Scientists finally agree on the threat to the planet posed by rising temperatures. Books on the subject proliferate.

Campaigners, like those at Plane Stupid, do amazing things to bring it to public attention.

Big business frets too. The world's giant investment funds join green groups in demanding drastic action.

Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest - How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being, writes that "there are over one - maybe even two - million organisations (worldwide) working toward ecological sustainability and social justice".

And yet... and yet... there is no real climate change movement [though 'climate change' is hardly the only issue]. There is no organised effort leading society towards a legislative framework that would urgently drive down greenhouse gas emissions across the board, and begin to sequester carbon dioxide.

Not in the UK, or in the US, or internationally. The "movement" that Hawken refers to is, he notes, "atomised" and "largely ignored".

Green organisations... fail to highlight the need for the kind of change that can only be brought about by governmental action.

Yet in September 2007, a public opinion survey from Yale University (in conjunction with Gallup) found that "nearly half of Americans now believe that global warming is either already having dangerous impacts on people around the world or will in the next 10 years".

The authors noted that this was "a 20-percentage-point increase since 2004", representing "a sea change in public opinion... and a growing sense of urgency".

If there is a "growing sense of urgency", why isn't there a climate change movement in the US?

Low level lighting

The reason is that green organisations focus on individual ("change your lightbulbs") or community ("recycle, reuse, reduce, localise") action.

They fail to highlight the need for the kind of structural change that can only be brought about by governmental action.

Governments helpfully collude in this atomisation and fragmentation of action and reaction.

Throughout history, social movements have focused on the need for government action.

Anti-war demonstration. Image: AP
Campaigns against the Iraq invasion failed - should they have tried harder?

The anti-slavery movement sought to change laws that permitted slavery.

The suffragette movement only ensured votes for women once discriminatory laws had been displaced; the anti-apartheid movement was only successful once apartheid laws had been removed.

In the US, the black civil rights movement campaigned from 1947 until the introduction of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act to end discrimination in certain spheres.

Today, as the UK government's hesitancy in dealing with Northern Rock reveals, governmental action is unpopular and out of fashion.

Not just with big business and neo-liberal economists, but also with anarchists and many green campaigners. Minimal government is now ideologically dominant.

The failure of anti-war demonstrations to halt the Iraq war is often cited as evidence of the failure of governments to respond to such popular pressure.

However, as the civil rights movement demonstrated, a successful campaign does not stop at one defeat. It moves forward inexorably over time, in pursuit of its legislative goal.

Fair shares

The population at large instinctively understands that they alone, or even in community, cannot deal with the threat of climate change.

They are acutely aware that while individuals may take action, others may become "freeriders".

Lightbulb. Image: Getty
Parliaments fiddle while the planet burns, and individuals are pressured to take responsibility

They know a fair legislative framework is required to share the burden of adjusting to climate change equitably between rich and poor.

Burden-sharing has several dimensions; between those who live in Bangladesh and those who live in Zurich, those who drive 4x4s and those who cycle, those who take foreign holidays and those who do not.

In the UK, Ipsos Mori polled public attitudes to climate change in July 2007.

Seventy percent "strongly agreed" or "tended to agree" that "the government should take the lead in combating climate change, even if it means using the law to change people's behaviour". [It's hardly 'behavior change' that is the point: it's changing existing material and technological organizational frameworks as well as removing the subsidies of current raw material regimes. A focus on forcing individuals to do things is rather silly and autocratic. Institutionalize choices by removing subsidies for current degradative business and corporate and governmental frameworks and allow people to develop sustainability locally is a better route.]

Green organisations in the UK support the government's very cautious climate change bill by lobbying for a stronger legal framework - but not much stronger.

The call by UK NGOs for 80% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 - now accepted by government - lacks ambition, and underestimates the urgency.

Furthermore, the call for action by 2050 is so distant that the government feels under no pressure.

Switching off

Growing scientific evidence of accelerating greenhouse gas emissions, melting icecaps and the shrinking capacity of "sinks" to absorb emissions means we need bold, urgent action by government to drive down emissions to zero.

Britain's only Christian campaign dedicated exclusively to climate change, Operation Noah, pressures government to take much more radical action - to cut emissions by 90% by 2030, not 2050. [only possible if they introduce already known alternatives for energy and materials easily, instead of using it as an excuse to create a carceral, artificial scarcity based political regime like many elitist globalists want to control people.]

We may not have got it right, but we are trying to pressure government to act urgently, and to mobilise society in the way that Jubilee 2000 mobilised millions of people to cancel third world debt.

In other words, we are pressing for governmental action by a deadline.

BBC Green Room logo

E-Day: A good use of energy?

To succeed, climate change campaigns first need first to unite - at both national and international levels.

Secondly, they must unite behind a radical goal that requires structural change, regulation and enforcement that will urgently drive down emissions and sequester carbon dioxide.

Thirdly, they need to exercise leadership by mobilising society in a concerted way behind this goal. This will intensify pressure on politicians and governments.

It ain't easy, but it has been done before; witness the Jubilee 2000 global campaign.

As things stand, the movement remains disparate, atomised and marginalised.

This frees politicians to expand airports and increase road capacity. [These are red herring issues, changing the materials utilized is the point. It's hardly 'airports' that are causing the difficulties. It is particular choices of materials utilized at airports that are the difficulty instead of airports.]

Parliaments fiddle while the planet burns, and individuals are pressured to take responsibility for global climate change by "switching off at the wall".

And so, inevitably, the Titanic's deck chairs are rearranged - and energy use goes up, rather than down, on Energy Saving Day.

Ann Pettifor is executive director of Advocacy International and campaigns adviser to Operation Noah

The Green Room is a series of opinion articles on environmental topics running weekly on the BBC

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Do you agree with Ann Pettifor? Do environmental groups focus too much on individual actions, forgetting the political picture? Do governments encourage this as a way of deflecting attention? Can individual or community actions achieve the kind of society-wide emissions cuts [that's important only if alternatives that exist already are developed] that scientists believe are necessary?


6/28/2008 3:48 AM  
Blogger tridentblue said...

I've been reading and enjoying these posts a lot, but I have to say I wish there was more on the technological issues in shaping the future. Today I read about something called a Polywell fusion reactor, which could completely decide the shape of the future: I've followed energy issues pretty closely, and I believe that the coming shortage of oil will force a transformation to a much more local way of life, unless a cheap safe and clean form of nuclear is found, which this reactor represents. (if it's real/works) The difference between these two worlds, and their corresponding politics is so vast its hard to talk about a poltical theory to span both at all. In one world, for instance globalization ends (beyond information sharing) and in another it skyrockets. This kind of thing is what makes discussing a unified poitical theory so hard...in the past they had much more stable times, but now everything is so incredibly up in the air.

7/03/2008 10:16 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks, tridentblue.

And you said:

"I wish there was more on the technological issues in shaping the future..."

Have you checked this link though?

34. Energy

It's from the companion blog, Commodity Ecology.

7/04/2008 3:11 PM  
Blogger dublinstreams said...

are ground water bodies the same as riverbeds and can they used for smaller bioregional areas?

8/14/2008 10:23 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I think that map's term 'river basin' is the same concept as watershed. As just a flow by any other name moves just as sweet.

8/22/2008 4:53 PM  
Blogger dublinstreams said...

yeah more reading reveals they are not the same gw and ws, it's hard to find maps watersheds for smaller rivers, you'll be glad to know i just bought your book

9/13/2008 8:05 PM  

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