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Sunday, September 21, 2008

RE: [DFC] Green Libertarianism

Mike O'Mara wrote:

MO) If there might be the beginning of a trend where more people in the Libertarian Party become willing to go beyond narrow conceptions of "left and right" [...] (MO

I'm not sure I understand this statement, since the LP is all about being the principled alternative to Left and Right.  This idea is embodied in the Nolan Chart, named after our founder. Perhaps what you mean are narrow conceptions of property rights, in which case I of course agree.  One of my primary goals is to make the LP ecumenical to what Dan calls non-royal libertarianism.

MO) their whole economic platform would be immensely corrected and improved if they would acknowledge that land and natural resources are subject to fundamentally different economic laws (MO

Yep, working on it. We already call for "a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife", and the EcoLibertarian Manifesto goes even further than the DFC Platform.  I'm eager to know if there is anything in the EM that you disagree with.

For example, the DFC Platform would be immensely corrected and improved if it would acknowledge that

  • it is never legitimate to "prohibit particular foods, drugs, or beverages" being used by informed consenting adults because of alleged "overwhelming evidence of a public benefit in doing so";
  • concerns of "concentration of ownership" are not why natural resources are to be treated differently than products;
  • it is not unjust or impractical to allow free trade with nations who have less economic freedom than America.

Similarly, the Democratic platform would be immensely corrected and improved if they would oppose rather than (implicitly or explicitly) support elements of the nanny state like:

restrictions on marriage of consenting adults
restrictions on campaign finance
restrictions on campaign speech
restrictions on personal risk-taking
restrictions on drug development
restrictions on land use
restrictions on pharmaceutical imports
restrictions on buying risky products
restrictions on commodity imports
restrictions on banking
restrictions on nuclear power liability
restrictions on insurance contract terms

mandates for national ID card
mandates on hiring and firing
mandates on wages and hours
mandates on energy efficiency
mandates for use of safety technology
mandates on access for the disabled
mandates on how (not whether) to cut pollution
mandates for employer enforcement of immigration laws
mandates on collective bargaining

bans on gambling
bans on media technology
bans on reproductive services
bans on substance use
bans on private currencies
bans on "obscenity" in media

subsidized mortgage lending
subsidized housing
subsidized tuition lending
subsidized exports
subsidized small business lending
subsidized tobacco
subsidized farming
subsidized grazing
subsidized water usage
subsidized oil exploration
subsidized oil extraction
subsidized mineral extraction
subsidized energy technologies
subsidized spectrum use
subsidized "urban development"

socialized disaster insurance
socialized deposit insurance
socialized unemployment "insurance"
socialized disability insurance
socialized health insurance
socialized prescription drug insurance
socialized retirement savings
socialized K-12 education

Are there any examples of green-freedom advocates having a positive impact on the Democratic platform?

Regarding the Cato Institute, I misread the tense of your "hadn't" as "hasn't", because it was preceded and followed by wild present-tense assertions:

MO) if the right-of-center groups such as the LP and RLC were sincere about economic freedom, they would put a lot more than mere token emphasis on the issue of cutting corporate welfare and other favoritism to special interests. [Your statement about Cato on corporate welfare] If the right-of-center freedom advocates ever get
serious about that issue, that would increase the possibility of coalition-building between the left-of-center and right-of-center freedom-oriented groups.(MO

If you're going to claim that the LP and the Cato Institute are not "serious" or "sincere" about economic freedom -- and to make such a claim from within the bosom of the Democratic Party -- then there is indeed little possibility of coalition-building here. :-)  I'm hoping that your statement was mostly due to election-season partisan passion.

I'm a partisan of freedom, not a partisan of the Libertarian Party.  I work within the LP because of comparative advantage: I'm better at reforming the LP than at reforming other parties.  However, I'll take increased liberty from whatever party provides it, and I'm eager to work with others whose comparative advantage is different from mine.