- Green libertarianism
Green libertarianism is a
political philosophythat has developed in the United States. Based upon a mixture of political third party values, such as the environmental platform from the U.S. Green Partyand the civil liberties platform of the U.S. Libertarian Party, the green libertarian philosophy attempts to consolidate socially progressive values with economic liberalism. [cite web |url=http://efn.org/~bsharvy/ecolibparty.html |title=Green-Libertarian Politics and Theory |author=Ben Sharvy |date=1996-06-25 |accessdate=2007-09-26 ]
A green libertarian would be an individual who adheres to
libertarianpolitical philosophy as well as to green ideology. While these are not traditionally seen going hand-in-hand, the two are not necessarily incompatible. For example, free market economicsand environmentalismare combined in the concept of free market environmentalism. And there has recently been an interest in "how to bring green sensibilities into line with the free-market agenda of libertarians." [cite web |url=http://alternet.org/columnists/story/52541/ |title=Green Libertarianism: The New Reformist Movement? |author=Annalee Newitz |date=2007-05-29 |publisher=AlterNet |accessdate=2007-09-26 ]
Ecology vs. Economics
The biggest debate among green libertarians is how to balance ecology with economics. The green libertarian philosophy confronts conflict between the principles of environmental protection and economic
free tradeby stressing that the two can go hand-in-hand, only with corporate responsibility and accountability. According to some green libertarians, government intervention is required if big business is apathetic to environmental stability.
Ideas of green libertarians are based on the assertion that the government itself is the biggest polluter. [ [http://www.lp.org/issues/environment Official Website of the Libertarian National Committee ] ] Therefore, the government should be held accountable to all the same environmental regulations they place on businesses. The problem is that, whereas one can sue private corporations for its damage to the environment, the government protects itself from the same suits; therefore green libertarians call for the abolition of
The green libertarian philosophy supports
limited government. Green libertarians advocate cutting the size and scope of the federal government substantially to maximize civil liberties and encourage private charity. However, they would expand the understanding of the classic libertarian motto "your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins" to include pollution as force-initiationwhich may be regulated.
Although many libertarians are against government regulation of business in regard to the economy, they believe that restitution-- rather than regulation-- would be more effective at preventing pollution than current anti-pollution laws. In the current system, the government is immune, and corporations which pay fines pay them to the government rather than to the victims of the pollution-- a libertarian system would enable payment to the victims.
A justification of other types of environmental intervention could look like this:
# Pollution creates health hazards. Individuals have to pay themselves to maintain their health. Therefore, pollution is stealing.
# Destabilization of the biosphere is initiation of force.
# Allow that the minimal state is justified.
# The minimal state must prevent and punish violations of the nonaggression principle.
# Therefore, environmental regulation in a minimal state is justified.
Property and Environment Research Center
Independent Green Party of Virginia- a state green party, affiliated with the Independence Party of America, that combines fiscal conservatism with an ecologically- and socially-progressive platform.
* [http://www.efn.org/~bsharvy/ecolibparty.html "Green-Libertarian Politics and Theory"] - Political Systems for a Small Planet, by Ben Sharvy. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
* [http://www.bigissueground.com/politics/blair-greenlibertarian.shtml "Green Libertarianism: Ecology vs Economics?"] , by Jim Blair. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
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