Socialist-Libertarian Politics and Theory

Green- or Socialist-Libertarian Politics and Theory

Political Systems for a Small Planet

A word on words: The term for the political philosophy under discussion here varies from "Eco-Libertarian" to "Socialist-Libertarian" to "Eco-Socialist-Libertarian." They all refer to the same philosophy. The problem is that the most natural names for this philosophy have been consistently used by other groups: "Socialist-Libertarian" is used by Noam Chomsky and his groupies, and "Eco-Libertarian" tends to denote the position that the environment will be adequately protected by a system of strong property rights and no government regulation. So I am left with "Eco-Socialist-Libertarian." Yech. If you think of something better, let me know. ("Green-Libertarian"? Glibertarian?)

This part of the universe was invented by me, Ben Sharvy, but you can live here too (and make it your own).


Spare Me All the Longwinded Philosphical Gorp

Quicky summary of a pivotal point.

A distribution of an inherently communal resource, e.g. the earth, can be proper only as long as the people subject to the distribution participated in the distributive process (e.g., free trade). Note that this is rarely the case in reality, since new people are continually coming into the world. The reason is that "property" rights to the commons are actually rights of access or use--of opportunity--rather than of property in the strong sense, in which one may waste or destroy what is one's property. There are no justifications of property rights to natural resources that do not, upon close inspection, turn out merely to be justifications of a right of access. The air we breathe is a plain and widely accepted example of having a right of access and use, but not property in the strong sense, to a commons; land and minerals differ from air in that their private ownership can be instituted simply as a practial matter, but there is no difference in moral principle.

The preceding renders an environmentalist form of socialism in terms of procedural principles (as opposed to distributive or utilitarian principles), so that it can be "mixed and matched" with other libertarian positions; libertarianism, whatever the school, is based on a strictly procedural conception of justice. The result is Green-Libertarianism.

So you got the short-winded philosophical gorp...

About the Green-Libertarian Movement

As far as I'm concerned, this movement came into official being about 30 minutes ago (25 Jul 96), when I decided it did. It has two aspects: 1) A Political Party, 2) A Theoretical Aspect. The goal of eco-libertarian theorizing is merely to determine which political system is the correct one; in this respect it does not differ from most political theorizing. However, steps taken in pursuing that goal have led me to a landing which can be reasonably described as "Green-Libertarian"--Green-Libertarian theory continues from that landing.

Donations are actively encouraged and nobily accepted. They will not be used for salaries or recreation. They will be used to increase the reality of green-libertarian principles.

Membership is free and open to everyone. You join by going around and calling yourself an green-libertarian. A nice contribution to the cause might be to come up with a snazzier name.


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