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The Free Market is No Friend to the Environment

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posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 09:13 PM

Originally posted by Reflection
First off, I share some, if not a lot, of Libertarian values. It's just that I think, like all political and religious ideologies, Libertarianism is not divine, or based on empirical evidence, in all of it facets. This is just one in particular, albeit important, flaw I see in the ideology and our current economic practices that reflect it.

The old libertarian idea of, "It is my right to acquire, consume and waste what I want and however much I want, as long as I'm not dumping the waste on my neighbor's property" is outdated.

In today's global economy of oil based consumerism, it's very difficult to see the direct result of our consumption. The waste is much more "hidden." Often, it's either completely invisible or it gets lost in the muddy waters of the distribution process.

None the less, when we mindlessly consume and disregard the waste produced from it, whether consciously or unconsciously, it is infringing on another person's life. It affects the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and all of the ecosystems that make all of that possible in the first place.

The planet is symbiotic. We can not isolate ourselves from that fact, whether we want to or not.

The free market does not create real equilibrium. The invisible hand of the market is only good at balancing supply and demand. It has proven to be horrible at balancing the ecosystems.

There need to be limits on what we can pull out of the ground, consume and waste. And those limits need to be based on empirical scientific evidence. And when we don't know for certain, we should err on the side of caution.

There is enough empirical scientific understanding for us to produce the things we need, and, as technology grows, more and more of the things we want, while still being in alignment with the natural order. The problem is only in our designs, values and practices, not in our practical capabilities.

In our current paradigm, we assume that the ecosystems are there for us to use as we please, as long as it's good for the "economy." And environmental conservation, protection and alignment is fine, as long as there is profit in it.

That system is simply not working. The free market reigning supreme over everything has caused a lot of environmental degradation and it isn't slowing down. We need a new paradigm.

The economy should be a subset of the ecosystem, not the other way around, like it is now. Alignment with the natural order should be the box, or the limit, and then the free market and its invisible hand could function within those limits. (This is known as ecological economics)

Would we need to sacrifice some of our wants and conveniences?

Yeah, probably so, for the time being. But we are sacrificing right now.. the PLANET and our FUTURE for a lot of our mindless and irrational wants.

Look, we all love freedom, no matter what our ideologies are, but we are only as free as our choices and our choices are not without consequence. I can't wake up tomorrow and choose to be "free" of gravity. Nor can I mindlessly consume and expect to be "free" of destructive waste.

Remember, nature doesn't really have "waste." In nature, waste is really nutrients for other systems. It's a cycle.. a closed loop. We can either align with it and flourish or ignore it and suffer the consequences... which we are "free" to do so, of course.

How we transition towards this paradigm is obviously complex and I certainly don't have all of the answers. I have some ideas (like better education, local production and less propaganda to describe a few) that I would be happy to get into with anyone interested.

I'm also not proposing some radical, imposed transition, so please spare me all of the "communist, socialist, Marxist and utopianists" remarks. In many ways, I think it should be our right to destroy ourselves.

Libertarian value...??

Problem is, while some of us choose to continue business as usual, degrading the planet, we're harming others at the same time who are not interested in destroying themselves and their environment.. I consider that to be a form of infringement..

Not a Libertarian value..

We have to figure out where to draw the line.. That's what societies do..

Hopefully we've matured enough as a species that we choose to base those lines on science and love, instead of dogma and selfishness.

The free market 'was' no friend to the environment. Your failing to realize that the free market system mirrors the people using it. As people realize the need to conserve the environment the new industry's will emerge and replace the old. Don't confuse ignorance from past thought with the free market system. It is of my opinion that a completely unregulated free market system will inevitably reach perfection simply because that's the nature of freedom. The free market system is largely based on faith for the best, and requires time to adapt. Regulating it only slows it down.

posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 09:17 PM
A true capitalist free market economic model, would provide a product or service, for every creed/ race/ religion/ majority/ minority, regardless of the collective, or if they are in fact the complete opposite of the capitalist system. The inherent problem comes when the majority becomes the minority, who still believes they are the minority, and vice versa. (Whether the means for this issue is intentionally propagated by a certain majority or minority, or is simply the product of the current environment, is out of the scope of this definition.) The point of this definition is plainly stated as follows No matter your beliefs you should be catered to even if you’re the last person that believes it. This is the true free market system and it is the author’s personal belief that it is god given. Whatever god is lol….
The only regulations should be regulations that keep this ideal alive. Which is intact no regulations of this economic system. Period. The system supports itself assuming the society is properly made aware of the nature of the system.
An example would be environmental sustainability….. One might argue this model could not be harmonious with the natural environment. But in fact it is naturally harmonious because the demand for an such would exist due to slowly dying from your own waste, and other ideas would flourish creating alternative markets for job growth and industry… naturally. Regulation is the wall. And our human responsibility should be to tear them down. In other words do as you wish so long as you do not regulate the economic system. This means no police, as they are in fact a form of regulation or wall as outlined by prohibition and its effects . a market will always exist for a demand. Police only create a dangerous market to sustain themselves. If you want to smoke crystal meth its your choice and there will be a market for that. If you want to quit crystal meth there will be a market to help with that. I believe common sense will always trump addiction in a truly healthy society.. and this can only exist in a truly unregulated free market. If you think about it. This economic model supports itself. In every way. Simply by our own natural process such as fear of death.. fear of loneliness, fear of being an outcast, contrived fear is the enemy…. Natural fear is the solution. The final solution… to each there own and to own there each.
Personal note… I wonder if we are remembering this… or we are being taught it… either way.. I like it..

edit on 10-4-2013 by McScrad because: mad spelling errors... ill leave the grammar errors cause screw it... its part of the picture I wish to paint...

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