I typically do not pay the opinions of mass entertainer Rush Limbaugh much attention, as I generally find his arguments to be substantively lacking and even irrationally partisan at times. Not to mention, he is in the business of catering to a particular audience in exchange for revenue (i.e., “give the people what they want”), vice the proliferation of actual political enlightenment. There is nothing wrong with this in a free market mind you, but it is not my cup of tea. That said, however, credit should be given when and where it is due and as it happens Limbaugh may indeed have been correct when he insisted many years ago that modern communist political movers and shakers have flocked to environmentalism as proverbial the “tent” to their “camel’s nose.”
Throughout the recorded history of mankind, states – be it under the auspices of divine rights of monarchs, imperial spoils distribution systems, modern misapplications of democracy, or downright might makes right plunder – have always sought to abolish through whatever means available the inherently restraining concept of private property. More than any other goal this one takes priority center stage as no individual rights subsequently flow except through a healthy respect for property rights.
Marxist communists, among other things, believe that the very concept of private property must be invalidated (often violently) and directly converted to “public,” which is to effectively say state, property. Indeed Karl Marx himself stated that “the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” Of course what often goes unchallenged is the very notion of public property in the first place, particularly when theory meets application as in this case. So-called public property usually serves as a smokescreen for old fashioned forced property transfers from one to another, in this case from the individual citizen to the oligarchical power brokers in and associated with the state – in other words, to the social elite.
There are some environmental communists that are at least confident enough in their own beliefs, however flawed, to operate aboveboard and declare their intentions and desires openly. This is greatly appreciated as it in-line with free expression, debate, markets, and choice. Some 130 environmental groups reportedly signed onto the Margarita Declaration (Spanish) recently, collectively asserting that “the structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system” and “to combat climate change it is necessary to change the system.” These groups seek to inject a direct state-controlled or planned economic solution to solve the theoretical problem of climate change, in similar fashion as Marx intended to solve class distinctions.
These folks are not a great problem, however. Because they operate aboveboard and are confident in the merits of their misguided beliefs, such proposals and designs can be equally scrutinized and their fallacies conversely demonstrated aboveboard and on their merits as well. What is troubling, however, is the ever-growing illegal use of regulations, unconstitutional statutes, and de facto legislative executive actions to surreptitiously confiscate or otherwise infringe property rights, which is the overwhelmingly preferred approach by modern Big Government bureaucrats and their social supporters.
Recent reports allege that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), itself an unconstitutional bureau that exercises a massive degree of illegally infringing power over property, has drafted “secret” maps (see below) detailing the lands that would presumably fall under direct EPA oversight and regulatory control based on designs to expand such regulation over internal “streams and wetlands.” EPA representatives deny this allegation, and its chief vocalist Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) could certainly be displaying hyper-partisan alarmism, but given historical trends and known end state desires of Big Government oligarchs, EPA should be considered guilty until proven innocent.
Coming on the heels of this regulatory nonsense are reports that the Obama Administration is actively seeking to circumvent constitutional requirements for senatorial treaty ratification and somehow “cherry pick” old treaty provisions to “forge an international climate change deal” that would likely facilitate wealth transfers from ”rich” nations (i.e., their taxpayers) to “poor” nations (i.e., their oligarchs). “Because the US Senate is unlikely to ratify any international climate treaty, Obama’s negotiators reportedly are working toward an alternative agreement – a ‘politically binding’ deal that would serve in lieu of a bona-fide treaty.” While not communism in the strictest Marxist sense, this brand of modern socialism echoes and supplements the broader, fundamentally common centralized economic planning approach and is no less dismissive of private property rights on the whole than its more rigid predecessor.
Notwithstanding the numerous instances of climatology fraud and existence of real scientific evidence supporting the notion that Earth is not warming at all, a discussion that generally lay outside the scope of this post, for sake of the argument let us assume that so-called climate change (as opposed to Global Warming since the aforementioned evidence disputes this) is both real and a manmade phenomenon. The over-simplistic dispute between “junk” science and science “deniers” is not in question here.
The real question here, particularly with contextual respect to government interventionism and property rights infringement, is what legitimacy or efficacy does the state bring to the table in this regard? Big Government is incredibly terrible at addressing all hypothetical problems of any appreciable complexity and often violates its own restrictive provisions when seeking to do so. The United States federal government, for example, has failed to “win” the so-called “wars” on drugs, poverty, hunger, unemployment, and income inequality despite throwing massive amounts of confiscated property (money) at the problems. The state demonstrably does not improve education, violent crime clearance rates, or recessions. Gone even are the days when the federal government effectively prosecuted wars, despite exploded Defense budgets, vast technological improvements, and far advanced training. There is no reason to think that pollution/climate change will meet with any better results from this approach.
Only markets, broad (un-coerced) changes in social attitudes, and/or private organizations, which are necessarily more efficiently/effectively run as they do not benefit from legalized plunder, achieve these feats. At the very least, modern China and the former Soviet Union stand as clear evidence that planned economies, wealth redistribution, and legalized plunder in themselves only serve to benefit the oligarchy in power positions and not the “public,” as environmentalism ostensibly promises. Indeed, there is ample reason to believe this is by design and the end goal unto itself. As Dr. Charles Krauthammer put it
Socialism having failed so spectacularly, the left was adrift until it struck upon a brilliant gambit: metamorphosis from red to green. The cultural elites went straight from the memorial service for socialism to the altar of the environment. The objective is the same: highly centralized power given to the best and the brightest, the new class of experts, managers and technocrats (emphasis added).
If we are going to charge full-steam ahead with the notion that whomever possesses the largest/most guns, incorporates the greatest numbers, and/or is the most fiercely opinionated can legitimately confiscate others’ property to suit their own political (or other) ends, then why have states/governments at all? Such an environment effectively functions, if by another name and characterization, similarly to medieval clan warfare or modern Afghan tribal conflicts. Are we better than this, sufficient to respect the individual as an individual and his/her natural rights?
To be clear, environmentalism itself is not under indictment here but rather unethical Big Government actors bent on throwing environmentalism against the wall, so to speak, as the latest cause celebre to cloak their ultimate design: to usurp property rights and protections for their own benefit, thereby undermining the very purpose behind the just existence of government in the first place.