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The western world at the crossroads to Fascism

By Justin Jefferson - posted Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The difference between the international socialism of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in Stalin’s Russia, and the national socialism of the National Socialist German Workers Party in Hitler’s Germany, was in their ideas on how government should go about controlling all production activities. Both variants were agreed that private ownership of the means of production - capitalism - is terribly bad for society; and that government should dictate the conditions of production, and therefore any aspect of human freedom in general.

The Russian model involved the state taking over ownership of all productive property and running it directly. The German model left the legal ownership in the hands of the property owner, who was able to run it and to profit subject to any overriding directive on any matter by the state according to its plans for society. This model increasingly describes contemporary conditions in the western world, especially owing to the rise of environmentalism.

Many people think it is necessary for government to manage the environment which unchecked human resource use is liable to degrade.


However, there is no such thing as values over and above human values. If we took away all the people, there would be no value in the environment.

No one has a right to speak for environmental values over and above human values in the environment. Those who presume to speak for “environmental values” supposedly over and above human values, are merely speaking for their own values in using the same resource in a different way.

Take native vegetation for example. The problem is not that native vegetation has “environmental value” over and above the value of using the land for growing food like wheat or beef. The problem is that the farmer values the use of a particular piece of land to satisfy one kind of human want - for food; and the environmentalist values the same piece of land to satisfy a different kind of human want - for growing plant species that were here before 1788. The issue is, which values should prevail and how should we decide?

The fact that there are “environmental values” in native vegetation does not mean that those asserting them should necessarily prevail over everyone else with an inconsistent value in the use of the same resource. Nor does it mean that the decision of which value should prevail should be made by government.

Thus, just because there are “environmental values”, doesn’t mean the government should have responsibility to manage the environment.

There are only two possibilities. Either decision on how to use a given resource can be made on the basis of individual liberty, private property, and voluntary consent to transactions. Or they can be made on the basis of one-person-one-vote, and government using force - the law - to dictate what property-owners must do - on pain of prison if you don’t obey. It’s not about the environment, it’s about power. There is no third way.


It is not true that government “represents” society and the greater good more than the farmer or firm motivated by profit. All environmental interventions by government are intended to override the price levels affecting the supply and demand for a particular natural resource, and to replace it with a different price.

But the process by which original prices arise is far more representative of society and the greater good, than the processes by which the politicians are elected and impose alternative prices. Prices arise from the actions of everyone in the world in buying or selling, or abstaining from buying or selling, the resource in question, voluntarily,  and in which every dollar is a vote, made multiple times daily, every day of the year. Governments arise from the actions of only a sub-set of a small sub-set of the people of this planet, voting once every three years, with no ability for the elector to distinguish a party’s policies that he wants, from those he doesn’t.

It is more absurd to blame the farmer or firm for being motivated by profit, than it is to blame the politician for being motivated by a majority.

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About the Author

Justin Jefferson is an Australian who wishes to show that social co-operation is best and fairest when based in respect for individual freedom.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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