Re: Uniting the libertarian and green movements

William Miller (
Sun, 27 Apr 1997 06:18:14 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 26 Apr 1997 14:51:57 +1000 Patrick Wilken
<> wrote:
> >The Libertarian and Green and movements are beginning to coalesce
> >(thanks to an old economic philosophy that seems new bringing the two
> >into greater discussion
> I think there is a lot of room for greater use of libertarian thought in
> Green philosophy. Simple economic arguments are uncomfortable to many
> Greens. It clear that here in Australia there is a massive subsidy to the
> forest industry by the government. The government not only builds roads in
> the forest for the logging industry, but does all the clean up and planting
> of new trees after logging has finished. This tax subsidy allows woodchips
> very cheaply at $70 a tonne which is particular ironic as surveys
> repeatedly show that around 80% of Australians don't want forests logged in
> the first place. However trying to get Green groups to push a rational
> economic line is particularly difficult. There is a strong almost religious
> fervor against all economic arguments. Money to many in the movement is
> seen as a tool of the devil.
> I would very much appreciate getting a better understanding of how
> libertarian thought can be meshed with the idea of public property.
> Wilderness areas to the Greens are common property to all and must be
> managed as such by a government body and this I think (from my shallow
> reading of libertarian philosophy) would be a major sticking point between
> better integration of the two groups.

Well, it seems to be done by resurrecting the last of the classical
economists Henry George. Toward the end of the 1800's, he wrote a book
called _Progress and Poverty_ ( available online at
<> ) which sold 3 million copies
and sparked off the progressive movement. It provides subtle arguments
against Marx and not-so-subtle arguments against Malthus. The strict
georgist libertarianism of the kind that Henry George advocated can be
seen espoused at the Dan's Geolibertarian Home Page
<> which has a page called "Greens and
Libertarians: The yin and yang of our political future"
which I highly recommend. The progressive libertarian caucus within
the Democratic Party of the US known as the Democratic Freedom Caucus
<> was founded by the same fellow that
started the Maryland Chapter of the Green Party.

But perhaps I'm putting the cart before the horse. Let's get back to
basics for a moment shall we. First thing that you must understand
when talking to Greens are the green values. "The Original Ten Key
Values of the Green Committees of Correspondence" with the questions
used to clarify them can be found at <>
and Harry Reid's response to them can be found on page
<> in the section
labeled "Libertarian and Green Values." We are infinitely compatible
movements with similar roots and understanding this will help us both
get that much closer to reaching our goals.

In liberty,
BilLee Miller