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March 2, 2009 in Academia, Land Use, Politics, Water | Tags: capitalism and environment, conservative ideology, environmentalism, Joe Sax, Karl Marx, public trust doctrine, socialism, socialism and environmentalism | by Dan Farber | Leave a comment
Conservatives might be seeking a spiritual leader, organizing principle and fresh identity, but they at least seem to have settled on a favorite rhetorical ogre: socialism.
As in, Democrats are intent on forcing socialism on the “U.S.S.A” (as the bumper sticker says, under the words “Comrade Obama”).
This trend, as reported by the New York Times, raises the question of whether environmental law is “socialist” in some sense. No doubt many of Rush Limbaugh’s fans think so, but it’s hard to know what this allegation would mean.
It’s a bit ironic that the socialist label is emerging at a time when environmental advocates are prone to advocate market-based mechanisms like carbon taxes and cap-and-trade. Traditionally, socialism meant government ownership of the means of production. I’m not aware that anyone is arguing in favor of this as a solution to our environmental problems. It’s certainly not obvious that socialism in this sense has any Read the rest of this entry »