by John Clark Peterborough NH
At first glance there does not appear to be a connection between Environmentalism and Socialism, however after even a basic analysis the "commonality" becomes apparent.
The primary objectives of Socialism are "Control of the Means of Production", and the "Re-distribution of Wealth". These being accomplished under a "Central Government" to the detriment of individual rights and freedom of choice. Socialism is the Far Left wing of Democracy.
The primary objectives of Environmentalism are " Control of the Use of Land", and the "Re-distribution of Land Ownership", also to the detriment of individual rights and freedom of choice. Environmentalism is the Far Left wing of Conservationism.
What Socialism is to Democracy, so is Environmentalism to Conservationism.
Both are synomymous with restriction of individual rights and freedoms, both posit the premise that the "State, and/or Local Government" can make better decisions than individuals or private businesses.
Both originate and have their "Power Base" in the same psuedo-intellectual, upper-middle class of our society.
Whilst Socialism is essentially more of a "National" issue, the same is not true of Environmentalism. Take a good look at your local Land Use Ordinances, Building Codes, Planning Boards and all of the various Commissions, Committees, etc which control our Towns. Most are "appointed" by elected Officials. Many "local" elections do not generate very large turn-outs and so become relatively easy targets for "activist" factions with a cohesive Local, National, and even International, agenda.
The large population centers, of which there are only a few in our particular State, are not really affected as much as smaller Towns of which we have MANY. In the name of "preserving our country way of life" and "protecting the environment for future generations", we face mandated Lot sizes of 1,3,5 and 10 acres, residential sprinkler systems, excessive wetland clearances and "building style review", to name just a few restrictive measures we deal with on a daily basis. We tend to accept these Regulations blindly since they are recommended by representatives we expect to be "looking out" for our common interests.
The people who settled our the land and built our Towns did a pretty good job of keeping them compact and picturesque. They built to emphasize the features of the countryside, along the rivers, hugging the hillsides, among the trees. the house lots were small and neighborly. The regulations demanding huge Lots, and up to 100 foot set-backs from rivers, do NOT "reduce urban sprawl" they ENHANCE it ! Furthermore, such things tend to increase the house prices to a point where "normal working people" can no longer afford to participate in the American Dream of "home ownership" -- Part of the reverse logic of Environmental philosophy.
Social Engineering is very much a part of Environmental activism. Fortunately the main proponents of this activism are fairly easy to identify. Conversation becomes the "give-away". their interminable pronouncements are almost always started with "Our Studies absolutely prove -----", or "The Best Science states ----".
Frequent rallying points are "Open Space" and residential pollution, with "houses bring children, and children mean added schools, so your taxes will go up" !
As a primary Objective, Environmental activists wish to control Land Use, using local Ordinances and Building / Zoning Regulations.
ONLY local "citizen" participation can preserve our way of life and the heritage of our children.
Having read this "Primer" your next step should be to attend your local Town Board and Committee Meetings, usually held in the Town House, to find out what is happening in the name of the "Environment". Local Government is where Your Lifestyle, Your personal Liberty and Your Freedom of Choice are subject to the most insidious attack. Awareness is the first step, Please take that step. GET INVOLVED !!