FREE MARKET ENVIRONMENTALISM
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© April 2019, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The Western capitalist nations are the cleanest nations on earth. This is not because they have the best environmental protection agencies. It is because a free market, advanced economy and political structure automatically tends to protect the environment. This article discusses why and how this occurs.
A basic feature of a free market or advanced society is the right to own, use and protect one’s property. This is more than just helpful for the growth of industry. It also helps protect the environment.
The reason is that if anyone pollutes in such a way as to impact someone else’s property, the victim of pollution can sue for damages. Most pollution of the water and the air spreads out and damages neighboring property.
It is true that property rights have been eroded in Europe and America, but this safeguard still exists.
PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP
Allowing people to own property of itself helps the environment because people take pride and have a stake in maintaining and beautifying their property, such as their home, farm, factory, office building, marketplace or other establishment.
Socialist nations do not allow private property and they do not have this factor working in favor of environmental cleanliness.
One of the main complaints about free market and capitalist societies is that people are so materialistic, acquisitive, money-oriented and profit-oriented. There is some truth here. However, these traits also tend to clean up the environment.
People in free market societies tend to like new, shiny, clean everything to show off to their friends and neighbors. So they work harder to clean up. This is a showy quality of free market societies and slightly different than pride in ownership discussed above.
In a free market society, in order to succeed economically, one must attract customers to one’s business. It does not matter what kind of business it is – a profession, a retail store, a service business or something else.
Not all of them care what the area looks like, but most do care because it is good for business. The cleaner and more attractive the business, the more people come around and the more money the owner makes. It is selfish on his part, but it helps keep the environment clean.
It is also in his interest to keep the entire region, city, state and even nation clean and attractive to business from other areas and even other nations. This is called good investment planning.
Cities spend a lot of money attracting business, tourism, travelers and more and a clean city, a safe city and a happy city all help, so they promote these values. This is not taught enough. It is all about pride of ownership and the value to society of having people own private property.
The problem of the commons. In economic theory, this reason for environmental cleanliness in nations that allow and protect the right to own property is sometimes called the problem of the commons. Essentially, property that is owned or operated in common with others, such as city property or all property in pure socialist and communist nations, does not fare very well ecologically and in other ways. The reason is there is less pride of private ownership. Private property gives the society the most pride of ownership. This is a powerful way that advanced societies are able to keep the environment clean and safe.
TREATING WOMEN WELL
This may seem an unusual reason for environmental cleanliness. However, advanced or free market societies tend to respect the rights of women much more than socialist and communist societies.
Actually, more advanced free market societies respect the rights of all people. Most important, however, are the rights of the weak and those least able to defend themselves – the women and children.
More primitive societies such as socialist, communist, and other autocratic or dictator-run and monarchical societies tend to treat women worse because they are predatory and women and children are the least able to defend themselves.
Women tend to be more cleanliness-oriented than men and in the more advanced free-market societies the women are more active as consumers. Reasons women are more interested in all cleanliness than men are:
- Woman’s anatomy. The vagina is not easy to keep clean. Women know this and feel it all the time. Cleanliness helps. Soap helps. Clean clothing helps. A clean environment, in general, feels better to women, even if it is just symbolic for a clean body.
- Women bear the children and want a clean environment for their children.
- Women like things that are attractive, pretty and a little sexy. Cleanliness is definitely more attractive.
- Women have a more acute sense of smell than men. This tends to cause them to be more sensitive to foul odors from environmental pollution than men.
- Women are often more social creatures than men, and cleanliness helps here as well. Social places such as parks and town squares are more favorable for social gatherings if they are clean.
- Western free market societies are all Bible-based, even if it is not obvious today. The Bible stresses the idea of cleanliness, both personal and environmental.
Women tend to be more religiously oriented than men, if only because women are physically weaker and tend to rely more on faith and God for their safety than men. Women also learn about cleanliness from the Bible.
Women and conservatives. Women are often duped into voting for anyone who says they will clean up the environment. The liberals actually promote filth with their socialistic and communistic agenda, but they lie and talk about promoting cleanliness. They may get the women’s votes for this reason.
Conservatives actually promote environmental cleanliness with their philosophy of individual rights, the rule of law and the right to own property, and more. However, they do not talk about environmental cleanliness enough so they lose the women’s vote.
This article is intended to assist conservatives to correct this serious election problem. It must be done now and thoroughly, before the next election in order to win, we believe. Otherwise the progress of the past four years could be slowed. Women are a key to the process.
In an advanced free market society, people speak, write, and communicate freely with each other. Most people want a clean environment, so they speak about it and they spread the word about who is offering the most environmentally-friendly products and services, and whom to avoid. This word-of-mouth method can be very helpful to protect the environment.
Since the citizens want a clean environment, companies often advertise that their products are environmentally friendly. This can be fraudulent, but then the company is subject to lawsuits, so it is usually based on fact. In this way, companies are motivated to protect the environment because it helps sales of their products and services.
CRIMINAL LAWS AGAINST NEGLIGENCE
Negligence means lack of caring or sloppiness. Some environmental crimes can fall under this heading and can be prosecuted under this criminal law. For example, if a company is disposing of toxic waste in an irresponsible manner, they may be prosecuted for negligence.
PRIVATE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS
In a free market economy, citizens are permitted to form environmental watchdog groups and organizations. Many of these exist on earth such as Greenpeace, The Environmental Working Group and hundreds of others. These groups promote a clean environment in many ways including:
- lobbying legislators,
- researching environmental issues
- publishing books, newsletters, blogs and other media for the public, for legislators and for companies and other involved in environmental issues.
- protesting bad behavior by companies, nations and others
- raising money to buy land and protect it
- literally saving and protecting threatened animal and plant species. Some are involved in breeding programs, for example.
- certifying products that meet their environmental standards
This is a free market concept related to the concept of private property ownership. Land trusts are corporations with rules that stipulate that they will buy or otherwise acquire land and any land they acquire will be preserved and enhanced environmentally. It will never be used for certain purposes that would damage the environment.
This idea is catching on in America because it appeals to people who own property and worry that when they die or when they sell their property, others will simply turn it into parking lots, shopping centers, dirty factories or some other blight on the land. These people are willing to donate or sell their land to land trusts who vow to preserve and often to beautify the land in perpetuity, which means forever!
Just a few examples that one can research in America are the American Farmland Trust and The Nature Conservancy. There are dozens of others, as well. Some have special missions, such as to preserve old buildings or other treasures. Others specifically preserve farmland or rangeland, and so on. It is capitalism at its best, in fact.
This is a newer concept in which a person turns their land into a showplace for environmental quality. The person actually earns money offering tours of an area, showing off plants and animals, for example, and often teaching the patrons or customers healthy environmental practices that are used on their area or piece of land.
It is another example of capitalism at its best – making money and at the same time enhancing the environment. Socialistic and communistic nations rarely have the insight, desire or even ability to do manage such properties.
ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY, COLLEGE AND POST-GRADUATE ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES PROGRAMS
Advanced societies offer many opportunities to learn about environmental issues. Some of it is misguided, but some is very good.
OTHER LEGAL REMEDIES
Governments can fine people, jail people, shut down manufacturing plants and require cleanup if companies violate environmental laws.
THE BIBLICAL VALUE OF CLEANLINESS
We have spoken of cleanliness as a value that women, in particular, like. However, advanced free market societies also usually value cleanliness as a basic societal value. This is done by the men and the women and the children in the society.
Cleanliness is associated with better health and fewer germs. Cleanliness is associated with transparency and truth. The word filth in English often refers not only to dirt. It also refers to corruption, degradation and destruction.
It also often refers to the thugs that run socialist and communist nations. It is not a term of praise, but there is truth to the slang use of the word filth to describe power-hungry, selfish men, usually, although they marry power-hungry selfish women who help them rape the landscape and steal as much wealth and power as they can in the name of socialism and communist or Marxist theory.
In the Western world, the nations are all based firmly on the teachings of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. This is not taught to children in school today, but it needs to be taught because it is the truth. British common law, Spanish common law and the law of all European nations and America and Australia, New Zealand, India and other places colonized by Europeans over the past several hundred years all are based on Biblical values.
One of these values is cleanliness. The expression, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”, comes from a sermon preached by the famous Christian pastor, John Wesley, in 1778. However, the idea is central to biblical teaching. Just one example is the Kosher laws found in the Old Testament. These describe “clean animals” that one can eat, and “unclean creatures” that one must not eat in order to be healthy. Cleanliness is also discussed at length in the Hebrew holy book, the Talmud.
In fact, cleanliness is a central value in the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. About fourteen verses describing this are found at:
We think there are many more references to cleanliness.
A problem with all primitive, socialist and communist nations is they despise the Bible because it is another power center that detracts from the power of the leaders. For this reason, they disparage the Bible and most primitive societies persecute and may kill anyone who loves the Bible and its teachings on cleanliness. While this is not obvious, it is a powerful reason why the advanced Western societies value cleanliness. Conservative politicians need to stress this when they talk of the Bible as the basis of society – it is environmentally friendly!!!!!
Socialist and communist nations, such as the former Soviet Union, are often known for their terrible environmental filth. Communist China today is also an example of how communism leads to environmental pollution. This needs to be taught by conservative politicians and is a powerful counter-argument to the socialistic agenda of the liberals and labor party candidates.
APATHY AND DICOURAGEMENT
Often, those living in socialist and communist nations become discouraged and apathetic by the oppressiveness of their government and economic system. This tends to translate into a more dirty and less cared for environment.
EMULATING THE LEADERS
In socialist and communist nations, the leaders often don’t care much about the environment. Their citizens copy and emulate the leaders. This is human nature! It results in more environmental damage because the socialist leaders are always thugs who damage things. The people tend to do likewise.
Other reasons why socialist and communist leaders do not care much about the environment are:
- They may want their citizens to be somewhat sick so they will be easier to control.
- Keeping the environment clean requires money and these societies are usually less prosperous.
- Socialist and communist dictators and leaders don’t care as much about anything except staying in power. In other words, environmental cleanliness is not one of their high priorities. These societies often have a drab and dingy quality to them for this reason.
- The leaders in these nations don’t have to answer to the needs of the people nearly as much as in more advanced, free market societies.
- Citizens in advanced nations have more freedom of movement. If a town or city becomes polluted, people will move away and the city will suffer. For this reason, cities and towns have an incentive to keep their environment clean to attract more people. This incentive is missing or less important in communist nations that control the people’s freedom of movement.
- In free market economies, in order to get people to work in dirty factories or industries, one must pay higher wages because people don’t like these working conditions.
Paying higher wages harms the profits of these companies. As a result, companies have an incentive to keep the working conditions as clean as possible in order to attract workers without having to pay them too high a wage.
Conservatives need to know that the very system of economics and politics that they love and endorse also helps produce the cleanest environment. This means that conservatives are naturally environmentalists. Please explain this to the people of the world.
Conservatives need to take this issue of a clean environment away from the liberals, democrats, socialists and communists. Their system of government and economics do not produce a clean environment.