Self-identified socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – an Independent Vermont congressman who caucuses with U.S. House Democrats - has called for a “new architecture” for the global economy to replace a “failed model” of free-market capitalism.
In 1998 he led a group of like-minded progressive legislators, green activist organizations and trade unionists to draft a “Global Sustainable Development Resolution” advocating an alternative philosophy keyed upon “blocking the rise of right-wing nationalism."
It wasn’t a trend towards expanding government globalization that troubled them…but rather, as Sanders wrote in a “Third World Traveler” article titled “Globalization is the Issue” was about imposing more global regulations upon capitalistic corporate and financial institutions.
The new model (actually not very new at all), would emphasize environmental protections to prevent “climate change” and advance “sustainable development” which would include curbs on excessive free-market consumption.
As rapidly advancing Dem primary nomination candidate Sanders told John Harwood in a May 26 CNBC interview: “You can’t just continue growth for the sake of growth in a world in which we are struggling with climate change and all kinds of environmental problems.
All right? You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country. I don’t think the media appreciates the kind of stress that ordinary Americans are working on.”
If this sentiment sounds familiar, perhaps you remember it from prescriptions offered by the UN’s Agenda 21 “sustainability” mantra calling for reorienting lifestyles away from consumption, encouraging citizens to pursue free time over wealth, resource- sharing through co-ownership, and oh yeah . . . global wealth redistribution . . . beginning with ours.
Asformer U.N. Earth Summit Chair Maurice Strong wrote in the forward of the “Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide” published in 1996: “The realities of life on our planet dictate that continued economic development as we know it cannot sustained . . . Sustainable development, therefore, is a program of action for local and global economic reform- a program that has yet to be defined.”
In other words, “sustainable development” means whatever the United Nations ultimately decides is best for all of us. In any case it envisions a global scheme for healthcare, education, nutrition, agriculture, labor, production, and consumption.
A summary titled “AGENDA 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save Our Planet” (Earthpress, 1993), calls for “ . . . a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced — a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources.”
The report emphasizes that “This shift will demand a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level.”
In the interest of “reversing climate change,” Congressman Sanders, a fossil fuel and Keystone XL Pipeline opponent, introduced a Climate Protection Act with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to tax carbon and methane emissions.
Be assured that lots of impoverished world populations without electricity for refrigeration and who burn forests and animal dung for heating and cooking dearly wish for better alternatives. Such opportunities are denied by them by U.S.- led restrictions on global lending policies to develop and benefit from their own fossil reserves.
Sanders told CNBC’s John Harwood that “You can't just continue growth for the sake of growth in a world in which we are struggling with climate change and all kinds of environmental problems." The choice, as presented, is clear: Either feed hungry children through socialism, or just make them smell better and run faster through capitalism.
Or maybe not. For starters, there doesn’t appear to be any detectable human-caused climate crisis at all. Despite rising agriculture-nourishing CO2 levels, satellite measurements reveal that global temperatures have been statistically flat now for going on 19 years.
Putting aside any fanciful near-term likelihood of ending billions of years of natural climate change, progressive “social equity” mantra deserves far more urgent and immediate attention.
While it is true that economic conditions in capitalist America are not equal for all citizens, even our lowest income earners enjoy far higher qualities of life than general populations under socialism.
History demonstrates moral and economic disasters of regimes that promise equal economic conditions in exchange for eliminating private property ownership rights and productivity incentives.
Without production there is no moral charity to redistribute in order to achieve coveted socialist equality. As Margaret Thatcher observed, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money."
Or, as her fellow Brit countryman Winston Churchill put it: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." Socialism, he also noted, “is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.”
Bernie, we’re way better than that.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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