Life, Liberty, and Property – Or Death, Restraint, and Impoverishment
Environmental organizations in league with geo-political policy makers, after years of regulating industries and dismantling infrastructure associated with fossil fuels, are realizing that if the same is not accomplished regarding farming and food production in general, the goals of the United Nations Paris Accord would be out of reach.
Farming and Ranching, meat production and consumption in particular, are more and more becoming the target not simply for voluntary partnerships and programs but legally binding environmental policies and objectives.
Recently health professionals in the UK called for a tax on meat to help tackle the climate crisis and improve health. These taxes and regulations on particular commodities, we must remember, are couched in a climate change hypothesis emphasizing decarbonization.
The goal in this case is to reduce meat consumption and transform production agriculture which is a natural element of a massive carbon cycle in order to attain a fictitious “carbon neutral” or “climate neutral” (whatever that means) system.
This is no doubt connected to the push by World Wildlife Fund and a conglomerate of other International NGOs pressing for complete economic reform and policy controls strictly enforced to track, measure, and control the food production and distribution supply chains within the European Union.
These Eco-fascist agendas result in severe human suffering in developing countries and shackle developed countries through further policy encroachments into land-use liberties and otherwise spontaneous free-market pricing of production goods which has built western civilization.
“Once society abandons free pricing of production goods rational production becomes impossible. Every step away from private ownership of the means of production and the use of money is a step away from rational economic activity.” (Mises, 1981)
You see, in order to meet their goals for climate and biodiversity they must collectivize the means of production in order to measure and then manage for outcomes they desire, or as they say that “science dictates.”
If the heart of their legally binding targets is the absolute reduction of resource use in Europe and the rest of the civilized world, the means to their target is the abolition of the Rule of Law, Private property, and the Spontaneous free market economies which provides for a system of self-government through which alone the dignity of the individual attains respect and protection.
“The essence of socialism is this: all the means of production are in the exclusive control of the organized community. This and this alone is socialism. All other definitions are misleading.” (Mises, 1981)
It would be good to see and understand how these Environmental NGOs seek legally binding policy reforms that will reshape and centralize all economic transactions and thus intrude into the most intimate and otherwise unilateral decisions and actions of individual people in the world.
This boils down to the difference between the spontaneous order of life, liberty, and property, and the planned order of death, restraint, and impoverishment. Here is an excerpt from a 2019 WWF briefing paper for the European Green Deal:
European Green Deal: Five Tests it Must Pass
(WWF briefing paper Oct. 2019)
1. Set mutually reinforcing targets on decarbonization and nature restoration, based on what science dictates. (‘Science. . . is unable to decide which state of affairs is really just. Opinions differ and science cannot decide between them in absolute terms.’) (Brecht, 1959)
2. Introduce flagship initiatives to transition to sustainable food systems in the EU and to address the EU’s global footprint
3. Focus on delivery: zero tolerance for non-compliance or weak implementation of environmental laws
4. Stop all financial support for harmful economic activities such as fossil fuel use and shift public and private finance to a climate neutral and sustainable economy
5. Guarantee a just transition ensuring no-one is left behind
“. . .To formulate an effective response, the European Green Deal must contain an ambitious roadmap based on appropriate legally binding targets and immediate cross-cutting action on both climate and biodiversity. In the case of the new circular economy strategy, the absolute reduction of resource use in Europe must be placed at its heart.
. . .The EU has had ambitious biodiversity targets in place for several decades now, but has consistently failed to meet them, due to a lack of accountability and policy coherence. The proposed biodiversity strategy for 2030 must thus move away from voluntary commitments and instead set out legally binding targets for the EU and its Member States. . . The legally binding strategy should (1) make full use of the existing EU environmental acquis and ensure Member States fully implement existing nature laws and (2) set binding targets where nature protection laws do not yet provide for any.
. . .A long-term strategy to move towards sustainable food consumption and production in Europe. . . Diets and consumption must be part of the broader “Farm to Fork” strategy, aiming to bring animal protein consumption, including seafood, back to healthy and sustainable levels.” (WorldWildlifeFund, 2019)
What About America
As for the United States of America we may be on the verge of the National Government moving heavily in these policy directions as well. A Biden, Harris administration will no doubt align with the regional and global governance deemed necessary to address the “climate emergency.”
Not all hope is lost if Americans remember their heritage, and State and Local Governments recognize their reserved powers and stand for our sovereignty and private property rights and stop pandering to special interest groups and stand on principals.
In the United States, where the rule of law provides for procedural safeguards and where due process remains stronger than any place in the west, these special interest groups are much more subtle. Public Private Partnerships and other “voluntary” agreements is the method to create compromise within the rural resource dependent counties throughout the United States.
As Mises aptly pointed out “Compromise is always only a momentary Lull in the fight between the two principles, not the result of a logical thinking out of the problem.”
There is such a thing as the exploitation of ignorance and this is just what these multi-national tax-exempt foundations are doing when in the EU they are saying we need to shift away from voluntary partnerships and agreements to legally binding targets; while in the great plains of America they are coercing landowners and local governments through favors, financial benefits, and regulatory exemptions, all of course “voluntarily” entered into.
If these folks signing up knew that the same organizations they are “voluntarily” joining and partnering with were using data collected from their involvement in the initiatives in order to more effectively lobby the highest levels of government to make these biological targets legally binding, they would never have signed up.
Entering into Public Private Partnerships (PPP) with interest groups that hold fundamentally different philosophies relating to land management approaches as a whole should be of concern for local governments and private property owners alike.
“Although Federal funds are often used in PPP programs, the long-term, insidious implications for the tax base, impacts to private-property, and reduction in land-management liberties are not well understood by local governments, property owners and citizenry alike. Cloaked impacts include affects to adjacent properties through endangered-species introductions, encroachments from arbitrary “viewshed” programs, limitations from imposed buffer zones, encumbered (or denied) access for subsurface mineral development, injection of third-party enforcement by Non-Governmental organizations, and a myriad of other lurking, unexamined impacts.”
“Time will demonstrate the big losers in PPP transactions to be private landholders who enroll lands in mitigation, ranchers and farmers who experience ever-constricting controls on their decision-making, and local governments experiencing reduction in land values, implications for the tax base, and declines in land productivity resulting from the transition of working lands to non-productive, conservation pursuits.” https://knrc.org/issues/public-private-partnerships/
The Durants wrote in The Story of Civilization (Vol. 3-Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p.90)
“The Roman landowner disappeared now that ownership was concentrated in a few families, and a proletariat (working class) without stake in the country filled the slums of Rome.”
Arther Ferrill wrote in The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation (New York: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1986):
“The chief cause of the agricultural decline was high taxation on the marginal land, driving it out of cultivation.” (Ferrill, 1986)
When you destroy the wealth of a people, with it goes the spirit of liberty and patriotism.
“Ownership is power of disposal, and when this power of disposal is divorced from its traditional name and handed over to a legal institution which bears a new name, the old terminology is essentially unimportant in the matter. Not the word but the thing must be considered. Limitation of the rights of owners as well as formal transference is a means of socialization. If the state takes the power of disposal from the owner piecemeal, by extending its influence over production; if its power to determine what direction production shall take and what kind of production there shall be, is increased, then the owner is left at last with nothing except the empty name of ownership, and property has passed into the hands of the State.”
[Ludwig Von Mises(1881-1973), SOCIALISM An Economic and Sociological Analysis (Liberty Fund Indianapolis 1981) chapter 2 p.45 The State of Economic Activity]
Globalist Agenda for American Beef Industry
Farming and ranching are the target of de-development and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions especially for the farming and ranching communities in the Northern Great Plains region.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have established enroutes into local communities assisting the development of local “grassroots” organizations that then funnel grants from these groups into local government officials to sponsor.
Because these are submitted to elected officials by local residents, local officials often give a rubber stamp of approval to environmental organizations with an agenda that looks fine on the surface but if analyzed proves to be unambiguously subversive to private property in the means of production.
Cargill is now partnering with TNC in an unprecedented effort to reduce GHG emissions in the American beef industry. “In 2017, Cargill partnered with The Nature Conservancy to develop a climate change strategy and set a new commitment in line with the Paris climate agreement and United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals” https://www.cargill.com/story/cargill-sets-new-goal-to-address-climate-change.
“The commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from its global supply chain by 30% per ton of product by 2030, in combination with the previously announced operational goal to reduce absolute emissions by 10%, has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). . . The Beef Up Sustainability initiative aims to achieve a 30% GHG reduction per pound of product produced by 2030. . .” https://www.cargill.com/2019/cargill-expands-climate-change-commitments.
This same paper concedes to the fact that “the North American beef industry. . . is already 35% more efficient from a GHG perspective than the global average.” In order to accomplish a further 30% GHG reduction calls for a highly centralized “gate to plate” control of the supply chain, and extensive data collection to accomplish “science based” outcomes.
As early as 1959 A. Brecht’s work Political Theory recognized that “Science. . . is unable to decide which state of affairs is really just. Opinions differ and science cannot decide between them in absolute terms.” Consensus is not science. Churchill stated, “If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.”
A 30% GHG reduction in the American beef supply chain will not make us more efficient. You can start to see how these groups plan to uphold the Paris Accord, which places heavy burdens on the most efficient Nation in the world while communist nations get a pass. The plan where American taxpayers, “capitalists,” pay for the losses generated by centrally controlled “communist” nations.
In 2012 WWF, TNC, Cargill, the National Wildlife Federation, and others co-founded the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. This outfit seeks, through what it calls “continual improvement,” to further centralize the global Beef supply chain with the goal of reducing meat consumption as one of the means to reduce GHG emissions.
In order to reduce GHG emissions 30% by 2030 you either have to control meat production or meat consumption, and they plan on influencing both with a tremendous amount of power and wealth to sway investment towards or away from products depending on whether producers meet their standards.
These groups accomplish more by assimilation than by outright opposition. They say they are for “sustainable ranching” and against “unsustainable ranching” without defining either term.
My conclusion from reading hundreds of pages of their documents is that sustainable ranchers are those who operate their property according to centrally designed standards, while unsustainable ranchers are those who choose to operate their property according to their own best interest.
The former expropriates their property to other interests, while the latter appropriate their property according to their own interests. One relinquishes sovereign jurisdiction of the property the other retains it.
Our first president George Washington stated in his farewell address, “Real patriots will resist intrigues, while dupes will surrender to interests.” And further he exhorted “Be guided by principles, not interests.”
Any organization that aligns itself with the UN sustainable development goals is aligned against private land ownership and seeks to socialize the means of production.
The antithesis to such collectivist conclusions without referencing the long lineage of the great men of history from Rutherford, to Locke, to Jefferson, and many names through the 19th century who upheld the common law heritage and the right to property. I shall quote a recent person, the great economist Fredrick A. Hayek:
“What our generation has forgotten,” he said in his 1944 Nobel Prize-winning classic, The Road to Serfdom, “is that the system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us, that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves.”
We’ve been travelling down this path for some time as a people. I’m simply trying to get people to understand that nothing essential to their life, liberty, and their property exists in a vacuum.
Everything material in our lives comes from the ground. You don’t just go out and flip over a rock and get a toothbrush, toilet paper, a beer, or how about a shovel, or a knife, and all of the other material products we take for granted. The earth is the source of all that we use and need in life.
It is a matter of national security to provide for and promote the development of our resources by protecting private property rights, relying on self-determination, and ensuring open market conditions.
This is the difference between liberty and tyranny, this is nothing new, “the condition upon which God has given liberty to man is eternal vigilance, which condition if he breaks, servitude is the immediate consequence of his crime.”
The question is will the American stand; will the Free-man stand; the odds have always been against the man who is free; but it is his freedom that makes him responsible to choose this day who he will serve. When Noah entered the Ark he was in the minority, but when he came out of the Ark he was in the majority.
Richard Wurmbrand spent 14 years in a Communist Romanian prison for his faith. Half of those years were in solitary confinement. He eventually was released in 1964. In 1975 Wurmbrand gave the world’s view of America:
“Every freedom loving man has two fatherlands: his own and America. Today, America is the hope of every enslaved man, because it is the last bastion of freedom in the world. Only America has the power and spiritual resources to stand as a barrier between militant communism and the people of the world.
It is the last “dike” holding back the rampaging floodwaters of militant communism. If it crumples, there is no other dike, no other dam; no other line of defense to fall back upon.
America is the last hope of millions of enslaved peoples. They look to it as their second fatherland. In it lies their hopes and prayers. I have seen fellow-prisoners in communist prisons beaten, tortured, with 50 pounds of chains on their legs-praying for America…. that the dike will not crumple; that it will remain free.”