Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fresh Shoots from a Dead Tree: The Bioregional State Compared and Contrasted to Green and Libertarian Ideologies, Pt. 2/4

("Do you think they will notice that nothing changes if merely an informal Green Party achieves some power?" "Shhhh, my Red-Blue friend. Let them 'compete.' We will make a Green proxy we can wrap ourselves in to utilize for the same degradative policy, and it will delegitimate them despite the whole world supporting them instead of us." "Brilliant.")
Section Two: Unable to Get Around Gatekeeping Parties with Only a Strategy of Other Singular Parties

This is a continuation from part one.

There have been several previous posts about how singular parties as a SOLE method of approach have a poor track record in getting to sustainability. [1] [2]). From a previous post:

"The idea of moving a singular political party into the state and then reorienting the state from only that singular political party basis is a faulty model of sustainable change. Instead, the state should be reoriented first to generate a more competitive party framework to remove the gatekeeping of any party--because the grand majority of the population supports a combination of green sentiment in many countries worldwide."

However, as noted before:

"I do support various forms of green parties however just without expecting that the model of political change for sustainability can ever be achieved by a singular party...[T]he bioregional state argues that a single informal party is a poor strategy for change to sustainability. A single party can be corrupted like the fading greenness of Die Grunen in Germany (discussed at that link above). Second, a single party it is a poor strategy for sustainability because support for greenness comes from across the left-right spectrum seen in above polls for global supermajorities supporting green politics. This makes a single informal party a poor strategy for mobilizing toward sustainability. It is perhaps ultimately self-defeating and self-divisive of the commonality of views on greenness to attempt to fit 'green' into one party framework."

A more competitive party framework in the beginning is crucial in sustainability instead of reliance on a singular party.

This is achievable through informal and formal change, first, after which the arrangement itself (instead of an individual party) provides checks and balance on political corruption and gatekeeping. This is because with a more competitive election framework, the common geographic self-interest of all populations (regardless of their different ideologies) could shine through. When it shines through, it forces any and all parties in a district to adapt to local conditions to win elections instead of allowing parties in an uncompetitive context to selectively appeal to positions that gatekeep only and tend to support the same degradative policies.

Current democratic procedures perversely reward forms of party as gatekeeper and reward parties that can maintain a lack of competitive elections. They reward party gatekeeping by preserving the political capacity of parties to appeal to small portions of the electorate only, instead of forms of democracy that force all parties to appeal to full electorate in a district to win elections. The latter forces them to endlessly adapt their strategies to suit particular district's interests. The former maintains gatekeeping and environmental degradation.

These current frameworks that encourage environmental degradation reward this lack of competitive strategy for the same voters and reward a lack of flexibility in party appeals. As a result, current frameworks discourage competitive elections pitched by parties to the full electorate, and voters get used to assuming that incomplete appeals are 'normative' to democratic procedure, instead of only normative to corruption of democracy. This keeps voters from understanding that more competitive elections are their only salvation for sustainability--particularly when current contexts of thin 'electoral competition' (of different parties with nearly identical goals) that are based on broken voting mechanisms lead to completely different outcomes than the majority's voting desires. In turn, gatekeeping parties frame blame upon a more competitive party situation when untoward outcomes happen. This is a perverse attribution of blame when the gatekeeping parties and broken democratic voting and districting mechanisms ruin democracy (given these polls) instead of electoral competition.

As said above, political gatekeeping that facilitates environmental degradation and works against sustainability has informal and formal aspects. It even has cultural hegemonic aspects implied above if gatekeeping corrupt parties succeed in convincing people that opposing them leads to strange electoral outcomes causing people to be afraid of more competitive party politics instead of call for more. For instance, there was the runoff of LePen versus Chirac in France several years ago--when no one wanted either. It was an outcome of more competitive party politics washing against a broken democratic formal institutional apparatus unable to handle a more robust democracy successfully or accurately.

Another example would be the media circus that blamed competitive democracy (scapegoat position: third and fourth parties) for strange electoral outcomes of the 2000 Presidential election in the USA. However, it was clearly another issue entirely of vote fraud in Florida for the Republicans that led to Bush instead of it being possible to pin the blame/tail (on the Democratic donkey) to third parties for 'splitting the left', so called, as a useful media scapegoat. Why? According to the Democrats' own internal journal, as mentioned in Toward a Bioregional State, when the Green Party in the USA ran in 2000 for the Presidency, doing so didn't 'take away' from Gore. The Democratic Party's own analysis of the demographics and party competition effects of the 2000 Presidential election noted that the Green Party running added more to Gore than he would have received because Gore had much less people turn out to support him. They only supported him and came out of the quiescent woodwork because it was a more competitive election with choices. Thus a more competitive party situation yields more of the full electorate voting, and nothing more. It did what it was supposed to do except for the vote fraud of course (an issue for part three, next).

Still, barely over 25% of the full electorate supported either Bush or Gore respectively.

Thus half of the electorate even then felt out of touch, and party incentives perversely rewarded these parties for keeping them out of touch.

So it is the issue of changing these informal party incentives to integrate the full electorate instead of only the partial electorate that the bioregional state concentrates upon.

Blaming voters is moot. If you provide parties the proper incentives to appeal to the full electorate, parties will be forced to do so and will find ways to integrate and to compete for the full electorate instead of appeal to only the partial electorate.

What are these party incentives that can be changed? Only two will be elaborated below, one for informal and one for formal. However, the bioregional state has over 60 novel checks and balances to integrate into democracy to make it more accurate and 'in sync' with geographic self-interests of populations.

One of the many informal gatekeeping solutions recommended by the bioregional state is to generate a more fluid informal party competitive structure that innately checks and balances against strategies of appeal to only partial electorates (i.e., lack of representation) in a district. One idea from the book is to provide all parties incentives to compete for the same full electorate to win an election instead of mutually agreeing to specialize in small subsets of voters--and typically in practice being silent on truly big issues like health care, ecology, and economic sustainability supported by supermajorities of the population. Such changed incentives in the bioregional state are provided by 'proportional representation with a majoritarian allotment' (PRMA)--one of many examples from the book.

Another changed incentive from the book that moves away from problematic formal gatekeeping issues in corrupt democracies is how watersheds should be made permanent, formal electoral districts worldwide to put the state in sync with durable local ecological feedback on policy and development instead of allowing gerrymandering (informal corruption in district drawing) to institutionalize an informal bias in the formal structure of the state and to institutionalize environmental degradation by demoting these catchment basins of environmental risk from expressing themselves as a tangible political community into state politics.

With incessant corrupt changes of a district's demographics and geography, it innately goes against this durable ecological self-interest of the people involved--as well as goes against the state's own survival. A concern of reapportionment issues has been raised as a critique to this, though it was already solved. Any reapportionment issues--that are an issue of relative vote weights between districts--could be solved more directly changing the relative weights of the representatives' power instead of indirectly changing the district. Certainly this direct solution is preferable? If reapportionment of representative weights becomes an excuse to gerrymander away permanent geographic self-interest from a particular area, it creates a corrupt cascade of future representational difficulties in the area in question, and it creates party corruption and gatekeeping biases in the very design of the formal state. Elections become biased from the start (and before they start) if districts keep changing. Ongoing gerrymandering only protects incumbency from competitive elections that can unseat its corruption. Ongoing district changes thus encourages corruption.

Gerrmandering destroys the expression of ecological self-interest from particular areas that serves people of the local area and serves the durable ecological existence of the larger state.

In short, all redistricting is a form of gerrymandering if it moves away from something more ecologically tangible. The 'risk catchment area' that all people in an area have in common is supremely tangible and neutral: it is a watershed. The natural way to design a political district is to use the watershed.

Gerrymandering that watershed and separating its population's innate geographic self-interest from state policy debates demotes local interests, demotes voter feedback, demotes party competition, encourages corruption in elections and development directions. Gerrmandering demotes the 'fresh shoots from a dead tree'--that durable demographic expression of ecological self-interest that can only come from a stable district pushing against the dead wood of corruption. As said above, the watershed district is merely a singular example from the book, one among over 60 additional checks and balances in the formal state required for sustainability.

Greens and Libertarians: the Local Wing Versus the National Wing

Another difficulty with mere informal party change as the solution is that the green supermajority is speckled across the 'traditional spectrum understanding' of politics. I will describe below another way to conceive of this spectrum of politics that makes more empirical sense instead of merely an ideological classification tool: the Local Wing versus the National Wing.

The left and right spectrum understanding of state politics is only a convention that there is a definable left and right demographic somehow permanently separate from a state's party structure, since you can only know the left and right from the party expressions that run on particular platforms instead of know the left and right directly. So the whole expectation of left and right entirely depends on parties. And these parties have been mostly of a common National Wing and have had similar solutions and policy approaches for consolidating power instead of decentralizing it. The National Wing has relied a great deal for maintaining these placeless appeals through the mobilization of ideologies. The Local Wing instead has relied on maintaining place-based appeals against the National Wing, and these appeals have been tangible interest driven. Most third parties in the USA for instance that run against the common National Wing are very geographically localized in their support.

I argue that this popular understanding of an ideological spectrum of politics of left and right (instead of a spectrum of politics ranging from National ideological to Local tangible cross-ideological politics) has additionally depended upon a massive amount of corruption and gatekeeping that shielded national left and national right parties from electoral competition and which encouraged environmental degradation. Thus we we have a misaligned conception of political demographic reality.

A closer approximation of what is more demonstrated is a Local Wing versus a National Wing, where the National Wing parties are far more similar than the labels 'right' and 'left' would like to let on, and where the Local Wing represents very particular, tangible, geographic interests. Labels of left and right ideologies upon analysis become meaningless ways to interpret local preferences or political histories. That goes for Nationalist Green or Libertarian ideologies as well--they are National Wing interpretations split across two party ideologies of the more unified Local Wing tangible interests.

Attempting to filter or push this Local Wing (geographic self-interest) into a single ideological party leads to self-demotion of the supermajority support for such motifs before it even begins.

The poor choice of strategy in supporting only singular informal party change causes immediate splintering. Take a listen, libertarians and greens, if you both are concerned about governmental decentralization.

For instance, Spretnak's/Capra's book Green Politics (1986) shows many examples that the movement of 'green' politics has been a combination of green/libertarian sentiment. Thus singular parties themselves are unable to alter unsustainable states. Simply calling this movement 'green' may be a misnomer since its support comes from the right and left, i.e., is unable to be captured in a placeless ideology so treasured by a national party.
”The first Green party was the Values party of New Zealand….It was founded in the late 1960s and presented itself from the very beginning as a true Green party long before the ideas were fashionable, emphasizing not only environmental issues but also [typical 'right wing'] values and spirituality, and situating itself clearly beyond left and right."
This 'party' [sic, more like Local Wing movement] splintered by the 1980s across different left and green factions hardly because there 'were' different factions waiting there and more because the poor strategy in the first place was attempting to be only an informal party movement instead of a formal change movement to promote the Local Wing, institutionally.

(Additionally, in all countries with repressive and uncompetitive first-past-the-post voting frameworks, third parties are demoted due to a combination of incumbent party shenanigans (see the book for examples). Moreover, the cultural hegemony of these parties interprets competitive democracy as 'messing up' their rigged game and even disenfranchised voters can absorb these ruling parties interpretation. However, the only thing messing up the rigged game is the rigged game, instead of competitive democracy.

Another example from the Spretnak and Capra book focuses on Germany. It shows the same widespread decentralization desire and upset from the Local Wing that was so soon attempted to be formed into an ideological National party as 'green' politics--despite drawing from the disenfranchised left and right. When the National ideological green party was formed, it translated into demographic splits in the movement as party organization began to be seen as the main route of change. And this party took some ideologically left positions that splintered the movement instead of concentrating on the cross-ideological issues that started it. This split led to the slow co-option of the larger ideological faction and local cocooning of the other. The result follows from when informal parties were seen as the sole technique toward sustainability.

In other words, step back from assuming a party formation should be the first or only option: there should be a green constitutional engineering movement first as pioneered by the bioregional state. Then competitive democracy will work more seamlessly to express the Local Wing more directly instead of gatekept through ideologically rarified appeals.
“The [German] greens [as well] proposed an integrated approach to the current ecological, economic, and political crises, which they stressed are in real it interrelated and global in nature. They spoke of the "spiritual impoverishment" of industrialized societies. They asked questions that neither of the major parties nor the government could answer and amplified with playful humor the ironies that resulted. Next to the starched white shirts in the assemblies, the greens looked unconventional and their innovative proposals [as the Local Wing] cut through [and rendered moot] the traditional boundaries of left and right [instead of were a recapitulation of either left and right].…[The then-recently elected Greens in Germany] walked through the streets of West Germany's capital on 22nd of March 1983 with a huge rubber globe and a branch of a tree that was dying from pollution in the Black Forest. They entered the lower chamber of their national assembly, the Bundestag, and took seats as the first new party to be elected in more than 30 years. The new parliamentarians insisted on being seated in between the conservative party (Christian Democrats), who sat on the right side of the chamber, and the liberal-left party (Social Democrats). They called themselves simply die Grunen, the Greens." [P. xx-xix]
This so called 'green' movement, closer to a combined green and libertarian movement to be more accurate, when it depended on mere party expression as its strategy it split immediately over interpersonal political interpretations, particularly over feminism and the family. One ideological wing became Die Grunen and the other became the Ecological Democracy Party as mentioned above (in part one).

For a third example, the same happens in other European countries.
“In both Austria and Switzerland there are two Green parties differing in their political positions and unable to merge into one party "beyond left and right." This inability was the main reason why the Austrian Greens failed to pass the critical five-percent hurdle in the 1983 national election.” [p. 176]
That is why formal institutional additions are the better route toward sustainability: to fit the state to the supermajority of ecological self-interest commonalities of localized populations, instead of fit the state to a particular singular limiting ideology. Another previous post on this issue:

“This is only a good example how the seat of any concern over human rights, health, ecology, and economy isn't an ideological issue. It is a geographic issue that appeals to particular geographies, instead of parties.…We should reconceptualize the whole basis of politics here, to take into account the Local Wing versus the National Wing. In the National Wing, they use whatever flavor of the month ideology to gatekeep against the Local Wing."

"The Local Wing is seen when so called 'left' environmentalist and so called 'right' gun rights organizations work together on the local level to create local conservation corridors for wildlife in the Rocky Mountains--while these ideological groups on the national level pretend these issues are enemies of each other. They aren't. The ideologies are. The issues aren't."

For a U.S. example, it is the same with libertarian and green 'parties' working together, on the local level, toward removal of gatekeeping laws stopping a required informal check and balance challenging unrepresentative developmental policies of Democrats and Republicans in a particular area. Meanwhile, they dissociate from each other on the national level. Interesting that, eh?

Another example of 'right-wing environmentalism'--and a serious critique of how misleading and prejudgemental it is to frame this green/libertarian movement that is green politics as only a 'substitute ideological left'--is the book Deeper Shades of Green: The Rise of Blue Collar and Minority Environmentalism in America:
“A new merger of movements is aborning. African-Americans, who had largely ignored much of the environmental movement as irrelevant to their primary social and economic concerns, became increasingly aware that racial discrimination can take the form of environmental injustice. Workers, long accustomed to the adage that jobs are more important than preserving the environment, have discovered that they were often sold a bill of goods....In the process, these groups have found each other. They have become America's newest, most radical, and most committed environmentalists. Radical, not because they adhere to esoteric theories about humankind's ecological crimes against the biosphere, but because they have discovered a mother's passion for true family values when her child's life or health is in danger. Committed, not because they believe deeply in a particular political philosophy, for most come from fairly unremarkable backgrounds, but because they are America's real communitarians. They believe that neighborhoods matter and that government should be in the business of protecting, not destroying, our sense of community.”
That is why the Local Wing--full of people on the left and right--are totally opposed to the neocons (globally) and their health destroying, economic destroying, and environmental destroying policies. For instance:

“The majority [of the U.S.] (77%) think we should do "whatever it takes" to protect environment. --- In another poll, reported in The Ecologist, upwards of 80% of the U.S. with little difference between left or right want their environmental laws seriously enforced, as well as strengthened.

This is the issue once more that many of the people who 'vote right' (may be more interpersonally conservative) can have the same common, local, ecological self-interest in social policies and weigh in 'on the left' on the health, ecology, and economy issues for their communities."

That is why the Local Wing of left and right together works toward health care in local states, while the national wing of the Democrats and Republicans maintain environmental degradation policies. The less ideological Local Wing knows how to run society much more sustainably and democratically than the criminal one-party state ideological purists (of the left or right) who are degraders on the national level.

This is why you get the green side increasingly being co-opted by the the state centrists and their corporate partners, and why you get the libertarian side being co-opted by the corporate monopolists--when none of these national backers of these ideologies are doing anything except wrapping themselves in a novel color of party flag without changing their common gray policies.


In Hawken’s book Blessed Unrest, he notes that the 'ecological movement' of this Local Wing is the largest movement in world history in terms of organizational support because it is very much across the existing spectrum of politics.

Authors@Google: Paul Hawken: Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It

59 min 26 sec

"Environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author Paul Hawken discusses his latest book "Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It" as part of the Authors@Google and series. This event took place on May 9, 2007 at Google's main campus in Mountain View, CA."
This global environmental and civil rights movement is currently in search of forms of networking institutions of these massive numbers of groups that the bioregional state can provide.

This gets back to libertarian issues--noted in part one as having a green contingent from the beginning because libertarianism is localism as much as green is localism. It is just the same that the 'green movement' had quite a bit of libertarianism in it as well. It was a green/libertarian Local Wing movement from the beginning and is better understood as such instead of seen as an attempt to fit a round Local peg in the previous square National ideological political holes. Thus we can make sense of the cross-spectrum political positions of some branches of libertarianism (as well as obviously greens) as reflecting the same ecological self-interest.

Many arrive to see the fresh shoots of the dead tree from different directions.


Part three will detail another difficulty with pinning one's hopes on only party-based sustainable change: the big matter of the globally expanding 'election fraud industry' and its links to unsustainable politics. Thus parties as a route to change are increasingly moot on a whole different level because elections as a process themselves are moot. This means the bioregional state may increasingly come to be seen as the only sound and rational option for sustainable change as other party options and general electoral framework options are respectively self-destructive or intentionally foreclosed on many levels.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Fresh Shoots from a Dead Tree: The Bioregional State Compared and Contrasted to Green and Libertarian Ideologies, Pt. 1/4


The dead tree referenced in this post is the current ill-equipped and corrupt form of formal democracy. The fresh shoots are the novel ecological checks and balances of the bioregional state. These fresh shoots are required to allow further growth toward sustainability and sound democracy instead of passively allowing the dead tree to topple and destroy democracy with it which is the direction it is leaning.

Arguably, it is the direction that all territorial state societies historically have leaned—their predictable self-destruction—without the institutional adaptions of the bioregional state.

This is the first of a four part post. I summarize (via quotes, follow links for more) much of the blog's commentary on the bioregional state in the process of addressing this novel topic. I’ll compare the bioregional state to sentiments of green and libertarian thought--and even green libertarian thought which is described as:
"...[b]ased upon a mixture of political third party values, such as the environmental platform from the U.S. Green Party and the civil liberties platform of the U.S. Libertarian Party, the green libertarian philosophy attempts to consolidate socially progressive values with economic conservatism. A green libertarian would be an individual who adheres to libertarian political philosophy as well as to green ideology. While these are not traditionally seen going hand-in-hand, the two are not necessarily incompatible. For example, free market economics and environmentalism are combined in the concept of free market environmentalism."
Another mixed area of green libertarianism is geolibertarianism, described as:
"a libertarian political philosophy that holds, like other forms of libertarian individualism, that each individual has an exclusive right to the fruits of his or her labor, as opposed to this product being owned collectively by society or the community. In other words, geolibertarians support private property. However, unlike "royalist" forms of libertarianism, geolibertarianism holds that all land is a common asset to which all individuals have an equal right to access, and therefore if individuals claim the land as their property they must pay rent to the community for doing so. Geolibertarians generally advocate distributing the land rent to the community via a land value tax, as proposed by Henry George and others before him….Geolibertarians are generally influenced by Georgism, but the ideas behind it pre-date Henry George, and can be found in different forms in the writings of John Locke, the French Physiocrats, Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, James Mill (John Stuart Mill's father), David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer. Perhaps the best summary of geolibertarianism is Thomas Paine's assertion that "Men did not make the earth. It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds." On the other hand, Locke wrote that private land ownership should be praised, as long as its product was not left to spoil and there was "enough, and as good left in common for others"…
A third intersection is left-libertarianism:
“Left-libertarianism combines the libertarian premise that each person possesses a natural right of self-ownership with the egalitarian premise that natural resources should be shared equally. Left-libertarianism holds that unappropriated natural resources are either unowned or owned in common, believing that private appropriation is only legitimate if everyone can appropriate an equal amount, or if private appropriation is taxed to compensate those who are excluded from natural resources. This contrasts with right libertarians who argue for a right to appropriate unequal parts of the external world,…”
So a theme I will touch on is that green and libertarian ideologies represent analytical tools that are approaching from different historical discourses, the same common ecological self-interest.

This ecological self-interest is a common theme in societies past and present: our desire to formulate a sustainable life and politics. This sustainable life and politics is constructed against a corrupt, unlocalized, state-elite edifice forcing them to experience externalities in health, ecology, and economic unsustainability—the latter typically by forms of forced clientelism and forced lack of choices in consumer items and political choices, particularly the lack of sustainable ones. (Examples of that [1] [2])

However, instead of an ideological position, the bioregional state is a formal institutional apparatus. It is designed to maintain social and ecological diversity.
”The bioregional state is a framework of protecting preexisting forms of ethnobotany and human diversity. Species die for lack of diversity, including humans. Species as well die because of ignorance of the destructions of their environment--because bodily their environment is themselves. However, the bioregional state is more than wistfully or sentimentally protecting pre-existing forms of ethnobotany and human diversity. It is a manner for such frameworks to be the developmental and political economic program itself--expanded as much as protected, institutionally.”
And it is designed to demote the crony raw material regimes of corrupt state elites that have criminally curtailed--by biased forms of unrepresentative legislation, unrepresentative formal institutional designs, and biased informal party gatekeeping--locally optimal choices in various materials:
“[T]he bioregional state argues that with so many solutions already in evidence though simply unapplied, it is unable to be said that there is a lack of solutions that is keeping sustainability from occurring. On the contrary, it is political, economic, and technological corruption and gatekeeping against the massive supermajorities of the world that is keeping us from sustainability. Corruption is keeping us from living in representative democracies and maintaining a representative developmentalism. This corruption keeps us living within crony raw material regimes instead of arrangements more democratic and consumer-choice driven that would look closer to the commodity ecology arrangement instead of commodity arrangements that destroy the planet. In existing democracies many conflicts of interest keep unsustainability in place. Only by creating additional formal 'ecological checks and balances' can we address these conflicts of interest and innately allow our political economies to be more directly 'in sync' with this global support for environmentalism, sound economics, and sound health practices."
To maintain and enhance biological and social diversity, a series of optimized institutions help local populations formulate the priorities of their own local ecological self-interest:

Anyone can populate a watershed and run it sustainably on their own democratic designs with these facilitating institutions as long as the watershed avoids polluting other linked watersheds nearby and as long as universalistic human rights are protected in the watershed. In both these cases, a bioregional commonwealth of institutions becomes ironically more preserving of the realities of local sustainability than direct autonomy. Mere autarky unfortunately in the minds of some greens and libertarians is a valid way to support localism. However, it is a poor manner in which to protect localism because it leaves open the possibility of unfortunately poorly representative watersheds ‘autonomously’ polluting nearby more representative watersheds or even repressing the civil rights of its local population minorities.

First, since pollution is a flow and transboundary issue--instead of only a site or source pollution issue--the bioregional state is required to formulate the conflict resolution arrangements across linked watersheds in the interest of maintaining wider social and ecological diversity. Second, since universalistic human rights being maintained is an important check and balance against ignoring categorically those who experience more externalities, these bioregional commonwealth institutions of the bioregional state follow this definition:
"Bioregional democracy (or the bioregional state) is a series of electoral reforms and commodity reforms designed to force the political process in a democracy to better represent concerns about the economy, the body, and environmental concerns (e.g. water quality), toward developmental paths that are locally prioritized and tailored to different areas for their own specific interests of sustainability and durability. This movement is variously called bioregional democracy, watershed cooperation, or bioregional representation, or one of various other similar names—all of which denote democratic control of a natural commons and local jurisdictional dominance in any economic developmental path decisions—while not removing more generalized civil rights protections of a larger national state."
These additional ecological checks and balances provide solutions for the formal, informal, and ecological corruption interactions generating the ongoing developmental cronyism of consumptive consolidation and environmental degradation. From the book:
“This is a wholly novel ecological approach to democratic political theory and the purposes and responsibilities of democratic states. It is a wholly novel formal institutional design concept for how to achieve sustainability. It involves asking what was unfortunately left out of Enlightenment democratic theorizations, and it involves asking what are the other formal prerequisites for an age of sustainability. It means joining our sense of formal institutions and environmentalism as interrelated instead of unrelated topics. The significance of the bioregional state is that it is the first attempt to analyze sustainability or unsustainability as the outcome of the way formal democratic institutions are organized. Most environmentalists and academics entirely lack the vocabulary to discuss this.

First, in terms of what Enlightenment theorists neglected, different formal institutions of democracy always are involved in different informal political and environmental contexts which have been left under-theorized as to their interactions with the formal institutional frameworks. These three factors of formal institutions, informal politics, and environmental contexts should instead be considered holistically as one piece in the bioregional state, instead of simply concentrating on a biased approach that only analyzes formal institutions by themselves. Otherwise, only formally degradative states which facilitate and underwrite informal politics of environmental degradation can result because existing formal institutions are based on ignoring and denying these innate interconnections.

Second, following from this, I would argue that on these informal political and environmental factors that influence all formal states, existing democracies are innately biased on levels of formal design by informal political interests toward expanding environmental degradation and ignoring citizen input from particular geographic areas that aim to re-prioritize state politics toward more sustainable developmental paths. Formal institutional biases are what are maintaining an informal politics of environmental degradation.”[p. xi, Toward a Bioregional State]
The bioregional state would bring the state institutions ‘in sync’ with such an ecological self-interest:
"Toward A Bioregional State is a novel approach to development and to sustainability. [The bioregional state] proposes that instead of sustainability being an issue of population scale, managerial economics, or technocratic planning, an overhaul of formal democratic institutions is required. This is because environmental degradation has more to do with the biased interactions of formal institutions and informal corruption. Because of corruption, we have environmental degradation. Current formal democratic institutions of states are forms of informal gatekeeping, and as such, intentionally maintain democracy as ecologically “out of sync”. He argues that we are unable to reach sustainability without a host of additional ecological checks and balances. These ecological checks and balances would demote corrupt uses of formal institutions by removing capacities for gatekeeping against democratic feedback. Sustainability is a politics that is already here—only waiting to be formally organized."
The sustainability politics of the ecological self-interest of people is indeed already here, as seen in the previous polls showing supermajorities worldwide supporting such a plan, based on the huge scale of whether they think their states are currently performing legitimately in the face of environmental challenges:
“[S]upermajorities of the world are in agreement already on environmental issues, and…a supermajority of the world considers their current forms of state doing poorly on getting to sustainability. This would be a good basis to achieve what the bioregional state promotes: green constitutional engineering to get to sustainability.”
Returning to the libertarian and green ideologies theme, is that like libertarian ideological history having quite a touch of green (ecological self-interest) to it even from the 1800s? Like it, green sentiment comes from across the political spectrum as well. Greens have always drawn from across the political spectrum of right and left--instead of tied to a particular left wing sentiment. For instance:
“The majority [of the U.S.] (77%) think we should do "whatever it takes" to protect environment. --- In another poll, reported in The Ecologist, upwards of 80% of the U.S. with little difference between left or right want their environmental laws seriously enforced, as well as strengthened.

This is the issue once more that many of the people who 'vote right' (may be more interpersonally conservative) can have the same common, local, ecological self-interest in social policies and weigh in 'on the left' on the health, ecology, and economy issues for their communities."
This source of green support from across the political spectrum from left to right is evident enough from the early Green party movement in Germany (read the excellent book: Green Politics (1986)) which ‘split’ into left and right green factions over social ascriptive issues.
“The Ecological Democratic Party (German: Ökologisch-Demokratische Partei, ÖDP) is an environmentalist political party in Germany. It was founded in 1982 by former members of the German Green Party. The ÖDP combines issues which are not often found together: a focus on state financial support for families and childrearing, and a belief in the right to life (that is, opposition to abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty). The latter positions and the differences listed below – have led some, including political scientist Joachim Raschke, to characterize the party as "conservative," but the party feels that all these positions are a consistent response to injustice. In most of those issues which it emphasizes, such as the environment and trade, it is similar to the Green party. It differs from the Green party by being less supportive of immigration and restrictions on state powers in criminal justice issues, not focusing on gay and lesbian rights, and having a differing view of feminism.”
Sounds like the green libertarian wing, eh? It is in some sense. The point is that green is a much larger spectrum of support hitting globally approximately 75% of the planet’s population though it can be divided on ascriptive issues of differences in interpersonal politics. What do I mean by ‘social’ and ‘interpersonal’ and why do I make a difference in this? From a previous post:

“Instead of 'left/right' I would offer the analysis of the 'interpersonal/social' issues, which break out into many different variants--four mostly--discussed below.

Ascriptive is defined as:
1. to credit or assign, as to a cause or source; attribute; impute: The alphabet is usually ascribed to the Phoenicians.
2. to attribute or think of as belonging, as a quality or characteristic: They ascribed courage to me for something I did out of sheer panic.

Typical ascriptive interpersonal things range from gender, ethnicity, sexuality, handicapped status, age, religion, etc….

I'm saying that what we're talking about is, I would argue, in the popular mind, an observable 'wedge’ separation between interpersonal politics and social politics which are treated entirely differently. People split more on this issue than the current fake 'left/right' arrangement assumptions of purism would want to allow.

Instead, we are handed a rigged plate due to lots of historical things where expectations are:

means liberal interpersonal
means liberal social

means conservative interpersonal
means conservative social

When you can get such additional admixtures as:

liberal interpersonal
conservative social


conservative interpersonal
liberal social

For the "conservative interpersonal/liberal social" variant, some are very interpersonally conservative like Wisconsinites though who would be 'non-conservative' (liberal social) in their social politics (like their state history of support of banning margarine and running their state like Frederich List instead of Adam Smith.)

And inverting it once more, to "liberal interpersonal/conservative social", you have gay activists within the Republican party—liberal interpersonally, though conservative socially (using "social" here in terms of public institutional policies about economics and establishing institutions, etc.)….

So with both the 'left' and 'right' being socially conservative now in the U.S. (neoliberalist corporate fascist), the only hat peg that both residual parties calling themselves 'left' and 'right' in the United States have to hang their threadbare identities on is ascriptive interpersonal issues.

The residual 'left' and 'right' institutionally in the U.S. achingly pretend they are different and "pick a staged fight" of fake issues…to disguise their common silence on social political issues that they have both sold the United States down the river on with their conservative social policies for global privatization which is without any majority support….

As for the U.S. 'left', so while mouthing interpersonal freedom (though doing nothing about it), the 'left' is socially conservative as the 'right'.

And while mouthing interpersonal repression (though hypocritically being a party of high powered, rich, libidinous, libertine, pedophiles (watch that U.S. censored video Conspiracy of Silence [50 minutes]), the 'right' is socially conservative as well.

However for support for social politics instead of the difference of opinion on interpersonal politics, there are super-majorities wanting health, ecology, and national economics. The basis of common support is built from these—worldwide. The example is from polls in the U.S. though:

polls health

Majority (65%) of Americans want single-payer health care; willing to pay more taxes to get it. --- In ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll, 3 point margin, Americans by a 2-1 margin, 62-32 percent, prefer universal health insurance program over current employer-based system. 78% dissatisfied with cost of nation's health care, including 54% "very" dissatisfied. Most dissatisfied with overall quality of health care in U.S.--first majority in 3 polls since 1993, up 10 points since 2000. --- Public wants government to play leading role in providing health care for all. In the same poll, by almost a two-to-one margin (62% to 33%), Americans said that they preferred a universal system that would provide coverage to everyone under a government program, as opposed to current employer-based system. Slightly different question asked by Kaiser, June '03: more than 7 in 10 ten adults (72%) agreed government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens even if it means repealing most tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush--less than one-quarter (24%) disagreed with this. --- Americans overwhelmingly agree access to health care should be a right. In 2000, as in 1993, 8 in 10 agreed health care be provided equally to citizens; over half agreed “strongly” or “completely.” In 2004, 76% agreed strongly or somewhat that health care should be a right.

polls ecology

The majority (77%) think we should do "whatever it takes" to protect environment. --- In another poll, reported in The Ecologist, upwards of 80% of the U.S. with little difference between left or right want their environmental laws seriously enforced, as well as strengthened.

[This is the issue once more that many of the people who 'vote right' and may be more interpersonally conservative, have the same social policies and weigh in 'on the left' on the health, ecology, and economy issues.]

polls economy

The majority (86 percent) favor raising the minimum wage. The majority (60%) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. --- The majority (87%) think big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. --- The majority (66%) want to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

--- That is the center--and huge center it is. The 'left/right' thing has totally broken down when left and right PARTY elites both have moved toward globalized privatization support. It has left this super-majority of social politics--for health, ecology, and economy issues--festering WORLDWIDE across all nations.

So while the U.S. is a supra-majority place that does have a social politics that is common and strong on these three areas, its two French aristocracy parties play at dividing this up and ignoring that base, and reaching for any distraction available to keep people knowing that WHAT IS ABOVE IS THE MAJORITY.”

[To continue...]