Differences in the Bioregional State Compared to Left-Libertarianism, Summarizing Other Critiques of Malthusianism, Deep Ecology, and Bookchin
The Dichotomous World View of Left-Libertarians, in one image from the Bilderberg-rag The Economist: "If only we can remove the cronyism, we're free." Sure, however, the enemy can be us ongoingly as well. That caveat requires a more nuanced sense of regionalized and cross-regionalized institutions to maintain open markets and open politics since they will hardly stay open by themselves I expect as cronyism hardly comes from the state only. Cronyism comes from markets as well. That requires novel formal checks and balances against any freshly ongoing cronyism, to keep such open choices available instead of freshly colluded against, something beyond the ken of left-libertarian ideas.
The Bioregional State's Compared to Left-Libertarianism: What's Similar, What's Very Different
In retrospect, this is perhaps the tenth post in which the bioregional state takes a slightly modified stand against the simplisms of another popular ideological ideal which helps to explain the bioregional state itself by such comparisons. All ten of these comparisons now range across critiques of the 'problem/solution' worldviews of:
- Malthusianism  ,
- Deep Ecology,
- the misplaced faith in sole and singular (green) parties to get to sustainability  ,
- why Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is suboptimal compared to PRMA voting rules ;
- why we should either start on removing gerrymandering first   toward stable watershed vote districts (with shifting scales of representative vote power based on their direct percentages of the vote mattering in each election) that can having more multiplier effects than any other single formal change; or, if you think there is "too much" systemic vote rigging and corruption to deal with formal changes, first work on an Ecological Reformation in regional consumption, regional finance, and educational curriculum changes instead as preparation for later formal changes.
- why watershed based judicial districts, being nested issues, would be an excellent feedback against degradation from upstream.
- why removing the Electoral College is a bad idea when keeping the Electoral College's geographic based vote is an important check and balance in many levels and its voting is improvable with proportional representation of the actual vote in each state that would facilitate a more competitive democratic multi-party arrangement. So far, "PR in the EC" has been the only idea from Toward a Bioregional State that has been attempted--in Colorado in 2004. Read the book (or here) to find out what happened to "Referendum 36," or note what fair election activist Bev Harris of Black Box Voting.com has to say about Colorado in that year. It was on the ballot.
- and a critique of Left-Libertarianism--now in this post. As part of this critique, this will include a running theme previously discussed many times, though summarized here: commodities, supply, and demand are political regimes in themselves     instead of ever possibly decided or organized by neutral markets alone, and instead of there being rules for understanding "abstract commodities" or "abstract supply and demand" either. All mystified economic abstracts (or crutches) beloved of most the Smithian Right, the Marxist left, or the Libertarian Left quickly break down upon any detailed historical examination of any specific commodity as a contentious and contingent political regime. However, throw away that abstract crutch and walk. You are without a requirement to carry such ideas. Sometimes supply and demand choose to work together more equitably, or rather, when supply is forced to work more equitably together with demand: in contexts of wider choices, in typically more regionalized economies, in situations of high competition, or in situations of politically well organized demand. So since supply and demand can choose to have very different political-material interests for what they wish implement between each other, sometimes, in some other extreme cases of choice the ongoing dynamic can become 'supply versus demand'. In other words, choices matter instead of supply, demand and commodity choices working together universally in the same way in all cases. Sometimes supply and demand choose to work together by merely ongoing conditional accommodations, and sometimes they are seen to be working clearly against each other typically with varying degrees of supply's forced guided choices attempting to herd demand into supply-side preferential politics and supply-side choices which can include political attempts to remove other choices instead of simply thinking supply is limited in its actions to provide choices. So markets are just another political venue of life between case-specific strategies of supplier leaders both with and against aggregate demand followers--where there is only a rather conditional accommodation ongoing between such leaders and followers that can have ongoing different desires of what should exist tactically between them. The question becomes how to make political regimes of commodities in all our particular commodity use categories more representative, sustainable, and geographically integrated in each other for durable wider regional choices, and, inversely, how to remove excessive supply-side biased unrepresentative raw material regimes and such politically maintained situations of lack of choice that are degradative? In other words, degradation is hardly consumers fault, if supplier's design a bad guided choice arrangement and keep politically repressing open choices and keep repressing more sustainable and representative choices that consumers want. Degradation in most extreme cases is a supplier's fault or a state's fault   (or both together in cronyism and corruption of course  ) hardly connected to anything except their bad decisions, violence, and corruption to maintain such bad decisions against others wanting to choose something better, more representative, more sustainable, and different. So corruption and cronyism creates degradation mostly by violently and politically repressing consumer choices. This begs the question how would we develop political regimes of more representative, multiple regional durable commodities, in other words?  
Cutting to the Chase
In this post, to cut to the chase, the bioregional state from its comparative historical analysis (in blog form   or in book form  ) takes a stand somewhat with left-libertarianism (links for it:   ) and its analysis of a problem that develops from unrepresentative cronyism as a cause of major difficulties in markets and politics. However, the bioregional state argues contrary to left-libertarianism that indeed that this is a problem though hardly deserves treatment as the problem to address, i.e., as the only or exclusive difficulty against reaching sustainability or greater democratization, as they argue. Therefore the bioregional state takes a stand with important differentiations against left-libertarianisms's simplified view of solutions for sustainability and better democratization as capable of coming exclusively out of 'markets alone,' as left-libertarians believe that somehow markets are capable of being cleansed from the politics of cronyism simply by reducing 'the state.' On the one hand, a lot of solutions can come from this left-libertarian view of analysis and solutions of unrepresentative cronyism as a major part of the difficulties in gatekept democracies and gatekept solutions for sustainability now. On the other hand, hardly all solutions or analysis is satisfied by such a position if there are difficulties within markets themselves and the state as part of a more dual crony problem.
 So the main difficulty with left-libertarianism stems from the stereotype that all cronyism problems come exclusively from 'the state,' and thus they ideologically and falsely dichotomize 'the' problem as coming from 'the state' and thus seek to minimize 'the state.' However, origins of cronyism is hardly a one-way street flowing causally from 'the state' alone. Cronyism is a two way street, and 'the markets' themselves equally can be the causal source of a flow toward cronyism even in theoretical absence of a state.   Such a left-libertarian utopia of a presumed possible absence of all jurisdictional politics is argued to be a delusion, built from a reified and falsely dichotomized view of 'markets versus states' that is an intellectual construct instead of empirically demonstrable anywhere in human history. Anyway, any budding left-libertarians should at least read those two books (linked as  & ) and then come back to their position. Likely from that reading, you may see the nuanced perspective for why the bioregional state exists. The bioregional state is close to their analysis of a problem of jurisdictional cronyism and suggested solutions of how to avoid it, while hardly wholly limiting solutions as they do to expectations that 'the markets' actually work so openly, transparently, automatically, or universally as they they think they do.
In other words, there are some bad crony factors involved in markets themselves (instead of only in bad state-led cronyism) that can be problematic. However, this is hardly some kind of 'law,' since it depends on the ongoing choices of different market actors in such situations. For example, there can be more unrepresentative market experiences generated by such market actors, just as readily as more representative ones can be chosen by such market actors. This ongoing capacity for both is contrary to what left libertarians claim.
 The above point is the previously discussed issue of supply versus demand potentials    in some market actors' choices of decisions. This is already analyzed before in many posts. So states and market firms instead of dichotomous can both can have internal difficulties, the same kind of supply-side biases by choice, and by such bad unrepresentative choices, develop the same corruptions and cronyism that left-libertarians try to frame and blame as exclusively coming causally from 'the state' per se. Instead the same corruptions of cronyism come from the supply-side bias of any form of organization potentially as its leaderships choose larger strategies against their clients. If so, such choices of leaderships can become more interested in their own contexts being extended as versus the choices of its aggregated followers, citizens, consumers. The latter three words are all the same, if they experiencing the same kind of externalities from unrepresentative supply-side/leadership cronyism that may keep other choices from being developed by politics and violence. So, crony development of ecological tyrannies and human tyrannies can come from any venue, instead of only from one venue of 'the state' being responsible. Thus the better solution is an ongoing more formal check and balances in all venues, instead of the dichotomous worship of markets and hatred of states seen in left-libertarianism.
 This means that there are required checks and balances in four various venues of jurisdiction to keep such cronyism away. This means that novel checks and balances are required: both within each venue and between all four venues to keep them from aligning in crony ways in their common potentials for choosing supply-side/leadership-oriented corruptions. This means that a more durable and ongoing solution for supply-side created environmental degradation and human tyranny requires ways to keep the various supply-side biases and cronyisms within different venues and between different venues from joining up in history to defend and to maintain their common corruptions and crony suboptimal choices. A bioregional state adds many more additional checks and balances to remove such cronyisms in the state, as well as being combined with a more formalized Ecological Reformation to remove cronyisms elsewhere: by more formalized institutional checks and balances to maintain multiple, particular, more demand-friendly regionalisms and market choices versus any supply-side gatekeeping biases and economic shakeout seen extending  from states,  from economic institutions,  from financial institutions (with checks and balances being like supply-side biased pro-exchange value currencies versus more regionalized, plural store-of-value currencies; and how larger banks tend to selectively funded larger degradative 'choices' for other larger supply-side arrangements elsewhere); and  even from education/science/religion's selective knowledge and ignorance (like in supply-side friendly ideologies of delocalized abstract views of economics, religion, science, or education in general versus more regionalized demand-friendly senses of each in which the anthropocentric and ecocentric have always met). So the same kind of supply-side biases toward 'an acculturation to an empty abstract' is versus far more regionalized particulars. The latter more equitable, representative, and sustainable aggregations and choices in our lives tend to reflect some form of very particular geographic knowledges while the former abstracts tend to reflect some form of mystification, alienation, and degradation in our lives by their abstractness. Some venues attempt to acculturate us to some abstract ideology that we template over the world in our ignorance, while other venues prefer to help us understand the blended real world nuances of ecological and human admixed development and understanding suited to a particular region better than another region. Back to the point, so the corruptions that left-libertarianism attempt to place entirely within states per se, are actually the choices of corruptions of states, of consumptive firms, of finance, and of religious/science/education equally.All four venues require some kind of solutions and checks and balances to avoid ongoing cronyism and supply-side biases in each against us all.
So if simply removing states is hardly a solution (since it may just leave the field clear to ongoing potentials of supply-side biases in markets, in financial direction and financial mediums, and in various acculturative patterns of religion, science, and education), we require considering that each of these four venues can develop its own corruptions versus its own clients instead of so easily painting all difficulties of the cause of cronyism exclusively within the sole jurisdictional venue of states. This means that there has to be a sort of 'left-libertarian' view of ongoing formal checks and balances in all four venues to remove such cronyism, instead of simply seeing 'states vs. markets' some useful dichotomy.
What Specific Checks and Balances Are Required to Avoid Cronyism in States, Consumption, Finance, and Education?
Specifically, to solve these unaddressed problems of when unrepresentative choices are taken by any actors in any venue, we can disaggregate this discussion for the four venues. Plus, there are two kinds of checks and balances: those for protecting a regional population from such cronyism, as well as those that protect one region from the cronyism and externalities of another region.
For the former, obviously more familiar to most, market actors can act against other market actors in consumption choices. This is the rationale why such unrepresentative market outcomes require their own 'stateless' checks and balances against it. This is mostly in the CDI and the CEI institutions in all watersheds of the world as consumptive checks and balances. This can help to mollify the potential supply-sided market cronyism, corruption and degradation from operating against a regional population. However, in a wider sense, to keep that same kind of supply-side and leadership cronyism and corruption from operating in any venue, there is the wider Ecological Reformation: of consumption (already mentioned though with more details at the link), finance (post yet to be done though some inklings here by Bernard Lietaer on monetary diversity), and how we may build a better education as well. All of these are checks and balances toward a better world that is more representative and sustainable if we remove the cronyism and supply-side biases in each venue.
Moreover, for the latter, such unrepresentative market choices may generate externalities against and beyond a mere regional context like for example affecting other regional populations living downstream or downwind in another region entirely and yet still influenced by the bad decisions elsewhere. Therefore, wider cross-regional politics is still required to the contrary of the left-libertarian position. Thus wider cross-regional formal checks and balances should exist as well to address these issues that left-libertarianism is silent upon certainly.
To conclude this discussion of critiques, instead of the left-libertarian thinking that 'decentralization' and 'removing the state' entirely solves everything, the issue becomes what kind of particular novel institutions and checks and balances of a state (or of any jurisdiction in our lives: economics, finance, educational knowledges) would more representatively reflect and attempt to maintain multiple regions simultaneously as with and against each other, instead of it becoming another another orientation of state that would strategize a cronyism and corruption for how to undermine multiple regions in these four venues. In this particular orientation of the state argued here, in the bioregional state, multiple different regionally lived checks and balances work against a pragmatically always existing wider cross-regional cronyism dynamics. The latter is unable to be wished away by such a left-libertarian position or receding into a singular regional arrangement as cross-regional dynamics still exist. So such a ongoing regionality against any cronyism has to be strategically engineered in a bioregional state, in its green constitutional engineering.
Toward a Bioregional State is the first book on on this green constitutional engineering as solutions to better open democracy, removed cronyism, and sustainability as a consequence:
Toward A Bioregional State is a novel approach to development and to sustainability. [It] 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". [Toward a Bioregional State] 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.Certainly left-libertarians may see echos of their concern for removing gatekeeping cronyism in markets and politics, while hardly limiting solutions to mere markets alone though since markets themselves by actors' choices can have internal difficulties in the same way as state venues can.
In other words, mere multiple different decentralizations still have ongoing interactions with and against each other cross-regionally, and these kind of supra-crony dynamics are hardly solvable with their solely devolution/market-only position in left-libertarianism itself. However, these difficulties can be solved to make any potential internal difficulties of markets and internal difficulties of larger states work better and more representatively.
So the bioregional state's position is a sort of a position that left-libertarianism is only possible to achieve with a wider sense of a better organized regionalized market experience with its own institutional checks and balances against ongoing regionally unrepresentative market choices that are chosen to be developed. Plus, there are required wholly wider institutional checks and balances, more cross-regionally as well for a more geographically nuanced larger state combined with devolutionary principles, instead of the latter alone.
This is contrary to the one-dimensionality of dichotomizing and divining principles of 'good markets in all cases, and evil political-in-origin cronyism.' Sometimes market actors are just as evil by themselves, and out of that arises a cronyism that left-libertarian positions fail to address. Sometimes states are sources of such cronyism as they describe, though sometimes such states are sources of maintaining wider choices in markets and politics. Sometimes education can be to blame as well for the cronyism. Sometimes financial institutions can be to blame for the cronyism, in how some financial actors' choices may prefers to invest (or to starve investment from) certain tactics that are supply-side biased against wider choices, toward more externalities, and toward economic shakeout. However, it all depends. Stop trying to invent some artificial abstract predictable world. Particularly, markets, states, finance, or even how we organize education can be sources of centralized, unrepresentative, and degradative cronyism--just as the same four venues can by other choices be sources of greater openness, choice, representation and sustainability. It all depends. As said earlier against Deep Ecology and Green Anarchy which are so similar to the Left-Libertarian worldview:
I suppose it comes down to the point that the bioregional state is humanist, rational, secular, tolerant, and institutional in the Enlightenment tradition against forms of political and economic tyranny, while green anarchists are in their own estimation "anti-civilizational" and even anti-humanist in service of green goals [being mostly Malthusians, and similarly left-libertarians turn a blind eye against the internal difficulties of certain choices of market actors in their own dichotomous extremes]. On the contrary, bioregional state proposals show that to be pro-humanist (i.e., to be concerned with reflecting human concerns on local areas) is a very green proposal given the supermajorities for a 'health, ecological, and economic' change in development policy. In other words, humans are your friends, instead of your enemies, in working toward sustainability. Humans because of local ecological self-interest yield a politics toward environmental amelioration [and representation]--if it is allowed to be expressed. Typically, this ecological self-interest is shielded from its expression in formal institutions and formal policy by a whole slew of gatekeeping forms of political power that service only informal elite forms of [unrepresentative] degradative developmentalism. However, the political demographic for a change is indeed "already here though waiting to be organized."For a quick recapitulation of the short definition of the bioregional state:
Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of electoral 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.Combined with this bioregional state (as that is just one venue), an additional Ecological Reformation is required as well for the other three venues. Likely the Ecological Reformation is required first because strategic attempts at such bioregional state changes are unlikely to succeed first or be durable without other kinds of wider systemic multi-regional alterations in the way our daily lives of consumption, finance, and education are organized beforehand to support it with greater environmental and human virtues.
For these various rationales, this is why Toward a Bioregional State is likened to a worldwide bioregional hellenization (mentioned in the book) for how to take common bioregional engineering principles and how to add checks and balances against unrepresentative jurisdictional power, cronyism and gatekeeping in any venue. This can only benefit every varied ecological situation to have wider and more regionally sound bioregional choices for the different regions and peoples of the world combined with means of wider conflict management between different regions.
Conclusion: Critiques of Various Other 'Problem/Solution' Ideas, Summarized
In conclusion, the Bioregional State and the Ecological Reformation are wholly against oversimplified Malthusian or Deep Ecology views, and only partially against those solely regionalized drives of Bookchinite and Left-Libertarian views. This means the bioregional state agrees with and supports those regionalized political and market ideals, respectively, though hardly argues as they do that these will ever be enough because those analyses leave out much dealing more pragmatically with any ongoing bad internal regional corruptions by bad choices and any ongoing bad cross-regional choices of dynamics of power, cronyism, and gatekeeping that still can exist. However, the Bioregional State is far more interested in nuances and checks and balances on power compared to Eckersley's view of a truly totalitarian 'green state.' Eckersley represents the opposite side of a false dichotomy to the left-libertarians, by believing that in all situations 'markets bad, states good.' So Eckersley and left-libertarians are the opposite ideological sides of the same bad coin, since left-libertarians only assume the inverse. Both, in other words, go astray by their dichotomized analysis while sharing the same dichotomy.
In pithy phrases, the bioregional state is similar and different than left-libertarianism though beyond it. It is additionally against the deep ecologists and their overblown Malthusianism for a more green humanist view. It is similar and yet different than Bookchin's libertarian municipalism though including yet beyond its limitations to mere regional democratic politics.
Plus, the bioregional state is against thinking that any particular singular informal party by itself will ever be useful in getting to sustainability as democratization and green politics are more geographic than ideological. Even though some informal parties can be better than others, multiple parties are required as innate checks and balances on each other as any singular party can be corrupted over time.
In short, the bioregional state is for an Ecological Reformation in all four venues of social life instead of just a left-libertarian reform against cronyism in one mere venue of the state. The bioregional state is a green humanist view instead of an anti-humanist/green anarchist/Malthusian view. The bioregional state is for a flexible politics in a nested bioregional commonwealth with allowances for ongoing secessions, refederations, nullifications, and reformations instead of a politics only about Bookchin's decentralized autonomous municipalism or Eckersley's sense of state centralized infallibility, or a politics of left-libertarian oversights about the equal cronyism that can develop internally in markets.
Avoiding Utopias, Promoting Polytopia
In other words, if other ideologies critiqued here might be called utopian ideals that quickly turn dystopian in their reductionist attempts to build them violently against and on the backs of other ideals, the bioregional state is what is called a polytopia.
If a utopia is an unreal place that fails to exist, and if a dystopia is a utopian ideal destroyed by the manic repressive quality to make it real in its enforcement against difference and disagreement, a polytopia is multiple real geographic places that do exist and are maintained as part of the political model. A polytopia can keep changing since geographic and cultural differences are part of the political model itself: competing with each other for recruitments, trading with each other as desired, or leaving and reforming the way they want over the generations. Only a polytopia can have changeable subjective/cultural quality of life ideals in different regions while each region attempts to maintain more objective material quality of life ideals via its own regional version of more sustainable material relations with themselves and with other regions elsewhere. Everybody can be green materially, while everybody can be different culturally as well--with the ongoing flow of people between regions that allows for people to vote with their feet if any particular region becomes culturally repressive as an incentive to make it more representative culturally. Moreover, the cross-regional checks and balances assure that any cross-regional pollution flows can have actionable issues from outside the region in question. So there is a wider cross-regional conflict management arranged instead of making invasion or coup the only option to changing it.
In short, Toward a Bioregional State is toward an Ecological Reformation, green humanism, a flexible bioregional commonwealth, and a bioregional hellenization worldwide. This means many additional checks and balances both intra-regionally and inter-regionally against such cronyism and gatekeeping, on any level and in any venue.
Familiarize yourself with some quotes from the book. Good night, and good luck. All the regions of the world are in this together. Going it alone as a solution is hardly a well thought out solution because everyone requires allies--even the regionally autonomous. Follow any links above just like following one watershed to another. It is all connected.