Natural Splendor and Fourplexes
I applaud Salt Lake City for proposing to expand mandatory recycling to apartments, multi-unit condominiums, and businesses. It is long overdue. I was disappointed, however, to find out upon e-mailing the city that fourplexes would be exempt from the proposed rule. I currently reside in a fourplex and have observed needless amounts of trash being thrown out that could have easily been recycled.
As a society, we have a moral obligation to conserve our natural resources and leave this world a better place for future generations. Recycling is a crucial part of that. I think President Lyndon B. Johnson said it best when he intoned that, "We must restore what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities." He also said, "Once our natural splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured. And once man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature, his spirit will wither and his sustenance be wasted."
Salt Lake City
Anarchy Is the Solution to Police Violence
In his call for the nationalization of police forces, Al Sharpton perfectly encapsulates the mainstream left—frequently dead on target in the diagnosis, yet prescribing a remedy that would only exacerbate the infection. The problems Sharpton identifies—persistent police abuse, unaccountability and distance between the police and the policed—are the results of a forced monopoly system, one in which arbitrary power is concentrated in the hands of a small group of law enforcement and court officials.
Nationalization would compound these problems by even further centralizing power, increasing the distance (both literally and figuratively) between policing decision-makers and policed communities, and eliminating the checks and balances generated by allowing people to "vote with their feet." Instead of municipal monopolies providing defense services, which have proven themselves dangerous enough, Sharpton would subject Americans to a single federal police force, echoing Barack Obama's ominous call for a "civilian national security" force back in 2008.
Sharpton's proposed remedy shows the mainstream left's true colors, rooted in the nationalistic, essentially fascist politics of the Progressive Era. The invocation of "fascism," in this context, should not be taken as mere name-calling. Rather, the ideas of the Progressive Era were self-consciously, even proudly fascist, a deliberate reaction against classical liberalism, calling for increased state management of the economy through bureaucratic expert oversight and collusion between political and economic power that blurred the supposedly hard-and-fast lines between the public and private sectors.
Market anarchists advocate a peaceful, decentralized society in which real competition is given free rein, no one possessing a legal monopoly to use force, no special group of armed men with badges given a monopoly. The state is the embodiment of legalized and legitimated crime, holding itself above the basic rules that the rest of us have to follow. A less violent society in which individuals are held accountable requires vigilance against government overreach and the active devolution of existing government powers to individuals and networks of voluntary cooperators.
The authoritarian reflex and its quick fixes are powerful, but they're neither genuinely progressive nor liberal.
David S. D'Amato