John Mackey: Libertarian Fascist?

Jonah Goldberg's much-delayed Liberal Fascism used to be subtitled "The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton." It's got a new subtitle:

Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods

Whole Foods was co-founded by current Chairman and CEO John Mackey, who in a 2005 reason forum described himself as "a businessman and a free market libertarian." (Full disclosure: He is a donor to the Reason Foundation.) The forum was on Milton Friedman's argument that corporations don't have any ulterior social responsibilities. Mackey disagreed.

The Wealth of Nations was a tremendous achievement, but economists would be well served to read Smith's other great book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. There he explains that human nature isn't just about self-interest. It also includes sympathy, empathy, friendship, love, and the desire for social approval. As motives for human behavior, these are at least as important as self-interest. For many people, they are more important.

...

The business model that Whole Foods has embraced could represent a new form of capitalism, one that more consciously works for the common good instead of depending solely on the "invisible hand" to generate positive results for society. The "brand" of capitalism is in terrible shape throughout the world, and corporations are widely seen as selfish, greedy, and uncaring.This is both unfortunate and unnecessary...

And liberals often attack Mackey and Whole Foods for not letting workers unionize.

So, any suggestions for Goldberg's new new subtitle?

UPDATE: Ezra Klein noticed this, too. Coming soon: Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Ezra Klein.

UPDATE THE SECOND: Goldberg responds to Brad Plumer, who also made the "Whole Foods not actually liberal or fascist" point:

He doesn't really seem to know what he's talking about (oh, and it's not like it's news to me that the owner of Whole Foods is a self-described libertarian but maybe the German obsession with organic food and environmentalism, for two examples, is news to Plumer). But that's okay, it's what I expected. To be continued, when the book comes out.

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  • SPD||

    How about "What The Fuck Was I Talking About?"

    I fully support Mackey. If investors are uncomfortable with his company's strategy, they are always free to sell their shares.

  • Jack||

    How is this a contradiction? To the moron national review crowd, libertarians are liberals, just like Ron Paul and William Buckley

  • ||

    Maybe the reference is pointed less to the owner and more to the self-satisfied, crunchy green clientele of whole foods.

  • ||

    This new subtitle implies that examples of liberal fascism that begin with the letters A through G and X through Z will not be covered.

  • ||

    albo:

    Man I hate self-satisfied people too. Self-satisfaction is horrible. Self-hatred is much better. Don't you agree?

  • ||

    As long as Mackey keeps his moral sentiments voluntary, I don't see what the problem is.

    I'm going to go have lunch today at a Whole Foods just to celebrate his non-objectivist values.

  • David Weigel||

    How is this a contradiction? To the moron national review crowd, libertarians are liberals, just like Ron Paul and William Buckley

    Culturally, on foreign policy, sure. But not many conservatives would argue that libertarians are totalitarian.

  • ||

    "Like My Support for the Iraq War, the Thesis of This Book is Based on Nothing More Thoughtful Than Disgust at People Who Strike Me as Weirdos"

  • Michael Bérubé||

    Y'all are letting Jonah off too easy -- neither item in that new subtitle makes any damn sense. He might as well have called it "The Totalitarian Temptation from Hume to Human League."

  • ||

    How about?

    "I was given a book contract because Mommy is a powerful editor but I still screwed it up!" by Jonah Doughypants

  • ||

    He is right that there is more to life than money. People value different things. People value their culture. People value their space. This guy's point is an interesting contrast to the praise Reason recently gave to the Myth of Rational Voter. That God awful piece of tribe considers anyone who isn't the perfect example of homo economicus to be irrational. The truth is closer to what this guy is saying. Maybe people object to things like open borders and fully free trade because they value things besides money. People of course should be free to do that. Sometimes libertarians have a bad habit of forgetting that.

  • fyodor||

    Jumbo's nice critique notwithstanding, I agree with the thrust of albo's post. People usually associate Whole Foods with the environmental left, regardless of the politics of its CEO. That said, I'd agree it's a rather dorky way to represent the totalitarianism of the environmental left, clearly a desparate attempt at alliteration.

  • Russell||

    Jonah shouldbrush up on his hegel.
    One recalls Gottard Gunter's remark after his hairy sailplane escape from behind the Iron Curtain.

    Asked why he risked it , he replied " I'm such a good Hegelian that there's a price on my head in East Germany."

    As to Whole Foods, not even Adam Smith could afford moral justification for Haggis

  • ||

    Y'all are letting Jonah off too easy -- neither item in that new subtitle makes any damn sense. He might as well have called it "The Totalitarian Temptation from Hume to Human League."

    Good one. Damn good.

    What about "The Totalitarian Temptation from Einstein to Einstein's Bagels"

  • ||

    Here's a subtitle:

    "Totalitarian Impulses from Cave Men to the United Nations".

  • ||

    Jumbo's nice critique notwithstanding, I agree with the thrust of albo's post. People usually associate Whole Foods with the environmental left, regardless of the politics of its CEO. That said, I'd agree it's a rather dorky way to represent the totalitarianism of the environmental left, clearly a desparate attempt at alliteration.

    Agreed. I guess the Right can't use Starbucks anymore since everybody goes there these days.

  • ||

    Exactly sorts of problems does he have with Hegel? I mean I can think of a few off-hand, but I wonder exactly just what sort of argument he is making about Hegel.

  • IllinoisFrank||

    Liberal Fascism: A Moron's Take on an Oxymoron.

  • Bhh||

    Liberal Fascism: I went to a Whole Foods once and they didn't have any Super Jumbo bags of Cheetos.

  • ||

    "I guess the Right can't use Starbucks anymore since everybody goes there these days."

    Only morons who lived on the coasts ever used Starbucks as some kind of bogey man. I used to live in Killeen, Texas. There was a Starbucks in the next town over that was license to print money. It was jam packed with ordinary people. Meanwhile, all of my "hip leftist friends" back in Washington and New York wouldn't be caught dead in a Starbucks. Starbucks has been hopelessly common for at least 10 years now. Only a real moron like O'Reily who in fact knows nothing about how real people live would ever consider Starbucks any kind of elite place and say that with all due respect to Starbucks a company I have never had a problem with other than the fact that their coffee is too strong and burnt tasting.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The business model that Whole Foods has embraced could represent a new form of capitalism, one that more consciously works for the common good instead of depending solely on the "invisible hand" to generate positive results for society."

    That's not what the real business model of Whole Foods is. The real business model is to target a certain demographic of consumer who responds to that sort of "common good" talk in all it's various trendy manisfestations so they can overcharge them for food. They are in the business of selling self satisfaction along with food.

  • ||

    John: yeah, I was thinking of O'Reilly's infamous screed about how he didn't go to Starbucks because he wanted to hang out with cops and firemen who got real coffee at diners...you must admit, though, that liberals are often described as "latte-drinking".

    Still, there was once a time when each of us had to get used to the idea that coffee was some kind of gourmet item.

  • Emphyrio||

    I realize they're spelled differently, but did anyone else have a moment of wonder why Jonah has particular animus against Chuck Hagel?

  • ||

    It's not just a "dorky" way to descrbe the alleged "totalitarianism of the environmental left." By pointing towards the consensual transactions made by environmental leftists in a free market as an example of that "totalitarianism," Goldberg demonstrates that the charge is bogus, and based on nothing more than culture war tribalism.

  • ||

    That's not what the real business model of Whole Foods is. The real business model is to target a certain demographic of consumer who responds to that sort of "common good" talk in all it's various trendy manisfestations so they can overcharge them for food. They are in the business of selling self satisfaction along with food.

    That's kind of true, but is still a cynical way of looking at it, unless you're willing to assume that there is no such thing as altruism and that any good deed or act of social responsibility is merely an act of enhancing one's "self-satisfaction".

  • ||

    I can never, for the life of me understand the disdain some people hold for common yet convenient commercial outlets like Starbucks, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, etc.

    Sure, McDonalds doesn't make the best hamburgers or the healthiest food but they have a consistent product at a pretty low price. Why this is evil incarnate to some people I will never understand.

  • ||

    "They are in the business of selling self satisfaction along with food."

    Exactly and more power to him. If rich people want to waste money on "free range chicken" good for them.

  • ||

    Funny how so many people who think Jonah doesn't have much of a serious argument in the book can do little more than make fat/stupid jokes. Physicians, heal thyselves.

  • ||

    One more note: how thrilled must John Mackey be to see the name of his company on the cover of a right-wing polemic? That's big time liberal street cred.

    I think he owes Goldberg a check or at least a few ears of organic corn.

  • ||

    There is a totalitarian environmental left but it is not Whole Foods. It is the people who want to tell us we can't smoke anymore, what car we can drive, what kind of light bulb we have to buy, how good a shape our house has to be in before we sell it, what the contents of our garbage can be and things like that.

  • ||

    Funny also Steve, how people can slam on a book that hasn't even been published yet.

  • ||

    Funny also Steve, how people can slam on a book that hasn't even been published yet.

    Hey man, you don't have to actually swim in the sewer to know it's not pleasant.

  • The AntiHumanist||

    Mackey perpetuates a false distinction: human beings are neither selfish or altruistic; they are BOTH, employing one or the other to benefit personally from any situation. Either Mackey is declaring his altruism to better advertise Whole Foods, or, he is deluding himself into believing that he is truly altruistic, thus, forming himself into being a better ADVERTISEMENT for Whole Foods.

  • ||

    "Liberal Fascism: A Moron's Take on an Oxymoron."

    We have a winner.

  • ||

    Liberal Fascism: I've Never Heard of Godwin's Law

  • ||

    you must admit, though, that liberals are often described as "latte-drinking".

    Well, if they're described that way, then it must be true.

  • ||

    Liberal Fascism: I've Looked at 08 Polling Numbers, and Seriously Believe Hillary Clinton Is Going to Put People in Camps, So I'm Changing the Title

  • Otto Man||

    Funny also Steve, how people can slam on a book that hasn't even been published yet.

    Yes, if only Jonah Goldberg had a long record of published writing that allowed us to get a sense of what'll come next.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Exactly and more power to him. If rich people want to waste money on "free range chicken" good for them."

    Yes that's the free market at work. Whole Foods can project whatever image they can get away with that turns the inventory.

  • ||

    I don't think John Mackey's business model will hold up much longer. Whole Foods was fabulously successful because it filled a market demand for high quality groceries. Now that Whole Foods has raised the bar, fresh and flavorful food is much more widely available, as their competition has reacted to their success.

    Where once Whole Foods was the only option for high quality food, now only those that prioritize their environmentalism over their children's education will choose WF over the competition.

    Then again, I could be wrong. Gilbert Martin may have it right and the market for self satisfaction is much more robust than I think.

  • ||

    Funny how so many people who think Jonah doesn't have much of a serious argument in the book can do little more than make fat/stupid jokes.

    Welcome to the World Wide Web.

    As to Jonah, I enjoyed his earlier, more humorous writing on NRO, particularly when his dog interviewed the Prime Minister of Pakistan. He seems to have fallen into the NR 'traditionalist grump' camp more often lately. But then, NR in general is a good Exhibit A for the current malaise in the conservative world. Very little to offer other than scolding and scare tactics.

  • thoreau||

    I love Whole Foods. But lately I've been trying to save money. Trader Joe's is almost as good, it's cheaper, and for many items the prices are even competitive with Safeway.

  • ||

    I went into Whole Foods exactly once--to buy some beer. Wasn't impressed at the prices or selection.

  • ||

    Using your dollars, rather than the government, to change the way markets function is one of those things that conservatarians love, right up until somebody actually does it.

    Then they're elitists, wasting their money.

  • ||

    Jonah actually can be very funny and can make very reasoned arguments, which is why people on the left hate him so much. The last thing they want is anyone questioning their dogma in an interesting and funny way. You never anyone bother to hate a nitwit like Kathryn Jean Lopez.

  • ||

    Yeah, when he spent four years calling people who disagreed with him about Iraq traitors, anti-Semites, and unamerican, that was a hoot.

    A thoughtful hoot, but a hoot nonetheless.

  • fyodor||

    It's not just a "dorky" way to descrbe the alleged "totalitarianism of the environmental left." By pointing towards the consensual transactions made by environmental leftists in a free market as an example of that "totalitarianism," Goldberg demonstrates that the charge is bogus, and based on nothing more than culture war tribalism.

    joe, loathe as I am to give Goldberg the benefit of the doubt, I suspect he intends to describe the environmental left's political agenda as totalitarian, not the consensual transactions they make at Whole Foods. Naming Whole Foods is merely a way to identify the environmental left. Identifying them in this way is ironic, sure, and therefore, I'd argue passionately, dorky, but it hardly proves he's incorrect about them (whether or not he is) as you say.

  • ||

    Thoreau,

    You are right that Trader Joe's is vastly superior to Whole Foods. Whole Foods is expensive as hell and just full of a lot of wierd crap. I can't imagine actually doing all of my shopping there. I also think that Whole Foods days are numbered as more mainline grocery stores get hip to the racket that is "organic foods" and the unrelenting tide of Trader Joes continues to rise.

  • ||

    Jonah actually can be very funny and can make very reasoned arguments, which is why people on the left hate him so much. The last thing they want is anyone questioning their dogma in an interesting and funny way. You never anyone bother to hate a nitwit like Kathryn Jean Lopez.

    He's kind of like Michael Moore, I guess you're saying, just without the market success.

  • ||

    Yeah,

    There is nothing consensual or free market about the appalling list of policies the environmental left would like to implement. If it is all about your right to spend your money at Whole Foods, I am with you. If it becomes about the government mandating what mileage my car gets, monitoring the contents of my garbage and telling me what light bulbs I can install in my house and mandating that I gold plate my home for efficiency, as well as making sure that nothing new gets build anywhere, then you loose me.

  • ||

    similar to Joe's, I prefer:

    Liberal Fascism: Hillary threatened to send my chickenhawk ass to fight in Iraq when she becomes President unless I removed her name from the title

  • fyodor||

    Then they're elitists, wasting their money.

    Hmmm, well obviously we'll have to read the book to know, but perhaps you're right that Goldberg may think there's something totalitarian about buying organic produce and free-trade coffee. If so, he's being ridiculous, of course. Anyway, saying that such activities are wastes of money is far different from calling them totalitarian.

  • ||

    fyodor,

    Picking Whole Foods as his example just demonstrates that Goldberg isn't using the word "totalitarianism" to describe a style of government, but simply the beliefs and values of "the Left."

    I've read enough of Goldberg's spewings on NRO to know what he considers the nexus between Whole Foods and totalitarianism. He thinks, for some ridiculous reason, that conservatives believe there are areas of life that should be beyond politics, while the "totalitarians" on the left think that the effects of one's private actions should be looked at in terms of their political meaning.

    So deciding which chicken to buy based on political - as opposed to purely economic or culinary - values is the "totalitarian" intrusion of politics into what should be a private, apolitical act.

    The complete absense of any force, coercion, or even government policy in that individual's decision to think about the business practices of his butcher is irrelevant - if you believe that such considerations should be taken into account in your purchases, you are demonstrating the totalitarian impulse.

    In other words, Goldberg doesn't know what the word totalitarian means.

  • ||

    If it becomes about the government mandating what mileage my car gets, monitoring the contents of my garbage and telling me what light bulbs I can install in my house and mandating that I gold plate my home for efficiency, as well as making sure that nothing new gets build anywhere, then you loose me.

    I don't understand this attitude, really. Are you that anti-communial that you put the rights of the pollutors above the right of everybody else to live in a clean environment?

  • ||

    Whole Foods is seriously creepy on the inside. Yes, they are violently anti-union, but that is just one token of the urge for control of their workers unlike anything since company town days. I'd say it's a cult except that the real belief found in cults is absent. This is just to line some pockets with a certain business model. Totalitarian is not too strong a word.
    .

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Using your dollars, rather than the government, to change the way markets function is one of those things that conservatarians love, right up until somebody actually does it."

    Exactly how is Whole Foods changing the way markets function?

    Markets function by hooking up demand with supply. All Whole Foods has done is identify a lucrative market niche that wasn't being previously exploited by someone else and go after it. And part of what they're selling is the image as well as the product - much like a high priced, trendy resturant is selling the "ambiance" as much as the food.

  • ||

    "I don't understand this attitude, really. Are you that anti-communial that you put the rights of the pollutors above the right of everybody else to live in a clean environment?"

    In a word, Yes. I really am that communal. Further I think that those policies are based on irrational fears and overblown risks. Recycling is one of my favorite bugaboos. The country is not short on landfill space. That is a myth. Further, in many cases, especially with glass products, it takes more energy to recycle a product than it does to make a new one. The policies I described are just feel good busybody policies that do nothing to help the environment and everything to help the government control our lives.

  • ||

    John,

    If it becomes about the government mandating what mileage my car gets, monitoring the contents of my garbage and telling me what light bulbs I can install in my house and mandating that I gold plate my home for efficiency, as well as making sure that nothing new gets build anywhere

    Goldberg's problem, as the choice of Whole Foods as an example demonstrates, is that he thinks that merely holding the opinion that it is better for people to burn less gas, use less power, produce less waste, and destroy less habitat IS totalitarianism.

  • ||

    John,

    Or Jonah's witty cover putting a Hitler mustache on those fascist liberals who oppose suspending Habeas Corpus.

    God that was funny!

  • ||

    I am that ANTI communal Dan.

  • ||

    John sez:

    Maybe people object to things like open borders and fully free trade because they value things besides money.

    I vote this sentence as Best HnR Freudian Slip, EVAR!

    Yes, John, I'm pretty certain that Tommy Tancredo and his fellow-travelers oppose immigration and free trade for reasons other than economics. And I'm pretty certain that libertarians understand that objections to immigration and free trade aren't solely based on economics either. Unfortunately, I don't believe these other things that Tommy and his ilk "value" are going to get much sympathy from libertarians.

  • ||

    "Goldberg's problem, as the choice of Whole Foods as an example demonstrates, is that he thinks that merely holding the opinion that it is better for people to burn less gas, use less power, produce less waste, and destroy less habitat IS totalitarianism."

    If that is what he thinks, then he is wrong. However, the book hasn't been published yet and I have emailed with him on a fairly regular basis and I don't think he believes that. But, I may be wrong. I guess we will know when the book comes out.

  • ||

    Gilbert Martin,

    Whole Foods, and their customers, are increasing the demand for products produced in one manner, and slackening demand for products produced in another manner.

    I didn't say that they were functioning in a non-market manner; I said that they were changing the market.

    And however many times you use the word "image" to describe people's desire to see less pollution and animal cruelty, it will still be an inaccurate word choice. The word you're looking for is "values."

  • Alex||

    "joe, loathe as I am to give Goldberg the benefit of the doubt, I suspect he intends to describe the environmental left's political agenda as totalitarian, not the consensual transactions they make at Whole Foods. Naming Whole Foods is merely a way to identify the environmental left."

    I agree with Fyodor's take on this, and suspect that's the way Goldberg is going.

    Of course, the irony -- if indeed that is what Jonah's doing -- is that his tactic of relying on his readers to do his research for him will most likely prove him a fool once again. Whole Foods isn't a symbol of the environmental left, other than in the fever dreams of culture warriors who want to, as people pointed out earlier, paint liberals as latte-drinking. In fact, Whole Foods is increasingly criticized for having completely betrayed the organic movement and undermined it from within. They may say they're organic and earthy, but what they really are doing is selling the same crap you get at your local supermarket with a gussied-up name and a gussied-up price, and contributing to the image of food that -- unlike most of what we (and I include myself in this, as I'm eating a particularly delicious BLT right now) eat these days -- won't kill you or make you obese or lead to antibiotic-resistant strep/TB/etc as elite and snobbish. Michael Pollan made some really good arguments about this.

  • SPD||

    merely holding the opinion that it is better for people to burn less gas, use less power, produce less waste, and destroy less habitat IS totalitarianism.

    Those frightened by progress will probably lash out in this manner. Whether conservation is based on real or imagined environmental threats is irrelevant. It just makes good sense, though it shouldn't require coercion to do so.

    I don't believe the government should have the power to tell anyone how to use the natural resources at their disposal. That doesn't make a person who knowingly litters, wastes energy or drives high-emission, low-mileage vehicles any less of a douchebag.

  • ||

    But...but...Whole Foods is the only place I can get that great Icelandic Skyr....

    http://www.skyr.is/

  • ||

    John writes:

    The policies I described are just feel good busybody policies that do nothing to help the environment and everything to help the government control our lives.

    And then, three minutes later, writes that he is "pretty sure" that Goldberg isn't arguing that liberalism and environmentalism themselves are manifestations of an urge for totalitarian control of peopole's lives.

    OK.

  • ||

    "Unfortunately, I don't believe these other things that Tommy and his ilk "value" are going to get much sympathy from libertarians."

    I doubt it will either but so what? There is nothing Freudian about it. I will tell you exactly what I meant. People object to immigration for economic reasons but not necessarily macro ones. They feel that they will suffer through lower wages even if other people benefit from lower prices. Further, some people do not want 500 million people in this country, whether they be Russians, Africans or Mexicans. Some people like the open spaces and think it is too crowded now. Further, some people like American culture as it is. That is foreign concept to a lot of people, but no everyone wants Mexico City in their backyard. In same way I don't blame the French or the rest of the world when they complain about American culture running roughshod over their own, I don't blame Americans for wanting to keep their own culture. Lastly, it is not entirely clear that importing huge numbers of low skilled workers is the way to economic prosperity. That question is hardly settled in economic circles. In the end, it comes down to whether you believe there is such a thing as sovereignty. Many libertarians I think honestly reject the idea of sovereignty and don't think that Americans have the right to exclude people from coming here. I deeply disagree with that idea. The American government has a right to shut down its borders just like every other country. Immigration is a policy issue not a civil rights issue. There is no "right" to live in this country by people who were not born here. Ultimately, I am not anti-immigration. I am anti-uncontrolled immigration. No question the US needs to continue to be the home for the world's best and brightest seeking a future. I am just not sold on the idea that it should be an outlet for corrupt failed Latin American governments making a grand bargain with rich Americans who can't get enough slave labor from the locals.

  • ||

    "That's not what the real business model of Whole Foods is. The real business model is to target a certain demographic of consumer who responds to that sort of "common good" talk in all it's various trendy manisfestations so they can overcharge them for food. They are in the business of selling self satisfaction along with food."

    Best descritpion of Whole Foods I have ever read. The WF near me has beer and wine, this is the only reason for me to wade through the endless sea of Volvos to get inside.

  • ||

    I always thought Libertarian Fascists were people who thought the phrase "Live Free or Die" was a command.

  • ||

    "And then, three minutes later, writes that he is "pretty sure" that Goldberg isn't arguing that liberalism and environmentalism themselves are manifestations of an urge for totalitarian control of peopole's lives."

    WTF Joe? Don't you get the difference between you doing some stupid and worthless recycling because you think it is a good idea and the government mandating that everyone does it? The whole point is that people are free to do what they want. If you want to recycle, have fun. The problem arises when you use the coercive force of government to make everyone live your lifestyle. That is when it become totalitarian. I think it is the government coercion that Goldberg is objecting to, not people voluntarily doing things. Why is that so hard to understand.

  • dhex||

    somehow i don't think mr. goldberg really objects to government coercion so much as who is doing the coercing.

  • SPD||

    Question for John: Why is recycling "stupid and worthless," other than the fact that you say it is?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I didn't say that they were functioning in a non-market manner; I said that they were changing the market."

    What you said was that they were changing the way markets function. They aren't doing that. They are merely providing more of some specific products such as "organic" foods than was being provided by others before. The "organic" part is what is used to differentiate it as a separate product from non-organic food.

    "And however many times you use the word "image" to describe people's desire to see less pollution and animal cruelty, it will still be an inaccurate word choice. The word you're looking for is "values.""

    No, "values" is merely the word you prefer. I'll stick with "image" as the latter is no more "inaccurate" than the former.

  • ||

    Fucking Jonah Goldberg.

    He's got me in total agreement with joe.

  • thoreau||

    Gilbert Martin, that was a masterful use of tautology.

  • ||

    Of course, Friedman is not a libertarian...he's an objectivist. Ayn Rand kind of disagreed with Adam Smith on that point.

    So, I guess Mackey is best described as a "liberaltarian" anyway.

    Not sure how that's an aspect of totalitarianisnm, though.

  • ||

    So to summarize, John believes that it's totalitarian to mandate that cars get a certain gas milage but to not allow a person into this country just because he was born elsewhere is not.

  • ||

    John,

    We've all read what you write on every. single. environmental thread - that the whole of the environmental movement is a cover for "watermelons," an excuse to impose their true agenda, the control of the population for its own sake.

    You argue exactly the same point whether there is a government action involved or not - you simply assume that the very existence of the argument or concern is proof of the desire for government control. Hell, do I need to find some of the dumb shit you're written about global warming research being a conspiracy to justify government control?

    And, once again, you don't ever - ever - need to worry about my ability to understand your dull-normal eigth-grader-level arguments, so you can just drop the "why is that so hard to understand" pose. I understand your statement about the distinction you allegedly draw between environmentalist values and government policy. I just don't agree with it, because I've read what you have written, and ditto for Goldberg.

  • ||

    This is a typo. The next edition will contain the correct subtitle:'From Bagels to Whole Foods'.

  • ||

    "Question for John: Why is recycling "stupid and worthless," other than the fact that you say it is?"

    Recycling is fabulous in some cases. Scrap metal for example. In places where recycling really is efficient there is inevitably a market to do it. The government doesn't need to mandate recycling of scrap iron because the market does it already. The government only has to mandate things when doing so is inefficient. It is simply not efficient to recycle household wastes. If it were, someone would be offering you money for your garbage or if landfill space were really that short, you would be recycling to avoid the disposal fees.. It is not "recycling" in general I object to. It is government mandated recycling.

  • ||

    Gilbert Martin,

    I already cleared up your misunderstanding of my use of the phrase "change the way markets function." I think that even you grasp my point by now, and don't intend to waste any more time on you if you do not.

    I don't give a crap how you, or anyone else, feels about my desire to reduce the suffering and pollution caused by my food purchases. That's what makes it a value, and not an image, that I am paying extra for.

  • ||

    "I understand your statement about the distinction you allegedly draw between environmentalist values and government policy. I just don't agree with it, because I've read what you have written, and ditto for Goldberg."

    What don't you agree with? Do you agree that you should be able to enforce your lifestyle on everyone else through government coercion or don't you? It is not a trick question. I don't care how you live Joe, it is a free country. The question is, do you care how I live and would you support government coercion to change the way I do live. Why is that issue so hard for you to resolve or understand?

  • ||

    Recycling is fabulous in some cases. Scrap metal for example. In places where recycling really is efficient there is inevitably a market to do it. The government doesn't need to mandate recycling of scrap iron because the market does it already. The government only has to mandate things when doing so is inefficient. It is simply not efficient to recycle household wastes. If it were, someone would be offering you money for your garbage or if landfill space were really that short, you would be recycling to avoid the disposal fees.. It is not "recycling" in general I object to. It is government mandated recycling.

    I admit that this is a point worth pondering...if you could take a used aluminum can and produce a new one using less energy than it takes to make a new one from scratch, it does seem that people would be going around offering to purchase our cans from us.

    At the same time, can't you redeem cans somewhere for five cents apiece?

  • VM||

    I don't give a crap how you, or anyone else, feels about my desire to reduce the suffering and pollution caused by my food purchases. That's what makes it a value, and not an image, that I am paying extra for.



    That pretty much sums up how many feel hier on this board - one makes purchase decisions based on a set of preferences or values. Those decisions are based on the individual's use of information and free of coercion.

    Sounds great. What's with the "harass joe" for that? He's completely in our camp in this issue. If you don't like his purchases, shove it. That's that tricky market thang goin' on there.

    you gotta give him his due hier.

    Also note that there are other reasons for shopping at Whole Paycheck - variety, perceptions of quality, store atmosphere, etc. So other consumers aren't necessarily expressing the same sentiment as joe is when they shop there. But they're all operating in this magical "market" that's out there and apparently can do anything!

    In this case it is.

  • ||

    Recycling companies make good money off of the scrap metal they collect from your bin. It does not follow from that that it is profitable (at least to a meaningful degree) for individual homeowners to collect and sell their scrap. The waste management companies are able to make money off of tuna cans specifically because of the economy of scale that mandatory recycling produces. So much for the "recycling isn't efficient" argument.

    The country is not short on landfill space. I guess that depends on how you define "landfill space." If you are willing to see more woodlands, fields, and plains turned into landfills, well, we've got plenty of them. If you are not, if you value the benefits provided by these lands, then the cost of recycling is buying the continuing existence of these benefits.

  • ||

    If you are willing to see more woodlands, fields, and plains turned into landfills, well, we've got plenty of them.



    Dude.

    New Jersey.

    Plenty of room.

    Srsly.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I already cleared up your misunderstanding of my use of the phrase "change the way markets function." I think that even you grasp my point by now, and don't intend to waste any more time on you if you do not."

    I didn't misundstand anything. You mispoke what you subsequently claimed you intended to mean and I pointed it out.


    "I don't give a crap how you, or anyone else, feels about my desire to reduce the suffering and pollution caused by my food purchases. That's what makes it a value, and not an image, that I am paying extra for."

    And I don't give a crap about your desire to spin Whole Foods' playing you for a sucker by stroking your ego as being some kind of exercise in virtue on your part. You are the quintessential demographic for them.

    LOL

  • SPD||

    It is not "recycling" in general I object to. It is government mandated recycling.

    OK, I'm with you on that principle, that people shouldn't be forced to do anything, apart than not stealing and not killing.

    BENEFITS (lifted from Wikipedia):
    Recycling is beneficial in two ways: it reduces the inputs (energy and raw materials) to a production system and reduces the amount of waste produced for disposal.

    DRAWBACKS (same):
    All recycling techniques consume energy for transportation and processing, and some also use considerable amounts of water.

    There may also be drawbacks with the collection methods associated with recycling. Increasing collections of separated wastes adds to vehicle movements and the production of carbon dioxide.

  • ||

    Nothing you write is remotely hard to understand, John. You are a very simplistic thinker, but a relatively clear writer, so there is never a reason for you to question whether your point has been understood.

    I disagree with your assertion that your characterization of environmentalism as "totalitarian" is limited to situations when a government policy is explicity endorsed. You hurl about the "watermelon," "these people just want to control us" arguments at the merest mention of concern about an environmental problem, and accuse those who express concern about that problem of totalitarianism on every environmental thread.

    To answer your question, I do not believe in enforcing "my lifestyle" on anyone. I think it would be wholly inappropriate to compel anyone to play the bass guitar and comment on libertarian blog threads. On the other hand, I do believe that it is appropriate for the government to restrain people from harming or endangering others, which is the root of environmental law.

    I guess you could argue that not harming other people is a "lifestyle," but you'd be in Jonah Goldberg territory in terms of your relationship to the English language.

  • ||

    Joe,

    If it was efferent to recycle tuna cans from household garbage, you wouldn't need to government to mandate it. Further, you obviously don't know much about a modern landfill. When properly constructed and lined, a modern landfill becomes a large hill covered with grass, trees or whatever. That is another myth the media likes to propagate, that all landfills look like fresh kills in NYC.

    Dan T.

    Since it is profitable to recycle aluminum cans, people do it. Ever seen a dumpster diver? I would guess that at least a majority of aluminum cans get recycled in this country, all without government mandates.

  • Episiarch||

    Gilbert pwnes joe on this one, I'm afraid. Know when you're beaten, joe, and let it go.

  • Dave W.||

    Sure, McDonalds doesn't make the best hamburgers or the healthiest food but they have a consistent product at a pretty low price. Why this is evil incarnate to some people I will never understand.

    Because they imagine that if you took away some of the McDonald's outlets, some of the Starbuck's or some of Wal*Marts, then better business would spring up to take up the slack. Better might mean better products, or more variety, or better customer service, whatever.

    I don't fully agree with this, btw. My own personal feeling is that:

    1. I don't mind all the McDonald's because I think there is good competition in restaurants.

    2. The only time I minded Starbuck's was when there was one in the lobby of my building, and I felt pretty sure that a better coffee shop would have moved in if it had not been a Starbuck's. It wasn't a big deal, though. I never got angry at Starbuck's about it.

    3. If we got rid of about half the WAL*MART's, then something better would probably take their place. WAL*MART really does have market power and have sapped a lot of the competitive juice out of retail. I understand that WAL*MART has some competition, but for the scope of stuff they sell, and the sheer size of their sales, it is far too little competition. Things could be a lot better.

  • ||

    Gilbert,

    Good thing no one ever uses reverse-snobbism as a marketing tool to manipulate people like you.

    Do you know what the difference is between buying free range chicken to reduce suffering, and voting for George Bush to put a "regular guy" in the White House?

    Buying free range chicken instead of Perdue actually does reduce suffering.

    Now the Bush thing, that really is selling an image while accomplishing nothing.

  • SPD||

    This delves a bit further into the pros and cons of recycling: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/postpn252.pdf

    Interestingly enough, in this article by a government commission, it actually says: "consumers should be persuaded to act sustainably by incentive schemes rather than 'finger-waggling'." What a novel concept!

  • ||

    "On the other hand, I do believe that it is appropriate for the government to restrain people from harming or endangering others, which is the root of environmental law."

    Joe, I don't object to any environmentalist unless they start advocating bad government policy. Further, in my former life I was an environmental lawyer and am very familiar with the various environmental issues and am a great believer in preserving the environment. I draw the line at bad policy and policy that limits people's freedom for little or no benefit to the environment. I really don't see what your problem with my position is. I object to mandatory recycling because it is authoritarian and does little if anything to help the environment. I object to mandated energy efficiency in things like cars and homes because such policies unfairly penalize poor people by raising the prices of housing and the like and because often times energy efficient building are downright unhealthy due to lack of ventilation. Look it up sometime, it is called sick building syndrome. I really don't see what you are so angry about.

  • ||

    John,

    I already explained how mandatory recycling produces a market that people profit from. You can respond to that point, or not. I'm just pointing out that you completely ignored it, and posted a statement of faith instead.

    BTW, I have a capped landfill a half mile from my house. It spent several decades as an uncapped landfill, and even now, you can neither build on it, nor even plant trees. At this point, it really should start to sink in that assuming ignorance on my part explains our differences of opinion is not a good idea.

  • Dave W. (further to prev)||

    Better might mean better products, or more variety, or better customer service, whatever.

    or more favorable terms for the retail employees, or less reliance on sweatshop or economically coerced labor for production . . . "better products" or "better customer service" can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people.

  • ||

    Sure, John. You're all about the wise policies to address environmental problems.

    You just don't ever find them, as hard as you look, you poor guy.

    You are perhaps the least self-aware person I have ever encountered.

  • ||

    "It spent several decades as an uncapped landfill, and even now, you can neither build on it, nor even plant trees. "

    I thought you wanted open space, what is wrong with not building on it? In addition, I would imagine the reason you can't build on it is because the land is unstable. It can be difficult to build on fill. Also, since it is capped the last thing you want to do is build on top of it and break the cap. That is what happened at Love Cannel. The land fill wasn't badly constructed, it was just that some moron broke the cap and built houses over it. If that landfill was properly lined, it is posing a threat to no one and will slowly go back to wilderness over the decades. I don't see what your problem with it is. Granted, you probably wouldn't want to build a pre-school on top of it, but otherwise, what is it hurting? I would imagine the local flora and fauna are slowly taking it over as we speak. Give it a few years and it will be just another hill.

  • ||

    "Farming by the Foot: How Site-Specific Agriculture Can Reduce Nonpoint Source Water Pollution, 23 COLUM. J. ENVTL. L. 89, 94 (1998)"


    There is a good environmental policy for you Joe. Look it up sometime. It is my master's thesis. It has some very interesting policy ideas for dealing with agricultural pollution.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Good thing no one ever uses reverse-snobbism as a marketing tool to manipulate people like you.

    Do you know what the difference is between buying free range chicken to reduce suffering, and voting for George Bush to put a "regular guy" in the White House?

    Buying free range chicken instead of Perdue actually does reduce suffering.

    Now the Bush thing, that really is selling an image while accomplishing nothing."

    That's real funny joe.

    I'm not manipulated by snobism in forward or reverse mode.

    I'm motived by what I calcuate is best for my own personal self interest and I make no apologies for it - nor do I need to.

    And George Bush has been better for that than Kerry would have been because he cut the tax rates on my investment income and saved me a bundle of cash. Whether he is a "regular guy" or not isn't part of the equation.

  • Alex||

    "Do you know what the difference is between buying free range chicken to reduce suffering, and voting for George Bush to put a "regular guy" in the White House?

    Buying free range chicken instead of Perdue actually does reduce suffering."

    That's my favorite joke since "What's the difference between Rush Limbaugh and a blimp? One's a huge, gas-filled airbag and the other's an aircraft."

    But seriously, folks...

    Far be it for me, as a liberal on a libertarian blog, to actually encourage you people to think more selfishly, but if you're buying free range chickens only to reduce their suffering (which, actually, because of places like Whole Foods -- and, sorry to say it, a lack of government regulation as to what the term free range actually means -- doesn't really mean anything anymore other than the fact that cooped chickens have access to a small patch of concrete outside that they'll never actually go out to) then you're missing the much larger point: battery chickens are bad for you. They're pumped full of antibiotics and fed on things that are not natural. They're much more likely to give you, for instance, salmonella. Also, and probably more important to this crowd and to me, they taste like crap in comparison with a properly raised chicken.

  • ||

    Good Lord, John, how about you try to think instead of just jerking your knee?

    I thought you wanted open space, what is wrong with not building on it?

  • ||

    Hm, tag problem, I guess.

    John, what I wrote was, "and even now, you can neither build on it, nor even plant trees" because doing so would break the cap. The necessary management plan requires that trees be prevented from growing there.

    And regardless, the decades it spent as an open landfill, added to the decades it would spend recovering to a "natural" state, and we're still talking about second growth, probably dominated by the most aggressive pioneer species for quite some time rather than the ecosystem that evolved there over the milennia. You can't see why people who value open space would rather see this happen less, rather than more?

  • ||

    I was going to use the following quote to slam Goldberg but, according to PublicEye.org, which professes to be a progressive outfit, this is Benito Mussolini's invented the internet.

    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

    Although it leaves me frustrated I thought people should know. Fake or real, it's a honey of a quote.

  • Seitz||

    You are right that Trader Joe's is vastly superior to Whole Foods. Whole Foods is expensive as hell and just full of a lot of wierd crap.

    Yeah, who needs all that weird crap like a butcher and a produce section?

    I love Trader Joe's, but the two aren't particularly all that comparable. One of the reasons Whole Foods is more expensive is because they get people into the store with the things they do that are vastly superior to other grocery stores (meat, fish, and produce), and then sell them all they same junk they could get TJ's, or Ralph's, or Dominick's while they're there.

  • ||

    Uh, a corporatist economic system is part of every definition of fascism.

    Look it up on wikipedia.

    Did you think that commenter just made up the term "corporatism?"

  • ||

    I'm sitting here eating my yankee potroast from Whole Foods. This stuff is awesome. I did feel a little guilty when I walked by all the peasants the store was repressing but that's the price one pays for good totalitarian food!

  • SugarFree||

    If a private company or the city wants to pick through my trash to find "recyclables," then more power to them. But I have to (under threat of fine) separate them out myself into a different bin (and into smaller bins inside that bin.) Is it economies of scales that make "tuna can" recycling profitable or is it my slave labor?

    By the way, I had been a macrolibertarian for a long time, but it took living in a town with private garbage and recycling collection to make me a local-level libertarian. It cost 20 dollars a month, they picked up twice a week, would haul off anything you could drag to the curb either of those days, and would even come around the side of the house to empty the cans. Recycling went into a single bin with no sorting. They knocked two bucks off the monthly fee if I used the recycling bin. It was like trash paradise.

    Where I live know, they recently had a newspaper expose on the fact that the city garbagemen only work four hours a day but get paid for ten. At the same time, we dropped from two days of collection to one. Why aren't more people libertarian? Oh, that's right, we like guns and dope...

  • ||

    I already explained how mandatory recycling produces a market that people profit from.

    I'm sorry, but are you referring to this sorry argument?

    The waste management companies are able to make money off of tuna cans specifically because of the economy of scale that mandatory recycling produces. So much for the "recycling isn't efficient" argument.

    I think this warrants an "ECONOMIEZ of SKALE!"

    DRINK!

  • ||

    "By the way, I had been a macrolibertarian for a long time, but it took living in a town with private garbage and recycling collection to make me a local-level libertarian. It cost 20 dollars a month, they picked up twice a week, would haul off anything you could drag to the curb either of those days, and would even come around the side of the house to empty the cans. Recycling went into a single bin with no sorting. They knocked two bucks off the monthly fee if I used the recycling bin. It was like trash paradise."

    The service is so good because those guys found a way to make a living off of your trash. That is vastly superior to some government mandated recyling system like they have in Europe. In Germany at least, they really do monitor the contents of your trash and fine the hell out of you if you don't recycle. Look at it this way, if tommorow the FBI found some algorythm ant would allow them to determine with 100% certainty who was a terrorist and a child molester by the contents of their garbage and thus wanted to start monitoring the contents of everyone's trash in order to catch terrorists and child molesters, the people on here, Joe included would have kittens and rightfully so. Yet, somehow the government doing the same thing in the name of recycling is okay?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Why aren't more people libertarian? Oh, that's right, we like guns and dope..."

    I'd say it has more to do with:

    (A) - A lot of people think they're "owed"
    stuff to be paid for by somebody
    else.

    (B) - There a lot of busybodies in the
    world who think everyone else's
    business is actually their business.

  • ||

    Joe,

    If the alternative to having a landfill that perhaps is repopulated by pioneer species is not have trash pick up or having some grossly expensive and intrusive government recycling scheme, the pioneer species don't look so bad. My point is that landfill are not nearly as bad as they are made out to be and are at least right now the best alternative we have. If we spent all the effort we do on recycling making sure that landfills were properly built and that the waste disposal industry was not filled with Tony Soprano types, both us an the environment would be a lot better off.

  • ||

    Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation in All This Stuff I Don't Like

  • ||

    The best recycling system I've seen is "pay-as-you-throw," which charges homeowners for a special type of bag, based on the cost of landfilling one bag. The collectors then only take trash that is in the special bags.

    Recycling is picked up from free, meaning each resident has a direct incentive to achieve the central goal, the reduction of trash volume. Recycling, reducing, reusing, composting, even compacting - all things that reduce the need for landfill space - it leaves it up to the resident to figure out how he can best reduce his trash volume.

  • ||

    I love Trader Joe's, but the two aren't particularly all that comparable.

    Agreed. Trader Joe's has some fantastic pre-cooked, heat and server entrees, but is severely lacking in ingredients for people who like to cook. Their produce selection leaves much to be desired at times. (When compared to Whole Foods)

    TJ's have no butcher, no baker and a shitty mostly frozen seafood selection. In those categories Whole Foods mops the floor with them

  • ||

    John,

    "grossly expensive and intrusive government recycling scheme"

    Um, we're talking about people having two trash containers instead of one here, right? Let's not get all shrieking hysterical about this.

    As far as expense, recycling pays for itself. The cost of the less efficient materials, like glass, is covered by the profitability of the metals.

  • Robert Waldmann||

    commenters we are supposed to help Jonah with his subtitle.

    How about

    Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Thomas Jefferson to the ACLU ?

    or

    Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from John Stuart Mill to Friday Cat Blogging ?

  • ||

    Joe,

    I wouldn't object to that program. That way I can pay my money and not care if I want or I can save my money and recycle to my heart's content. As long as the price to dispose actually represents the cost of disposal and not some artificially high price, I would totally support that idea.

  • ||

    Sure, John, as long as "the cost of disposal" includes the environmental externalities of landfilling waste and extracting new raw materials that could have been replaced with recycling.

  • SugarFree||

    Gilbert Martin,

    Well, all that too... I was just being glib.

    John,

    Rumor has it that an elderly lady got those guys to take a brokedown car to a junk yard for her. We can't even get the city guys to not pick up our trash at 5 fucking am.

    joe,

    As far as expense, recycling pays for itself.

    Once again I ask... is it profitable (or break-evan-able) because they compel me to work for them? If my labor is not a component of their profitability, then why do I have to do it under threat of fine?

    (The cruder way to ask this question is: Why do I have to have three fucking trash cans in the kitchen?)

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    Cry me a river about your "slave labor."

    We're talking about using the right trash can here.

    You know, they don't actually come into your kitchen and take the bag out of your trash can, either. Like the poor unfortunates working on plantations in the ante-bellum South, you are foreced to carry the bag to the curb.

    What color ribbon should I wear on my lapel for the benighted souls forced to put their newspapers in a grocery bag instead of the kitchen trash?

    You are not forgotten!

  • ||

    How is someone who associates fascism with liberalism with totalitariansm and libertarianism given a book deal?

  • ||

    Does recycling pay for itself? The worst day of my working life was spent at a recycling plant during summer break back in the college days. Unreal. The manual processing required to separate recyclables was enormous back in 1993 or so.

    If they've made progress since then, that's great, but I became a recycling cynic after about five minutes of watching what the process looked like.

  • SugarFree||

    joe,

    The laws already enforce your lifestyle choice on the rest of us, but you won't happy until you have our minds as well as our tuna cans.

    Liberal Fascism is a joke, but it is a sick sort of totalitarian who has compliance and demands agreement as well.

    And you still didn't answer my question in your blizzard of sarcasm. Or maybe I already have it.

  • ||

    So wait, let me see if I understand.
    When a township instigates a recycling program into their garbage management, with each regulation on how it is to be managed there is a decrease in cost to the person whose trash/recycling is being collected?

    Fancy that.

  • ||

    Ironically, and I'm surprised no one's mentioned this, at least in the People's Republic of Cambridge "Whole Foods" is synonymous with big corporate. The leftists hate it because WF bought out "Bread & Circus" which was a local organic chain with better prices and "local values." "Whole Foods" has also hurt the organic food co-ops which were a leftist staple since the 1970s. If anything Whole Foods is usually seen on the left as a symbol of the way corporate America coopts the counterculture and turns it mainstream - maybe Jonah's gone leftist on us and is righting a book about "facist corporations."

  • Edward||

    How about Liberal Fascism: Total Twadle From a Right-Wing Twinkie?

  • ||

    I've posted before about Whole Foods' misleading and deceptive marketing of organic food, by telling customers that conventionally grown food is less healthy, is filled with toxic chemicals, etc. Also they campaign against genetically-engineered food and irradiation by raising unscientific fears about those technologies. In the last few years, they have gotten rid of the most egregious stuff on their website, but their "market" success was mainly built on deceiving consumers.

    Don't think that's a libertarian value myself.

    Check out its website under "Issues."

  • Randolph Carter||

    Whole food fucking rocks. They have those "field harvest" fake meat products like delicious sausages and mushroom cold cuts. The crunchy-ass local health food stores have half the inventory at double the price.
    Also, unless the business model includes enslaving children and skinning puppies, screw objecting to a business for its "morals."
    Because who needs morals when you can buy morels! buh huh huh huh.

  • Randolph Carter||

    eddie,
    The same way Paris Hilton gets a record deal.

  • ||

    The problem for Jonah Goldberg is that Whole Foods is one of the most honest companies in America. Like any true neo-con, his sympathies lie with companies that depend mostly on corporate welfare, such as Halliburton, American Airlines, and Cabela's. Goldberg is worse than Ann Coulter.

  • ||

    To me this is just a continuation of an increasing pattern by right wingers to throw out the word "fascism" in relation to liberals. As the right becomes more and more reactionary and loving of all things authoratarian they see the danger to themselves of being labeled as what they are, fascist. One can call it neo-fascism, authoritarianism, big brother government, totalitarianism or anything else but the right is very clever and is attempting to co-opt the language here and head off the real debate that America needs to be having. Frank Luntz must be proud.

  • Daniel Barnes||

    Someone should point out that Captain Doofus H Pantload's whole thesis - German Idealism's totalitarian implications - has been done multiple times, and by people with A Brain too. Why would anyone read his book when you can get Karl Popper's "The Open Society And Its Enemies Vol 2:Hegel and Marx" for a just a buck more?

  • Daniel Barnes||

    Actually, I take that back. Goldberg's thesis is whatever he can extract a tortured subtitle from.

  • libertreee||

    And regardless, the decades it spent as an open landfill, added to the decades it would spend recovering to a "natural" state, and we're still talking about second growth, probably dominated by the most aggressive pioneer species for quite some time rather than the ecosystem that evolved there over the milennia. You can't see why people who value open space would rather see this happen less, rather than more?-Joe

    All I see in Joe's argument is that his aesthetic, subjective values regarding open space and landfills can and should be imposed on communities by a majority vote. He also attributes economic efficiencies, but is unwilling to let the market verify them.

    Despite the facts that only 6% of America is developed, and that man made ecological damage is rarely if ever permanent, he believes that his aesthetic values trumps the individual choices of up to 49% of a local population (assuming that the electoral dynamics are open and no special interest welfare is involved, which is unlikely).

    This is the liberal way, but not the libertarian way.


  • ||

    John in one post: ". . . some people do not want 500 million people in this country, whether they be Russians, Africans or Mexicans. Some people like the open spaces and think it is too crowded now. Further, some people like American culture as it is. That is foreign concept to a lot of people, but no[t] everyone wants Mexico City in their backyard. In same way I don't blame the French or the rest of the world when they complain about American culture running roughshod over their own, I don't blame Americans for wanting to keep their own culture."

    John in another post: "Do you agree that you should be able to enforce your lifestyle on everyone else through government coercion or don't you? It is not a trick question."

    Apparently, it is a trick question, at least when it comes to immigration law.

  • Bee||

    Hear, hear, SugarFree. Of course my time and effort are being exploited to satisfy someone else's recycling wet dream.

    And adding insult to injury is that the plastic flip-top municipal-issued trash cans we are now required to use, as well as the open-top recycling boxes, are not even remotely wildlife safe. Dogs, raccoons, rodents, deer and bears can all go to town on these worthless plastic pieces of crap. They're gnawable, they crack when dropped, shatter with age and exposure, and we are charged for their replacement. My old metal trash cans now hold the precious recyclable crap - which I tote out from the house - until I dump it into the worthless plastic boxes right before collection, so that it does not become a buffet line during the week.

    Oh, and we pay more now, too. I ponder going off-grid and just hauling stuff to the dump myself. Except that's probably illegal now.

  • ||

    libertree,

    I have no doubt that "all you see" in my observation about second growth and aggressive invasives is an aesthetic statement.

    It isn't actually an aesthetic statement at all - it's a statement about ecological function and habitat suitability - but I don't doubt for a second that all you see is an aesthetic statement.

    Your problem. Not mine.

  • ||

    "Aesthetic" is one of those terms, like "lifestyle," that people without an argument throw out to make deride positions they can't actually argue against.

    For example, "Stop using force to impose your anti-trespass lifestyle on me. You have no right to use the government to enforce your aesthetic preference for well-defended property rights."

  • Paul||

    Hey, I love Whole Foods. It's a great example of capitalism. Now, I don't shop there much because I don't live in the overly coiffed, volvo-driving community where the one in my area exists, but I do go in when I'm in the neighborhood. My only complaint: I got some lunch at their deli-counter the other day and tried to buy a magazine to read while I ate. My choices were:

    Vegetarian Times
    Vegetarian Living
    Gluten Free (what the hell is a gluten, and where can I get one?)
    Ad Busters
    Mother Earth News

    The list went on, and on, and on. But what can you expect, the entire community surrouding the Whole Foods is pretty much preoccupied with Shakra's and Aura's.

  • Randolph Carter||

    gluten is wheat/cereal protein. Some people (especially we viking-blooded northern Europeans) have an allergic reaction to it.
    It's also a fad right now to be "gluten-free," even though the best damn textured vegan protein, Seitan, is all gluten all the time.
    As far as I can tell, the gluten-free crap for those who aren't allergic is just another corn product subsidy.

  • roger||

    Please, the relationship between vegetarianism and Naziism is the dumbest cliche ever! You could as easily make the connection between agri-business, dependent on Fritz Haber's ammonia nitrate process, and Mustard gas, another Haber invention, and the gas used in the concentration camps. Gee, Agri-business is the equivalent of Auschwitz! Truly, the right is in a trough, and Jonah Goldberg has to be the dumbest righwinger to come along in a generation.

  • ||

    John Mackey, a hugely successful businessperson, once bragged that Whole Foods employees had much higher IQs than employees of an area rival called Central Market, which has unique, amazing stores in Texas. It turns out the opposite is true, but Mackey wasn't interested in facts. He is supremely arrogant and his opinion is the only one worth having - in his opinion! His supersized holier-than-thou ego is what brought him success. He may be a nice person, but he is only a modern version of the late 1800s robber baron blowhards who know what's best for everyone else - and what's best for everyone else is what he says is best for everyone else. I don't envy him his wealth but instead pity him for his closed mind. Mainly, though, he's just a rich control freak.

  • dhex||

    hail seitan!

    (i never get tired of that gag)

    i don't believe in segregation for any of god's creatures or their works, so i can't in good conscience recycle.

  • dhex||

    also the lighting in whole foods sucks. i've never figured out why that is. you can still read the prices.

  • Righteous Bubba||

    Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from That Lady in Line in Front of Me Counting Pennies from Her Change Purse to the Way Gilbert Gottfried's Voice Sounds

  • ||

    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

    Often quoted, but rarely understood. Corporate in this sense doesn't mean "corporation" in the modern sense of a limited liability company. It means any collective organisation, such as a cartel. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism

    Think of, say, Krupp and all the German industrialists meeting the Nazi bosses to decide what's going to happen.

    But a corporation in this sense could also be a trade union (think of the "official" unions of the USSR), a church, a university or whatever.

    Gilbert Martin: "I'm not manipulated by snobism in forward or reverse mode.

    "I'm motived by what I calcuate is best for my own personal self interest and I make no apologies for it - nor do I need to."

    Gil, that means you're a psychopath. Seek help now.

  • ||

    From Update 2:

    ...but maybe the German obsession with organic food and environmentalism...

    Goldberg apparently believes that foodies who recycle will eventually don the Toten Kopf and go all Auchwitz on the rest of us. It's inevitable really. Be afraid of the foodies. Be very , very afraid.

  • ||

    Wait... I'm a vegetarian. I recycle! OMG! I must be a Fascist! Please, nobody tell my mom...

  • dhex||

    wait so goldberg is, like, just doing guilt by association here?

    germans LOVED highways jonah!

  • ||

    Liberal facism: The country is not short on landfill space?

  • ||

    John

    "Further, in many cases, especially with glass products, it takes more energy to recycle a product than it does to make a new one."

    Basic info on glass recycling

    http://www.gpi.org/recycling/faq/

  • ||

    Recycling glass reduces environmental impacts

    Saves energy
    Using cullet allows the glass container industry to reduce energy input to its furnaces. Energy costs drop about 2-3% for every 10% cullet used in the manufacturing process.
    Decreases processing by-products
    The glass recycling process is a closed-loop system, creating no additional waste or by-products.
    Lessens greenhouse gas emissions
    For container glass, a relative 10% increase in cullet reduces particulates by 8%, nitrogen oxide by 4%, and sulfur oxides by 10%. And, for every six tons of recycled container glass used, one ton of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is reduced (Source: Glass Recycling, "Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology" 4th edition, 1999).

    http://www.gpi.org/recycling/environment/

  • SugarFree||

    Neu Mejican,

    All better arguments for recycling than suggesting an industry based on unpaid labor is profitable on it's own.

  • ||

    Next subtitle, after Whole Foods threatens to sue...

    Liberal Fascism: Stuff John Podhoretz told me during the breaks of Battlestar Galactica.

  • ||

    Let me get this straight...Goldberg's magazine explicitly and repeatedly defends state torture in the name of an an orwellian "war on terror" as necessary, but the organic grocery store(!) is fascist. Our republic is in serious trouble.

  • Hey Jude||

    I wonder why Mackey hasn't given up his companies limited liability status since he is such a free marketeer. I guess he is only free market when it comes to union busting and fighting antitrust suits.

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