Jackson and I discuss the issues surrounding Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy and his dispute with the Bureau of Land Management. We see this as bigger than a rancher who doesn’t want to pay grazing fees. Does the federal government have a legitimate claim to an ownership of huge portions of land west of the Mississippi? Why would militia members from out of state feel the need to come to Bundy’s defense? Have a listen and tell us what you think.
Music Credit: Chance McCoy and the Appalachian String Band
I wanted to share this video because John Bush of Sovereign Living TV seems to take the The New Polis‘ ideals of liberty and community to heart.
Of course, this kind of lifestyle isn’t for everyone, nor do I believe one must replicate it to embrace localism. Though there are more encompassing ideas of what localism is (such as Christopher Felt’s ideas on it), The New Polis takes a more limited definition: localism is the idea that decision-making should be done at the most local level practical.
Clearly, though, there are certain conditions that are more conducive to localism and John Bush embodies some of them. An important one that he mentions about a minute in is community defense. Indeed, it ought to be obvious that the amount of crime in any neighborhood has much more to do with the character of the community that lives in it than the quality of public policing. Just ask yourself: what is more effective in protecting your home when you are away: a neighbor who will check in on your house? Or a police officer who randomly patrols in his or her car?
As well, if it ever becomes the case that money creation by the Federal Reserve results in high inflation and the federal government responds by instituting price controls on food, there will likely be food shortages in the stores. This is what typically happens with price ceilings. A community will be better off if it has access to locally grown food and can thereby nullify price controls.
Bush also mentions medical care, which just like every good and service, is produced more efficiently when it is decentralized and open to competition. Central planning has had some disastrous results, especially in medical care, and Bush’s dedication to take control of his and his family’s medical decisions is another application of localism.
Personally, I am very excited about their endeavor and have great hope for their success. If you share this interest here are links to their website and YouTube channel.
By Chris Felt
In their post Why Localism?, Archer and Fegley argue that the size of the United States government has grown to such an extent that it has now become too large. The government is too large because it cannot adequately represent and serve the 300 million citizens that reside within its jurisdiction. Archer and Fegley suggest that the government inadequacies are readily apparent in two key areas: education and environmental conservation. In education, the federal government attempts to satisfy the unique educational needs of localities by enacting a general education policy that produces only frustration and inefficiencies. The EPA also seeks to solve the local environmental issues which would be better handled by local departments such as the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Local departments have greater insight into what is necessary for environmental protection for their local areas. Archer and Fegley claim that centralization of power in the federal government is not only ineffective but also potentially dangerous. Archer and Fegley state that atrocities such as those that occurred during the regimes of Nazism, Fascism, and Communism are logical outcomes of the centralization of power.
The views expressed by Archer and Fegley are those that are easily accepted by the other well known localism movement which is built upon the works of E.F. Schumacher. However, Archer and Fegley have only expressed agreement with the political aspect of this movement. This movement also emphasizes a social aspect. The social aspect includes many ideas but the basic ones are buying local, human scale technology, and simple living. Archer asserted in the June 19 podcast that in order for personal relationships and a sense of community to flourish, the proper size for a political unit needs to be the city. I argue that not only is a city-size political unit important for personal relationships and community, the acceptance of the social aspect is also necessary. Continue reading