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Anarchism and nature

Anarchist movements with an ecological flavor

There is a significant anarchist element to the environmental movement, including those that are known as eco-anarchists and green-anarchists. These two, though similar, are not quite the same because the political label 'Green' has implications beyond ecology (see Green Party). Green anarchists accept some restrictions on individual freedom as a means of preserving natural capital (for example, farmland[?] and water) and often promote limited forms of social ecology. Eco-anarchists, by contrast, are more extreme and advocate a sort of fusion with nature (see also: eco-village and primitivism).

Green anarchism, in North America at least, is also linked with anarcho-primitivism, a philosophy that calls for the abolition not only of government, but of civilisation. On the opposite end of the technology spectrum are some that have been labelled cyberpunks, a few of whom are both anarchist and ecologist, and who see information technology as the way to replace hierarchy, defeat monopoly, and prevent war, and support culture jamming in particular as a way to do so. Some writers -- particularly Iain M. Banks, who has written quite extensively in the science fiction genre about The Culture, an futuristic society which has disposed of government -- have theorised that anarchism would be inevitable with the technological advances that would make travelling and living in space plausible [1] (http://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/~stefan/culture).

Other Anarchist Traditions and Nature

Anarcho-capitalists believe that private property allows people who care for nature to protect whatever is valuable about it. Indeed, they argue, when a natural resource has an owner, there is someone who is interested in the preservation of its capital, and make people who damage it responsible for torts. Destruction of nature happens when it has no owner. The nationalization of nature by governments and their delegitimation of homesteading is thus the primary cause of pollution, as demonstrated in communist and third-world countries. An example they cite is how many wild-life species in South Africa were endangered while administered by a monopoly of irresponsible bureaucrats, whereas they now prosper after privatization, because farmers and villagers will now own them and have interest in their continued existence, as game, tourist attraction, biological capital, etc. More generally, if any resource is in the hands of people who have disrespect for it, and undervalue it, then people who do respect it and value it, will have no problem acquiring it. So people can vote with their dollars to protect whatever they like about nature, while those resources that nobody care about will be spent.



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