Neoliberalism and Public Lands Management

http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2023&context=llr

(I understand this is quite a long article, so please skip to the Conclusion around pg.46 of the pdf.)

This article expresses that environmental concerns regarding public lands are a new issue that have become more transparent in the past 20 years. A reoccurring theme throughout the article is that far too many people rely on privatizing these lands and exploiting them for their natural resources. To recognize this exploitation, the review quotes, “Now that many of the underlying legal theories upon which the Wise-Use movement has sought to advance its claims have met with defeat in the courts, perhaps it is time for local governments to sit down with federal regulators to fashion workable solutions to satisfy the needs of local communities as well as to protect the public lands from environmental degradation” (Perry 319). Neoliberalism is also a recently developed ideology, and it relates to public lands because there is constant controversy on how involved the government should be with their public agencies.

I would like to know everyone’s thoughts on this “free market capitalism” idea of neoliberalism, and if it is worth pursuing at the cost preserving public lands.

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One thought on “Neoliberalism and Public Lands Management

  1. I think that the recent uprise in the last 20 years of environmental conservation that the article talks about has only occurred because it was necessary. Our destruction of the worlds natural resources is incentivized by overpopulation and mass production of goods. The “free market” system caters to this overpopulation, because it simply allows private businesses to supply for the ever-growing demand without much regulation. Because the goal of all those involved in this system is to rise in the economic hierarchy, there is no reason for anyone to question any action that results in financial gain. This leads to what is happening right now with the environment: corporations have used natural resources in the most profitable but the least sustainable way, and now they are being told that they might not be able to continue to gain economically from it, and so they are doing something about it. I don’t think that the recent surge of conservationism is because of any type of recently recognized morality or humanity, but because money.

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