The Conservative Crisis

January 27, 2003

By Tom DeWeese

There is a crisis in the Conservative movement. It is a blind spot that threatens everything the movement stands for. It is Sustainable Development, the theme of the United Nations conference in Johannesburg. However, the conservatives who have always been there to fight off such utopian, socialist nightmares now seem to slumber blissfully in their ignorance at the very moment when vigilance is most urgently needed.

Sustainable Development is the greatest threat ever perpetrated against the American ideal of liberty. Under Sustainable Development there can be no free enterprise, no individual liberty or private property.

As I attend traditional conservative meetings around the country where the defense of property rights should be paramount Sustainable Development is rarely mentioned. Speaker after speaker addresses the audience about issues like abortion, taxes, and national defense. They declare their dedication to the fight for limited government. I’ve even heard some of these speakers gleefully declare that we are in a “conservative era.”

If they believe this then they are seriously deluded. There can be no hope of living in a nation of limited government with Sustainable Development as official government policy. The two are diametrically opposed. Today, the Bush Administration is continuing to help entrench Sustainable Development policies that were started under the Clinton Administration.

Conservatives as a movement appear to be ignoring this threat. Indeed, many Conservative foundations and major donors are actually providing funds to proponents of Sustainable Development such as the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club. By sharp contrast, proponents of property rights who are on the front lines to stop this massive expansion of government control receive few dollars of support from those who should be their champions.

Conservative donors are woefully ignorant of Sustainable Development. They think they are giving their money to help the environment or to preserve historic places. Instead they are only helping to murder the very freedoms they profess to uphold. Conservatives would never concede their liberty to Swastikas or Hammer and Sickles, but tuck it in a Green blanket called “environmental protection” and they will toss those liberties on the fire like an old-fashioned book burning.

Conservatives must heed the warning now! Sustainable Development is anti-science, anti-knowledge, anti-human and anti-reason. It is the creed of the mindless savage who seeks brute force over liberty.

If conservatives don’t learn of its evil now, if we don’t heed the warning and rip Sustainable Development out of every level of government by its well-entrenched roots, then American life, indeed human existence as we know it, will enter a new dark ages of pain and misery unlike any ever experienced by the community of man.

The Conservative philosophy advocates limited government intrusion into the lives of individual citizens. The root of that philosophy goes back to the ideals of the Founding Fathers and particularly John Locke who said, “man creates value and therefore property out of his own labor.” He said that no government could take the fruits of one’s labor without a compelling public need and without just compensation and then only through the rule of law.

James Madison used that theory to write the Fifth Amendment. John Adams said, “the moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God and there is not the force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.”

Under the guarantee that government’s only real job is to protect the rights of individual Americans to engage in commerce and to protect their property and person from thieves and murderers, Americans set about creating the most prosperous and free nation on earth.

Today, these American ideals are under severe challenge from the international community under the banner of Sustainable Development. Time and again, news reports indicate that sustainable development is an environmental issue. It is not. Sustainable Development is the driving force of what Al Gore called a “wrenching transformation” that society must endure to repair what he perceives as the damage of the 20th century’s Industrial Revolution. It is the same Industrial Revolution that gave us modern transportation, medicine, indoor plumbing, healthy drinking water, central heating, air conditioning, and electric light.

Sustainable Development is not about environmental clean up of rivers, air and litter. It is an all-encompassing socialist scheme to combine social welfare programs with government control of private business, socialized medicine, national zoning controls of private property and restructuring of school curriculum which serves to indoctrinate children into politically correct group think.

Sustainable Development advocates seek oppressive taxes to control and punish behavior of which they don’t approve and there is much these advocates disapprove, including air conditioning, fast foods, suburban housing and automobiles.

Every aspect of our lives is affected by Sustainable Development policies. It is top-down control from an all-powerful central government; specifically the United Nations which seeks to assert such control. That is the true significance of the World Conference on Sustainable Development.

The question is whether conservatives will rally to American principles of freedom against the onslaught of Sustainable Development’s socialist tyranny?

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.