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3 Rotten Fruits of Eco-Fascism or The Grocery Bag Tax

Posted By Chris Rowan On October 28, 2010 @ 8:00 am In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

Jonah Goldberg defines Fascism as:

. . . a religion of the state.  It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people.  It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good.  It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure.  Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives.  Any rival identity is part of the ‘problem’ and therefore defined as the enemy.
- Liberal Fascism, p. 23

Eco-fascism is a variant of Fascism that is also totalitarian in the sense that any action by the state to achieve some ecologically-worthy goal is justified. No aspect of human life is off limits. Examples range from bans on smoking in public and the use of cell phones in cars to recent attempts by Congress and the EPA to impose a tax and/or regulatory regimen on our exhalations and emissions made by the burning of fossil fuels. Now it seems we are going to be taxed for the little plastic grocery bags we use to transport our groceries from the supermarket to our cars.

The rationale for the ban is dubious, at best. The cynic in me views the ban as yet one more statist bureaucratic scheme to separate me from my money.

This past January, the City Council of Brownsville, Texas, unanimously passed a ban on retailer-provided, single-use, sanitary, disposable, plastic grocery bags. The ban is voluntary for now, but becomes mandatory with exceptions for bagging fish, meat, and poultry in 2011. Paper bags were not offered as an alternative. The main reason for the ban was to address a litter problem associated with the little plastic “tumbleweeds” that seem to be everywhere – vacant lots, fences, roads, parking lots. Very unsightly.

We had facts and figures to show that, yeah, Brownsville was sick of litter, and the biggest thing we litter are plastic bags.
- Rose Timmer, Healthy Communities of Brownsville

The Brownsville City Commission also pointed out that sewers and drainage systems are being clogged with the plastic bags, and the community’s waterways are similarly polluted. They further claimed that the plastic bags are difficult to recycle and contaminate materials processed through the city’s composting program.  A local newspaper reported:

The ordinance the commission approved notes the city has a duty to protect the natural environment, the economy and the health of the city’s residents.

Let’s take a closer look at these assertions, shall we?



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