Steven Landsburg and the Indoctrination of Recycling

Steven Landsburg and the Indoctrination of Recycling

It is no great secret that I prefer animals to people. Case in point: Harvard economist and self-professed Libertarian Steven Landsburg proving why with his latest temper tanrum over the evils of — wait for it – recycling.

I believe that I will lay this out in small words on the off chance that Mr. Landsburg, a professor at that prime example of intellectual acuity, Harvard, ever runs across this missive in his travels aross the internets.

According to Breitbart, Mr. Landsburg is so incensed by the Green Movement that he has composed an 8-page dissertation in response to his preschool daughter’s having to rinse out her cup as the value of the time it would take to do so outweighs the value of reusing said cup. He even equates the teacher’s request with violations of religious civil liberties, “rejects her right” to even ask him to elaborate on why she shouldn’t teach his daughter about the ‘r’ word, and laments the world domination and indoctrination attempts made by his county in sending him a recycle bin.

What the wha?

As a Libertarian, Mr. Landsburg is a vocal proponent of individual choice. Personally, I can not and will not argue the veracity of such. He seems remiss, however, of the fact that personal choice does not absolve one of the responsibilities of those choices, or that there are choices outside of that which he chooses. In his mile-long whinefest and chastising of the choices others make, he states this:

Do I agree that with privilege comes responsibility? The answer is no. I believe that responsibilities arise when one undertakes them voluntarily. I also believe that in the absence of explicit contracts, people who lecture other people on their “responsibilities” are almost always up to no good. I tell my daughter to be wary of such people —

As a conservative, this statement both infuriates me and renders me dumbfounded. I realize that my profession calls upon my education in animal sciences, but I do also possess a degree in English and I’m fairly certain that the root word for “conservativism” – the parent of most schools of Libertarianism- is “conserve”. As such, I choose to be a Crunchy Con since I prefer (read: choose) to be self-sufficient and reliant on others as little as possible. We garden, raise our own chickens, and a host of other actions releasing us from being at the mercy of others. We need the land and water to be at optimal levels. He’s free to choose otherwise, but he is not free from the consequences of those choices or their effects on others- and ultimately, himself. Perhaps he will be faced with that reality when the government decides they need just a few more of his freedoms.

I am no follower of the Gore school of thought, but disallowing a child to be taught stewardship is a gross neglect of that child’s mind and personal growth. Referring to the requests of his child’s educators as ‘indoctrination’ and ‘brainwashing’ is hypocrisy at best as he’s doing his daughter the same disservice by ranting against anyone who supplies her with information contrary to his and allowing her to draw her own conclusions. To compare it to disrespect of a person’s faith by celebrating that of others is myopic lunacy. I suppose raving that people have the right to free choice ad nauseum without regard to accountability has done so well for us thus far, right?

Go buy your kid a glass; Teddy Roosevelt is rolling over in his grave.

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Obsessively grammatically correct and unapologetically politically incorrect Mom, better half, friend, mad scientist, Papist, and bibliophilic conservative hippie with an internet connection.

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