There is a new movement taking place in America that threatens the ideals of home rule and property rights. It is called regionalism.
In Florida and across the United States unelected regional bodies are making decisions rather than locally elected city, county and even state officials. Individual property rights are being consumed by “public private partnerships” that dictate how land is used in order to “ensure the sustainability of America’s land, water, wildlife and cultural resources”. As if individual property owners and local duly elected government officials cannot or will not do this.
Some see regionalism as a necessary step toward the ultimate goal of globalisation.
Proponents of regionalism say that strengthening a region’s governing bodies and political powers within a larger country would promote fiscal responsibility, develop a more rational allocation of the region’s resources for the benefit of the local populations, increase the efficient implementation of local plans, raise competitiveness and efficiency levels among the regions and ultimately the whole country, and save taxpayers money.
Regionalism is bigger government and “transcends political and jurisdictional boundaries”.
Regionalism is happening at both the state and federal levels. For example, in Florida we have five water management districts under the Department of Environmental Protection that cross county boundaries. These water management districts create rules that have the force of law, yet those making the rules are not elected. These rules cover important government functions such as: Beaches, Drinking Water, Ground Water, Mining and Minerals Regulation, Oil and Gas Rules, Stormwater, Surface Water, Water and Wastewater, Water Facilities Funding, Wetlands, Environmental Resource Permitting, Sovereign Submerged Lands and Wetlands Delineation. Each one impacts individual property rights and bypass local government control. The implementers are bureaucrats who expand their powers by making more rules – a perfect formula for bigger government.
A partnership of seven SE Florida counties has come together to regionalize under the title “Seven50“. Seven50 Consultant Andres Duany, from Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, speaks about the “hope for fascism in South Florida” and how Seven50 can take local communities and “tie them into nothing”. Again, with the objective of “sustainability”. Sustainability has become the new code word for bigger government, that is unelected and not responsible nor responsive to the people affected.
Regionalism at the federal level happened with Secretarial Order No. 3289, which established Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), “a network of public-private partnerships that provide shared science to ensure the sustainability of America’s land, water, wildlife and cultural resources”. According the Department of the Interior website:
Protecting the nation’s natural and cultural resources and landscapes is essential to sustaining our quality of life and economy. Native fish and wildlife species depend on healthy rivers, streams, wetlands, forests, grasslands and coastal areas in order to thrive. Managing these natural and cultural resources and landscapes, however, has become increasingly complex. Land use changes and impacts such as drought, wildfire, habitat fragmentation, contaminants, pollution, invasive species, disease and a rapidly changing climate can threaten human populations as well as native species and their habitats.
Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) recognize that these challenges transcend political and jurisdictional boundaries and require a more networked approach to conservation—holistic, collaborative, adaptive and grounded in science to ensure the sustainability of America’s land, water, wildlife and cultural resources. [Emphasis added]
Regionalism is associated with denying or preventing universalism. Universalism refers to religious, theological, and philosophical concepts with universal application or applicability. Universalism is a term used to identify particular doctrines considering all people in their formation. The US Bill of Rights best embodies the ideals of universalism.
The Bill of Rights states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Is regionalism destructive to unalienable Rights? Is is time to abolish regionalism in the name of the People? With recent revelations about the IRS, NSA, DOJ, EPA and other federal agencies perhaps adding the Department of Interior to the list is appropriate? Is regionalism the Fascism?