The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

German Socialist Eurocrat warns of Eco-totalitarianism

Posted by rantingkraut on May 11, 2008

I am increasingly worried by all kinds of legislation regulating peoples’ private lives. We are approaching a situation which I would call lifestyle-regulation. I don’t want a society in which people are told how to live in the privacy of their own homes. We must not deprive our citizens of the right to make independent decisions.” (source)

These are the words of Günther Verheugen, Vice President for Enterprise and Industry in the European Commission and member of Germany’s Social Democratic Party. The remarks were made in an interview to the German tabloid ‘Bild’. When asked about proposals for restrictions on automobile advertising, he was equally hostile:

Enough! Keep you hands off advertising! Advertising belongs to a market economy. It must be allowed to advertise a product which is legally traded in the market. In the case of nicotine or alcohol there are reasons for restrictions – in the case of cars I am certain that no such case could be made.” (source)

Verheugen, of course, is no libertarian. He also supports the EU’s environmentalist agenda more generally. The fact though that environmentalism is seen as too authoritarian by a mainstream socialist should at least give some reason for hope.


2 Responses to “German Socialist Eurocrat warns of Eco-totalitarianism”

  1. Bob Whitaker ( made the interesting observation that when the Soviet Union collapsed, many communists in academia suddenly became environmentalists. Is environmentalism merely communism in drag?

  2. Is environmentalism merely communism in drag? There is surely some truth in that. I would be careful though to restrict attention to the left. Big government conservatism is as likely to take up environmentalism when an excuse is needed to raise taxes. Green taxes are ideal here: after all, the desired effect of these taxes is often too diffuse and too long term to be measured in a policy relevant context.

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