Dictating Development

Provo’s central planners envision venturing beyond normal zoning.  They are already zoning private land, as mentioned on our webpage about property-rights violations—and Vision 2030 / 2050 renders it clear that they want to continuing to do so (see V2030 1.6.2; V2050 1.6.2).  But they apparently aspire to do more than simply designate certain areas for certain purposes (residential or commercial or industrial)—instead, they seek to assume a more active role in deciding exactly which bits-of-land get developed plus exactly how their buildings get built (see V2030 2.4; V2050 2.5).

In fact, they want to extend their central planning so that every neighborhood has a detailed master plan (see V2030 2.1.1; V2050 2.1.3) for how its land will be used—and, so, if their expert studies (rather than free market supply/demand) determine that a certain neighborhood could use a convenience store or laundromat or something else, then they’ll compel that amenity into existence (see V2030 2.2; V2050 2.2).  As an example, current mayoral candidate Michelle Kaufusi has already decided that the city will provide west Provo with a new grocery store.

They apparently seek to not only centrally-plan Provo’s development but to also ensure that this development is done in a “sustainable” manner (see V2030 1.5.4; V2050 1.5.4). This curious concept of “sustainable development” originated primarily from the communist-fostered United Nations’ Brundtland Report in 1987, and has since become highly associated with “watermelon” environmentalists; these consist of activists like Mikhail Gorbachev (who now heads Green Cross International) who are “green” on the outside but “red” on the inside, because they secretly seek communistic goals under the false guise of trying to protect our natural environment.  Provo’s city officers aspire to teach our children to embrace these socialistic practices (see V2030 5.3.5).

International communists once saw value in forcibly urbanizing people to try to render them more likely to embrace socialism.  This fact may help explain why socialists now advocate development that is not only “sustainable” but that also adheres to principles of Smart Growth and/or New Urbanism.  The latter, by the way, is something that Provo city councilor Laura Hewett Cabanilla studied in 2012 at a Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU).  In any case, both of these philosophies use environmentalism as an excuse for central planning (just as sustainable development does), and seek to restrict land development in order to forcibly redirect natural urban sprawl into walkable high-density mixed-use neighborhoods served by mass-transit.  This is what Provo’s central planners seemingly hope to achieve here in Provo, as they envision dictating the establishment of a high-density downtown area served by Bus Rapid Transit (see V2050 2.3.6 & 6.9), in which the city government will actively encourage residents to use public transportation and/or walking over private automobiles (see V2050 9).

If such urbanesque living arrangements were naturally preferred by free people, then that would be fine—but it’s wrong to forcibly distort land development/usage to achieve this goal, which can harm economic progress.  Also, more importantly, such regulation harms people themselves by disrespecting their free will, which is a fundamental part of human nature.  Unilateral coercion over others should generally be reserved as a last resort in defense against aggression, and NOT to aggressively compel the rest of the world to conform to an oligarchic vision of how it “should” be—even if the oligarchs deign to seek public input before issuing their decrees, and even if they sometimes just happen to be right.  Right ends are never truly achieved by wrong means, though—and this is why, if we truly believe in our vision, then we should want to pursue it in the right manner, which generally involves persuasion not coercion.

(For more about Envisioning Statism, please see Overseeing Construction.)


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