The Case for the Green State

By William Hawes

In this article, the author discusses how green politics can create ecologically sustainable societies that can put an end to the various crises that our world inherits such as violence, poverty and social injustice.


Critiques of the modern nation-state have been growing in recent decades, due to the abysmal failures of the capitalist, neoliberal order. In particular, conservative-libertarian arguments are tinged with isolationist and protectionist trade rhetoric, low taxes and regulations, and supply-side economics. On the other side, the mild leftism of social-democratic reforms promote endless government spending, increases in social programs and minimum wages, increases in taxes for the rich and the corporate world, and supra-national governmental organisations with endless bureaucracy and profligate waste. Neither of these models offers anything new, nor do they address the many crises that our world will inherit: they are simply band-aids for the festering wounds that our oligarchic system has created.

Green political theory offers a way out of this dialectical impasse. By viewing the world through a transpersonal and holistic lens, the truth of our industrial system can be seen for what it is: a morally bankrupt system which exploits the less fortunate in the name of private property and profit, a machine which grinds down and destroys cultural and biological diversity. The Western states are presented as shining beacons of freedom and democracy while in reality they scheme by trade liberalisation (globalisation) to lord over the developing world. They bend and corrupt the ideals of universal human rights to suit their agendas, invading other nations directly or using proxy fighters/terrorists to achieve strategic objectives. Proponents of green politics transcend these baser instincts and advocate for nonviolence, eliminating poverty, and conserving the natural world for the greater good.

Please login or register to continue reading... Registration is simple and it is free!

About the Author

hawes-webWilliam Hawes is a writer specialising in politics and environmental issues. He is the author of the e-book, Planetary Vision: Essays on Freedom and Empire and is a contributor at Global Research, Countercurrents, and Dissident Voice.

1. Robyn Eckersley. The Green State. MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2004. 120-122.
2. Mike Mills. “Green Democracy: The Search for an ethical solution.” Democracy and Green Political Thought: Sustainability, Rights, and Citizenship. Eds. Brian Doherty and Marius de Geus. London and New York: Routledge, 1996. 97-114.
3. Andrew Dobson. Green Political Thought. 4th ed. New York: Routledge, 2007. 149-176.
4. Ibid., 151.
5. Ibid., 163.
6. Ibid., 168.
7. Ibid., 171.


The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.