chapter  8
Pollution and Political Theory
ByMachan Tibor
Pages 25

The central problem associated with pollution, as far as the general public is concerned, has to do with the difficulty of confining harm to particular people and places. This chapter seeks to examine what different political theories say with respect to handling pollution, important because their answers might help to understand how best to cope with this problem, is the best. In a welfare state the vehicles of both criminal law and government regulation are available for handling the pollution problem. The welfare state is often defended on the grounds that it is a buffer against extreme elitism and statism. Under capitalism any pollution that would most likely lead to harm being done to persons who have not consented to being put at risk of such harm would have to be legally prohibited. It is important to state that the natural rights capitalist standard of tolerance might very well be far lower than even those who support it would imagine.