itself, as they made elcar in the Aprilrn19, 1989, Los Angeles ‘limes.rnThus, like communism before it, “purity”rnof lofty goals Ijlinds environmciitalism’srnnumerous well-meaning adherentsrnto its horrendous bottom line. Bvrnadopting environmcntalisni as a personalrnmeaning of life—as illustratedrnwith aeid rain—facts that do not supportrnthe cause are ignored. And “facts”rnare conveniently manufactured to supportrnthe prerequisite worid view.rnMany environmentalists readih’ recognizernin others that such a personalrnpliilosophv is tantamount to intellectualrnsuicide. However, these ver- same peoplerncommit precisely that, fiercelv resistingrnanything that threatens theirrnmanufactured personal meaning of life.rnThey deceive themselves with much talkrnabout man altering the “delicate balancernof nature” or about how to quoternVice-President Gore, “We are . . . bulldozingrnthe Gardens of Eden” (Earth inrnthe Balance, 1992). And so, 1 point outrnto environmentalists and nonenx ironmentalistsrnalike, this is no wav to sacrnthe planet or the human race; it is thernsurest way to trash it.rnEdward C. Krug is director ofrnenvironmental projects for thernCommittee for a Constructivern’I’omorrow (CFAC’i j inrnWashington, D.C.rnThe Economics ofrnRobinson Crusoernby George L. Clark, Sr.rnA Lesson in Free TradernBackground: The French economistrnand writer Frederic Bastiat used thernsimplest economic system he couldrnthink of, the duo of Robinson Crusoernand Friday, to illustrate the folly of protectionismrnin “Something Else,” one ofrna scries of essays he called Soplmmesrneconomiques, published between 1844rnand 1850. hi the original storv, Robinson’srnprotectionist instincts won out,rnand the pair lost the benefits of freerntrade, hi this version, they agree to tr’rnFridav’s free-trade approach, with unexpectedrnresults.rnRobinson and Friday had decided tornwork together in pro iding for their his game; and he, of our vegetables; andrnneeds, hi the morning, the Ininted forrnfour hours and brought back two basketsrnof game. In the afternoon, the’rnworked in their garden for four hoursrnand obtained two baskets of vegetables.rnThis amount of effort provided themrnwith ample food but left them littlerntime for making new tools or maintainingrntheir lodge.rnOne day a longboat landed on thernIsle of Despair. A stranger disembarkedrnand was invited for dinner. He tastedrnand highly praised the products of therngarden and said to them, “Generous islanders,rn1 dwell in a land where game isrnmuch more plentiful than it is here butrnwhere horticulture is unknown. It willrnbe easv for me to bring ou two basketsrnof game evcr da if ou will gie mernone basket of vegetables.”rnAt these words, Robinson (R) and Fridavrn(F) withdrew to confer, and therndebate thc had is too interesting notrnto report here in full:rnF: “Friend, wliat do ou tliink of it?”rnR: “If we accept, we are ruined.”rnF: “Are “ou quite sure of that? l,etrnus reckon what it comes to.”rnR: “I have alrcads reckoned it, andrnthere can be no doubt about the outcome.rnThis trade w ill siniplv mean thernend of our hunting industry.”rnF: “What difference does that makernif wc have the game? Instead of goingrnhunting ever- morning, wc can workrntwo hours in the garden to obtain thernbasket of vegetables for the stranger andrnfour hours in the afternoon to obtainrnxegetables for ourseKes. I le will gic usrntwo baskets of game in exchange for thernone basket of cgctablcs.”rnR: “We shall be uneniplovcd a largernpart of the da. If we don’t work, wcrnwill surclv go hungrs.”rnE: “PYiend, vou arc making an enormousrnmistake. We will have the samernquantitv of food we do now, and we willrnhave more free horns in which to dornother things.”rnR: “You nia be right about that partrnof it, but don’t vou see the political rca-rn,sons for not doing it?”rnJ”: “Political reasons?”rnR: “Yes. First, he is making this offerrnonly because it is adsantageous to him.”rnF: “So much the better, since it isrnbetter for us, too.”rnR: “Then, by this traffic, we shallrnmake ourselves dependent upon him.”rnF: “And he will make himself dependentrnupon us. We shall have need ofrnwe shall all live in great friendship.”rnR: “Suppose the stranger learns torncultivate a garden and that his island isrnyou see tlie th more fertile than ours. Dornconsecjucnce?”rnF: “Yes. Our relations with thernstranger will be severed. He will nornlonger take our vegetables, since he willrnhave them at home with less labor. Hernwill no longer bring us game, since wcrnshall have nothing to give him in exchange,rnand we shall be in prcciselv thernsame situation that ()u want us to bernin todav.”rnR: “You do not see that after destro -rning our hunting industr by flooding usrnwith game he w ill destrov our gardeningrnindustrv b flooding us with vegetables'”rnF: “But as this will happen we shallrnbe in a position to gi’e him somethingrnelse, that is to say, we shall be able tornfind something else to produce with arnsaving in labor for ourselves.”rnR: “I am not coiiinced, but 1 amrnwilling to give it a tr, if onlv to proernou are wrong. If we are not satisfiedrnwith the arrangenient, we can terminaternit and return to huntnig any time wernplease.”rnThe stranger was delighted to hearrnthat his offer had been accepted, andrnmonths went by during which he deliveredrntwo baskets of game every dav andrntook back his basket of vegetables.rnRobinson and Prida’ verv much enjoyedrnthe game and found nianv useful andrnpleasurable things to do in their freerntime.rnThen, one dav, the stranger broughtrnthe game, as usual, but declined to takernthe vegetables in exchange. He explainedrnthat, coping their methods, hernnow had a successful garden of his ow n.rnHis vegetables were growing so profusc-rnIv that he no longer needed theirs. Didrntlicv have anything else to trade? Robinsonrnand Frida were greatly distressed,rnnot wanting to lose tlic benefits tornwhich the’ had grown accustomed.rnThev withdrew to discuss the matter.rnR: “It is just as I predicted. His islandrnnot oiiK has better game, but isrnmore fertile as well. This trade will bernthe ruin of us.”rnE: “Not at all. I was right about thernbenefits we have enjoved so far, wasn’trnI?”rnR: “1 must admit that much. Butrnwhat do wc do now?”rnF: “We can continue to benefit. Thern46/CHRONICLESrnrnrn