Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Cliven Bundy outside his ranch in Nevada. (Photograph: George Frey / Getty Images)

A Rancher's Armed Battle Against the US Government is Standard Libertarian Fare

Cliven Bundy's standoff with the BLM is over a paltry monthly grazing fee. But it's also over more - the idea of the public interest

Kieran Suckling

 by The Guardian

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of American democracy is the magnificent estate of public land that it reserved from the very beginning for the use of all citizens, rich or poor. There is nothing like it in the democracies of Europe, which came into being with nations already carved up into private fiefdoms. The Great Idea that hundreds of millions of acres of forests, deserts, rivers and prairies should be owned by, and managed for, the public interest has had a profound and lasting influence on American culture.

But not everyone has accepted it.

Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff with the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the latest flare-up in a long, ongoing, often-paranoid revolt against federal ownership public lands, even the idea of a public interest at all.

He's part of a small group of extreme libertarians, corporate profiteers, armed militia members and livestock ranchers who have tried before to seize control of public lands, who nurture an intense hatred of the federal government, and who have a long history of violent eruptions going back to the failed “sagebrush rebellions” of the 20th century and before.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian...


© 2020 The Guardian

Kieran Suckling

Kieran Suckling is the co-founder and executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a national environmental group that advocates for endangered species, a livable climate and the protection of wild places.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Utterly Obscene': Just 8 Pfizer and Moderna Investors Became $10 Billion Richer After Omicron Emerged

"Pharma execs and shareholders are making a killing from a crisis they helped to create," said one justice campaigner.

Jon Queally ·


Ilhan Omar Calls Kevin McCarthy 'A Liar and a Coward' for Refusing to Condemn Boebert's Islamophobia

"This is who they are," said the Minnesota Democrat. "And we have to be able to stand up to them. And we have to push them to reckon with the fact their party right now is normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry."

Jon Queally ·


'Congress Must Act': Bernie Sanders Demands End of Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights

"We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country. And if there aren't 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Jon Queally ·


Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·


'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo