In Hardin's classic piece "The Tragedy of the Commons," a commons is a natural resource shared by many individuals. 1 In this context, "shared" means that each individual does not have a claim to any part of the resource, but rather, to the use of a portion of it for his/her own benefit. The tragedy is that, in the absence of regulation, each individual will have a tendency to exploit the commons to his/her own advantage, typically without limit. Under this state of affairs, the commons is depleted and eventually ruined."
A definition of a 'tragedy of the commons' in a financial sense is this, " The tragedy of the commons is a problem that occurs when individuals exploit a shared resource to the extent that demand overwhelms supply and the resource becomes unavailable to some or all" - click here .
I have been more and more interested in this concept, since it dates from our Founding, and many including Jefferson, Adams, Ben Franklin and others... supported and contributed to the concept, Franklin, creating the first Common Post Office in Philadelphia.
The concept has been sorely ridiculed and put back on the shelf, totally hidden from our history....How do we re Liven the concept of shared 'commons'..? Ponce (above) states further, " Hardin's Tragedy is not only a tenet of environmental science, it is also very common, no pun intended. To understand why, we must examine the way Nature works. Most natural resources are held in common, i.e., shared by many. For instance, the air (our atmosphere) is really the quintessential commons. No group or country can claim exclusive ownership of it."
There is a key element financially, culturally and environmentally to do with this.
Ostrom, Nobel laureate in Econonomics in writing opposed to Hardin's
concept writes, " Each
man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd
without limit -- in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination
toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a
society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a
commons brings ruin to all."
Thus what is our solution, where do we start? Politically, we are now opposed by a monstrosity of plutocratic elements bringing us close to a new Feudal society wherein the 001.% or so, control, as the new Overlords , our lands, our politics, laws,future...this is also at the heart of the problem of the 'tragedy'...
and I think a succinct and possible future take on this, Ostrom in
'Governing the Commons' (1990) writes,
" In analyzing common pool resources ...from around the world, Ostrom concludes that informal institutions with certain characteristics (e.g., Clearly defined boundaries; Congruence between appropriation and provision rules and local conditions; Collective-choice arrangements allowing for the participation of most of the appropriators in the decision making process; Effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators; Graduated sanctions for appropriators who do not respect community rules; Conflict-resolution mechanisms which are cheap and easy of access; Minimal recognition of rights to organize; and in case of larger CPRs: Organization in the form of multiple layers of nested enterprises, with small, local CPRs at their bases) can successfully manage common pool resources even in the absence of a formal system of private property rights. This should be an acceptable start that would be cross acceptable to modern Libertarian and other 'Liberty' associated types, who believe, (truly believe, not the Rand Paul hypocrisy, two faces), in 'limited' government and few regulations..
I find myself drawn and stretched from my somewhat Anarchic inner child, and wanting to prevent catastrophes like the recent 'Recession' of 2007-08....and wanting Teddy R. and FDR like government oversite... (divided huh?)... for now I still investigating, but still believe our 'Commons' should be revitalized and somehow we should try to move forward together as citizens away from the blasphemies on all fronts, mad dogs biting at each other and try to get a wider view of what's going on and where our future lies, while looking back to a 'Commons' concept in it all.. Thoughts? Peace, friends...