I believe that reinvigorating the idea of “the commons” will go a long, long way toward solving many of the issues confronting the peoples of the world today. Considering common ownership — & therefore stewardship in common — of resources calls for revolutionizing ‘our’ contemporary thinking. Much of economic theory refers to “the tragedy of the commons” — THIS is the very thinking that creates & exacerbates problems re natural resources, & sees only one solution: private property. Think: clean air, clean water, healthy fishing grounds, sustainable forests, access to land for recreational use, community well-being, etc, etc, etc. And then consider the opposite, but not complementary, philosophy of strong private property rights — now, doesn’t the idea of resources used & cared for by a community make more sense? It does makes more sense, & it allows for more easily Living in Love. Note: “the commons”, as a means of maximizing sustainable yield of <> doesn’t necessarily mean No Private Property. No, no, according to Dr. Ostrom, there are many versions of “the commons” all around the world, & many using some combination of private & communal property as an essential economic organizing principle.
This article in slate.com is about a Nobel-prize-winning economist who just died; her research was on “the commons” — & to my shame, I knew nothing about her, or her life’s work. But I will now! And hope you will too ………….. This is a short video presentation made by Dr. Ostrom (& is referenced in the slate.com article.)
The region I’ve spent most of my life in doesn’t use “the common” much, though other parts of the U.S. have more of a history with it. But there is definitely more potential for shared solutions to our shared problems in this ancient — & modern — idea. Fascinating stuff!
- Property Rights and the Tragedy of the Commons (theatlantic.com)
- How Property Rights Could Help Save the Environment (theatlantic.com)
Enjoyed your thoughts on this idea and the implantation would be greatly beneficial to all. My debate here would be a consistently shrinking natural resource base coupled with a human population that continues to increase. There will an intersection between these 2 lines where our resources will be depleted. That and human nature being one of individual survival at any cost.
Sorry to be so slow to respond — I forgot to check back!
Yes, the natural resources will shrink as the population grows. So, cooperation in many forms will be even more necessary, yes?! i think we should start getting in practice now, haha
As long as there are folks crying socialism and communism engaging with calls of collectivity will remain political gun-powder. It will take the total system failure of our current paradigm for such to be entertained seriously as then, there will be little alternative.
Yes, so many think of any kind of collaborative, communal effort as the evils of communism, or socialism. Propaganda works, yes?! So, I think we just cannot rely on our governments to do much for us (though ….. they SHOULD). Groups of us will just have to make the kinds of little worlds that we want the Big World to be, I guess.
You might enjoy this (if you haven’t already seen it): Richard Dawkins with a very detailed look at Prisoner’s Dilemma, which he ties in with the Tragedy of the Commons. A very old video, but fascinating. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA4dZ6NVNbk&feature=related
Thanks for the link. I’ll view it …….. And thanks too for visiting:)
I just watched the video — fascinating stuff! “Tit for Tat” — wow. Especially the historical example of the trench fighters in WWI.
This really gives me hope, haha Thanks so much!