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)