Should be required reading for all right libertarians: The Tragedy of the Commons by Garret Hardin.

“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.”

@aral you know that's used as an argument by conservatives and right wing libertarians against socialism or just plain state stuff, right?

@espectalll Just because they misinterpret it doesn’t mean we have to.

@aral it's in fact just explaining a theory on why the (over)population problem cannot be solved by just optimizing stuff with technical solutions, and it's not even without dispute :shrug_yui:

@aral I'm in a technical mood, not a political one, but A) Malthusian arguments were disproven in the '60s and '70s, if there's a carrying capacity it's much higher than the imminent doom they predicted. We made other problems with pollution, but we're not eating each other or standing-room-only like Malthusians/Club of Rome predicted.
B) All of libertarian/anarchist theory has been about solving the commons problems without resorting to tyranny, which is the only solution offered by the left or right.

@mathieu @kavbojka Have you read it? The two are not diametrically opposed. It would appear that conservatives took only what they wanted to from the paper without understanding its actual message.

@aral as noted by other people already, Elinor Ostrom made this Tragedy of the commons obsolete

@vanecx Have you read it? Also see the toot I boosted earlier.

@aral the commons were much better than enclosure.

It drove.. not industrialization, but it in effect force people into factories. (low wages can drive down technological progress)

Well, i am no expert, i just remember reading about this maybe a year ago or something.. Tbh don't feel like chasing it back down. Indeed the criticism section mentions enclosure.

Private property.. or quota, social pressure(or lack thereof) or centralized planning...


The tragedy of the commons is that they *were stolen*. See the extensive literature on the enclosure movement, colonialism, and clearances.

@Voline Indeed and my work is specifically aimed at making it impossible to enclose the commons via anti-colonial technology. The article I linked to (which has apparently been interpreted one way by conservatives and right libertarians) actually argues in favour of regulating the commons so that it is not exploited and makes the argument that we cannot have infinite/exponential growth with finite resources.

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