“Commons” Hypocrisy

Intellectual consistency isn’t a strong point of the political Left. While mouthing empty platitudes about free enterprise, they want to regulate virtually every economic activity imaginable. So, it isn’t surprising to catch a Leftist in blatant hypocrisy. As a case in point, consider “commons” advocate David Brollier.

In an article based on his book, Silent […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 7

As we have seen, the goal of the commons movement is the obliteration of private property. The movement holds that the creation of values is not an individual achievement, but the result of collective effort. The movement holds that what is created by the collective should be controlled by the collective. While this may seem […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 6

In most instances, establishing property rights to a resource is fairly straightforward. If an individual turns a barren field into a lush farm, or extracts ore from the ground, or plants an orchard, most people would recognize his right to that property. But what of more complex situations, such as air and water?

In some […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 5

With no exceptions that I have discovered, commoners dismiss the idea of privatizing the commons. For example, Elinor Ostrom notes that in regard to fisheries “the establishment of individual property rights is virtually out of the question” (Govering the Commons, page 13). She cites a report by the Canadian government that states that “the establishment […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 4

According to today’s commons movement, the commons includes much more than resources such as air and water. For example, the website for On the Commons, an organization dedicated to the commons movement, states that the commons is “a social system for the long-term stewardship of resources that preserves shared values and community identity.”

This is […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 3

In the 1980s, a school of thought emerged that challenged Garrett Hardin’s alternatives of privatization or regulation. This school was a revival of a movement from the Progressive Era, called Institutionalism, that studied how individuals interact to achieve their own “highest utility”—their self-interest—in utilizing the commons. Today, advocates of this school call themselves the New […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 2

When the American West was first settled, the vast prairies were shared by ranchers in what was known as the open prairie system. The absence of trees and similar materials made it expensive to build fences, and the scarcity of water made it necessary for livestock to graze over a large area. The open prairie […]

The Tragedy is “the Commons,” Part 1

The political Left is comprised of many different movements, many of which are dedicated to a particular issue or cause. For example, feminists clamor for “women’s rights.” Environmentalists seek to “protect” nature from human encroachment. Unions seek to expand their power and influence. While each of these movements has a different focus, they agree on […]