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 Neighborhood as the Standard of Value

Preservationists aren’t content to preserve single buildings. As one activist told Houston City Council in 2005, “What makes them [historic buildings] unique and what makes them significant is their collection as a whole for the fabric of the entire neighborhood.” Preservationists would have us believe that a single modern building will destroy the historic character […]

Chocolat

Pursuing one’s values is always a challenge, and it is even more difficult when those values are in conflict with the community in which one lives. In Chocolat, Vianne Rocher opens a chocolate shop in a small French village on the eve of Lent. She immediately finds herself in conflict with the town’s mayor, who […]