4 Responses

  1. Gar December 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm |

    For evidence of the tragedy of the commons in action, one needs to look no further than commercially harvested wild animal species that have suffered population collapse from over-exploitation by competing individuals. The Blue whale, Atlantic cod, the Dodo bird are all perfect examples of a common resource destroyed by motives not in the interest of long-term sustained use.
    The tragedy of the commons does not argue that there is no alternative to the current world paradigm, but rather serves as a warning against following a path of private venture over-utilizing a common resource for a temporary boon in profits.

  2. Debal Deb October 1, 2010 at 9:50 am |

    Wonderful article. I will cite this in my critique of the mainstream economics. Indeed, Hardin’s assumption of individual herdsmen’s behavior is warranted in the standard view of economic “rationality”, which Hardin (and others) employ without thinking about human Reason.

  3. subash chand August 1, 2009 at 10:52 am |

    dear write

    thank you for adding knowledgeable resource in the Common of the information.

    i am afraid that i don’t agree in over all with the idea presented in your articles. this is because of many reasons. first your article seems to be motivated by personal ego with the writer of the tragedy of common. yes i agree that a part of Hardin’s tragedy of commons can be subjected to criticism. especially the idea of assigning private rights to all sort of commons overlooking the existing empirical cases of successfully managed commons under communal regime.

    but while criticizing Hardin’s we should not forget about the population dynamics he has presented. Hardin has strongly focused on the growing population while commenting on the commons and their tragedy. yes i agree with you that it was a mistake by him to assume that all individuals including herdsman or user of commons have capitalistic character of maximizing gain.

    but what will happen if the population is exceptionally high ? such that the common resource can only withstand 50% of the population. lets make it even worse. lets say the resource doesn’t have alternative. like Atmosphere. how will the common property system cope with this problem? is management immune to the scale of population?

    in one way Hardin’s favored community rights or regime if we talk about mutual Coercive that he has mentioned in his articles. in fact common property regime is also a kind of mutual coercive tool. so we should not only focus only on property rights he mentioned.

    another fact is still some of the commons like atmosphere, water, other sinks etc can be no way protected without focusing on population dynamics of the world. in fact the world is already moving towards it. the Kyoto-protocol and all other international mutual environmental agreements(MEAs). some might point to these MEAS to criticize Hardin considering these as common property regimes. but how about these are analogue to Hardin’s mutual coercive ideas as well?
    ya as you said it is very sad that World bank and IMF are based in the concept of property right and privatization, it is sad that using only a fraction of idea of Hardin’s article Indigenous peoples property and people in third world has been robbed in the name of development. but we cannot blame Hardin instead the people and country who formed World bank and IMF. what about people who vote their government to establish IMF and WB

    thank you

  4. Ricardo Coelho August 26, 2008 at 10:02 am |

    A very powerful critic to the racist Hardin’s theory. Keep on the good work.
    What surprises me the most is how many (way too many) left-wing activists reproduce Hardin’s arguments without thinking for a minute in its implications. But the biggest irony is that there are dozens of empirical studies that contradict this theory.

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