Think like a Commoner (2014, New Society Publishers) 5 stars

A new world based on fairness, participation, accountability is closer than you think if you …

There is just one significant flaw in the tragedy [of the commons] parable. It does not accurately describe a commons. Hardin's fictional scenario sets forth a system that has no boundaries around the pasture, no rules for managing it, no punishments for overuse and no distinct community of users. But that is not a commons. ... A commons requires that there be a community willing to act as a conscientious steward of a resource

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It seems like almost nobody who references Hardin has actually read The Tragedy of the Commons.,%20by%20Garrett%20Hardin%20(1968).htm

His point was not that commons don't work, but that they need effective regulation to avoid the titular problem. These days, following Ostrom, we fold that regulation into what a commons *is*, but this definition wasn't in widespread use when Hardin wrote the essay in the 1960s.

@strypey This.

Hardin may not have been describing a historically-accurate Commons. What he was describing though was a view towards (usually corporate / commercial) exploitation of common resources, without adequate regulation. Privatised profits, socialised costs. That is what he opposed.

Virtually all the present-day rewriting of his TotC essay is actually arguing for precisely what he was calling for, whilst trying to throw up a disagreement-which-doesn't-actually-exist based on semantics and misrepresentations.




I read much of Hardin's works, saw him lecture a few times, and even met with him once. I'm not entirely certain of the present take on his immigration stance --- much of that seem either based on 1) associations with others, 2) his later writings (post 1990 or so), and a pretty revisionist take on his earlier (1960s -- 1990) writings. That critique does not seem to have appeared at any point up to the 1990s, or even during his life so far as I'm aware, though I'll grant that views, perspectives, and sensibilities have changed tremendously, my own included.

I do believe that there are people and organisations Hardin was affiliated with which did eventually emerge as racist and anti-immigrant. Again. there were strong shifts in viewpoints and specific statements over time.

But as of the 1968 essay itself ... I think you'd be hard-pressed to …