Sep 15 2007
A column in Counterpunch this week (Iain Boal in conversation with David Martinez) inspired me to reconsider the intellectual legacy of Garrett Hardin. In this essay, I will consider Hardin’s short piece “The Tragedy of the Commons” as an defining phenomenon of modern ecology. Even though the “tragedy of the commons” is real, I argue, it has more to do with the poverty of capitalist commons management than with the incapability of society to manage the commons. Good commons management will be necessary in the future, which will at some point mean a global human society more capable of protecting the commons than what we have now.