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The State Is A Tragedy Of The Commons

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posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 08:25 AM
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Some of you may already be familiar with the economic law called “the tragedy of the commons,” but for those of you who are not, I shall explain it to you.

The tragedy of the commons refers to a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest for this to happen.

For example: If two cattle farmers share a common plot of land between them, and neither can exclude the other from grazing their cattle on it, both farmers have a natural incentive to graze their cows as much as possible on the common land, there by destroying it quickly, rather than conserving it for future use.

Another example would be hunting deer on common land. If several hunters share a common hunting ground, and none can exclude the others from hunting there, each hunter has an incentive to shoot as many deer as he can before the stock of deer is depleted by the other hunters.

The clear lesson to be learned from this economic law is that common resources, which everyone has access to, lead to rapid depletion and destruction of those resources as the public attempts to horde as much as they can before the resources are depleted.

I would argue the tragedy of the commons receives far too little attention as a rational explanation for the cancerous expansion of the State. For what is the State other than people looting each others’ private property in a zero sum game of resource redistribution? The tragedy of the commons gives us a rational basis for the consistent and constant expansion of the coercively funded democratic State and why that expansion always leads to the destruction of society.

Alexander Tytler once wrote, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.” I would argue Tytler had the cause and effect inverted in his statement. Modern democracies are specifically created for the express purpose of establishing common property across an entire State region.

To be logically consistent, Tytler’s statement should be rewritten as: The modern democratic State cannot exist without the largess of the public treasury.

It is important to note that common property is not the same as publicly accessible property. A rancher can regulate the hunting that takes place on his own land. Often ranchers will allow hunters access to their land for a nominal fee and under certain terms. It is in the rancher’s best interest to allow only enough hunting on his property so as not to deplete the stock of wildlife, and the rancher can regulate this by varying the rate he charges or the number of people he allows to hunt his land.

While modern democracies claim eminent domain across all of the land, labor, and resources in a given region, the most typical form of private property they assert control over is the trade intermediary that society uses in barter with each other.

When the money of a society is defined as common property by a State, nearly EVERYTHING in that society necessarily becomes common property, since nearly everything in society has a price.

If each individual actor in a society perceives that his own property (money) is not really his own, but is common property, he will rationally act to horde as many resources (physical things) for himself, through the political system, as he possibly can before the common pool of resources is depleted. Under a common property money, this drive by the public to expand State power becomes instinctive and rational.

When the democratic State has the ability to take as much money as it likes from whomever it choses, it will necessarily and eventually turn the entirety of society against itself. It will foster, through the public trough, a mad rush for each political interest group to acquire as many resources as they can, as quickly as they can, before those resources are expropriated by other interest groups. Of course, the largest and most powerful interest groups will always get the biggest slice of the pie.

The tragedy of the commons explicitly shows us that modern democratic States are ALWAYS unsustainable if they are allowed to use violence against the population in order to make the money supply of the population common property.


Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. –John Adams (1814)


These insights give us a clear picture as to what a truly sustainable democratic government must look like:

1. A sustainable democratic government must never be allowed to assert control over the money a society choses to use.

2. A sustainable democratic government must never be allowed to take property by force, either through taxation or eminent domain.

Any democratic government that is permitted the use of eminent domain, the forced confiscation of wealth through taxation, or monopoly control over the issuance of currency, will always result in the self-destruction of the given society.


It is interesting to note that the same is not true of other types of State systems! For example, a monarchy may be able to be to retain a monopoly over the issuance of currency and act as the final arbiter of all disputes, along with violently taxing the public, but because the King is able to prevent the public from “feeding at the public trough,” that nation State may be able to exist for extremely long periods of relative stability.

Of course, I’m not arguing in favor of a monarchy. But it is important to note, since this explains why some monarchies were able to exist in relative stability for long periods of time.

The ultimate truth of the matter is that democratic rule does not require a voting booth and necessarily shouldn’t have one. If we make the assumption that no sustainable democratic government can be allowed to wage violence against the innocent in order to expropriate property, then we must consider how such a government is to be funded.

If it is to be funded voluntarily, then it is clear that public voting is automatically accomplished by the consumers of that government when they purchase its services.

What might such a democratic government look like?

Austrian Economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe provides us some answers:




posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 05:24 PM
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I seems you and I have very different interpretations of the “ the
tragedy of the commons" while you have taken it to show that common resource pools should be avoided since people cause them to collapse In my opinion some things truly are common to all for example the planets atmosphere and ecosystem cannot be cenraly controlled by a single figure or organization they are a unavoidable common resource. I feel more than anything this highlights how bad people are at reasoning what is in their own interests. People think too short term, I'm no evolutionary psychologist but it seems resonable considering we evolved living to significantly shorter lifespans. I'd argue in fact this isn't unique to the state but to most human endevors and the real issue is our alarming tendancy to overlook the future impacts good and bad of our actions today. Sometimes it is a better investment to put something into the whole of socity to see it developed on a larger scale and reap the benefits by being part of that socity. I'm currently posting from my phone so can't watch the video but I'll get back to that tomorrow.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by AnonymousJ
 


The difference between air and gold is that gold is a scarce resource, air is not. However, all resources are best conserved when in private hands.

If we take air as an example, air pollution can best be controlled by private individuals owning the air that surrounds their property.

If an individual can demonstrably prove that a specific company's actions are damaging the quality of air over their property, then they should be allowed to sue for damages.

It is through private property rights that all resources are best conserved, including air.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1
reply to post by AnonymousJ
 


The difference between air and gold is that gold is a scarce resource, air is not. However, all resources are best conserved when in private hands.

If we take air as an example, air pollution can best be controlled by private individuals owning the air that surrounds their property.

If an individual can demonstrably prove that a specific company's actions are damaging the quality of air over their property, then they should be allowed to sue for damages.

It is through private property rights that all resources are best conserved, including air.

Actually I reckon pollution could be better controlled by a governement making a law which allows them to slap a huge fine on a company for putting out over 'x' amount of pollution. After they've done it a few times businesses will start to be very careful.



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1
reply to post by AnonymousJ
 


The difference between air and gold is that gold is a scarce resource, air is not. However, all resources are best conserved when in private hands.

If we take air as an example, air pollution can best be controlled by private individuals owning the air that surrounds their property.

If an individual can demonstrably prove that a specific company's actions are damaging the quality of air over their property, then they should be allowed to sue for damages.

It is through private property rights that all resources are best conserved, including air.



I can't believe you are advocating privatizing the Air...


May as well privatize the Sun while your at it.

Queen Anne tried this before with Air and Light tax...people walled up their windows, hence the term Daylight Robbery.

Cosmic...



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by Cosmic4life
I can't believe you are advocating privatizing the Air...


May as well privatize the Sun while your at it.

Queen Anne tried this before with Air and Light tax...people walled up their windows, hence the term Daylight Robbery.

Cosmic...


I don't see any rational arguments against what I am saying.

If a person can demonstrate that another person is damaging their property by their actions, they should be allowed to sue for damages.

Whether this damage takes the form of toxic waste dumping, air pollution, noise pollution, or any other form of property damage is immaterial.

This is how all other property rights are protected, so I don't see why the same should not be true of air pollution as well.

What I can't believe is that people think the government can control pollution better than private property rights. The government is owned by corporations and explicitly protects the polluters. All we have to do is look at the BP disaster in the Gulf to see how government protected BP from litigation and how a lack of property rights in the ocean prevented fishermen from being able to sue for property damage.

Socialists who think the government can protect them under a democracy are living in a fantasy land.

The government is a corporately controlled gun.


edit on 21-2-2011 by mnemeth1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 05:04 PM
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As it is yes I agree the goverment is a weapon controled by the corporations but for apearances sake if nothing else the people are allowed a modicrum of control. A market economy without a goverment removes any control whatsoever from the corporations and we still end up with a danjorous consentration of powers in the hands of the few but now it is the CEOs rather than the polititions. As for privitising air the issue is that it is not static the plution a componys power plant in the UK causes gets blown over the netherlands, you cant track that back to a single producer to sue and why would companys help if they dont have to, theres only so much expenditure good PR justifys.

finaly im not arguing for a continuation of goverment as it is it does have problems and it should be volantary but I cant see that happening till other issues are resolved, simply put we need to make it into space. If you think of a goverment as a club (golf club?) you can join the club for a subscription fee (taxes) and as a result benifit from the clubs shared facilitys and cooperation (NHS, public transport,power grid etc) but by joining you have to abaide by the clubs rules (laws) if you dont you get a warning (fine) then if you break the rules again you get kicked out. Now you see how this falls apart you dont choose what civilisation you join (birth citizenship & imigration laws) and you cant be kicked out or leave if you disagree with what laws the club sets up with you get imprisoned. theres no way to have that level of freedom since there is nowere for people to go everywere on the planet is taken.

ultimately a market economy can work but only within limits to stop companys overgrowing themselfs and becoming undesirable consentrations of power to be abused. my ideal would be governance by direct democracy as this also distributes power more evenly. finaly even though I see a market economy workable under some circumstances a true anarcho-communism still does better in my opinion and may even be inevitable depending were some technologys go in the future (3dprinters nanotech etc).

and I leve you with the following:

"morning residents of flat 23 moonbase 1 you have persistantly failed to pay your rent as a concequance we will now be reclaiming property of equivilent value thank you for your cooperation" *athmosphere vents*



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 06:12 AM
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reply to post by AnonymousJ
 


"goverment as it is it does have problems and it should be volantary..."

I see you bolded this point in affirmation of the foundational anarchist principal of voluntarism, which is awesome because it means we can have a real discussion without you advocating force against anyone, which really is the most basic expression of virtue. (which is why anarchism is awesome~) Very much applaud your commitment to non aggression, it is suprisingly rare and valuble.

But I think if you have stumbled on a fundamental contradiction in your thinking that is a result of a basic misunderstanding of the nature of government, which you advocate as a necessary evil earlier in your post.

The problem arrises when you assume a state and volunterism can exist together without one displacing the other. The state is best defined as an entity that claims the monopoly of the initiation of force in a geograpical region. Any person who lives inside its conceptual (imaginary) and arbitrary borders is bound from the moment they are born to the moment they die by a ficticious 'social contract' (how can an unsigned contract be valid?) that enables the state to use overwhelming, basically infinite force against its citizens. Violence is intiated order to enforce the hundreds of thousands of arbitrary laws, rules, regulations and taxation (theft) that the state violently demands. That the violence is hidden does not change the nature of the state - it is institutionalized, monopolistic violence, and it demands obedience.

So say tomorrow the state declares 'hey everybody! ive had a change of heart, and basically decided that the whole social contract thing that ive used to justify my constant atrocities and evils, well, sheesh,i guess its kinda evil itself! so im gonna let you all decide if you want to opt out of this whole mess! the state is now VOLUNTARY, so if you want our services, come sign your new voluntary social contract!'

How many would opt to sign up with the state? To re-bind themselves to the trainwreck that is institutionalized mega violence? Certainly some would - maybe even most, knowing nothing but bondage. The parasite class that feeds of the predations of the state, would surely be largely loyal. But since the public sectors bloated existence comes at the expense of the productive, naturally the volunteristic and peaceful members of society would opt out immediately just as a dog would scratch out that tick on his neck if he could. Since any smart and productive individual can see (after investigation) that the state is a net negative, pure useless evil overhead, many of the most productive and intelligent people would immediately opt out, and in doing so deprive the beast of their immense capacity to generate wealth...the weath the state needs in order to live and expand. A huge pool of wealth would no longer be subject to ever increasing taxation (theft) by the now necrotic mass of feeders, and in response the parasite class would have to increase its predations on the remaining producers still in its thrall, causing even more to 'cross the line' and opt out as they did in the late Roman empire in order to escape the ever increasing demands of the state....

How long would the war in iraq last if you knew the total cost, were sent a bill upfront, and could decline if you could act on your desire to not fund mass murder? Troops would be home tomorrow.

...The now unburdened and free volunterists would experience an explosion of wealth never before seen in human history as the gun is removed from their heads and they are compelled to resolve disputes without ever expanding and arbitrary laws, rules regulations and fines, all formally backed by the now vanished violence of the dying state., replaced by voluntary contract laws that prove to be infinitely more responsive and innovative compared to the arcaic and ancient code of laws system, with its now obvious and grotesque reliance on coersion.. The free peoples productive capacity would shine brightly for all to see, and now all but the most depraved and parasitic slaves would remain so voluntarily, preferring to sink into the icey waters of history.

In short, if true freedom were ever allowed, the resulting unleshing of the human potential, no longer restrained by violence, would cause such an explosive spike in human development, that, combined with modern tech, man would see hights never imagined by his primitive and barbaric ancestors. (us) The state would fall away like a dead husk as mankind catches a glimpse of its own potential.

Obviously this is one possibly naive scenario based on a lot of opinion, but the basic principal at work holds, i think. That government relies on taxation to exist and if it allowed people to decide which parts of it they wanted to consent to, it would necessarily relinquish its monopoly of force and allow competing systems to its own, and therefor would cease to be a government by definition, and would be exactly like every other competing model. The myriad of competing models would necessarily outcompete the former state(freedom always beats central control) it would collapse almost immediately. Exactly why it cannot and will not ever happen voluntarily.

Violence, you see, produces nothing itself as its nature is destruction. it can only take wealth through force in a negative sum game with its victims, whereas a voluntary exchange necessarily must benefit both parties...(or why would they trade..?) Seen in this way, any form of violences always results in a net loss when all +/- are considered. (even if they are not obvious) Monopolistic violence (government) *must* grow exponentially at the expense peaceful production, by its very nature. And in order to carry out its most basic function of growth, no one can be allowed to 'opt' out, as the states very existence relies on total obedience.

To sum up this long winded, late night rant,, volunterism and statism are forever and always diametrically opposed by their very natures - if even a small segment of the population could choose not to fund government, it would collapse tomorrow. If you accept this line of reasoning, and still want to adhere to the non aggression principal, you must, in my mind at least, figure out how volunterism and monopolistic force can coincide, and if you cant, its incumbent on you to pick a side, i would think.

If I'm way off the mark, let me know, as i certainly dont (and cant) have all the answers, which, funnily enough, is why Im an anarchist.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 02:47 PM
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right the way I see it is the level of freedom your tallking about wouldent prohibit goverment as a concept only the goverments we see now. I could envision the results being a varity of microstates forming and disssolving over short time periods (handfull of years in life??) since people still need to band together for some reasons like defence from external aggressors or to pool resources and deal with comman problems in stable colection of assumed social rules. essentialy they would probably be organised similarly to unions or co-ops with "laws" being standing social contracts. perhaps take a look at this I found yesterday technocratic anarcho-communism not sure were I stand on this but its intresting. to be honest I think you may have got the wrong end of the stick my argment previously was more anti-capitalism rather than pro-state, genraly its my opinion capitilism can be made to work but only within confines (to keep corporations small for example) but its genrally to inefficent and incompatable with freedom of choise as money offers more than just the incentive of MORE STUFF!!! but also gives some people more power in a socity than others by buying votes and similar. Anarcho-communism is my prefered basis for socity but not neciserily similar in constitution to the type linked.
edit on 1-3-2011 by AnonymousJ because: edit for clarity



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by AnonymousJ
 


An anarcho-communist commune can exist within an anarcho-capitalist society.

If you want to live in a community that pools its resources, you would not be prevented from doing so in a free society.

If 100 people get together and buy a plot of land to build a commune, then they would co-own that property and be able to run that property as they saw fit.

Of course, such communes fall apart and devolve in to poverty relativity quickly on a historical basis.

edit on 1-3-2011 by mnemeth1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 08:20 AM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1

Originally posted by Cosmic4life
I can't believe you are advocating privatizing the Air...


May as well privatize the Sun while your at it.

Queen Anne tried this before with Air and Light tax...people walled up their windows, hence the term Daylight Robbery.

Cosmic...


I don't see any rational arguments against what I am saying.

If a person can demonstrate that another person is damaging their property by their actions, they should be allowed to sue for damages.

Whether this damage takes the form of toxic waste dumping, air pollution, noise pollution, or any other form of property damage is immaterial.

This is how all other property rights are protected, so I don't see why the same should not be true of air pollution as well.

What I can't believe is that people think the government can control pollution better than private property rights. The government is owned by corporations and explicitly protects the polluters. All we have to do is look at the BP disaster in the Gulf to see how government protected BP from litigation and how a lack of property rights in the ocean prevented fishermen from being able to sue for property damage.

Socialists who think the government can protect them under a democracy are living in a fantasy land.

The government is a corporately controlled gun.


edit on 21-2-2011 by mnemeth1 because: (no reason given)


My desire to protect the sanctity of the Air is precisely because in the long game the eventual owners of all the worlds air will be those very same corporations.

Cosmic...



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1
reply to post by AnonymousJ
 


An anarcho-communist commune can exist within an anarcho-capitalist society.


edit on 1-3-2011 by mnemeth1 because: (no reason given)


thats funny I was thinking the exact same thing in reverse, I am convinced that if such an anarchy were to arise the natural progression would be co-operation and anarcho-communism. this is especialy heghted due to the likely precursers to such a senario being a the sort of massive unifyed movments of a revelutionary communism tends to endorse (not much of a revelutionary myself mine you) or technologys that enable decentralisation like the decendents of 3d printers etc. while your perfectly wellcome to wallk out of the commune find an unused area and proclaim to practice capitalism I dont know why anyone would.

However this does bring up again the issue of space, there is only a finite amount on the planet so what happens when someone wants to leave either type of socity and cannot for the is nowere better to go and no space to form a new socity. We need to make it into space for true freedom and once there we will thrive, surely the abundant resources of the solarsystem and beyond coupled with emerging technologys make a market economy obseleete.

sorry for the spelling its late Ive had a crap day but this still needed to be said



posted on Mar, 4 2011 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by AnonymousJ
 


The only problem anarcho-capitalists have with anarcho-communists is when the communists think they have a right to use force against the private property rights of individuals.

If individuals want to willingly forgo their own property rights to join a commune voluntarily, that's perfectly acceptable.

What is not acceptable is the use of violence, either by a mob or by the State, to prevent people from retaining the fruits of their own labor.



posted on Mar, 4 2011 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by mnemeth1
 


Use of violence and cohersion which as Ive all ready said I do not endorse. In fact the very reason I suport anarcho-communism - the defence of freedom - goes against fourcing my system on another. ultimately I belive everyone has the right to make there own decisions even if they are stupid ones. on a side note communism is about comman ownership of the means of production not comman ownership of your fridge magnets, this sort of personal property would be respected out of common courtesy I susspect. the main point I was trying to make in the previous post is that it seems to me that: firstly technological advances seem to be making a market economy obselete and secondly humanity realy has to make it into space for any chance of both anarchy and of survival.



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 10:29 PM
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reply to post by AnonymousJ
 


I'd just like to point out that a State that no longer has the monopoly over the initiation of force in its declared region is not a State. Since the defining characteristic of a State, that differentiates it from all other organizations is the declared right to attack others, if this power is deprived of consent, that entity becomes just another voluntary organization with no magical powers to reverse morality as it sees fit. (like the rest of us)

Thus if Anarcho Communists claim the right to initate force, (which you dont, but many/most? do) they can no longer be called Anarchists at all, as the foundational principal of Anarchism is Non Aggression.

Why anyone would bind themselves voluntarily to central planning is beyond me, as I believe history is overflowing with examples of why the few will never (and are not able) to rule for the benefit of the many, surely, in a free world, like minded people should be able to experiment with any voluntary arrangement they prefer, as long as the NAP isnt violated. If it isnt, that group could not be classified as a State.




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