The Myth of the Tragedy of the Commons

"The Tragedy of the Commons" is a trope in Western culture, and it's a widely misunderstood concept. The concept comes from an essay named "The Tragedy of the Commons" that decided that the commons, which were resources held in common by villages in Britain, were a bad idea because people couldn't be trusted to not overexploit resources for their own ends, against the common interest of the community. The essay concluded that the only way to protect common resources was to privatize them. This was a very convenient argument for proponents of capitalism, who wanted to privatize resources to profit from them, and so the concept has been well publicized in Western circles for the last 50+ years.

This video explains why the original essay was wrong. (and who doesn't love a good "they're wrong!" video! haha)



This video more directly describes why the commons are a very important concept today, in terms of democracy.