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Tragedy of Freedom in a Commons

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There is a dilemma in increasing the military power because it risks security. Consequently, the problem on overpopulation cannot be solving using technical solutions for the reason that seeking technological solutions not really solve the fundamental problem.

What shall we maximize?

Since our world is finite, therefore it can only support finite population. So, Bentham’s goal of “the greatest good for the greatest number” is unattainable because maximizing population injured how we maximize everyone’s desired for good. Considering we’re living in a finite world, we must both stabilize population, and supplement our biological tendency for source of energy. Doing so, we have to make biological maintenance per person approach as close to zero as possible, which means we have to relinquish many things we consider “good”. But assuming we can have infinite source of energy it will still dissipate as population growth rate increase. Following laissez-faire in reproduction, we can assume that men will control their individual fecundity so as to produce the optimum population.

Tragedy of Freedom in a Commons

Tragedy is not about unhappiness but the remorseless working of nature. This tragedy is the tendency of the actors to exploits the commons for short-term interest or economic gain. The tragedy of the commons work in this manner, a commons like in a pasture was shared by herdsman. Commons is an area that belongs to no individual but it is shared by the entire society. In this pasture, it is common sense that the herdsmen will try keep as many cattle as possible. This scenario only works in the past centuries due chances and conflict that made both man and beast below carrying capacity of the common. However, in the present day the long-desired for social stability becomes the reality with the inevitability of the commons to remorselessly prompt tragedy.

As a rational being sharing the commons, each herdsman will seek to maximize his gain. Prompt with the idea of negative and positive components of utilizing the commons to each own accord. The positive side is that each herdsman will have benefit from selling the additional cattle he added to the commons, but the downside is that they will all share the effect of overgrazing. It is like competing -1 and +1. Adding the components, it is sensible for the herdsman to add cattle as many as he will, but other herdsmen as rational being also do the same. Standing from cost/benefit analysis point of view they are now compelled to add unlimited cattle to the limited common thus the tragedy come to play. Since each individual will pursue their personal interest, the freedom in commons will bring ruins to all. To combat this, educating the succession of generations should be refreshed.

At present, the gnawing effect of freedom of commons in land and maritime are evident where the overgrazing produces erosion and weed dominance and the beliefs that the ocean is inexhaustible of resources brings species of marine life closer to extinction. So the solution might be by selling the common off as private or public property with the allocation on the basis of wealth, merit, by lottery and or first come, first-served basis.


Contradictingly, the problem with the freedom of the commons also reappears in pollution. Although it is not in the case of taking something, but putting something in the commons because of the waste we dispose in the water, land and air. The calculation of negative and positive component of utilizing the common is the same as the aforementioned. Ergo, a rational man conceiving that he is independent, rational and free-enterprisers will continue to unload wastes into the common noting that ‘the cost of the wastes he discharges is less than the cost of purifying his wastes before releasing them’. So it seems to be that we are locked into the system of fouling our own nest. The tragedy of the commons as food basket is staving off because of private property practice and the like. On the other hand, on the case of air and water surrounding us it’s very devastating because we can’t fence off the effects. To redress the tragedy of the common as cesspool, we have to make a coercive policies that make it cheaper for the polluter to treat his pollutants than to discharge them untreated. Though, our concept of private property fended us from sapping out our earth resources, it still favor pollution. Justifying that an owner of a factory on the bank of stream that extends to the middle of stream, often sees that it doesn’t make sense that he’s not allow to degrade the water passing his property. With this kind of reasoning, it is necessary to amend laws to combat these new aspects of the common. It is often conceived that the nature has chemical and biological healing capacity but overpopulation make this far from the truths. This reality, necessitate the redefinition of property rights.

Freedom to Breed Is Intolerable

Over population is really a big threat in our society and even in the whole world especially we only have limited resources. Growing population is unbearable because we humans who will be the one will suffer in our actions. If we continuously grow our population we may end up to a war towards acquiring resources like foods, water, oil, land and etc. In other words the biggest problem that we will be facing in the near future is not climate change, corruption and politics it is competition for things.

Conscience is self-eliminating

Conscience is the key to limit breeding is a mistake. Those people who appeal with conscience in order to limit breeding may result of their existence disappear after much generation. This may include some traits that may be wiped out in the future. This is also contradictory to the theory of natural selection. However, those people who don’t have conscience and does not limit breeding, their existence may remain after many generation and also pass on their.

Pathogenic effects of Conscience

It greatly emphasizes the double bind as referred by Bateson. This is a form of message in which it is delivered in two kinds of communication, which is intended and unintended. Usually the unintended way of communication can cause anxiety and grief. Even though it is effective, it is not acceptable to manipulate those people who exploit the common, psychologically. Instead, of using this method it easier and justifiable to settle in adjusting social arrangement in regards with responsibility.

Mutual Coercion mutually agreed upon the social arrangement that create coercion of some sort. A social contract is genuine and nearly everybody agrees to it, regardless one doesn’t know about it by entering the national domain of the nation past the period of dominant part. A state is an assortment of individuals having selective domain over an all-around characterized an area. The contract goes before government and gives premise by which the general public would then be able to make an administration for themselves, which will be seen in each one of the individuals who enter on its domain. The main way to quit the social contract is to leave the territory and stay away. This coercion doesn’t have to be perfectly just to be probable to the commons, and will be able to supports this assertion with the example of private property and legal inheritance.

Obviously there are individuals who remain and who doesn’t care and consent to the social arrangement. We call them criminals or perhaps intruders. They can do anything or guard for them to guarantee they can burglarize or cheat slaughter since they didn’t agree to the social arrangement. Status quo is action. We need to measure the costs and benefits of both status quo and reform discounting as best we can for our lack of experience and act in our best interests.

Recognition of Necessity

It was meant to challenge the contention confinements constrain opportunity. It was contends limitations to protect from each other’s exploitation. Similarly as stopping meters and stopping tickets to restrict our choices, they influence it more probable to discover a space for a car. It was expressed before in the paper. We need to re-examine our individual freedom to see which one is defensible. Constraints that apply to all protect us for individual’s selfishness and enable us to live in groups.

Humans have been traced to relinquished liberties in the past and used coercion in able to evade the tragedy of the commons. All throughout history people have discover ways to secure resources, such as designating property and legislating hunting, fishing, and farming. Once agreements are set up, individuals should adjust to new standards as if they had always been present.

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Tragedy of Freedom in a Commons. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 28, 2022, from
“Tragedy of Freedom in a Commons.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
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