Did I ruffle a few feathers? :)

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Fri Sep 22 08:38:05 MDT 1995

At 6:19 PM 9/21/95, Chris M. Sciabarra wrote:

>        Oh, but the price system WOULD signal it if resources were
>privately owned; I know this anathema to a Marxist.  But the "tragedy of
>the commons" is precisely a tragedy of the COMMONS.  As long as public
>property exists, and is used and abused by private individuals who don't
>have to bear the costs of abuse, they will do whatever they can to get
>away with it.  Will there still be some selfish bastards who tear down
>trees in privately owned forests?  Sure.  But other selfish bastards
>might see profit in planting new trees on their property for future
>production purposes.  The commons are ravaged because they are one huge
>externality with loads of free riders having the time of their lives.  It
>is time to privatize and make the free riders pay.

In fact, the privately owned forests in the American West are far more
ravaged than the public ones. In your critique of libertarianism, be sure
to devote some space to the triumph of theory over actual lived experience.



Doug Henwood
[dhenwood at panix.com]
Left Business Observer
250 W 85 St
New York NY 10024-3217
+1-212-874-4020 voice
+1-212-874-3137 fax

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