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Tragedy of the Commons

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TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS AND THE PROBLEM OF ANARCHY IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
By: Ma. Hazel Joy M. Faco
BA Political Science – 2
"Freedom in a common brings ruin to all."

As proposed by Garrett Hardin, the “Tragedy of the Commons” is an inevitable result of the exploitation of a shared resource by rational and egoistic individuals who solely seek to maximize their own consumption. It is predicted that there will come a time when the supply of that resource will no longer be able to keep up with the rapidly growing demand. This is where the tragedy comes into the picture. This apathetic and nonchalant consumption will eventually lead to the irreversible depletion and degradation of that particular common resource. To avoid this ultimate tragedy, there is no technical solution that we can possibly adopt. No amount of science or technology can reverse this damage. The only way that we can possibly preclude this destruction is by undergoing a dramatic re-examination and transformation of our conscience and fundamental conceptions of ethics and morality. But the real question is this: Is that even possible? Hardin’s pessimistic parable is widely and almost universally accepted as an all-encompassing, catchall framework in explaining the ecological crisis that currently confronts commonly-held goods such as the earth’s atmosphere, fisheries, grasslands, water, forests, roads and even population growth. However, in this essay, I am going to analyze this tragedy by examining the “common-ness” of the Earth’s atmosphere and the apparent difficulty of having a universally recognized regulatory institution. This is precisely because of the absence of a “world government” and the state of chaotic anarchy among nation-states in the international community. The degradation of the Earth’s atmosphere is a consequence of the piling spill-over effect of many…...

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