The Tragedy of the Commons: By Garrett Hardin

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A common resource refers to a natural or man-made property that is characterized by high rivalry in consumption, meaning an increase in the amount of resource consumed by one person reduces that for others to consume, and non-excludability, meaning the resource is freely accessible to a large group of people. These factors make a common resource susceptible to its overuse and damage in the long run, especially without a controlled management and protection of the resource.
In his writing, Hardin introduces the phenomenon of the commons problem, known as the Tragedy of the Commons, which arises from the way humans use the natural resources on earth and the long-term effects of their growing exploitation of the “commons”. Hardin gives a hypothetical example of the grazing rights in a village. Each herdsman will try to maximize his gain by continually adding one more animal to his herd, which eventually leads to overgrazing. This is an inevitable decision of any rational person, who knows that he will gain the full benefit from his use of the resource whereas the cost of the use is divided among all users. According to Hardin, this instinctive desire to pursue one’s own best interest over the collective benefits of the entire population causes destruction of the resources and “brings ruins” to a society that exercises freedom of common resources .
In order to prevent further overexploitation of the resources, Hardin argues that the system of freedom of the commons must be

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