• BullionStar
    05/30/2016 - 21:24
    The US Gold Market is best known as the home of gold futures trading on the COMEX in New York. The COMEX has a literal monopoly on gold futures trading volumes worldwide, but very little physical...

Guest Post: The State Is A Tragedy Of The Commons

Tyler Durden's picture

Your rating: None

- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Thu, 02/17/2011 - 17:38 | 971800 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Oh really?

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 17:47 | 971840 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Another example would be hunting deer on common land.  If several hunters share a common hunting ground, and none can exclude the others from hunting there, each hunter has an incentive to shoot as many deer as he can before the stock of deer is depleted by the other hunters.


The imperative does exist no matter what in a competitive environment.

The whole US political fantasy is modelled on Europe which was an area of small sized powers rather equivalent in power, always rebalancing the advances of another through an everlasting game of alliances. This closed universe  led to the fallacious equilibrium theory.

Yet the reality of the US fantasy is imbalances, people looking for weak entities that can not exclude them from performing exactly the same, that is depletion of resources in other to carry out the competitive process.

Common property, private property, it does not matter.

Every time the same story: property rights are not enforced, the State is failing, got corrupted whereas the whole game is oriented to deny property rights, be they collective or private.

The whole US has been built on denying property rights.

The facts are jumping into face but yet, people prefer to build fantasies.

So be it.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 17:49 | 971848 Misean
Misean's picture


1.  A sustainable democratic government must never be allowed to assert control over the money a society choses to use.

2.  A sustainable democratic government must never be allowed to take property by force, either through taxation or eminent domain."

Yeah...BWAHAHAHAHAHA!...good luck with that. Give power of government to a group of men and watch the 1.5 sigma cluster of humans centered on a 95 IQ follow them right into slavery...oh wait...

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 22:07 | 972803 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

This is why the dictatorship of Capital - i.e., what exists now globally - cannot allow democracy.

Capital abhors democracy, because it relies upon the exploitation of the very people to whom it grants a voice.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 22:36 | 972900 Chump
Chump's picture

Your new terms and definitions are just as wrong as the old.  Capital is not "i.e., what exists now globally."  It is also not sentient, and has no preference which political or economic system is in place.

Start over again.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 23:10 | 972977 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Sorry - Capital relations are social relations.  While Capital isn't sentient, those who deploy it are.

And they care about one thing, and one thing only:  creating more Capital.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 23:15 | 972992 l1xx3r
l1xx3r's picture

Capital is a good thing to create...

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 23:24 | 973004 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

All you need is a willingness to rob your neighbor...

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 10:51 | 973917 snowball777
snowball777's picture

I'm guessing you've never created anything of value in your entire life.

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 17:10 | 975538 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

I second what snowball777 says.

Clearly, people who have never "had skin in the game" of producing something from something else they own are the first ones to be whining incessantly or spewing hyperbole.


Fri, 02/18/2011 - 11:57 | 974230 BigJim
BigJim's picture

No... all you need is savings. And before you say: to get savings, you need a willingness to rob your neighbour, again, no, all you need is a willingness to consume less than you produce.

Once you have savings, you can then decide you wish to pay someone else to do the work (using your equipment) while you go do something else. That's Capitalism. Or you and a bunch of other savers might decide to pool your savings, so you can put together something more complicated and resource intensive, or will take a longer period to turn a profit because it had high startup or fixed costs, and then you hire other people to operate the equipment. That's Capitalism. Or you might have a great idea but no money, so you approach a person or group of people with savings and get them to fund it, and you pay people to operate the equipment. That's Capitalism. Or the person with the great idea might go to someone who manages money for other people, etc, etc. That's Capitalism too.

None of that is intrinsically incompatible with Democracy, is it? So what DO you mean?

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 11:00 | 973949 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Capital is a good thing to create...

So, Bernanke is, in fact, doing God's work?

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 12:00 | 974256 BigJim
BigJim's picture

C'mon Rocky, tell me you're pulling our tails here. The Bernanke is creating currency, not capital. By creating currency he's extracting value from every other holder of that currency, and (given the USD's reserve status) by extension, pretty much everyone on the planet.

He's no more creating capital than a mugger, counterfeiter, or thief.

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 01:55 | 979059 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Well, yah!   The whole point was to make fun of the goofy bastard.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 23:35 | 973020 Chump
Chump's picture

Your first mistake was to assume a demonstrably false definition of capital.  Your next mistake follows: you try to justify your ridiculous definition through a vague and loaded statement, "capital relations are social relations."  (And?)  Based on your misunderstanding of capital and capitalism, how am I to trust you even understand the concept of "social relations"?

And to complete your trifecta, you mistakenly assume that capital is managed and used the same by everyone, simply because it's "capital."

Quit while you're way behind.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 23:58 | 973057 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Capital is used to make more capital which is used to make more capital.  That's the point.  It's what distinguishes Capital from cash-money.

Asserting that you're too dumb to grasp a pretty simple idea (hiring and firing workers, raping and pillaging land, etc. is a social act) while simultaneously asserting how smart you are is a strange approach to argumentation.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 17:53 | 971870 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Plato pointed out a cycle of government if i remember.correctly that roughly corresponds to anarchy leads to tyranny/dictatorship which leads to monarchy which leads to a republican form of.government which leads to democracy then democracy deteriorates into anarchy and the cycle repeats.

P.s. not the good kind of anarchy either.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 17:56 | 971876 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

He noted that democracies destroy themselves when people realize they can vote themselves treasure from the government...an early.rendition of the tragedy of the commons.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 17:59 | 971889 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

You mean he noted that in a period of time when voters had to be bribed to be brought to the fora in order to discuss political matters and vote on them?

They indeed seemed pretty eager of voting themselves advantages as they had to be bribed to perform the act.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 18:07 | 971916 Bob
Bob's picture

The entire thing is so convoluted that only those who worship at the altar of state-hate can possibly follow it. 

Clearly what we need is another bracing round of Capitalism without restraint by the state.  Don't think so?

Ya just gotta believe

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 18:50 | 972075 CH1
CH1's picture

LOL... sure, we need hyper-thugs to beat us all into righteousness!

No sale here. I am BETTER than the rulers - ANY rulers. And as much as we quite disagree, I'd bet you are far more righteous than they.

Rulership has NO MAGIC.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 19:10 | 972154 Dick Buttkiss
Dick Buttkiss's picture

Honestly, only a complete idiot believes that what we have today is capitalism, as in a market-based economic system. What we have instead is the complete corruption thereof, whether it's called crony capitalism, corporatism, socialism lite, or better, their amalgamation in the form of "fascialism": 


So whatever you call it, the state is at the bottom of it. And a tragedy of the commons it certainly is, never mind what simple-minded state-worshipers like yourself maintain.


Thu, 02/17/2011 - 22:13 | 972821 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Capitalism is a system in which Capital rules and determines the actions of actors living under it.

That's PRECISELY what we have.  The simple fact that you don't like the outcome doesn't negate the reality of things.

Capital decides which politicians rule; Capital decides which businesses succeed; Capital determines the public school curriculums; Capital determines which products come to market; Capital determines what states go to war, and who they kill.

Capital determines everything.  That's called Capitalism.  Ignoring this material reality of our lives is either evasion or ignorance.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 22:39 | 972909 Chump
Chump's picture

Capital is not sentient.

Never breed.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 23:12 | 972981 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture


Capital relations are social relations.  Capital is driven by one goal, and one goal only:  to create more Capital.  To ACCUMULATE.  

That's all that matters.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 23:41 | 973035 Chump
Chump's picture

There it is again: "capital relations are social relations."  I'm sure that means something to you, but it falls short of an actual argument.

Creating capital with capital is inherently good.  Accumulating capital while doing so is inherently good.

Forcing other people to use their capital as you see fit is abject evil.  You attempt to defend evil with your gibberish.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 23:54 | 973049 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Your inability to understand that Capital moves, operates, and accumulates through social interaction doesn't make it untrue.

Capital isn't created by magic.  It's created by exploitation of people by people.

Your assertion that theft is "inherently" good, without any evidence to the contrary (except for all those landfills and golf courses) demonstrates the outer limits of your argument.

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 03:23 | 973362 CH1
CH1's picture

Troll. You begin with a fraudulent definition and refuse to consider anything but your attached doctrine.

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 11:05 | 973970 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Did you ever watch a fly bump up against a window pane -- until it eventually dies?

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 11:13 | 974007 snowball777
snowball777's picture

You might attempt something beyond your anthropomorphic aping of Marx's work and consider the possibility that exchange of capital for labor is not inherently exploitative.

As an analogy: not all sex is rape.


Fri, 02/18/2011 - 03:12 | 973349 Nootropic
Nootropic's picture

I'm not even sure they that the average ZHer a good grasp on the tradegy of the commons, either.  That explanation was weak.  Here, try the original essay.



Fri, 02/18/2011 - 07:47 | 973501 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Public finances is also a commons and now a tragedy. There is no one with a sustainability interest who can stop the rest from destroying it.

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 07:49 | 973505 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

That was an early trick to get short sighted poor people to vote, the people who usually dont show up. Once those types started showing up it enhanced certain political careers but doomed the democracy.

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 02:57 | 973338 DFCtomm
DFCtomm's picture

That's a matter of opinion. I guarantee you there are more than a few waiting, and hoping for just this type of anarchy. Lusting at the thought of doing away with the ever increasing restrictions of this over bearing nanny state. I'm actually thinking of buying a horse, just in case.

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 07:43 | 973498 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Then the cycle shall repeat, which is probably a.good thing because human systems usually cant reform themselves, but must be replaced in a political version of creative destruction.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 17:53 | 971871 Steroid
Steroid's picture

It is not a zero sum game thus the tragedy.

Free market: positive some game

Etatism: negative sum game

Mix economies: depends on the ratio of the above.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 17:59 | 971887 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Some group must be incentivised to maintain good stewardship.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 18:01 | 971898 Steroid
Steroid's picture

You mean do God's work?

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 18:52 | 972084 CH1
CH1's picture

Maintain good stewardship on your own property. Going beyond that is thuggery, no matter how many purple-robed priests make incantations at your altar.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 23:17 | 972993 l1xx3r
l1xx3r's picture


Fri, 02/18/2011 - 02:24 | 973297 nathandegraaf
nathandegraaf's picture

+ 1 = 2

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 02:43 | 973324 i.knoknot
i.knoknot's picture

i'll see your two and raise you 4.

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 03:14 | 973353 Nootropic
Nootropic's picture

So I dump the offal from my tannery upriver and poision your land, while my land remains nice and clean.

See, I maintain good stewardship on my land, its all well kept and clean.  See how nicely the cabbage row is?  Would you like to buy some leather?

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 03:25 | 973363 CH1
CH1's picture

You could solve that straw man in 20 seconds if you tried.

But that's the catch - YOUR GOAL IS TO MAKE THE IDEA FAIL.

Fri, 02/18/2011 - 04:24 | 973408 DFCtomm
DFCtomm's picture

God save us from the dogooders.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 22:14 | 972832 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Free market:  "make believe idea that has never existed and will never exist"

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 17:55 | 971875 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

 It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury



see wisconsin etc


public voting is automatically accomplished by the consumers of that government when they purchase its services....or purchase the government as the case may be


see wisconsin etc

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 18:02 | 971904 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

LOL - dems found in Illinois



Thu, 02/17/2011 - 18:15 | 971958 ReallySparky
ReallySparky's picture

Those clowns are at the Best Western In Rockford, IL.    http://www.clocktowerresort.com/  What a circus.

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 18:03 | 971909 mmlevine
mmlevine's picture

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" - Lord Acton

Man by nature is a greedy animal.  In fact, I'm sure man is the only animal that takes more than needed to survive.  The tragedy of the commons is a made up "economic law" that has not and will not work.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!