Cultural Realities: Tragedy of the Commons or the Power of the People.

Spoiler alert: It’s obviously the power of the people.

Tragedy of the Commons was written by Garett Hardin, a Professor of Biology of the University of California who warned of the threat of overpopulation. He described Tragedy of the Commons as a phenomenon seen in shared-resource systems where individual users, acting independently according to their own self-interest, behave contrary to the common good of all users by eating up or destroying shared resources through their collective action. He likens the commons to a herd of animals. He backs up his claim, by using the fishing industries’ tendency to deplete the ocean of its fish as an example. 

The Wild Food Box has an ethos of reciprocity. Reciprocity is the keyword here, and that is because reciprocity in this context is used as a seed to subvert the current culture of wealth distribution. The goal here is, win-win-win (between the land, the humans, and the more than humans). With reciprocity as part of the equation, taking energy from the planet also means giving back to the planet until the energy taken is restored. The objective is to turn natural extraction into a collaboration.

The Bloomberg group, for example, obtain massive amounts of wealth by acquiring the rights to use land, but they do not redistribute the energy obtained back to its original source (e.g., Jimmy Pattison and B.C fish canneries, for example). Instead, they relocate it, which weakens the sources in which they pull from to eventual collapse. This current industrial practice is parasitic. It’s not parasitic because the practice is bad, wrong, or guilty, it is because the practice has no practical relational execution. 

By subverting the view of colonization (parasitic relationship) to the principals of a relational world view (reciprocity), the logical application dictates that if there is a practice of extraction (Land gives to the humans), there must be a generative practice (we must give to the land and more than humans). For every land-based extraction project, there must also be a generative one (monocultures do not count) for balance to be achieved.

Jobs remain jobs, with the possibility of more jobs created, and Land maintains its integrity. Coupled with the responsibility and understanding that taking is a sacred process, as opposed to feelings of entitlement or a means of acquiring power by taking, this slows the pace of industry down and results in the creation of a new industrial cultural paradigm – one of reciprocity (give and receive). The CEO receives a stable, more predictable market, in terms of demands and available products and the parasitic system becomes a generative one.

We feed a culture of collective responsibility to the natural world and each other. We believe in the people and their collective power. We believe that a resilient economy occurs when people put their dollars back into the community. A local business serving its own community can be held accountable. Big business, for the most part, cannot.   

It is important to know the cultural history of our resources to understanding the cultural reality of today.

Tragedy of the Commons, by Garrett Hardin. (not our view…at all).

Library of Economics and Liberty (Tragedy of the Commons Article)

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