This book is in the philosophical tradition that originated in the early 17th century with Grotius, the "father of international law". The most recentoand controversialoexpression of this debate began with the work of Professor Hardim, whose original paper in Science has since been reprinted in over 80 anthologies. These matters of jurisprudence and biology ought to resolve the problem of whether people, acting selfishly, exhaust finite resources. Since they believe that this is so, they proposed a remedy in terms of property rights. The Grotius/Hardin problematic has now re-emerged with greater urgency, thanks to the fact that Space Age technology has once again transported mankind to what are the final frontiersoand confronted him with the choices about how to tap virgin resources on the new "commons". The imminent prospect of exploration in, and exploitation of, the ocean beds, the arctic regions and outer space necessitate a new debate about social justice, economic efficiency and ecological conservation. Unfortunately, the debateothus farohas not been particularly illuminating or sensitive to the mistakes of the past.
Commons Without Tragedy reopens this topic in the form of a dialogue between Hardin and the economists who are in the philosophical tradition of Henry George, with Andelson offering a new interpretation of Hardin's original thesis which Hardin himself has acknowledged in the most generous terms. Indeed Hardin's acknowledgement of the importance of George is most startling and dramatic. The debate is not exclusively located in the ethereal domain, for the controversy necessarily confronts difficult questions about existing problems of demographic pressure on the land-based resources that have already been privatized.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield