The Theory and Danger of “the Commons”

The videos below were recorded at the November 17, 2012 HOS meeting. At that meeting, Brian Phillips delivered a talk titled “The Theory and Dangers of ‘The Commons’.”

Since Roman times, it has been held that certain resources, such as air and water, cannot and should not be privately owned, but instead held “in common.” While the idea of “the commons” is plausible—applying property rights to moving resources is complex—“the commons” is a package deal that attempts to unite disparate concretes. Today’s commons movement equates the man-made with the metaphysical, including such values as infrastructure, software, and education as a part of “the commons.” The goal of the movement is the obliteration of property rights.






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