Mudcat Café message #1411889 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78468   Message #1411889
Posted By: Piers
16-Feb-05 - 11:57 AM
Thread Name: BS: Why do we need money?
Subject: RE: BS: Why do we need money?
Wolfgang dear chap. The tragedy of the commons is flawed because it assumes not the complete absence of property rights over productive resources generally but an absence of such rights over one particular resource (grazing land) while the others (the cattle, produce and so on) are privately owned and also that their owners are motivated by the desire to maximise their short-term economic gain. The parable, as so often with defenders of the capitalist status quo, transposes the behaviour of those making decisions about production under capitalism into a quite different historical context.

In socialism, where there will be no property rights over land, the sea or any other natural resource, there would not be any no property rights over instruments of production either. The cattle as well as the land would be commonly owned. In these circumstances those responsible for looking after the cattle would not be under any pressure to behave in the way he presumes. They would merely be carrying out a particular function on behalf of the community in a social context where the aim of production would be to satisfy needs on a sustainable basis and not to make profits. The community would democratically draw up a programme for the use of the grazing land, which would obviously take steps to avoid overgrazing.

This is also the case concerning the psychological/human nature arguments against socialism. They observe the way that people behave in capitalism and say that is the way humans always behave, irrespective that for the vast majority of human history there has been no money.