The commons were owned by a community. They were managed by a community. These people were neighbours. They lived next door to each other. In many cases, they set their own rules and policed those rules.
Hardin’s article had sliced through the complexity with his assumption that all commons were in some sense the same. But they aren’t.
The logic of Garrett Hardin’s 1968 essay is seductive but to read the text itself is a shock. Hardin’s policy proposals are extreme. He believed that the ultimate tragedy of the commons was overpopulation – and the central policy conclusion of the article was, to quote Hardin, that “freedom to breed is intolerable”.
via Cory Doctorow