The theory of the tragedy of the commons holds that those driven solely by self-interest will act to the detriment of the common good. One simple illustration is the depletion of fisheries by unregulated overfishing. Our industrial history also demonstrates the principle. Capitalism’s quest for maximized profit made industry race to the bottom, seeking places that allowed production at its lowest immediate cost. Now, those economies that prospered from that race are recovering from its impacts. The opportunity in the commons is global recognition of the competitive advantage in efficiency.
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