By Jonathan Rowe, On The Commons
In the alpine regions of Switzerland, grazing pastures typically are commons, as are forests, irrigation systems, and the paths and roadways connecting private and common property. In the belief system called economics, it is an article of faith that commons are inherently tragic. Almost by definition, they are tragic because they are prone to overuse. What belongs to all belongs to none, and only private or state ownership can rescue a commons from the sad fate that will otherwise befall it.