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What are the underlying values upon which American laws are based?

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:36 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
The closing of the commons was a tragedy for those people robbed of their acestral rights, and their living labor was spent, and they died fueling the industial revolution in England just as the sheep who then grazed on their former land fed their wool to that same revolution... [followed by a lot of irrelevant stuff]

The "tragedy of the commons" is a well-known concept in economics and game theory. I didn't come up with the name, and I sincerely wish whoever did would have come up with something better, but there we are. The concept doesn't have anything to do with the enclosure movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in Great Britain. It doesn't say anything about the injustice of enclosing common lands or the plight of those who had used the previously unenclosed commons. It's a metaphor for the dilemma created when limited public resources are made available to all on a first-come, first-served basis.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:41 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I know of no basis for you to resaonably allege that resources are for the most part limited. Certainly there are many resources which are limited, but there are many others which are not.

I can think of very few resources that are unlimited. Even air -- or, at least, clean air -- is a limited resource, and air pollution is a good example of the "tragedy of the commons."

Setanta wrote:
I am not restricted to simply responding to the things w hich you have written. Kicky asks what values American laws are based on. I am simply pointing out that in the past, laws (either American laws or the system of laws from which they derive) have been based on the preservation of privilege. I don't need your permission to point that out.

Nor did I claim that you did. I merely pointed out that, when you asserted that "privileged elites have exploited special relationships to those in government for their personal and mutual benefit," you weren't responding to anything that I had written.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 09:55 am
@kickycan,
I think the underlying values upon which American laws are based came from the Bible... which in turn was based on paganism, which in turn was based on Ugg's long-lost treatise on soci0-environmental cooperation within cave dwelling societies.

0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 10:00 am
@kickycan,
Hammurabi.
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gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 10:15 am
@kickycan,
Mostly English Common Law.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 01:12 pm
@joefromchicago,
Yes, well, i didn't reject the concept of a tragedy of the commons entirely. Clean air is a goal we can attain. In North America, north of the Rio Grande, at least, there is abundant fresh water. We can't rely on petroleum, but solar energy, geothermal, wave and wind energy are, at least seemingly limitless. We have more than sufficient arable land to produce what we need to feed ourselves. In large measure, this "tragedy of the commons" respresents a view of resources which is narrow and specific. If you only look at petroleum as the energy resource, it applies. But if you are looking at energy sources and alternative forms of energy use, solar power makes the claim look ridiculous. If it were ever necessary to feed our population, farmers could be prohibited from growing grain to be converted to ethanol. That would be an interesting legislative attempt. Whether or not there are many resources which are limited i don't think is an issue. Whether or not most resources are limited is a good subject for debate.
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