The glorious twelfth

2008-08-12

Ah, the open country, the heather in bloom. Load up the number 5 shot Henry, and make sure both my guns are clean. Open season on grouse.

We can all see how the management of the common resource, large grouse in this case, is improved by the government imposing controls on its use. Preventing people from shooting until a certain date means that everyone gets a better experience.

Surely this is a killer argument for state managed resources that even right-wingers can understand?

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2 Responses to “The glorious twelfth”

  1. Nick Barnes Says:

    Ah, but true conservatives would observe that traditional limits such as the glorious twelfth are not imposed by bureaucrats in Whitehall or Brussels, but by the community acting together.

    Of course, in doing so they would contradict another classic wingnut talking point, the tragedy of the commons: i.e. that any common resource will be overexploited and therefore everything should be owned privately instead of being held in common. In fact, we managed perfectly well for thousands of years in this country with common resources, managed communally.

    The obvious truth is that some problems are best solved privately, some are best solved communally, and some are best solved by the state. But getting an ideologue of any stripe to admit to this is impossible.

  2. Francis Davey Says:

    Although the maintenance of the commons required the intervention of the state. The laws that limited the number of cattle (or whatever) you could place on a common were enforced by the courts and officials ultimately paid for by taxation.

    I am not sure where “communal” management could enter this picture, unless by communal resources you mean not commons but (say) waste, the sea, the air and so on. Its far from clear we could be said to have managed any of them particularly well. Most of them survived by accident.

    In order to have any notion of property (however managed) you need a state to impose it.


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