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Important Concepts

Tragedy of the Commons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The Tragedy of the Commons" is an influential article written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968. The article describes a dilemma in which multiple individuals acting independently in their own self-interest can ultimately destroy a shared limited resource even where it is clear that it is not in anyone's long term interest for this to happen.

Central to Hardin's article is a metaphor of herders sharing a common parcel of land (the commons), on which they are all entitled to let their cows graze. In Hardin's view, it is in each herder's interest to put as many cows as possible onto the land, even if the commons is damaged as a result. The herder receives all of the benefits from the additional cows, while the damage to the commons is shared by the entire group. If all herders make this individually rational decision, however, the commons is destroyed and all herders suffer.

A similar alleged dilemma of the commons had previously been discussed by early agrarian reformers since the 18th century. The predecessors of Hardin used the alleged tragedy, as well as a variety of examples of the Greek Classics, to motivate the Enclosures. Radkau sees Garrett Hardin's writings as having a different aim. Hardin asks for a strict management of global common goods via increased government involvement or/and international regulation bodies (the rule of an 'Ökodiktatur', ecodictatorship according Radkau).

Neither the old or new use of the tragedy of the commons were in line with the state of real "Commons". These lands, e.g. meadows and grassland have not been poor but very valuable from an ecological standpoint.

Ref: The Tragedy of the Commons

This concept applies to Capitalism in general. If each person optimizes for their own good, we will destroy the bounty provided by the creator. We need government to put constraints on the use of natural resources to ensure their continued availability.

Management by objectives

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Management by Objectives (MBO) is a process of defining objectives within an organization so that management and employees agree to the objectives and understand what they need to do in the organization.

The term "management by objectives" was first popularized by Peter Drucker in his 1954 book 'The Practice of Management'.

The essence of MBO is participative goal setting, choosing course of actions and decision making. An important part of the MBO is the measurement and the comparison of the employee’s actual performance with the standards set. Ideally, when employees themselves have been involved with the goal setting and choosing the course of action to be followed by them, they are more likely to fulfill their responsibilities.

According to George S. Odiorne, the system of management by objectives can be described as a process whereby the superior and subordinate managers of an organization jointly identify its common goals, define each individual's major areas of responsibility in terms of the results expected of him, and use these measures as guides for operating the unit and assessing the contribution of each of its members.

Ref: Management by objectives

This process applies to politics also. If we can agree on the objectives, we can elect leaders who will implement these objectives rather than support a party ideology.

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