Sadly, cultures that have adopted a farming or animal rearing ... way of life tend to view the land that sustains them as belonging to them ... and thus have a clear concept of "ownership" of the land. Rather than being in tune with, or part of, nature, they tend to see themselves as masters of nature .... Unfortunately, it's a short intellectual leap from "mastering" nature to "mastering" other people...
That's certainly the prevailing PC view, but it's dead wrong. Viewing the land as held in common leads directly to the "tragedy of the commons".
On the other hand, when any resource is viewed as property, the owner of that property will safeguard it. This is known as the Coase Theorem http://en.wikipedia....g/wiki/Coase_theorem
. For example, corporations dumping pollution into a river would never be able to get away with their behavior if someone owned
the river; the owner would sue the dumper so fast your head would spin. But since there's no river owner, everyone uses up their little bit of it.
Ownership, even if for selfish reasons, does result in positive outcomes. I noticed this bit in the news the other day, addressing a hunting group that safeguards wetlands: http://www.businesst...html?utmsource=ducks
. Sure, they do it because they love to hunt ducks rather than through altruism, but what's the difference why?
Holding the land (and other resources) in common is the surest way to flush it all down the toilet.