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Tragedy of the Common Explain Why People Never Listen

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At some point, everyone met a person who is adamant about changing its opinion. This individual has an unbelievable persistence in arguing that what he/she believes is correct, and the opposite perspective is wrong. Everyone could try deducing argument, giving a thorough explanation, or even giving a reference to check to him/her. Yet, the opinion won't change.

For this person, rational thinking seems not to work. There is a psychological explanation for this phenomenon called cognitive dissonance. From a biological outlook, the brain refuses to accept new information that challenges the old memory directly. Therefore, feeling discomfort when hearing or reading an opposite piece of information is normal. Still, not buying the truth is unprofessional.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

— George Carlin

From a global economic point of view, an explanation of why people won't comply with rational thought exists. Companies exploiting child labor, an industry putting its actress on a 12-hour work six times a week, or even dumping dangerous chemicals to nearby rivers can be explained using this theory: the Tragedy of the common.

The Misuse of Everyone's Trust


Dr. Sylan Selterman, a professor at the University of Maryland, gave his students an option, "Select whether you want 2 points or 6 points added to your final grade, But there's a small catch: If more than 10% of the class selects 6 points, then no one gets any points." The outcomes are always the threshold. This simple question supports an uneasy statement: people care for themselves first.

The Tragedy of the commons is a term used when people utilize shared goods to benefit themselves the most. A river is public property, and everyone must take care of it. Yet, some companies dumped their hazardous waste into the river to reduce production costs. They believed that the river would be dirtied by someone else, if not them. So, why not grab it first?

This ignorant way of thinking had caused a great loss for humanity. As an illustration, the Mongols raided the Abbasid Caliphate and destroyed its libraries in the 13th century. Yes, the raider gets a significant advantage during the next encounter with the enemy. But the next generation couldn't progress as quickly as its predecessors. Nowadays, the climate is changing because people keep pushing their interests. And humanity will meet extinction if people don't change it.

When Everybody Is Racing, Nobody Is Winning

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From the opposing point of view, Capitalist manipulates people's raw materialism to drive them to collect more capital to continue producing. Making more items mean using more resources that will cause more pollution. Again, this statement is an over-the-top view of Capitalism from the Communism perspective. But the point exists, albeit exaggerated.

Environmental damage is a challenge today's generation will face. People should strive for a greener and more friendly environment for the world. Living in an eco-friendly neighborhood is indeed nice, but climate change is the true danger for the future generation. If people keep polluting the planet, many dangerous things are debatable of which comes first. But experts agree that the most fearful effect possible is human extinction.

There are two possible solutions to at least redeem the damage. The first one is increasing awareness for people all around the globe. This approach can be made by providing the necessary education for people who aren't as lucky. If the world becomes smarter, more solutions will be found quicker. The second solution is making the authority to take immediate and effective policies.

The Government Is Making an Offer People Can't Refuse


The government uses two ideas to idealize this solution: market-based and regulation policies. Regulation policy dictates the government's fund directly and allocates them based on what the government believes to be important. For example, John and Matthew are from Houston. Yet, their taxes are used to build a school in Arkansas. Even though both of them may never use, the facility will benefit everyone in its surrounding.

On the other hand, market-based policies are effective in changing how consumers and the market behave. In the USA, the local authority cannot ban the usage of tobacco. But they can raise the taxes for this specific commodity. After that, the governments receive more money from taxes, or the number of smokers in the county decreases.

The market and the nation's chances to go wrong lowers when the competent government wisely utilizes these two instruments. Some people will always disagree about what the authority is planning. Still, the proven record of reshaping society into a better living workplace, environment, and planet can't be denied.

People Try Not to Get Overtaken, but at What Cost?

The Tragedy of the commons exists because people are afraid to lose, but their children will fear the effect of their parent's greediness. It is perfectly fine to have the desire to earn more profit, but individuals must comply with parameters to preserve this earth for the next generation. Moreover, the world had been liveable for thousands of generations. So, why another thousand years of humankind couldn't live here because of this generation?

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

— Native American Proverb

© 2020 Azka F F

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