Can Reformers Use a Non-Market, Non-State Force?
|December 16, 2013||Posted by Staff under Editorials|
This 2013 excerpt of On the Commons, Spt 25, by Jay Walljasper.
The vast majority of us voluntarily add 10-20 percent of the cost of a restaurant bill as a tip. There’s no law requiring this. But people tip anyway because it’s a custom. You feel guilty, like some kind of Ebenezer Scrooge, when you don’t.
Informal sanctions such as these are a neglected social resource. They often are more effective than formal ones and central to the functioning of many commons. They are one reason that the supposed “tragedy of the commons” is largely a canard, at the local level at least.
Why not make more use of this non-government and non-market force?
Ed. Notes: Somebody’s thinking creatively about how to improve our group behavior; that’s great. However, it seems like customs, sanctions, and opprobrium depend on people having already reached widespread agreement on certain actions being right or wrong. So we still need to find a creative way to win widespread agreement on the morality of sharing Earth’s worth.