Once we have a clear understanding of the logic of the commons, it seems pretty obvious that regulating the use of commonly held resources is often called for. We are very prone to think of government regulation as an imposition on our liberty. But the destruction of commonly held resources poses a much greater imposition on our liberty. So, regulation to avoid a tragedy of the commons is quite in line with Locke’s view that the legitimate role of government is to secure out liberty. This should help us understand why conservatives as well as liberals were proponents of environmental regulation through the 60s and the 70s.
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