no third solution

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Bike Parking: A Commons Problem?

September 3rd, 2008

In response to a “don’t chain your bike to the fence” sign, Kip is clearly baiting those of us who argue in favor of jury nullification.  Either that, or I’m in a particularly foul mood, and couldn’t see through the sarcasm (at the very least, I think it is a poorly chosen analogy).

Many, but not all, the transgressors eventually complied and removed their equipment.

As for those who didn’t, I suppose they’re just engaging in a little roaming jury nullification. Same principle, right? If you don’t like the law, then screw it and pat yourself on the back for your “higher principles.”

Ummm, no.  Just because we advocate the nullification of unjust verdicts, does not mean that we advocate wholesale ignorance and/or disregard for law or order.  Opposing the war on drugs, or any particular, ham-fisted piece of government intervention, is not the same as violating rights.

Of course, the question that comes to mind here (almost immediately) is one of rights.  Who owns the park?  The people, presumably, own the park. But the people do not exercise control over it, nor can they dispose of portions of it, nor can they act generally as though it were theirs in fact.  This particular issue, as it pertains to public parks, is a question of poorly or illegitimately defined property rights.

Now, you can say that this argument is a cop-out, but I disagree. If the park is owned by an individual or a group of individuals who excercise effective control thereof, they can do with it whatever they please.

But the park is “owned” by people who can’t control it, and is controlled by people who don’t really own it. Tragedy of commons ensues, no?

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics