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Capitalism 3.0 by Peter Barnes

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Chapter 3

The Limits of Government

Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense … of those who have some property against those who have none at all. —Adam Smith, 1776

In his essay “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Garrett Hardin envisioned only two ways to save the commons: statism and privatism. Either a coercive government would have to stop humans from mindlessly destroying the planet, or private property owners, operating in a free market, would have to do the job. In the next two chapters I’ll show why neither of these approaches suffices.

In considering the potential of governmental remedies, let’s clarify what we mean. We’re not talking about tyranny; we’re talking about ...

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