Those resources considered of common anonymous ownership.
This very old notion was reintroduced and generalized by G. HARDIN in a famous paper (1968, p.1243).
In E. LASZLO words: "When the size and resources of the commons are limited, individual competition intensifies and, for a time, permits the enterprising actors to draw further profits. But eventually they exhaust the commons and bring about their own downfall" (1978, p.86)… and probably everyone's downfall.
As stated by W.W. HARMAN: "Microdecisions regarding utilization of resources… which are reasonable from the viewpoints of corporate management and stockholders, developers and local governments, result in macrodecisions of resource depletion, environmental degradation, urban crowding, which are unsatisfactory to society at large" (1972, p.87). This was considered a key issue by HARMAN in 1972: It still is and practically nothing is done to confront this challenge.
We have nowadays multiple examples of this problem at every level of human groups and it becomes now also a planetary one: The global interrelation between the ecosphere and the sociosphere could very well cross a threshold of total instability.
The commons, in process of exhaustion as sources, are also in process of saturation as sinks.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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