Talk for Article "Q&A with Marxist economist Richard Wolff"

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    It is disappointing to see this article even mentioning the discredited concept of the “Tragedy of the Commons”. Its author Garrett Hardin disassociated himself from the idea and it was discredited by Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom. The basic flaw in the “Tragedy” concept is that Commons are a paradigm of cooperative interaction and Hardin’s bogus theory assumed participants in the commons would not convene to halt abuses of common rights.

    While the idea of cooperatives seems like a great and democratic one it is flawed: if a worker owns the business in which they work they are concentrating their financial risk. If their cooperative goes bust they lose their job and any wealth accumulated in the cooperative’s business. To that extent the German model of worker board members is preferable.

    Wholly democratic cooperative businesses are flawed if they do to have a managerial hierarchy – it would be impossible to run a business by committee.

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