Rising From the Ashes of the Tragedy of the Commons
Editor’s note: the following is a submission by listener Jim Foster in response to “The Tragedy of the Tragedy of the Commons” published in April 2019 in Scientific American.
Garret Hardin saw all humans as selfish herders in his landmark essay, The Tragedy of the Commons, and Matto Mildenberger recently wrote a critique of Hardin’s essay in Scientific American. Mildenberger’s argument is that “we” can transcend our herd mentality with proper governance. While Hardin’s original essay does have its flaws, Mildenberger’s deconstruction is inane and toothless, consistent with the standard one-two combination punch deployed by most liberal thinkers over the last fifty years. The first punch is ad hominem attack coupled with appeal to authority: “Hardin is a racist, eugenicist, nativist and Islamophobe,” and categorized as a White Nationalist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. These designations carry no weight whatsoever, but are nevertheless repeated as the dividing lines for all that is good and bad in the world. The second line of attack is an emotional appeal to save the world on the basis of human rights: a banal and insidious rationale.
Both Hardin and Mildenberger omit essential truths that exist in this world and which must be understood for our children to have a future with hope. We live in a spiritual world, not a material world, and all the world’s problems must be resolved through introspection and individual spiritual development. Lifeboat ethics, borders, and xenophobia are forces for good in this world, not just for whites, but for all humans. While on face value it may seem noble to help others, helping others creates a dynamic where individuals look to outside forces to solve their problems, when they can ultimately only be solved from within.
Hardin’s views are grossly oversimplified while deemed racist, yet Hardin overlooks the compelling motivations to preserve the planet and humanity. Humans have desires that drive them which both authors overlook. We are inspired to ensure a future for our children, and we are inspired by nature’s beauty. For a future to exist, ensuring those aspirations remain viable is critical. This is where we can find nature’s salvation from total ruin.
Mildenberger envisions a world without nativism, which strikes at the root of human motivation. It is repressive at its core, and without beauty. The nativist instinct is natural, it exists in our blood and our souls as an innate defense mechanism against hostile others.
Hardin should have realized the salvation of this planet relies on the acknowledgment that life on earth is a spiritual exercise, and that inventions, modern healthcare, and food production technology separate us from nature, leave us uninspired, and distance us from death.
God has several mechanisms at work to refine us spiritually, but shallow humans do their best to avoid them. Death must be ever present, yet we struggle to avoid it more than anything. There are no human rights, there is only spiritual pursuit. Those with money and power are no further along in their spiritual evolution than the destitute addict. Power is best distributed into as many fine particles as possible. The pursuit of individual power, wealth, and science, are all a ruse. That should be more obvious now than ever, since we appear to have nature well in hand, yet our anxieties are greater than ever. Humans must countenance death, depression, and anxiety, since those are God’s instruments to drive us and refine us spiritually. Everything in denial of these masks God himself.
The spirit of Mildenberger’s essay reads like a Siren’s Song to comfort you, to keep you on an island in spiritual atrophy until you die. Do you know someone who is dying and doesn’t want to die? Did they live their life well? Did they respond to their anxieties in life, or mask them, only to die in sadness, regret, and shame?
Do you think the large and ever-growing hospitals are anything but mushrooms feeding on our fears and spiritual rot? Who told us our biggest issue is affordable healthcare? Your hospital cannot save you. Astronomical western healthcare costs hold younger White generations back from having more children. We were never supposed to tread this heavily on earth at the expense of our children. This only leads to families dying off entirely. Everything in nature is a pyramid scheme and to upend that is to upend nature itself. Do not fear death, but instead fear your bloodline dying off. And for those who cannot achieve this, those who lack the depth to see this life as a fundamentally spiritual exercise, they will die off. The world will continue to be inherited, as it always has, by those who see it as a spiritual world.
As for feeding the Third World, from a spiritual and genetic lens, there is nothing more cruel you could perpetrate against a people. Like the ubiquitous superhero saving us all from perdition, the First World could never save the Third. It was always the Third World’s responsibility to save itself, and the fraudulent do-gooding NGOs will leave the Third World much worse off than it would have been simply left alone. Natural selection in poor countries has slowed to a crawl, and dysgenic forces are at play wreaking havoc on native gene pools, enabling scores of dangerous phenotypes to flourish. Nature selects for diligence, persistence, wit, and strength…and now the playing field has been artificially leveled by malevolent altruism.
The world is indeed a finite place, and so are our food resources. Even if we could expand farmable land, that would devastate our forests and plains and wild animals: the sources of our inspiration, the fonts of natural beauty.
Do not be duped into seeing the world through Mildenberger’s perspective because you will be denying your true inspirations to live and flourish: a relationship with God, the promise of your children, and a connection the natural landscapes around you.
The blame goes well beyond Mildenberger and the Third World, because humans everywhere are still chasing new innovations and advances in healthcare and technology. It’s such a sad and insulated world today, so lacking in inspiration. Without nativism and xenophobia, there is no sense of objectivity, no aspiration, no need for vigor. America is really no longer a country, if it ever was. There is no bravery here, no home of the brave, just a polyglot conglomeration of people chasing paper at the expense of their blood. So many souls have been corrupted through modern norms, norms defined by men like Mildenberger.
Where do we begin to restore some inspiration for ourselves and a hope for a green world? It begins with recognizing this is a spiritual world, and that anything outside of that fundamental truth is a ruse. We do need to close down our borders and begin to restore ethnically homogenous homelands around the world, for that is where all peoples find security and inspiration.
Israel is, oddly enough, a blueprint for a better future: a religious and racial ethnostate that dispenses almost no foreign aid whatsoever. If all nations around the world began to follow Israel’s lead and pursue their own people’s interests, we could begin to make this world right.