People had devised ways or means by which to manage these resource through social or institutional arrangements for the long-term benefit of everybody without necessarily depleting these resources and thereby can manage to avoid the so-called “tragedy of the commons” by unfettered competition. This was done mainly through their cultural, social and maybe even religious practices by which most natural resources are only held in trust, as stewards, for the next generations to come. This is proven even in the marginal ecological zones over the centuries (Nonini 164).However, these long-standing arrangements are increasingly under attack by the so-called neo-liberalism of globalization put forward by large multi-national corporations with a little help from their governments, international financial institutions (IFI) and those northern scientists, professors and universities (read as Western public policy makers). Globalization is a fact, with some people saying the competition is becoming more fierce, with the world now getting “flatter” as people, capital, goods and services can be moved around much easier and faster than ever before. In other words, globalization is nothing more than a competition for a “pie” that is getting smaller due to an ever-increasing world population. Globalization can be seen as a fight for the worlds dwindling natural resources. But the nature of political economy has changed over the years, especially during the last three decades, in which other commons have come into being, such as intellectual property rights. The various types of commons has come under determined attack by the corporate alliance, out to grab all the resources for their own profits, to the exclusion of other groups which are now being increasingly marginalized. This threat is what unites diverse groups to fight back for their own preservation and survival.This pressure on limited, finite and more often, also non-renewable resources can be the cause of conflicts. This happens when governments intervene through its regulations and policies, ostensibly for the common good but more often than not, in favor of big corporations out to maximize their return on investments by exploiting resources without expending on the need for their rehabilitation or renewal. This situation happens and can be exemplified by the mining industry, in which the environment is ravaged and left to fallow. Mining companies in many instances are under no
Lowrey, Annie. “College president is Obamas pick for World Bank chief.” New York Times. 23 Mar. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/24/business/global/dartmouth-president-is-obamas-pick-for-world-bank.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=World%20Bank%20nominee%20Jim&st=cse>
Nonini, Donald M. “The Global Idea of the Commons.” Social Analysis 50.3 (Winter 2006): 164-177. Print.
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