The Tragedy Of The Commons

I had to work yesterday, so I couldn’t attend or observe the Leeches United rally in DC. Fortunately, plenty of others did, and there’s plenty of room for analysis of the whole thing. I might even take a stab at it later.

But for now, though, one aspect is compelling my attention.

Doug Ross has a remarkable collection of the rally and its aftermath up — and it’s that aftermath that caught my eye.

When OneNation left the Mall, the place — especially the World War II Memorial — were thoroughly trashed.

Contrast that with Glenn Beck’s recent rally on 8/28, and how they left the Mall.

To me, this reflects the differing attitudes the two factions have towards public property — and, by extension, public resources:

“This is our property. We own it, as citizens. We’re going to clean up after ourselves.”

“This is public property, not mine. Let someone else clean it up — and government workers need the work.”

There’s another element that may be at play here. One side would be ashamed at leaving a mess behind; the other takes pride in the proof of their presence and numbers.

And a third one comes to mind: the Tea Party and 8/28 gatherings mostly brought their own signage and whatnot; the One Nation folks were given their mass-produced signs and banners and fliers, so they weren’t personally invested in the material — and had no qualms of just dumping it on the ground when they were done.

So much for “give a hoot — don’t pollute” or “don’t be a litterbug.”

NASA Chief in Saudi Arabia
How many people showed up at the One Nation rally?