This is a conference presentation I gave over the libertarian view on property rights and how the Tragedy of the Commons applies to Confederate monuments in public spaces. The basic argument is that “public spaces” are paradoxically owned by everyone and no one, so none of us owns a literal amount of a public space or good–such as a city-owned monument–and yet “the public” is alleged to own them through representation, the same way we “own” public parks. These ill-defined property rights make something like Confederate monuments all the more problematic because even if a majority of people want them moved or taken down, they cannot force “the city” to act. Assigning real property rights confers clear ownership and thus moves the problem away from a contest between the public.

Find the lecture here.

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