Laura Bridgeman: What Whales Have to Teach Humans About Capitalism

Guardian ad litem for whales? Great idea, but we need to expand it.

Vox Populi

Any accounting of the commons without acknowledging the presence and interests of others will lead to their continued destruction, to our human detriment as well.

The International Whaling Commission meets every four years to decide the future of the whales. That is, it decides which nation will kill how many, and for what reasons (commercial, subsistence, “research”). Stakeholders from around the world are engaged, from whaling and non-whaling nations alike.

Notably absent in these discussions on the future of whales, are the whales themselves. But this is not just because they would have a hard time fitting into the conference room. It’s an intentional omission, since whales are a part of the commons: that great, amorphous void which we draw individuals out of, pour refuse in to, and in which lives the nameless, faceless “biomass” that we refuse any real legal or political consideration on a categorical basis. According to…

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