Frying and the spontaneous order

The European Union’s decision to prohibit a regulation (directly applicable in the Member States) the consumption of fried fish has raised a hornet’s nest of criticism by fishermen and many ordinary citizens who love to taste a dish so delicious.
Many, in particular, have used the occasion to condemn the excessive level of bureaucracy emanating from Brussels. I believe that it is hard to perceive in such cases is that the bureaucracy is nothing more than the required appendix to the “fatal assumption” – the words of Hayek, whereby a small circle of technocrats can to know what type of fish should be caught, how it should be taken and in what quantities. All this skeleton is what the dear Freddie called socialism.
Well, the problem exists and no one denies. It’s called “tragedy of common” A situation in which the failure to award property rights generates moral hazard and ultimately an unregulated exploitation of the resource, leading to its extinction. The approach can be followed before these problems is twofold: to foster solutions that arise from the bottom, where knowledge is better shared (market economy); prefer authoritarian solutions based on a central authority which will shape the law (planned economy).
In his successful book “Harnessing the collective”, the Nobel Prize Elinor Ostrom provides a broad range of empirical examples that demonstrate how spontaneous agreements between fishermen in relation to when and how he “let down the nets” are a potentially useful method to protect fish. As Peter Monsurrò argued in a recent conversation, in some cases, what is to say that the inshore fishing or farming, the allocation of property rights is not difficult, but sometimes, as in the case of deep-sea fishing can identify suitable standards is markedly more problematic, where the fish (as opposed to “fishing area”) move. Some systems mentioned by Ostrom are fragile (such as Alanya, Turkey) and others have had little success (in Sri Lanka or in Izmir, also in Turkey) is due to several factors, first of all transaction costs often high. On the other hand is not even underestimate the contribution distortion produced by governments (and the EU itself with the famous PCP), the same as Ostrom notes:
The grant for the purchase of new technologies has been a frequent strategy of national governments in relation to fishing, with results that were sometimes disastrous. The effort to fund a new technology requires that local fishermen will not adopt new technologies more efficient without outside help. The conservatism of the fishermen on the use of new technologies may reflect an awareness that the management of complex systems of resource depends on a delicate balance between the technologies used and the rules adopted to control and authorize access and use. If adaptation to new technologies is accelerated, the relationship between the rules and technologies in use may become seriously unbalanced (…) The rapid introduction of more efficient technology by an external authority can trigger the tragedy of their common public authorities presume that the same will happen if they do not regulate the use of this fishery.
The search for a rule that satisfies all parties involved requires very short time, often to generations. This does not mean, as has been said, that the solutions bottom-la Ostrom must necessarily be successful or be more efficient, but rather that they are methodologically preferable, as compatible with a system that cares about human freedom. Will own the repeated trials and errors to ensure “catallatticamente” the identification of right rules. The alternative is a regulatory brutal, without knowledge.

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