The fundamental responsibility of government

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Written by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Public trust assets—or commons—are those resources that are not readily reduced to private property and by their nature belong to the community.  They include oceans, lakes, flowing rivers, aquifers, fisheries, wandering wildlife, parks and public spaces.  All are held in trust by the government for the people.  They help define us as a community; they underpin our economy and culture and are the source of economic vitality.  The first sign of tyranny is government’s complicity in privatizing the commons for private gain.  Because the public trust is our community’s life –support system, its theft is arguably the gravest threat to human rights.  The fundamental responsibility of government is to protect the commons on behalf of all the people.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in All That We Share,  by Jay Walljasper, p. 154

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