The tragedy of the commons and the comedy of errors*

A globally sustainable economic system, including a sustainable food system is incompatible with the current structure of markets and finance, argues Klaas van Egmond. In the current financial system, the money which is created by private banks aims for the highest returns, often implying predatory exploitation. We need new institutional arrangements in politics, economy and finance in order to resolve the current crisis of social values. In order to be sustainable, a civilization must balance its value orientations between ‘mind’ and ‘matter’ and between the egocentric ‘I’ and ’the others’ thus preventing very one-sided orientations This would allow an ethics on sustainability. If we want to make the world a more equal and better place, such a re-definition of our current ethical framework is a precondition.

 *The concept and name originate in an essay written in 1833 by the Victorian economist William Forster Lloyd ; The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare’s early plays.

 The lecture will be followed by discussion.

 7th Dick de Zeeuw Lecture by Klaas van Egmond

19 October 2017, ISS, Kortenaarkade 12, 2518 The Hague

Doors open 3.30 pm – Start lecture 4.00 pm


We would appreciate if you register your attendance by sending us an email, indicating your name, organisation and the number of persons that will accompany you. 

Looking forward to see you there!


The board of the Dick de Zeeuw Foundation,

 Jan Pronk, Jan Hendrik van Dalen, Reinoud Post, Anneke Oosterhuis, Sandra Rottenberg, Michel van Winden, Ati de Zeeuw-Kroesbergen, Helena Uzelac