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Mancur Olson wrote The Logic of Collective Action Public Goods and The Theory of Groups throughout the book Olson discusses such topics rationality group size and group behaviour public goods free rider collective action problem and selective incentives Olsons world-renowned book is full of useful knowledge and opinion concerning world politics After reading this valuable text I feel both enlightened and baffled concurrently Olsons beliefs in the political system seem to be without the human factor His theories appear to leave out the complexity of the human psyche Olson fails to analyze the fact that people may join a political group for such things as social stature socialization or just for something to do In conjuncture with Olsons theories people join or start groups for specific reasons Collective Goods Olson states that one purpose for groups and organizations is simply the furtherance of the interests of their members Olson 5 Groups are usually formed to further an issue or goal so thus if a group works toward a common interest and is successful in making advancements towards that interest in theory the members should be pleased This brings us to the term public or collective goods A collective good can be construed as a good held by no single person and shared by a group Olson says the achievement of any common goal or the satisfaction of any common interest means that a public or collective good has been provided for that group Olson 15 For example if the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA lobby for a bill that protects the killing of minks for fur then that bill has become a collective good for PETA Collective goods are in essence the achievements made by a group PLURALISM Olson discusses in his book the theory of pluralism In Chapter five he defines pluralism as the political philosophy which argues that private associations of
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