The FullCircles Blog

Multi-contributor blog on the topic of reusing, freecycling… garbology in general.

The hoarding appetite: part of human nature?

Lord Kames states that the “hoarding appetite” is part of human nature and that it is the foundation of our notion of property rights (1779)

via Lord Kames… (1779) | The Portable Library of Liberty.

Lord Kames states that the “hoarding appetite” is part of human nature and that it is the foundation of our notion of property rights (1779) 

A relation is formed betwixt every man and the fruits of his own labour, the very thing we call property, which he himself is sensible of, and of which every other is equally sensible. Yours and mine are terms in all languages, familiar among savages, and understood even by children. This is a fact, which every human creature can testify.


So, it seems that hoarding has long  been (at least since 1779)  believed to be a universal human tendency.  And, only SOME hoarding behavior is pathological.   Not all hoarders are created equally.

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posted by Gub in Foodstuffs for Thought and have No Comments

Erich Fromm: The Philosophy of Having & Being

The Philosopher Erich Fromm forecast a society obsessed with possessions.  He believed that human beings had two basic orientations, having and being.

The person with the having orientation seeks to aquire things, property and to even possess people.

The person with the being orientation focuses on the experience.  They derive meaning from the exchanging, engaging and sharing with other people.

Fromm also predicted a culture driven by commercialism like the one we live in now is doomed to the “having” orientation which leads to disatisfaction and emptiness.

Did you know that in 1960 there was no such thing as public storage?

And did you know that today the amount of gross revenue from public storage in the year 2007 has crossed 20 billion dollars and the per-facility revenue has been over three hundred thousand dollars.  [source]

You have to wonder if this isn’t a condition that we created by manufacturing too much stuff!

Kelly Wilson
Team FullCircles Ottawa

(Information for this post actually came from an episode of CSI;-)

Footnote by egs:
“The number of companies whose prime income is from providing storing facilities is phenomenal and it is still growing. The amount of gross revenue in the year 2007 has crossed 20 billion dollar and the per-facility revenue has been over three hundred thousand dollars. ”


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posted by CheapChick in Hoarding and have No Comments


Compulsive hoarding in a private apartment

Image via Wikipedia


via Hoarding – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Hoarding as a human behavior falls in to two main categories. One type of hoarding is triggered as a response to perceived or predicted shortages of specific goods. Compulsive hoarding, on the other hand, is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary. The compulsive collection and ownership of pets is known as animal hoarding. Compulsive hoarding is thought to fall along the spectrum of obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Hoarding behavior may be a common response to fear, whether fear of imminent society-wide danger or simple fear of a shortage of some good. Civil unrest or natural disaster may lead people to collect foodstuffs, water, gasoline, and other essentials which they believe, rightly or wrongly, will soon be in short supply. Unlike hoarding immediately before or in the wake of a crisis, hoarding a resource while its supply is abundant can actually alleviate future shortages because those who stockpile in this manner will not contribute to future demand when supplies are reduced.

Humans also hoard money, especially if they expect deflation, in which falling prices mean that the purchasing power of money will rise. More generally, money hoarding is the accumulation of money by people who avoid spending it or investing it in economic projects, because of a risk aversion, or of a preference for liquidity, or of a lack of a better use for the money.

Hoarding of goods can often cause the very shortage which has been feared, and governments sometimes choose to introduce rationing in order to combat hoarding, as well as to reduce consumption and waste.  However, those who have successfully hoarded the desired goods will not have to worry about the shortage, whether it was their fault or not.

On a larger scale, hoarding can be a business strategy similar to monopolization, where an individual or organization attempts to temporarily control all available supplies of a given good in order to artificially increase the price. This strategy is also known as “cornering the market“.

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posted by Gub in Hoarding and have No Comments