The Economics of Abundance
If duality seems to be a central problem of human nature, how are we exactly going to change that? It seems that we may have little choice but to deal with changing it or at least making a serious effort at it. The current problems of the economy, apparent shortage of fossil fuels and environmental issues coming to the fore will necessitate, it does seems, an entire re-look at how we intend to lead our lives.
Some assumptions need to be made here. That the inability to squeeze more oil out of where we choose to squeeze it out from is going to lead to more scientific research on alternative energy sources, which is happening right now. For instance, perhaps the means will be found to harness not just solar and wind power, but the power that comes from the tides that rise and fall all the time. Turbines under seas and means of converting, storing and transferring such power could provide a serious alternative to fossil fuels.
Also let me further clarify what I mean by Scarcity and Abundance. The term scarcity was used in an economic sense earlier, but the mention of duality was meant to focus on a more esoteric sense of the term. With duality and a sense of mistrust we build among ourselves, we convince ourselves of lack and scarcity which is only reflected in our economics. This is not to say that fossil fuel is limitless and we can go on using it forever. This certainly doesn't seem to be the case. But when we live in a state of competition with everyone around us thanks to the Triumvirate among other things, we live in scarcity of what we can gain from life around us.
Abundance here means a mindset change that will lead to a change in the way we do economics which should lead to an economics that focuses on abundance. And that is looking at what is not only immeasurable in the im0 sense of the term, but what is truly Immeasurable or Im0.
Let's ask ourselves, what exactly is the value of the earth, the water, the plant and animal kingdom, and the human life on it? Is there really a $ value to this? Whose currency are we using? Is this a fiat currency whose value is less stable than that provided by the game money of a Monopoly set? Does this value vary? Can it ever be fixed? Who gave us this planet anyway? Are we just here by accident and so we can do whatever we want, to whomever we want, however we want? Does the concept of stewardship and passing on the world from one generation to another in better condition, or just as good a one, from when we inherited it make any sense?
What is being suggested is to look at one possible scenario. As more of these ideas come to the surface it is easier to interface with them and to put it this way: a more community driven approach is what is needed, and that is probably what we will be forced into anyway.
Part of this involves looking at a new currency system as mentioned in posts recommended above. It would also mean a way of looking after people and societies belonging to low income groups in a sustainable manner, as opposed to just giving aid or charity, or hoping they will die off with as little inconvenience as possible. One direct link to this concept of social businesses can be found here:
This will also call for greater use of local/new/complementary currencies. Another direct link:Complementary Currencies
This would take place within a broad political framework as envisioned by the great political philosopher John Rawls. His vision is for a political conception of justice in democratic societies. A link to help see more of Rawls's ideas in detail:
What these ideas allow for is to try to lessen the view of duality of ourselves and to see ourselves as One. This is a hard call, but no less difficult than problems we are heading into. My point is, for those who don't believe in altruism and the like, learn to accept the fact that we may not have a choice but to work with one another closely, which may be bad news for the cynics out there.
It is interesting to note that a film like The Dark Knight addressed some of these issues. For those who saw the film, you will remember the ending when different boats of people (one full of convicts) had the choice to blow the other up so as to save themselves from all being blown up by the Joker (played magnificently by Heath Ledger).
Sorry for the spoiler here, but duality and the mentality of scarcity almost led each boat to blow the other up, yet somehow neither did so. And Batman, of all people given his issues and complexes, says that people are capable of much more than just survival instincts that have been ingrained into them.
But going beyond the movie, there needs mention of the ideas from a fascinating thinker -- Georges Battaile. In his masterpiece The Accursed Share, Battaile talks about how economies are driven by exuberance and waste. A rich economy or the very wealthy exemplify this by being wasteful and extravagant to show that they can afford to destroy surplus. The ultimate capital accumulation devaluation as Battaile himself concludes is the destruction of humans via war (for example), and that is because that ‘surplus' human being can be ‘wasted'; hence, that particular human is becomes the accursed share.
This resonates with Marx's notion of how capital leads to the contradiction of devaluation and destruction of itself and all that it requires to keep itself going. This in turn rests on the fundamental view of duality between us and others that engenders the exploitation of the world and one another.
Battailes raises another important point. If there is scarcity around, how is it that we have population explosions or life coming into being. There is, if anything, a great deal of energy and exuberance around the planet and in life forms. There is plenty. There is abundance.
We simply choose to believe otherwise and to live in duality from others. With the belief of scarcity and competition (reinforced by 3BGs) we exploit, abuse and waste resources as a result of following a system of capital accumulation and devaluation
What we need is balance.
If, as this thought experiment goes, we do see ourselves as One. Then in a community form of living within the context of our larger society, country, regional grouping, the world, we will start trying to build collaboration and trust. Some of these ideas are eloquently explained in Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben.
In terms of the new kind of money we can use, there are complementary currencies used in the form of time banks. For instance, people do services and give things to others in exchange for other services based on the time they log in which is generated into a form of points/currency. So some people may car pool and someone does the groceries for a neighbor, in return for someone doing their laundry or cooking a meal.
In terms of straight forward barter, a couple I know in England exchange the local produce from their backyard for produce from their local grocer.
As things in themselves are im0 and in the greater scheme of things Im0, barter exchanges, time banks, and complementary currencies as means of value, use value, and exchange value make complete sense, and are non-exploitative. There is no surplus value being skimmed off, as what is being done is largely from goodwill and cooperation.
But many have questioned this idea of goodwill, and one person told me that goodwill is not the answer because in the ‘Real World' that's not how things work.
Well, we are all still awaiting for someone who actually is the expert on the ‘Real World' to help solve the world's problems. My counter query to the ‘Real World' exponent was if he fell down on the street and needed help to get up because he was injured, would he ask for help? Or did he think that in the ‘Real World' no one would bother?
The answer was since it had not happened to him, he could not know but he knew many instances when people wouldn't bother to help others (presumably because they were answering to the dictates of the Triumvirate)...and that's in essence the ‘argument of the Real World'.
Yet, everyday, we manage to get by with our difficulties because many times people just decide to try and be decent about things. Amazing, but true. A community that sees itself as One, and a society and world that see itself that way, can slowly but surely edge past the Triumvirate which is in its state of final decline and move onto a new paradigm.
Perhaps, to the ‘Real World' enthusiasts they may grudgingly accept that if for no other reason than to survive, we will have to make a move towards community living and use different ways to measure progress.
This will make us see that if we do not rush and want MORE all the time, that there is such a thing as enough, that there is such a thing as balance; and that people who have had enough of the way 3BGs have been doing things will take advantage of the coming economic difficulties to demand from their leaders that things have to be done differently, and a new way of thinking can be brought into place if only it is given a chance.
It will be rightly pointed out that perhaps I have not given enough details here about what this Abundance really is and I would humbly agree to that. Perhaps we are still some way off from things like genuine trust, neighborliness, mutual respect and consensual agreements in deciding things; where people and the environment are given a priority and go beyond mere $ measurement, because the human species and the planet it lives on is Im0 in value. Pehaps that's because we are in the process of creating it and we haven't gotten there yet.
But I would also point out this parallel. Many never could have imagined the depths of suffering and horror that people could live and survive through. Yet the species has gone through innumerable wars, concentration camps of all types and tortures of the vilest sorts.
Is it so hard to imagine a human resilience in a reverse situation that goes onto a different paradigm where the horrors are a thing of the past and, while there will still be some fighting and differences among people over various issues, we start to live with a sense of justice and fairness, of balance, of community; and in the good that comes from this a mindset of Abundance, and an economy that finally reflects it.
To all the nay sayers I have only this to add for now.
Has it ever striked you as strange that we live on a planet, in a solar system, in a galaxy in constant motion in a Universe that is Im0 (which may be just one of multiverses as science now reluctantly admits), while many still think that the purpose of the human race is to make more Coca Cola and bombs?
It takes a certain kind of Ego to think the Universe revolves around us.
The Copernican revolution was meant to show us how wrong we have been, and we still are.
It is time for us to try something different.