Question: What is a resource?
A resource is something an individual uses for achieving a personal goal. This can be materials, energy or tools. Information and knowledge can be seen as a resource. Living space is a resource. Or the personal physical or mental fitness. Nearly everything we know can be called a resource.
Question: What is scarcity?
If a resource is not available in satisfying quantities, then this resource is scarce. Scarcity means that there is a lack of or too little of something. Something is missing. For example, scarcity is obvious when someone does not have enough to eat or insufficient space for accommodation. Scarcity is visible when there is not enough information in a library or when the doctor and nurses in a hospital are stressed and exhausted. Also the experience of insufficient inspiration, time or ingenuity can be seen as scarcity of resources.
The majority of the problems in the world are caused by resource scarcity.
The opposite of resource scarcity is resource abundance. Resource abundance describes situations where resources are available in sufficient quantities. Abundance means that there is more than enough of a particular resource to satisfy a need or fulfill a purpose.
Resource abundance is a state where supply exceeds demand.
Resource scarcity is a state where supply does not meet demand.
Imagine four hungry people around a table upon which there are three apples. If one single apple would satisfy a single person’s hunger, three apples are too few for four people. The resource is scarce. The four people can deal with this situation by communicating and cooperating with each other or fighting each other.
Now, imagine five apples on the table instead of three. The resource is abundant. There is no problem concerning resource organization and distribution. Consequently, there is no need for solutions, and no need for occurrences like exhausting debates, betrayal, intrigue and battles.
Thus, through deliberately altering the environment the four people would avoid this kind of scarcity situation (→ Technology). Here, they could avoid apple scarcity by planting apple trees to create four and more apples instead of three.
The global society should endeavor to prevent resource scarcity from occurring
by deliberately creating resource abundance.
Resources have to be available to individuals who need them to satisfy their needs. Consequently, resources that exist need to be accessible. Inaccessible resources of desire are scarce resources from the individual’s point of view.
For example, even if the aforementioned apple trees provided sufficient apples to satisfy everybody’s hunger, it is absolutely necessary that the apples are available to the hungry. This availability may be accomplished through making the apple trees, and thus the apples accessible to them or through establishing some kind of distribution system.
Thus, in order to effectively provide resources, the global society should endeavor to establish abundance of access possibilities. Abundance of access possibilities is a situation where an individual has immediate access to every resource that is necessary in order to satisfy a need or achieve a goal when she or he needs it. In the following, we refer to this state of access as access abundance.
The global society should endeavor to establish access abundance
by effectively organizing the distribution of resources.
Every society establishes economic systems. Economic systems are supposed to organize and distribute resources within society for satisfying the needs of society’s members. The more abundant resources are available and accessible, the more needs can be satisfied through the economic system.
Resources like food, water, materials, energy, tools and information are spread throughout the entire globe. In order to enable an effective allocation of resources, it is necessary to establish globally interconnected economic systems that can enable and sustain resource and access abundance. The resulting global economic system should enable the global society to overcome every kind of scarcity for extending every human being’s scope of liberty as far as possible in order to enable the satisfaction of everybody’s needs (→ Values).
The global economic system should assist everyone in acquiring knowledge and skills (→ Education). It should enable everybody to communicate with others so that they are able to coordinate the pursuit of individual goals and develop sustainable solutions (→ The Scientific Method). The global economic system should continuously assist the optimization of tools and methods for being able to utilize material and energy resources as efficiently as possible (→ Technology). The global economic system should endeavor to supply everybody with requested resources they request at any point in time.
We, the authors, call such an economic system an Abundance Creating Economy.
An Abundance Creating Economy is an economic system
that deliberately establishes resource and access abundance
in order to maximize every individual’s scope of liberty.
Question: How does life in such an Abundance Creating Economy look? How can such an economic system assist every human being? What kind of structures are necessary for most effectively pursuing the goal of society?
The following section describes the different economic systems which – in their interconnection – make up an Abundance Creating Economy. Through these systems the global society can accomplish resource and access abundance.
The global society needs satisfying communication systems.
Since communication is essential for cooperation (→ The Scientific Method), the global society should create communication systems that enable all human beings to communicate globally at any point in time. These communication systems should be fast and reliable as well as guaranteeing protection of privacy as greatly as possible. Furthermore, these communication systems should be able to be adapted to everyone’s personal way of communicating. Every human being should be able to communicate experiences, ideas, concerns, resource demands and everything else she or he might like to communicate.
Therefore, these communication systems should also realize comfortable and intuitive communication between human beings and the different economic systems which assist them in organizing and coordinating societal processes. Additionally, these communication systems should realize effective communication between these single economic systems in order to enable their effective interaction.
The global society needs knowledge platforms.
For everyone to gather information (→ The Scientific Method) and learn effectively (→ Education), the global society should establish knowledge platforms. These platforms should be accessible to everyone. They should be designed to allow the simple finding and understanding of contents through vividly presenting them. These knowledge platforms should also provide services for enriching and discussing entries. They would store and organize cultural content (e.g. texts, music, pictures, recipes, etc.), technological content (e.g. theories, design plans, inventions, ideas, studies, etc.), historical documentations and in fact everything humanity was, is and will be interested in.
For an interested individual, it should be easy to look for and find desired information, and easy to get an impression of experiences about a certain topic. Everybody should be enabled to contact those who like to share their knowledge about related topics. It should be easy for an individual to establish a personal overview of topic specific materials like books, films, reports, studies, lectures, an overview of skill training possibilities and an overview of subject-related tools and methods.
The global society needs reliable passenger transportation systems.
The global society should endeavor to provide individual, comfortable and reliable passenger transportation throughout the globe for everybody. Such passenger transportation systems would assist everybody in gathering experiences, in meeting dialogue partners and thus vividly acquiring knowledge and skills (→ Education). Furthermore, they would enable everybody to experience and enjoy the full range of the planet’s cultural and natural diversity.
The global society should have an overview of resource demands.
Since every individual requires resources like food, water, living space and tools, the global society should establish systems for tracking resource demands. By registering the number of ordered tools and materials and combining this information with information from design and assembly processes, a demand overview system is able to create an overview of required material and energy resources. Thus, demand overview systems assist in answering questions like “How much energy do we consume in what circumstances?”, “How much of which materials is needed where on the planet?” or “How many people are traveling between Asia and Europe, New York and Beijing or between Bokolo and Bongila? And how do these people prefer to travel?”
Accurate demand overview systems enable the global society to create an overview of needs within society. This overview is a basis for the deliberate design of societal structures, since it is the goal of society to care for everybody’s needs (→ Values).
The global society should overview material and energy resources.
The global society needs effective reuse and recycling systems.
The global society uses material and energy resources. Therefore, the global society should establish resource overview systems that permanently create overviews where on Earth what amount of which resource exists and how it can be extracted and used. These systems should furthermore provide information about the regeneration rates of resources. For example, we need to know how fast which plants grow under which circumstances, how fast top soil regenerates or how our planet’s water cycles function.
If an individual does not require a tool anymore, this tool should be reintegrated into economic resource cycles – either as a tool or as a source for materials. Hence, the global society would establish effective reuse and recycling systems in order to sustain resource abundance. If a tool’s disassembly is considered in the design and production process, it is possible to collect a tool to upgrade it or extract all of its materials in order to produce a tool with improved features. Consequently, newly arisen understandings could be dynamically integrated into existing tools (→ Technology). For this reason, by accessing design information of tools, resource overview systems should also track the material resources that exist in produced tools.
Furthermore, information about resource demands (generated by demand overview systems) and information about available resources (generated by resource overview systems) should be combined. This combination of information enables the global society to measure grades of scarcity or abundance. Moreover, this combination of information enables the global society to estimate future resource demands and hence address arising resource shortages as early as possible. This information might help to point out which kind of research for alternatives and which kind of improvements is necessary for increasing resource efficiency in order to ensure the supply of resources continuously slightly exceed occurring demand.
The global society needs flexible production and distribution systems.
The global economic system should enable every single human being to order goods (resources and tools) at any point in time. Additionally, it should assist every individual in the pursuit of ambitions like designing or configuring tools. Design tools and services should enable everybody to develop new tools through proposing realizable design patterns, by working out if manually created constructions function and by composing optimal combinations of materials. Test and simulation tools might reveal weak spots within a design before a prototype has even been created. These services might assist every individual in effectively designing tools while ensuring that these tools harmonize with the Earth’s ecosystem and societal criteria (→ Technology).
New designs and configurations whose supposed functionality has been proven by extensive tests could immediately be released for ordering. Thus, the range of tools and their variations might increase permanently, which increases the probability that individuals gain access to tools that may optimally satisfy their needs
By considering as much information as possible, production systems should produce goods which are regularly demanded in slightly higher quantities than would equal demand. Producing slightly more than demanded provides the flexibility to supply individuals with goods, even if demand varies. Irregularly demanded goods should be produced on-demand. The delay between order and delivery should be kept to a minimum.
Therefore, the global society should establish flexible distribution systems that dynamically adjust their capacities to demand throughout the entire globe. These distribution systems distribute goods as individually, fast, accurate, reliable and careful as possible to their points of destination. Hence, goods should be produced as close as possible to their points of destination. Short distribution distances increase energy efficiency. The endeavor to realize short distribution distances could be termed Short Distance Strategy.
An example: the local food production predominantly serves local citizens with nutritious, healthy food. Food which cannot be cultivated in the regional climate is produced in other parts of the world. Thus, the local food production cares for the production of food requested from other regions additionally. The distribution systems take charge of fast and adequate delivery in order to deliver any kind of fresh and tasty food to every place on Earth.
How the local food production is organized, may vary from region to region. This might be full automated food production systems in coordination with the efforts of passionate gardeners and farmers who like to provide handmade food.
The global society needs effective energy systems.
Since all the economic systems mentioned need energy, the global society should endeavor to use exclusively clean and fast-renewable energy sources. These might be sources such as the sun’s light and heat, the movements of water and wind as well as those of the Earth’s core. Energy generation and distribution systems should operate as flexibly as possible in order to satisfy energy demands at any time and at every place on Earth.
Energy should be preserved during its transmission as another way of pursuing this goal and energy systems should therefore also apply the Short Distance Strategy. Hence, energy should be preferably produced at the site of consumption. For example, the surfaces of buildings could be designed for collecting sunlight and other forms of energy in order to supply energy to the building itself. Any overproduction of energy could be fed into the regional and global energy distribution system. It would be very effective for creating energy abundance if as many buildings as possible could generate more energy than they consume.
All the above mentioned economic systems need to be holistically interlinked with one another in order to enable the coordination of all individual endeavors to the highest extent possible. This is to prevent the collision of different interests and thus prevent conflicts from arising. This interconnection is the task of the communication systems. They are supposed to assist every kind of communication, every kind of information exchange between the various systems in an Abundance Creating Economy. The better all systems can interact with one another the more effective they can operate to continuously serve every single individual’s needs.
For example, the better future demands can be estimated by demand overview systems, the better production systems can prepare adjustments of their capacities in advance. The more comprehensible knowledge and information about the range of available methods and tools is prepared and presented by knowledge platforms, the easier the global society can design concepts for realizing adjustments of their production systems. The earlier new understandings can be integrated into existing structures, the earlier those structures advance for more effectively satisfying needs.
Every individual should be enabled to realize personal ambitions
while automation is used to accomplish unpleasant tasks.
In an Abundance Creating Economy every individual spends time on doing what is interesting, pleasant or important for her or him to do, pursuing personal goals. An Abundance Creating Economy endeavors to provide the necessary systems for enabling the global society to optimally assist every individual in realizing personal ambitions. For example, through easy-to-use knowledge platforms and intuitive communication systems, everybody might be enabled to cook the most delicious recipes, understand and use the most complex machines or effectively practice and sing personal favorite songs (→ Education).
Tasks in an Abundance Creating Economy that are vital to the sustainment of a prosperous society, but which are considered unpleasant, should be automated where possible in order to meet demand. In theory, every physical task that is executed by human beings could be completely automated. One of humanity’s capabilities is to design and advance machines for automating entire process flows – from growing food over transportation to cleaning and repairing any kind of structure (→ Technology). From our point of view, automation is a very important technology which offers possibilities to free human beings from unpleasant tasks in order to concentrate their potential and motivation on tasks of their choice.
However, if there are human beings who want to pursue some automated tasks manually, it should always be possible to adapt the grade of automation in order to sustain a balance of demand and supply. We, the authors, call this Optional Automation.
Transparency, the possibility to observe and experience societal processes,
enables individuals to understand interrelations within society
for being able to question and advance any kind of technology.
Every societal structure within an Abundance Creating Economy should be designed to function as transparently as possible to human beings. Since learning is most effective when human beings have a close insight into the fields they are interested in, transparency offers the opportunity to observe, experience, understand and consequently improve societal structures (→ Education).
For example, production processes should be accessible for everybody. Texts, films as well as passionate individuals could guide visitors through every single step of production processes. It should be possible to shadow nurses and doctors in hospitals and vividly experience the ways they care for their patients, the ways they are organized and the ways they use the hospital’s infrastructure.
We think, this kind of an economic system is only feasible when based on the deliberate application of the Scientific Method (→ The Scientific Method). The systems that make up an Abundance Creating Economy are created to detect possibly arising resource scarcity by combining demand and resource overview information. If scarcity does arise, however, occurring conflicts and problems should be solved through extensive communication for enabling an effective coordination of individual ambitions. Such communication might start with posing questions like “Who needs this resource how urgent?”, “May we find alternatives for fulfilling these people’s purposes in order to diminish the occurrence of scarcity?” and “Which concepts may be the best for distributing the available resources within the group of demanding individuals?”
In parallel, it is necessary to examine scarcity problems in order to create and sustain abundance. Therefore, the global society might need to answer the following kind of questions: What kind of scarcity do we have here? How can we avoid the occurrence of this kind of scarcity today and in the future? Therefore, what kind of information do we need for answering these questions? What do we find on our knowledge platforms in order to acquire relevant information? Who might have detailed experiences within the field we are concerned about? Who can we ask for advice? What kind of further research should we initiate? Once we have gathered satisfying information, how should we adjust and improve our technology – the currently used methods and tools – in order to (re)establish a state of abundance?
Basing on the Scientific Method, an Abundance Creating Economy develops in accordance with environmental and societal criteria. Basically, the concept of an Abundance Creating Economy is about using technology in a way that allows the deliberate coordination of the special potentials and skills of the many individuals in order to create and sustain an abundance environment.
An Abundance Creating Economy permanently adjusts to needs within society. It continuously develops with humanity’s understandings, imaginations and ambitions. It furthermore permanently assists the global society in getting closer to the ideal of society where everybody might find satisfaction and fulfillment (→ Values). An Abundance Creating Economy endeavors to enable sustainable peace on a healthy planet with a myriad of development opportunities for every single human being.
In order to allow our readers to deepen their understanding about the concept of an Abundance Creating Economy, we created the following example which describes how a construction site in such an economic system might look and feel:
Citizens, somewhere on the planet, want to build a bridge. Already the planning phase has already been accompanied by everyone who is interested in this project. The bridge design features the newest state of technology, since it is based on every kind of knowledge around bridge construction that is provided by the societal knowledge platforms. Additionally, the planning people had the possibility to be extensively advised by construction experts. Studies on the environmental impact, which were created by interested, passionate and specialized human beings, formed the basis for design and selection of materials.
The construction process itself is a societal event and combines effective construction with a wide range of education and celebration elements. It might feel like an education excursion combined with a music festival and a technology exhibition .
The whole construction site features information panels for everybody to be able to follow progress of the construction process – from the occurrence of problems over the progress of subsequent research to finding solutions. In principle, this information is available everywhere on Earth. Thus, everyone who is interested in the project can always stay up to date, expand and deepen personal skills and knowledge, and thus everybody is enabled to contribute ideas for solving problems or improving solutions. Workshops about topics which are related to the construction of bridges assist everyone in acquiring knowledge and skills. This enables a subject-specific communication on the construction site.
The tools used on the construction site, like diggers and cranes, may be designed to operate as quietly as possible. Unpleasant effects like smell or dust should be avoided where possible to enable a comfortable atmosphere on and around the entire construction site.
The food supply is provided by those who love to cook and serve delicious meals. There are concerts and plays from people who like to present their music and art.
In fact, we cannot imagine in detail how effective, funny, inspiring, healthy and joyful such a construction site could feel. But there is an important point to make: every individual on the construction site can come and go as she or he likes, since the construction process does not depend on a specific, small group of people. That is the case because society assists everybody in learning, practicing and applying every kind of technique or machine.
The core motivation for an efficient bridge construction that respects environmental conditions originates from the local citizens and those who share love for the particular region, its nature, culture and atmosphere. It is their need, their motivation, their interest and finally their will to care for everything to be as perfect and as joyful as possible.
— A short comparison with our contemporary society (2012) —
Some resources appear to exist in finite quantities. Those resources are e.g. material and energy resources. Hence, the question is: How do we deal with the finiteness of resources?
In the following section we compare the contemporary approach of organizing resources with the approach described above. Both approaches assume the finiteness of some types of resources as a given. Furthermore, we elaborate on our views of why and how our current idea of ownership has become of such dominating, unshakable importance, how the idea of ownership is connected with resource scarcity and how we might alter this situation in favor of a societal form of organization that does not require adherence to resources for creating a safe, joyful and multifaceted life on Earth. Therefore, this comparison summarizes two approaches at handling resource finiteness and compares the inherent mechanisms of both.
Question: How did we get to where we are today?
In our eyes, the contemporary economic systems can be understood by looking at humanity’s historical development. Historians say that we, humanity, once lived in little groups that were geographically spread over vast distances. These groups learned how to find, hunt and cultivate food and developed ways to communicate effectively within their groups. Every group established specific ways of communication – their specific kind of language. Communication between the different groups was difficult, since they used different languages.
Additionally, since understandings about the world they lived in – and thus technology – had not yet matured to an extent that would enable the creation and sustenance of abundance, scarcity was a common experience to the groups and their members. Resource scarcity often dominated the global situation. Resource scarcity often meant the members of these early communities would starve in winter due to food shortages, or die from water shortage during droughts, or have their scarce, precious resources taken away from them by other hungry groups.
Not being able to communicate with other groups in combination with the observation of unknown appearance, behavior and actions of these groups’ members might have caused skepticism, mistrust and even fear of each other. This fear of others probably resulted from fear of losing important things in life, or life itself, due to the aforementioned experience of scarcity. Out of these fears developed a protective attitude, hostile to other groups, in order to secure their share of resources like food, water, arable land or any other resource. This protective attitude due to fear of the unknown appears to be the major foundation for the mentality of ownership.
However, every group had access to a different set of resources. The interest for another group’s resources thereby provided a driving motivation for a group’s members to develop ways of communication with this other group. If one group was interested in acquiring a second group’s scarce resource, the second group demanded one of the first group’s interesting resources in exchange. The principle of barter developed between the groups. Once barter was an established method for allocating resources, the use of money simplified the concept of barter and gave rise to a whole new dimension of trade. However, money is another type of barter and barter stems from our current idea of ownership which is a direct consequence of values that establish through life in scarcity environments. Scarcity environments that are basically sustained by the assumption that states of resource scarcity cannot be changed into states of resource and access abundance.
In summary, there were two major deficits in this form of society consisting of the slight interconnection of multiple scattered groups: communication difficulties between the single groups and lack of understanding about how to overcome resource scarcity. Until today, fear of foreign groups, their cultures and traditions, still dominates the worldview of many individuals and groups. This is largely due to aforementioned communication difficulties as well as established mental constructs like prejudice and convictions about others and about how things “are” or “have to be”. Additionally, within these groups and consequently within the whole global society there are still huge deficits in establishing effective organization for overcoming resource scarcity. That is largely due to a lack of awareness of the necessity of overcoming states of resource scarcity to enable peaceful and sustainable togetherness. Therefore, many groups (e.g. nations) focus on protecting their property due to fear of loosing an established standard of living rather than endeavoring to create abundance. That is why the idea of ownership has become of such a dominating, unshakable importance. The unawareness of the ability to work around resource scarcity combined with the effects of closed-minded, cautious communication due to fear, are the foundations of the development of our current idea of ownership and thus they are the foundations of the use of money.
In order to legally access goods and services in today’s economic systems, one has to spend a specific amount of money: the price. The more scarce a resource appears to be, in relation to the level of demand, the more money can be asked in exchange for that resource. Very scarce resources can achieve very high prices, since many people endeavor to acquire these “precious” resources that seem to exist only in small quantities. Thus, there is an incentive for artificially creating resource scarcity in order to secure and raise financial possibilities. This circumstance creates an incentive for individuals, nations and companies to reduce supply, or artificially raise demand of resources they provide. Hence, a monetary system bases on, and thus provokes resource scarcity.
However, the probably most astonishing realization is that resources which are available in abundance can be hard to sell, because nobody sees the need in paying a price for them. For example, barely anybody living in the desert would spend money for standard-desert-sand. Barely anybody would pay for fresh air unless the air of the atmosphere is polluted. To provide an abundant resource or to work on creating abundance of a product, can diminish the chance of acquiring a satisfying income. Consequently, the contemporary monetary system does not only have scarcity at its base, it furthermore functions exclusively within a frame of scarcity.
The focus of the current economic system does not lie on “abundafying” resources, but rather on managing scarcity within society. That is why we, the authors, call such an economic system a Scarcity Managing Economy.
Within societal systems that organize resources through a Scarcity Managing Economy, decision making (e.g. politics) is important for defining which ways for distributing resources are accepted by society under what conditions and which are not accepted. However, even nowadays the organization of resources could be much more effective, if we consider extensive, open-minded communication as a basis for solution finding. All too often, money is our only means of communication for organizing resources today. But money as a communication means for organizing resources does not reflect the diversity of needs and technological possibilities.
A short overview of our contemporary society that apparently has not realized which paths can lead to creating resource abundance – so that people do not permanently need to fight for resources -, can be found in one of the overview articles (→ Our society).
The ability to create resource abundance can render the necessity for a monetary system obsolete. Therefore, we need to change the basic approaches of societal organization. We need to begin extensive, satisfying communication, informing each other about our needs, wishes and possibilities for creating some kind of societal organization that handles resources efficiently in order to establish resource abundance for enabling coordination of the satisfaction of everybody’s needs.
Our ability to organize societal endeavors has increased many fold since the time we lived in scattered, small groups. Since then we have established communication systems throughout the globe, like mail services, mobile phone services or communication services provided by the Internet. We are able to translate almost every language into all others. Theoretically, every human being could communicate with every other human being. Additionally, thanks to online encyclopedias, search engines and social networks, we have a feeling of how communication, knowledge and information platforms might assist the global society in establishing global cooperation. Moreover, resource management, demand tracking and effective organization are basic principles in the philosophy of today’s companies. Successful companies build on effective employee and client communication, close contact to research institutions and fast adaption according to the needs of clients and employees.
Hence, necessary concepts for initiating a transition towards an Abundance Creating Economy are already in existence and are – at least in part – in use today. The only trouble is that they are used in isolated manners. They do not yet function as a global system, implemented to satisfy all people’s needs. At the moment, these systems are neither deliberately interconnected nor coordinated.
To be able to effectively coordinate all societal elements with another, the deliberate application of communication needs to become the basis for societal organization (→ The Scientific Method). This communication of ideas and their implementation must lead to an efficient use of resources. Efficient in this case means to design and use things in a way that enables us to ensure the sustainable satisfaction of the needs of the organisms of the planet. It therefore also means that there are no waste products. All materials should be recycled (→ Technology).
Through the implementation of these goals, we might be able to realize the creation of abundance on Earth. Abundance means that we always provide slightly more than what we require to satisfy our needs. It means that we always produce a bit more than necessary to meet demand – and thus needs – optimally. Thus, the dilemma of having not enough of something would be a seldom rather than frequent occurrence. And even if we experienced a lack at something, we could rely on forms of organization that enable us to quickly communicate and organize ways to “work around” the experienced scarcity by developing alternatives that may help meet the pressing needs.
Moreover, abundance means that everyone has access to what she or he wants, needs or requires to have access to, at the time when she or he wants, needs or requires it. This means that the necessity of holding on to resources, for self-protection and self-sustaining purposes by denying each other access to those resources, might decrease or even disappear. We would no longer have to hold on to resources, defending them, because we could be sure that abundance is provided for every individual due to a societal system that is developed by humanity, for humanity. Since one can be sure one is able to access the things that one needs and wants to use, whenever one wants to use them, one would not have to hoard material things anymore (such as money for food, the use of means of transportation, land ownership, etc.), for being assured access to the resources one wants to use. Thus, a free flow of resources could become possible.
Coupled with the understanding that we need to preserve and sustain the Earth’s resources, such availability of resources could initiate a shift in mentality from holding on to material values to a very caring and careful usage of the goods we use and produce. Through this form of organization we could develop a “Mentality of Access”. That means, people utilize resources as long as they need them. If they do not need them anymore, they can be returned and made available to other people. This could work a little like the concept of a library, combined with the concept of a bottle recycle factory. If products are outdated or found to be impractical, they may be upgraded or recycled and their materials may be used to construct new things (→ Technology).
Finally, through the establishment of resource abundance and access abundance as well as a developing mentality of access, it might be possible to observe the establishment of values that assist the global society in their pursuit of the goal of society (→ Values). Within this process, we might experience the transition to a global society that unconditionally assists everyone as well as possible in order to enable happiness and satisfaction throughout every individual’s lifetime.
In summary, once we begin to deliberately base societal coordination on effective communication and organization, we would be able to establish societal structures that enable us to use resources more efficiently. Continuously increasing resource efficiency shapes the path to the creation of resource abundance. Resource abundance in turn enables a free flow of resources. Hence, rather than claiming materials, tools, knowledge and information as property, individuals would have access to what they need, at the time they need it. A mentality of access would enable us to detach from our current view on ownership of property while we develop a more effective economic concept.
—– Myths and Opinions —–
In our lectures and conversations about society we established a collection of Myths and Opinions that have crossed our way most frequently. Some of these statements are widely spread amongst the people in this world. We would like to give you some thought provoking impulses concerning some of the Myths and Opinions of our collection.
“If we elect the most ethical and honest leaders,
like politicians and managers, the current system could work.”
That opinion is often raised to indicate that the roots of the problems we are facing, like poverty, corruption and war, lie in unethical behavior and so called “bad decisions” of leaders. In our view, unethical behavior and “bad decisions” are symptoms, not root causes. The root causes of the problems that the global society is facing, are systemic. They lie in the very structure of our established contemporary societal systems, their interactions with each other and their impact on the planet’s ecosystem. We regard unethical and dishonest behavior as results, as consequences, as symptoms of a scarcity environment and of sets of values and attitudes, derived from having to adjust to such a scarcity environment (→ Human Behavior).
In our contemporary society, leaders are supposed to create boundaries around symptoms like the expression of unethical and dishonest behavior and resulting conflicts through rules, laws and their implementation. This makes our societal systems being full of bureaucracy and tendencies to monitor and control everything, including the privacy of individuals. However, endeavoring to frame symptoms does not diminish systemic problems and may even induce the occurrence of further negative consequences and conflicts. Consequently, the global society should focus on diminishing systemic problems to reduce the occurrence of negative consequences and conflicts. The better the societal systems assist everyone in satisfying personal needs and realizing ambitions by deliberately coordinating different endeavors, the less conflicts arise, the less crime occurs, the less control is necessary, the less rules and laws are required, the less bureaucracy complicates our lives and the better leaders can concentrate on solving unique coordination problems rather than being faced with the same kind of conflicts over and over again.
Even if the most ethical and honest leaders lead society within the frames of the contemporary societal system, with the intention to enable the satisfaction of the needs of every single individual, they would permanently need to fight against the strong, counteractive systemic mechanisms (”my advantage is your disadvantage”) that are driven by the mere intent of every single human being to live a pleasant life (→ Basic Understandings). We should deliberately design societal mechanisms, changing their competitive characteristics into cooperative characteristics, rather than creating borders that block human endeavors through liberty limiting rules and laws (→ The Scientific Method).
“One can not have everything.”
One does not need everything. At least not at once. For example, one can not drive in two cars at once for traveling from A to B. Hence, it is not necessary to create everything for everybody in order to make the societal system serve everybody’s needs. We simply need a form of organization that supplies everybody with desired things at the time she or he needs them. Consequently, an individual could have access to everything and would use only a small portion of the whole range of possibilities at one point in time. Thus, meanwhile, everything else could be used by all others.
The opinion above is also often heard in situations where one can not afford an item of desire, or where one does not see the possibility of realizing an ambition. This is usually the case if the item is too expensive or the realization of an ambition would require too huge efforts. Thus, according to this opinion, one has to accept some things in life as unobtainable.
Figuring out the reasons for not being able to obtain something requires the pursuit of questions like “What is necessary in order to achieve my goal?” and “How could I achieve my goal?”. By reading, posing questions and looking out for others who share similar goals, an individual might reveal multiple ways to achieve the desired situation (→ The Scientific Method). Individuals that are used to finding ways of making something obtainable, rather than declaring or accepting things as unobtainable without questioning them, often successfully obtain things that are thought to be unobtainable by many.
“We need more jobs.”
Question: What are the actual needs behind this kind of statement? And how can society best help with satisfying these needs?
There are two needs that the aforementioned statement may derive from:
The first need which might explain this opinion is that people need access to resources like information, goods and services. Today, the access to resources is organized through the use of money. Over centuries and until today, for the majority of people having a paid labor job has been the only legal way to attaining money. Thus, there is a huge demand for jobs within society. However, the first actual need for demanding a job is to have access to resources of desire, which may enable an individual to satisfy needs or fulfill personal goals.
The second need which might explain this opinion is the need for an occupation that is fulfilling and joyful to the individual pursuing it. An occupation that is inspiring to the individual. One that challenges her or his skills and knowledge. Something that is interesting and has a purpose.
Enabling access to resources can thus enable individuals of the global society to pursue fulfilling occupations. Society could and should let people choose themselves what activities they want to pursue for themselves. That, of course, implies that intrinsic motivation is taking over as the leading type of motivation for individuals in society (→ Human Behavior).
Through well functioning communication systems and knowledge platforms, the societal system should arrange that those people who love pursuing a certain task or love concerning with a specific topic can be contacted by, or get in touch with those people who want to realize an ambition. Such kind of cooperation is a symbiosis: one individual is assisted in realizing an ambition or achieving a personal goal while the other one has the chance to enjoy a fulfilling occupation and the possibility to advance personal skills. It is a win-win-situation wherein a group of individuals creates something that requires the expertise and experiences from more than one individual.
The bottom line is: We don’t need more work to do. We need things to do that we like doing, that fulfill us. And we need access to resources to be able to really pursue the things that interest us. People who have learned how to work at subjects of their desire, following their inner motivation, usually look for the tasks of their choice themselves. They don’t need to be told: “This is your job from now on! Work at it!” Hence, we do not need more jobs. We need a societal system which enables us to satisfy our needs and assists us in realizing our ambitions. We need a societal system that offers support when we need support. We need a societal system that enables us to find each other when we need each other. We need a societal system that enables us to discover and pursue the tasks of our choice and thus allows us to satisfy our longing for sense and fulfillment.
“Those who own a lot and those in power are responsible for the majority of our problems!”
We disagree. It’s easy to assign responsibility for things within societal groups with which one has no direct connection. If one does not personally know the president of one’s country or the top manager of a national bank then it is easy to claim these people are responsible for societal problems, since they are actually supposed to make reasonable decisions within their field of responsibility. It is also easy to claim people are responsible who may have huge influence without being officially visible.
We, the authors, think that the problems lie in the way we organize society today. The problems lie in the circumstances we live in: in the scarcity environments wherein power over others is a possible – and often necessary – means for realizing personal ambitions. Power over others within a scarcity environment enables an individual to direct resources within society and thus allows the individual to avoid scarcity within the personal experience.
Believing in the necessity of the concept of “rich” and “powerful” necessarily consequences that there are people who are “poor” and “powerless”. In our conversations we observed that most people in today’s world believe that there must be people that lead and people that follow in order to establish a societal form of organization that enables a prosperous life for the individuals on the planet. This belief, coupled with the belief in the necessity of the concept of ownership – as described in the article -, are the basic convictions that create the distinction between owning, powerful people and poor, powerless people. Furthermore, granting individuals power over others inevitably creates incentives to abuse this power. These incentives are of even greater impact in a scarcity environment.
For establishing a global society in peace and fulfillment to the highest extent possible, we need a form of organization wherein every individual’s power over her- or himself – every individual’s liberty – is expanded to a maximum. A form of organization wherein power over others is not necessary for achieving personal goals.
The focus of societal criticism should lie in questioning basic concepts of societal organization that might cause negative consequences in order to be able to change these basic concepts. Consequently, it might be constructive and helpful to think deeply about and develop alternative ways of organizing society for being able to alter structures that counteract personal autonomy. Furthermore, it might be helpful to learn how to present alternatives in ways that allow them to be easily understood. Blaming any group of people will not help create a peaceful, joyful and healthy atmosphere that helps society to prosper and thrive. Nobody who intends to constructively criticize societal structures should focus on blaming other human beings, like “rich” and “powerful” people, the “uneducated” youth, black or white people, homosexuals, American or Chinese people, Christians, Jews, Muslims or anybody else.
We don’t need hatred and aggression. We need open-minded communication in respectful co-existence if we want to solve the problems we face for coordinating the fulfillment of our personal needs and ambitions (→ The Scientific Method).
“Well, that all sounds nice, but it is idealistic.”
Yeah, it sure is. If I am a ballet dancer and my ideal is to turn five pirouettes, I won’t practice to turn only three pirouettes. I will go for five. As a baker, I would endeavor to create the most tempting, tasty cake I have in mind – my personal cake ideal. Nothing less!
Everybody creates ideals when thinking about the forthcoming shopping tour, painting a wall or when planning the flight to the moon. It is necessary to strive for an ideal in order to get anywhere close to the ideal. If we don’t even strive to realize an ideal, we will not get anywhere close to improving our performance or achieving our goals.
Further inspirational information and research material is available on our link pages (→ Links about Handling Resource Scarcity).