The Tyranny of Scarcity

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posted on Jan, 20 2011 @ 11:45 PM
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The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

***Psalms 23***

Scarcity is the ruling mentality of modern times. Fear is the foundation of scarcity. Overpopulation, food shortages, water shortages, housing shortages, never enough money, never enough time...

In order for scarcity to hold validity we must believe in the lack. The lack of space, food and water, leads to fear of overpopulation. The lack of money leads to fear of poverty. The lack of time leads to fear of our own mortality. In order for there to be a scarcity, there must be a lack, and yet what does a lack look like? Who among us can point to an observable lack? Where is the lack?

Fear of death makes us devoid both of valour and religion. For want of valour is want of religious faith.

***Mohandas Ghandi***

I shall not want. Want attracts more want. F = G \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}\ is the mathematical equation describing gravity that states; every massive particle in the universe attracts every other massive particle with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. It is worth noting that Newton's law of gravitation is remarkably similar to Columb's law of electrical forces, which states; the magnitude of the Electrostatics force of interaction between two point charges is directly proportional to the scalar multiplication of the magnitudes of charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distances between them. Of course, Newton's law of gravitation has been overshadowed by Einstein's theory of general relativity, but still has its practicality.

I want to know all Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details.

***Albert Einstein***

We want what we lack. We cannot observe what we lack, we can only recognize that we do not have that which we lack. To focus on the lack is to focus on that which we cannot observe. To focus on what we cannot observe is to ignore the present time which is filled with abundance. We are all here now, or now here, which is to say we are nowhere, here in the present time which was pre-sent to us from the past, either as a gift, as in a present, or as misery in that lack of which we cannot observe. Why pre-send moments now that only ensure our misery, or that which we lack?

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

***Thomas Jefferson***

Wanting to know who you are tends towards more wanting of knowing who you are. It is better to simply know who you are and act upon that! Many of us spend too much of our lives waiting until we have enough before we can do what we want to do and be who we want to be. This is akin to putting the cart before the horse. If we be who we want to be, then we will necessarily do what we need to do and it follows that then we will have what we need to have.

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.

***Michael Jordan***

When we focus on the lack, we are the effect of that scarcity. When we focus on the abundance around us, we are far more capable of being cause over our own lives.

When we fear loneliness we do so because we recognize that there is no greater disadvantage than being all alone and lonely amongst the all alone and lonely. Yet, that fear of loneliness only tends to make us lonely. Rather than focus on the abundance of companions that surround us, we focus on the lack of companionship because we do not have the companion/s we want.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

***Dalai Lama***

We can have sympathy and even empathy for others people misery...their lack...their want, but this sympathy, and even empathy is merely just a validation of their want, their lack, their misery. For this reason sympathy and empathy are lower levels of emotion. We serve others by offering our compassion, and we have no capacity to offer that compassion if we cannot find it within ourselves to show ourselves compassion. Compassion is not a validation of others, or our own misery, it is simply just understanding that we are who we are, and we will be what we will be, do what we will do, and ultimately because of that, have what we will have.

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.

***Tony Robbins***

If we consistently want, then we will have become masters at wanting. If we are unhappy because we do not have what we want, then we must at some point be willing to stop wanting and start being that person who will do what is necessary to have that which we need.

No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.

***Ralph Waldo Emerson***

Opportunity is in abundance. There is never a lack of opportunity, only a lack of seizing opportunity. No one observes that lack of seizure, but we all recognize those who do seize the day. Indeed, lack is simply the flip side of opportunity! Whatever we genuinely lack, is a genuine opportunity to create.

If you want to be successful, it's just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.

***Will Rogers***

If you know what you are doing, love what you are doing, and believe in what you are doing, what more could you possibly want?

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

***Lao Tzu***

If you know who you are, what more could you possibly want?




Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.


***Dale Carnegie***

Want is not action! Want is inaction. Action may sometimes be the consequence of want, but more times than not action is the consequence of need. What we want rarely has anything to do with what we want. What we need is more than enough, and in spite of those who would monger fear and endeavor to convince you that what you need is in scarcity, when you know who you are, you know what you need, and when you know what you need, it is a short step from getting what you need.

Scarcity is a method of control and its foundation is fear. Abundance is a method of freedom and its foundation is love. We can want to be enthusiastic about life, or we can simply be enthusiastic about life, but we cannot be enthusiastic about life when we want to be enthusiastic about life. Our want to be is a scarcity of being. Our want of doing is a scarcity of doing, and our want of having is a scarcity of having, and as long as we want, we are slaves to scarcity.




posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 12:01 AM
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Perhaps, following Marshall McCluhan, every lack is a desired extension of the human body.
Electric light is an extension of the eye, wheels are an extension of legs, and so forth.
The body has needs.
But I do think the way we think about its fuel is changing.
The simple lack of food has combined with our lack of harmony for nature.
So, much of humanity would desire to have ethical food, for example.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 12:38 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


An excellent presentation, and a disconcerting premise.

The capitalist system is based on scarcity, and as we know oil and many other resources have been falsely manipulated into states of scarcity. This single premise allows a death grip over us ...

Food, fuel, space freedom, we have been tricked into believing there isn't enough ... the only way out is in the mind, those quotes are all very very good, thank you.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 12:53 AM
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Thanks for posting this. S&F!

My life has been very fulfilling. Many have complained they never had the opportunities I did. I try to convey these thoughts to them but it seems to go right by. I know well what you mean here but others seem to be stuck in their "want." I will have them read your post and perhaps it may strike a chord with them that I haven't been able to reach.

Excellent post and the "secrets" to happiness and fulfillment in life. So obvious to those of us who live this, so hidden and obscure to those who do not.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 01:00 AM
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How does nature vs. culture come into this argument?
Two kinds of lack: one nature, one culture.
Nature is a need for physical survival.
Any other lack is taught by culture.
We must be told to be unhappy, and taught that we are lacking by culture.
So the best way to control us is to tell us that we lack something that somebody else has, and now we need it too, but can probably never own it.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 01:42 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 

A more careful distinction between superflous wants versus needs is probably in order. So while you deserve kudos for suggesting that people should focus on what they have rather than what they don't. It's false to suggest "lack" has no material manifestation. For example,

*snip*

How would you define this childs abundance? An abundance of nothing perhaps? This would also seem to answer, "Who among[st] us can point to an observable lack?" If "want is inaction" then starvation is action (doublespeak!). Abundance is contingent on filling lack. The threshold, however, is subjective.

So the old expression "pull yourself up by your boot-straps" would only seem to be useful advice in a neg-entropic universe. I'm sorry to say our universe has laws against that (the 2nd to be precise).
edit on 21-1-2011 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)



Mod Edit: Removed extreme graphic image.
edit on 1/21/2011 by maria_stardust because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 02:07 AM
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That child has a real physical need firstly.
It is very malnourished.
So it has a natural lack in my paradigm.

However, it also has a real cultural need.
To an extent that is a lack of global compassion.

However, having lived in Africa virtually all of my life (and this is not a popular point) I don't think the world can ever change that.
It has a cultural need that selfish African dictators and leaders change their ways.
It's not the CIA or multi-national corporations who cause this.
It's a tradition of tribalism and corrupt, heartless and uncaring Africans.
Even if you fly food there, without an army somebody else would take it.
That child is suffering from a lack of accountability.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 02:12 AM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 


Your use of a child's suffering as propaganda for scarcity does not point to any lack, what it points to is famine and pestilence, of which is often in abundance, but what is equally in abundance is opportunity. Just as you failed to point to any observable lack, and could only point to observable suffering, I too will ultimately fail in pointing to your own lack of effort in easing that suffering, and can only point to the observable post that offers no compassion for the child, for me, nor any of the other posters, not even yourself, while you seem to want to demand pity, sympathy, empathy for those who suffer from what you view as scarcity.

The other side of scarcity is opportunity, but while you use others suffering to promote scarcity and the fear that comes with scarcity, you squander the opportunity to actually do something about that child's suffering. Your energy is entropic, as you cling to your closed system, while dismissing the negentropy of an open system. Instead of being cause over the consequences of that child's suffering, instead you demand all become the effect of that suffering. All closed systems tend towards entropy. Entropy is useless energy. This is what you have offered us. Is this what you want? Is this who you are? Is this what you do? Is this what you will have...useless energy?



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 02:20 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 

Not sure where the picture comes from, but it looks like an image from one of the Ethiopian valley tribes.
Now Ethiopia actually has a phenomenal demographic growth.
en.wikipedia.org...
In fact Africa is bursting at the seams, so soon that child will fill a lack before your doorstep.
edit on 21-1-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 02:21 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 

I'd largely agree with what you wrote. I wasn't laying blame at anyone's feet. I'm simply pointing out that lack is a very real and very tangible thing. The only thing I'd add to your post is "[t]hat [the] child is suffering from a lack of accountability," food, water, and safety. These are all things mere positive thinking will never solve. It requires people giving a damn, giving of themselves, and taking action. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, the political climate in Africa isn't exactly egalitarian.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 02:27 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 





It has a cultural need that selfish African dictators and leaders change their ways. It's not the CIA or multi-national corporations who cause this. It's a tradition of tribalism and corrupt, heartless and uncaring Africans. Even if you fly food there, without an army somebody else would take it. That child is suffering from a lack of accountability.


I will use this quote to attempt to answer some of the excellent questions you have posed, and to reiterate that all closed systems tend towards entropy. Whatever the cause of that child's suffering, and I am willing to believe that what you have suggested is a fair description of the truth, it is fairly presumed that suffering is a consequence of a closed system. Yet another word for entropy is chaos, but what appears to be the natural order is order and not chaos, unless the system is a closed one. In this regard, it is arguable that this child's suffering is unnatural, and a product of something much more insidious.

When it comes to lack of accountability, all you and I can do is account for our own ability. If you can do something to change that child's life, then do so! If you cannot at this moment now here account of any ability to change that child's life, then do what you can to account for what you can and that effort will have its effect, that cause will have its consequence, and such consequence has much more effect than most are ever aware of, and the effect, when it is rooted in accountability, is always a positive effect, which in its own small way, will some how reach those who can change this child's life. Whoever is to blame for that child's suffering is irrelevant, for blame is irrelevant. All that matters is fixing the problem, and that is the opportunity afforded us. There is always an abundance of opportunity.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 02:29 AM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 

Well as the wiki piece shows, the population of Ethiopia alone has gone from 74 million (2007) to 88 million (2010).
Although it's not perfect, Ethiopia is not one of the worst African countries or war zones.
Ethiopia does make an effort for most of its people.
But it's just too many.
Surely that is also a lack of accountability in birth control.

I'd say the best I could advise to them (that they want to believe) is go to Europe, go to Australia, go to the USA.
That will leave more resources for those who stay.

edit on 21-1-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 03:25 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 

So what would you suggest practically?
(Assuming it's not a picture from the 1980s)
I'd say Europeans and others (like the Chinese) must withdraw completely from African culture.
Leave them to their resurfacing tribalism and traditions.
Nature will recreate the balance.
I know that sounds horrible.
I really don't know what else to suggest.

Whatever else you try you'd just be insulted and pushed away.
Anyway, we have no time for kids in the Omo Valley, which is closer to Europe.
There are children here who need help, especially kids from Zimbabwe.
The black ANC government has created much tragedy here.
Even here one doesn't even know where to start.
Maybe the hospitals.
Oh what a mess.
Eleven dead babies in one hospital in one day!
www.sowetanlive.co.za...

And the World, it says NOTHING to this government.
It's doing worse things than apartheid, and nobody cares.
What a bunch of sick hypocrites.
edit on 21-1-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 03:38 AM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by Xtraeme
 


Your use of a child's suffering as propaganda for scarcity does not point to any lack, what it points to is famine and pestilence, of which is often in abundance,

So, to be clear, you consider famine and pestilence to be forms of abundance? Not lack?


but what is equally in abundance is opportunity.

Look I'm not trying to take you apart or ruin your thread. I realize you're trying to motivate people and that's to be commended. However it's dangerous when people live in the clouds and their perception of reality becomes so warped that the rose-colored glasses prevent them from seeing the totality of our existence. Living in abundance is perceptual to the extent that physiological and safety needs have to first be met before abundance is even conceivable. This is just common-sense.

Opportunities are a function of freedom of choice, strength, vigor, and intellect. So I honestly fail to see what opportunities are available to a child in that sort of condition. The only opportunities I can think of would be the result of luck or compassion.


Just as you failed to point to any observable lack, and could only point to observable suffering, I too will ultimately fail in pointing to your own lack of effort in easing that suffering, [and then some mud-slinging and bombastic claims about closed-systems vs open-systems]

I regularly donate to charities and help out in my community. So your basis for this would seem to be primarily inflammatory. I've also read extensively on this subject (material on ecological sustainability, economic philosophy [Marx/Engels, Sartre], post-materialist papers by academics like Ingelhart, most major positive economic treaties [Bronfenbrenner, Minsky, Keynes, Smith, etc], works in behavioral science [Maslow], and more). I've also written on the subject because "lack" can be just as much a motivator as it can a soul-crushing destroyer that disempowers people. However, unlike how you characterize me, my efforts are primarily to motivate, but to do so in a way that's practical. Perhaps if you actually read what I've written you'd be pleasantly surprised. Cheers.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 04:27 AM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 





So, to be clear, you consider famine and pestilence to be forms of abundance? Not lack?


Let's be perfectly clear and understand that being clear is the furthest thing from your intent as you can possibly be. The photo you smugly posted was not intended to motivate anyone, it was intended to dismiss and to discourage. That intent was as abundantly clear as was the famine and pestilence observable in the photo you so smugly posted.

You claim I would be pleasantly surprised if I had read what you have written, but I have read what you have written right here, now here. I am not pleasantly surprised, nor am I simply surprised. What you have written now here is what it is, and if you bother to read your own language with its cynicism disguised of warnings of "dangerous...live in the clouds...perception warped...rose colored glasses..." Your intent is abundantly clear and it certainly comes as no surprise that you justify such cynicism by claiming an erudition because you have read Marx - a staunch advocate of scarcity - Sartre - an existentialist who would have us believe we are better off excepting our limitations rather than expanding beyond perceived limitations - Inglehart - whose scarcity hypothesis tends to support my arguments more than it does your "head in the clouds...rose colored glasses" dismissals - and it is unclear why you lump Bronfenbrenner in with Minsky, Keynes, and Smith, assuming by Bronfenbrenner you mean Urie Bronfenbrenner who was more concerned with child development and ecological systems than economics.

When I spoke to opportunities regarding that photo you so smugly posted, the opportunities I spoke to were those that you could seize to help ease that child's suffering, and let me be abundantly clear, your smug posting of that photo in this thread was entropic and wasted opportunity. You can get defensive and swear on a stack of bibles that you regularly contribute to charity, this will not change the wasted opportunity your entropic effort represents in this thread. You are undeniably embracing scarcity as the reality, and dismissing abundance as a non reality, and as such, I fail to see how all your self defense in claiming charitable contributions are made by you offers that child in the photo you so smugly posted any opportunities what-so-ever.

Name dropping academics and claiming to be charitable does nothing for that child, and it was you who insisted we consider this child within this thread, but you who refuses to offer any practical answers as to what we can do for that child, and ultimately you who - in your insistence on being utterly helpless, (albeit well read and quite magnanimous in your utter helplessness) - asks that we all be helpless along with you rather than do what we can to be more, abundantly more, in a universe that is infinite in its abundance.

Cheers.
edit on 21-1-2011 by Jean Paul Zodeaux because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 04:33 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 





Nature will recreate the balance.


Perhaps that is the practical answer, and practically speaking, regarding that photo, this is the best I can offer right here, now here. Of course, you and I are a part of nature and if we can do something, and we know what to do, then we should do that. At the very least you are seeking practical answers in what we can do, and as far as very least goes, this is abundantly more than posting this photo and using it as propaganda to preach the inevitability of scarcity, and the naivete of abundance. You are making a much stronger effort than that, and that is, at the very least, a place to start.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 05:09 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 

It would behoove you to consider that posts on a forum are typically emotionally opaque. The picture serves a purpose beyond your perception of "smugness" and vanity. It's to remind people to consider other peoples "lack" before they pat themselves on the back for having experienced a bourgeois life well lived. Because sadly reality isn't all flowers and gumdrops. As for your Google search for Bronfenbrenner -- it's Martin Bronfenbrenner, but nice try in your attempt at character assassination. Though I'm sure your repetitious usage of the word "smugness" isn't in the slightest a portrayal or your own "entropic and wasted opportunity" to post something constructive in this thread.
edit on 21-1-2011 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 05:25 AM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 


Again you show your Marxist leanings with your amusing characterization of bourgeois to those who would focus on abundance rather than scarcity. Of course, even Marx himself could not contain his disgust for the Marxist when he declared "I am not a Marxist". Just as thieves always lock their doors, those who claim their character is being assassinated have others in their cross-hairs. Your smug attitude goes well beyond posting photos of someone's suffering, and while you insufferably drop names to pretend erudition, you then presume that others can only possibly know of these names by a Google search rather than actually reading. This is the fact, you offered nothing by way of practical answers, and only sought to discourage, and now you pout because thus far few have bothered to pat you on the back for your wasted effort.



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 06:03 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 

The irony ...
. The entire treatise I've put together is about abundance, what it would look like, and how to achieve it. It looks nothing like Marxism. The theory is that reality is conformally invariant such that when nature imposed exigency as the conformal factor Ω tends towards 0 that value to be produced and reproduced goes to ∞, and thus life as a good to be consumed is completely maximized. This is why I'm interested in talks about post-materialism or post-scarcity. It's also why I get heated when people speak of "opportunity" as though it's something even starving children in third world nations just have to reach out and grab.

As a practical matter it means economic paradigms should be geared towards driving down nature imposed exigency as a priority. This would probably best be solved by setting up a paradigm where we define what's too much by what's too little. Of course implementing this requires some complicated math that involves bridging a fractional reserve system with 100% models (not easy). But it is a "practical answer!"
edit on 21-1-2011 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 06:11 AM
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I subscribe to this view of life since 2005. Back then it was a huge relief. Today I pretty much have everything that I used to want .

This is easily the most important thread on the whole site, but it wont be taken that way.





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