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In the anarchist, Marxist and socialist sense, free association (also called free association of producers or, as Marx often called it, community of freely associated individuals) is a kind of relation between individuals where there is no state, social class or authority, in a society that had abolished the private property of means of production. Once private property is abolished, individuals are no longer deprived of access to means of production so they can freely associate themselves (without social constraint) to produce and reproduce their own conditions of existence and fulfill their needs and desires.
Technological capacity to produce enough to satisfy everyone's needs already exists globally and has done so for many decades. Yet needs continue to remain unmet on a massive scale. Why? Quite simply because scarcity is a functional requirement of capitalism itself....
The one strategy open to crisis-ridden capitalism that doesn't risk class antagonism is the creation of artificial scarcity through regimes of intellectual property. Sander explains, however, that the ‘production of innovation' is no replacement for the production of value....
The answer is an idea called “artificial scarcity,” a principle which says that even though we can produce more than enough of something to go around, we shouldn’t. This is nothing new, as it forms the basis for the entire notion of intellectual property- access to information must be controlled, because if anyone can have it for free, how can it ever turn a profit? Or, more simply, infinite supply and finite demand is a great deal for consumers, but not so much for producers.
Two concepts that emerged during the mid-twentieth century have shaped the evolution of the global economy— planned obsolescence and throwaway products. Both were seized on enthusiastically in the United States after World War II as a way of promoting economic growth and employment. The faster things wore out and the sooner they could be thrown away, the faster the economy would grow.
The gap between rich and poor in the UK is wider now than 40 years ago, a government-commissioned report says.
In 1960, the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in the 20 richest countries was 18 times that in the 20 poorest countries, according to the World Bank.1 By 1995 the gap between the richest and poorest nations had more than doubled—to 37 times.2
The gap between rich and poor is widening across most developed economies as skilled workers reap more rewards and top executives and bankers benefit from a global job market, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.
The average income of the richest tenth of the population is now about nine times that of the poorest tenth, the Paris- based OECD said Monday in a report. The gap has increased about 10% since the mid 1980s.
Mexico, the U.S., Israel and the U.K. are among the countries with the biggest divide between rich and poor....