How Scarcity Creates Greed

Greed is not a fundamental aspect of human nature. Greed is a consequence of scarcity.

Greed is not a fundamental aspect of human nature. Greed is a consequence of scarcity. If you and I are living in an incredible abundance, such as used to exist 200 years ago - the fish were so thick one the water that it looked like you could walk across the rivers - under those conditions greed is ridiculous. If we're sitting among piles of apples that have fallen on the ground, it would be ridiculous for me to gather them all to myself and, "You're not going to get my pile," when there's other piles sitting all over the place.

If you do not have a perception of scarcity, then greed is a foreign emotion. What we've done is we've created scarcity - the money system creates artificial scarcity where there need be none. Money is an abstraction. It's bits in computers, but we associate it, we use it to exchange things that do come from nature. If you use something that's unnatural and use it to buy and sell things that are natural, then you're going to have a problem if the unnatural part expands exponentially and forces the natural part to expand exponentially, too.

The economy, at least a healthy economy, shouldn't be thought of as a separate entity from the natural ecology but as an extension of the ecology. What do we have to do to make an economy operate according to ecological principles?

The main principle is waste is food. There's no externalities. You don't start with raw materials and end up with toxic waste. Everything that's produced, like the manure of a cow is food for the worms. The manure of the worms is food for the soil organisms, and that's food for the grass, and that's food for the cows. It's a closed loop, a circle of the gift.

That's another reason why I like the decaying currencies is because they obey natures law of return. They decay and then can be reborn in a different form. A sacred economy is an economy in which everybody is an artist and in which everybody's gifts are applied toward a beautiful purpose, a purpose that's beautiful to them.

In the future, career counselors, they won't say, "Okay, so you have these gifts. How can you use these to make a living? How can you commercialize these? How can you make money from these?" The career counselor will say, "What would you like to give to the world? What do you do that feels good?"

Collectively, we will reorient our thinking to, "What can we, as human beings, create that's beautiful to us?" Beauty will become the new motivating program instead of security or survival or domination. That's what our divine gifts are for. We're supposed to look upon our works and say, "That's good."

Comments
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ChrisAgnos
ChrisAgnos

Editor

@paul1989 I think that is the common misunderstanding, but really so much of our behavior is dependent on environmental conditions. If you are surrounded by food growing everywhere, your behavior would be different than if you were in a place where food was scarce.

The issue with out economy is that money itself is scarce by design so everything feels scarce, and when there is scarcity, there is more of a desire to hoard for the future...

paul1989
paul1989

Hadn't thought of the relationship between greed and scarcity. I guess I assumed it was a characteristic that some have and some just don't. Thank you!

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