Abundance Economics

by Flemming Funch, 26 November 1994.

I strongly believe, or desire at least, that we in the not too distant future will see a viable society based on economics of abundance.

That is, enough of the members of society will assume a whole-systems view, realize that there really is an abundance of resources and start cooperating in utilizing them best.

The current society is based for a great deal on scarcity. The idea that there isn't enough of everything is widespread and gets promoted incessantly in the mass media.

Current economics is based mostly on exchanging scarcities. That is, if you OWN something that is scarce and that others want, then you can hoard it and make it available a little at a time to others, for a fee.

The majority of the population live in the state of mind of perpetual scarcity. There doesn't quite seem to be enough of everything. You HAVE to work hard to keep up with all the things you HAVE to have, and there always seems to be more that is needed.

But really, if I look around me, I don't see scarcity. The nature of this planet is abundant with life and resources. There are plenty of people around who can contribute work. There is plenty of technology to make things easier.

So, how come that I, like most people, feel that I don't really own all that wealth, that it all belongs to somebody else, including my belongings bought on credit, and my work which I owe to an employer, and my money which I owe to the IRS.

I really don't believe that at all. I think the scarcity idea is fake and that society would work drastically different if enough people see though it and base their actions on abundance. I think scarcity is artificially created and maintained.

I suppose that abundance economics would include giving one's ideas and actions freely, because one feels like it, because one sees the need for it, and because one understands that when you contribute to the whole, we all benefit.

The Internet is a good example of some of the principles of giving freely and of abundance. So many resources here are given freely, without expecting anything directly in return. So many people are willing to help each other, even though they don't really have to and they don't get "paid" for it.

I think there are many times more power in actions that are done freely, because one sees a need for improvement, than in actions that are done reluctantly, because one is forced by lack.

- Flemming