II. Scarcity and Abundance
The idea of a “cost of living” is the central point at which the blackmail of the monetary system currently exerts its force. This only works because of a general scarcity of access to these basic needs in the first place: if there was an abundant supply of water, food, heat, and shelter, they wouldn’t cost any money. This is the reason it doesn’t cost money to breathe air, or see the sunlight, despite them being essential for our survival as well: it is undeniable that these things are freely available.
The total amount of food and water availible on Earth is probably abundant enough to feed everyone, but these resources are now under the tight control of several companies. If you make something scarce by seizing control over the resource, you can start charging people money to access it. When it comes to ensuring constant income and profit, it makes total sense for businesses to control something so integral to our survival as food and water.
The scarcity of basic needs creates in us the compulsion to take, hoard, divide, compare, and barter. This tendency deeply corrupts our human instincts of sharing and support. If we weren’t blinded by the ideology of money, and we designed our environment to provide abundantly, we wouldn’t need to fight amongst ourselves for resources. I believe that we could eventually reach a point where we accept every newborn human into our society, share our resources with them, and teach them the ways of self-sufficiency.
Food and water
Water has been on this planet for millions of years, in constant and autonomous cycles of flowing and filtration. When homo sapiens set foot on this planet, clean water and food were “free”. All you had to do was go and find it. Fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, grains- all of these things were discovered, fully formed, in nature. Clean water flowed, by itself, from springs, eggs could be found in nests, animals could be hunted, fish could be fished. Otherwise early humans never would have survived! Back then, it made sense to live close to our source of food. If trees and shrubs form the basis of your survival, it makes sense to live next to those trees and shrubs and take care of them. If hunting animals forms the basis of your survival, then it makes sense to live close to where they live and make sure their population remains steady.
Unfortunately, the environment we live in today has been stripped of its ability to provide our basic needs. If I had to live in my home town whilst being completely isolated from the outside world, I would die after a week! There is nothing in my immediate vicinity that actually produces water or food. My fundamental needs to survive are therefore not covered- the whole city is a gray block of concrete, occasionally dotted with identical types of trees. I am entirely dependent on trucks delivering food from farms many miles away, pipes delivering water from many miles away, and trees producing oxygen many miles away.
It would seem much more sensible to plant food right where we live– in back yards, front yards, sidewalks, parks, etc. This way, there would be an abundance of food, and also minimal energy needed to access it; thus increasing overall survival chances for our species. It would also seem more logical for individual households to harvest the rainwater that falls freely from the sky right where they live, rather than build huge pipe systems underground to transport it for miles and miles. It would also seem sensible to compost human waste and return it into the environment locally, rather than building a huge underground pipeline network of sewage, creating a huge environmental and health hazard.
Air and food are created by plants. Sunlight and warmth come from the sun. Water and land on planet Earth have existed for millions of years before mankind even set foot here. No company has ever made water, air, food, sunlight, or areas of land. We have stripped our environment of the basic elements it used to provide for our survival, and then been fooled into paying off each other in competition for those now scarce resources. If we would formulate the goal to create abundance instead, both through intelligent, self-sustaining harvesting and distribution, and a mature, realistic awareness of the population density, we could eventually eliminate the need for a “cost of living” altogether.
The idea that land can be “owned” by anyone is a fallacy. No human being had any part in creating the Earth, and no human being alive today has ever discovered an area of land that wasn’t already inhabited by other beings. Any notion of humans “owning land” is a result of violently displacing the already present flora and fauna (including other humans) and then inventing some ideology to justify and enforce it for generations to come.
Our current system relies on currency exchange and competition to let humans divide and assign living space among themselves. By making shelter dependent on monetary income, you create the risk of homelessness, and therefore add to the great psychological pressure exerted on everyone. Considering the fact that every person needs a place to live, and there is a finite amount of living area on the planet, I believe there could be a more natural, far simpler approach:
Consider the way passengers board a train or a bus. They spontaneously find seats for themselves, without much conflict, and certainly without the aid of money. There is an element of free-for-all at the beginning, and the “finders keepers” rule dictates that if someone is already seated, you cannot take his place. If you have a good reason (such as being pregnant, disabled, elderly, or wanting to sit together with your young child), you could simply ask him to trade places. But if not, you simply accept that the other person has found his seat, and continue your search for another. You do this, because you know there will be one for you eventually, provided the train company has not sold too many tickets.
Living on Planet Earth is similar to the train scenario, but there is an added complication. What makes our train more problematic is that all the passengers can sell tickets themselves (by having children), and they keep selling more tickets than the train has seats, because nobody really knows the capacity of the train. The result is a bunch of people standing in the aisles in cramped positions, getting angry at each other, and making the train ride uncomfortable for everyone.
Limiting population density
It seems obvious that there is a ratio of resources to population density, below which there is scarcity, and above which there is abundance. No matter if you use money or a moneyless system, it doesn’t change the reality of how much of the resource there is, and how many people need it. There is also a limit to how many resources planet earth can realistically provide. The planet has a finite area, and ecosystems cannot be endlessly strained.
Where there is scarcity, people have to expend more energy to obtain the things they need – so people are more concerned with things such as survival, possessions, and self-centered mentality. Hoarding, bartering, and even stealing and assaulting become understandable, necessary behaviour.
Where there is abundance, people don’t need to worry so much about where their next meal comes from, or making sure they have the most possessions. They open up to sharing more often, and including other people into their scope of consciousness.
We as a society must strive to achieve and maintain abundance in our basic needs.
How do we do this?
- Optimise our farming, energy producing, and waste management techniques to yield the maximum amount of resources without damaging the ecosystem.
- Take care to not let the population density rise above the limit that the area can provide for!
In simple terms:
- Find out how many people can be abundantly sustained on the size of farm and land that you have. Only let that number of people live in a community based around the farm!
- If you want to move to a new town, but their population density is already at their limit, don’t move there!
- If you are thinking about having three children in a town where the population density is at its limit, maybe only have one or two! Or think about moving to an area that is less crowded.