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Scarcity versus abundance.

by on 23/09/2018

The question of scarcity and limited resources touches a much more substantial question of nature, the second law of thermodynamics, entropy. Entropy means processes in the nature, from potential energy, its existence is caused by disbalances of state of particularity, to state of absolute equilibrium or uniformity, irreversible without additional energy input.

Out of the second law of thermodynamics emerges the following questions: “Is entropy enforced on biological phenomenon or not?”, and if the answer is not, still there is the question, “Can the phenomenon of human consciousness free itself from entropy?”.

As to biological cycle, it seems on the local level, as a temporary phenomenon, until the conditions on earth and in the solar system are suitable, the life itself doesn’t behave according to law of entropy. Still there remains the question, “Is human consciousness ruled by entropy?”.

The answer is not obvious. If we investigate human existence since the dawn of the humanity’s impact on the nature was governed by entropy. The very first humanoid acts of regulating fire, that goes back hundred of thousand of years, even long before appearance of homo sapiens, created irreversible processes of diminishing certain forms of flora and animal life, that existed on the earth for millions of years. This process was intensified with introduction of agriculture, urbanisation, and even more since the industrial revolution.

Does it mean these processes initiated by humans are irreversible and non cyclical, what would mean, the human phenomena is necessarily doomed? Not necessarily. It seems, the human intellect, does have the capacity to create tools to reverse these irreversible processes. But on the other hand the same technological tools have the capacity to destroy the human life or even the life all together on the earth. The question is, how humanity will use these tools. If to look in the past, the recorded history of humanity doesn’t give big hope. The most advanced technologies, the humans developed, were used for self destructive acts. As those tools get the capacity of global destruction, their usage became more selective and careful. That’s how we still have this discussion. As the technology develops, and it becomes more and more available for wide range of private people, and not only states, can anybody secure, that there will not be misused for destruction?

Even more, at present the technology is developed by scientists and technology developers, who usually act out of long term systematic vision, while those in authority to implement these technologies, act out of short term non systematic view of the reality.

Still, even if the experience of human history, and the political – economic scenery at present, doesn’t give to much hope for only positive usage of the newly developed technologies, there is chance, that the technology, as a conscious being, will save the humanity from destructing itself. Then the question is, what kind of human existence we can expect in the world, sustained and protected by non human, non biological life forms? Do we want to live in such a world?

As to economy, the basic assumption of every economic model, be it Marxistic or capitalistic is, that resources are limited. Economy is a profession about efficient and “just” allocation of scarce resources. If no scarcity, there is no need for economy as a profession.

In the seventies of twenty century, the energy seemed to be scarce resource, since then, most of the people while speaking about scarcity, they have in mind energy resources.Maybe in our times, with the new technologies, there is no scarcity of energy any more. But scarcity doesn’t have to be only about basic raw materials, energy resource, or cereals and corn. Scarcity is also about sustainable ecological system, that enables sustainability of human social and political framework, securing decent human life for every individual. If over exploitation of global resources, and its impact on the environment causes collapse of social political systems, even if in certain parts of the globe, it is also an expression of limited global resources. And in our global world, it hardly can remain a local event. The recent happenings in Syria and some other countries in the globe are result of political-economic mismanagement of despotic regimes, without long term aims and management for sustainability of environmental resources, as water and agrarian land. This kind of political-economic mismanagement, can be observed as today in many other countries. The expected collapse of these countries will have global consequences on a scale, unknown until today.

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