On the Political Consequences of Scarcity and Economic Decline

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  • BS alert - 'The first problem is the noncontrivertible fact that many crucial resources are non-renewable.' No, solar energy, THE primary resource that feeds the earth, is quite renewable. Unless you are talking about cosmic scale, where stars do burn up. Point: this is the kind of pessimism we are flooded with every day, and freeing ourselves by understanding first principles could be a tremendous benefit to society's mental health - and a foundation for much better human relations
  • Neglects Kardashev Scale and is thus from first principles doomed to bad conclusions
  • One good quote 'Resource constraints on most pre-modern societies were severe, for reasons which we would attribute to primitive technology but they to natural limits' - same myopia plagues this author and is a common misperception that applies today just as it applied with 'primitive' technology, as our current technology is 'primitive' by future standards.
  • MJ Optimistic viewpoint - first, recognize that scarcity is largely artificial. Then work to fix this artificial scarcity, where a byproduct is a fix of politics. Creative approach means that we work on mutually assured abundance by understanding that at the bottom of it, we all want a good life. Financial independence would allow individuals to have a possibility to evolve to psycho-social integration of Radical Man, whereas in today's world that is impossible except for a few outliers.

More Notes

  • Ophuls (1977) argued that collective survival depends on a fundamental mindshift, though he did not propose abundance as that mindshift. Fundamental transformation of worldview is essential for collective survival in Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity (1977). Ophuls calls for Metanoia