Monday, May 26, 2008

Rejecting both capitalism and communism in favour of post-scarcity

The following are just brief summaries related to the central concept of scarcity, they are not intended to be comprehensive in any way:

Inefficiencies of capitalism

Capitalism is the best system to deal with scarcity - the most efficient way to allocate resources in theory - but scarcity also creates a number of other problems that capitalism cannot solve on it's own. The classic problem of monopolies creating economies of scale that distort market prices, create heirarchies and create an imbalance in opportunities inherent in capitalism.

Of course the state is much to blame for this, but the state is merely just a symptom of the cause. Without the scarcity of certain resources, the state's power would be much diminished.


Anarchism without a state. Pure, market driven capitalism in other words. Unfortunately, the state feeds off scarcity like a parasite and the only way to remove the state is to end the scarcity problem.


Marx's solution to scarcity was to make all production commonly owned. Thus, each worker was entitled to the full product of his labour and profit was abolished.

Communism can work much better (though still inefficient) on a micro-scale (ie; small groups, families, etc) but on a larger scale does not work. This is because it is not as effective as producing goods and services in appropriate quantities without the price system and incentive for profit. It doesn't matter how good the 'planners' were, they could not out-perform the personal decisions of thousands or millions of consumers/producers.

The main difference being that in anarcho-communism, production is organised socially through voluntary associations (how this is achieved, I have no idea).

This is nonsense, however, as wherever there is a society there are heirarchies because not all members could possibly be equal within a heirarchy (this is mainly to do with the inequality in access to resources - material or immaterial).

Then again, what about anarcho-communism without the scarcity problem? Socially organised production without any scarcity doesn't make sense. Each person could then become their own producer of basic goods and services needed for survival, thus they would not have to participate in socially organised production of goods and services.

There will always be scarcity

Scarcity will always exist, at least in the forseeable future, as matter and time are not infinite. There is a finite number of atoms in the universe, and as for time, no living organism can do perform infinite actions at any one time.

Not exactly free of scarcity as the term implies but rather an 'extreme decrease of production costs'.
The mechanism by which this could occur is a mastery of all forms of matter, brought about by the process of technological innovation.


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