In Achieving Peace (Part 1), an expanded, more inclusive, definition of Peace was developed. The proposition was made that war and conflict are not "natural/normal" human biological behaviors--to the contrary, humanity's fabulous successes have occured (despite war and conflict), because of its "natural" biological qualities of altruism and the capacity for cooperation.
In Part 2, the argument is made that the root cause, the very foundation of war, greed, conflict and dis-ease is: humanity's ancient and mistaken view that scarcity is Nature's plan and design--and this view that there "is not enough to go around" has created both a basic sense of insecurity, and, techniques, methods and systems for dealing with that insecurity, e.g., war, competition (for resources), political, social and economic hierarchies.
Under and within this context of scarcity, the desire and quest for an enduring and fruitful universal peace cannot be realized. Peace will always remain partial and transient.
Fortunately for all of us, Science, during the 20th century, has proven irrefutably, that plenitude(or sufficiency), is Nature's plan--not scarcity.
Given the new reality of plenitude, peace finally has a chance.
How to create a climate, ways and means, to accelerate and support a global transition away from beliefs, practices and systems built upon a the foundation of scarcity, and toward a new paradigm of global human life operating from a foundation of plenitude--thereby, creating the circumstances for an enduring and fecund peace for humanity, is the focus of Part 2. (end of introductory remarks)
Part 2: Scarcity vs. Plenitude
A. Scarcity: Specific obstacles to peace can be found in most venues of human social behavior--they come in a great variety of forms and degrees of effect, prevalence and impact.
When there is recognition that something represents a significant impediment or threat to peace, or human well-being, many well-intentioned and dedicated efforts are directed to resolving these conditions--or at least to lessen, or ameliorate the impact.
Organizations and efforts are formulated to address many of these social, economic and political "ills". Good and great works are soon underway to aid those affected or threatened by hunger, illiteracy, poor health, oppression, poverty, violence, conflict and war.
Herculean efforts and billions of dollars are directed at the problems--but, in the end, results are often partial, inadequate and/or temporary.
Why is it that we never seem able, despite applied efforts and resources, to solve and remove permanently, these plague-like conditions of humanity?
At its very core, global civilization believes and accepts that Nature's design, or plan, is based on scarcity--e.g., "survival of the fittest", "not-enough-to-go-around", it's "feast or famine", the "haves and have nots".
If for a moment we reflect and speculate upon our earliest ancestors and the conditions in which they found themselves, we can imagine a hunter-gatherer society dependent on reaping locally ocurring plant and animal resources. There was no organized husbandry or agricultural effort. People survived on what lived and grew "naturally". When conditions were favorable, life was relatively secure--life was a feast. When disaster stuck as drought, disease, fire or overharvesting, overpopulation, shortages resulted, life was tough--resources scarce--life was a famine. Competition (for those scarce resourcs) eventually evolved as a survival strategy. Humankind learned quickly enough that complacency does not assure today's and tomorrow's survival. Those who "won" the competition for resources may survive, those who "lost" surely would not. Mother Nature, it was learned, could not always be relied upon to provide. Parents taught their children, and their children taught their children, that survial dictated accumlating a surplus when times were good, to carry life forward when times, as they inevitably would be, were bad. Scarcity, or its threat, began to rule the struggle for daily life. Aggession, oppression, conflict, competition, hoarding, private property, power, wealth, hierarchies and war became "winning" stratagies for coping with the scarcity game. Aggressive and competitive cultures overcame those which were not; and established in ever-expanding "spheres of influence" born of winning, the rules by which the game of life was to be played. And so it is today.
The perception of scarcity, as was said, gave rise to competition for resources--success in the competition went to those most cunning, diligent and/or ruthless. Winning conferred power and status--the winners gained control of the resources. Those most useful to the winners were granted access to a greater measure, or share, in the resources--those successively further removed, less useful, received proportionately less--until they were so far removed that they received no share and no access. Thusly, hierarchies of access (to resources) were "born", and the now familiar drawing of the pyramid to represent those hierarchies was developed--with the winners, the richest, at or near the top, or peak, of the pyramidal diagram, and the losers, the poorest, distributed at the bottom along the great pyramidal base.
The generally held belief that scarcity is Nature's design continues to rationalize and therefore justify, competition as the most effective strategy for survival, given the perception of resources as being both finite and scarce. Persons at the top levels of the pyramid control the distribution of resources to those below--this is called a scarcity driven "distributive" system.
Our new discovery of plenitude as Nature's design signals the opportunity to shed forever human behaviors and actions based upon a belief in scarcity--and with that, will arise a truly global and enduring peace.
B. Plenitude: During this century, for the first time in human history, science has demonstrated that plenitude (sufficiency), rather than scarcity, is Nature's plan and design. We may now move from the Age of Scarcity into the new Age of Plenitude.
Science has discovered that all matter is energy--and humanity now has the option to draw upon and utilize the inexhaustible cosmic supply of that energy.
Energy is in everything, and found everywhere. Splitting the atom to release the tremendous energy contained within, is perhaps the most graphic (and potentially lethal) example of the boundless energy resources available to us. As Buckminster Fuller once said, nature has taught us the only safe and correct relationship with nuclear power, i.e., 93 million miles (the distance from the Sun to the Earth).
Solar energy impounded as electricity via solar electric panels, geothermal sources powering electric generation plants, generating plants operating from tidal or wave action, ocean based temperature-differential systems for generating electricity, hydropower electric generation, wind powered bladed electric generators, solar energy impounded as renewable biomass--just a few examples of "safe" and conservation-friendly non-depletable earth energy resources available today. Additionally there is research and development in alternative systems such as hydrogen based fuel cells. So, it is quite clear that sufficient energy is available to power humanity's needs-without continuing recourse to petroleum based or nuclear power generation.
Energy plenitude (or sufficiency) is necessary to run industry, grow food (food is life's energy), provide transport for persons, goods and services, provide night-time illumination, to heat or cool our homes, institutions, factories, businesses and services. Energy plenitude is at the core of all prosperity.
Food, a form of energy impoundment, is the fuel of life. Food resources exist to provide plenitude for all. Inadequate storage, pests, poor distribution systems and artifically created, scarcity-based economic systems, political and economic policies, all work against plenitude-for-all.
Humanity's ever-and-always-increasing "wealth" of knowledge, especially as applied to the goal of "doing more with less" as a fundamental strategy for the pursuit of plentitude for all, continues to demonstrate reliability, viability, and results as indicator of Nature's plenitude.
"Doing more with less" has led to amazing improvements in resource utilization: communication satellites weighing a few tons have replaced ten of thousands of tons of copper cable. Glass fibers made of sand replace thousands of miles of metal-based communications cable. Drip irrigation methods and emerging hydroponic technology conserve vast quantities of water. ENIAC the first computer, which filled a room, has been replaced with a unit having 1000's of times more computing capability and is smaller than a briefcase.
Knowledge and its applications,
constitute humankind's most pivotal "success or failure" resource.
Knowledge is wealth--and it always increases. This vital, always-increasing
wealth, when focused and applied intensively for the benefit of 100% of
humanity, must surely yield success--and will continue to provide new ways
and means of both achieving and sustaining, a future for humanity in which
Humanity is now, for the first
time in its collective history, poised to enter an entirely new age--the
Age of Plenitude. Which means the achievement for 100% of
humanity of a standard of living higher than any empire or ruler has
ever experienced before. With
Plenitude, Peace will achieve its rightful position as the "norm" of personal
and collective behavior.
The current, and predominant, system of scarcity, which sets each-against-the-other in the struggle for survival--and does not, and can not, provide a foundation for a truly inclusive-of-all, enduring and fruitful peace--will vanish--as humanity increasingly comes to realize, embrace and apply our recently discovered scientifically proven reality of Nature's plenitude.
This newly discovered condition of universal plenitude will in time, release humanity from the ancient bondage, inequities and associated vicissitudes that are hallmarks of the Age of Scarcity.
Our challenge is to assist and accelerate this paradigm shift, this transformation, from scarcity to plenitude--so success-for-all becomes reality at the earliest possible moment.
To repeat, we have the basic "tools" to implement this change:
1. The discovery and demonstrations
of cosmic, universal plenitude.
2. A strategy of "doing more with less".
3. Continuing and accelerating employment of this strategy to the benefit of all.
4. Applying knowledge as "wealth" for investment in a new future for humanity.
5. The option to participate in assisting and accelerating the paradigm shift from scarcity to plenitude.
(note: the remainder of
this article will be posted 20 August 1998)
Over time, Tetworld will develop an increasing capacity and capability to both "think" and "act" globally--developing truly global views and development strategies and programs--which when applied locally, will contribute to advancing the over-arching goal of "Making the World Work for Everyone".