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  #11  
Old May 26th 2016, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Post-Scarcity

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Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
Ok... by suddenly I mean it can't be achieved in a society wide level until Jesus returns.
Sounds sudden to me.
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  #12  
Old May 27th 2016, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Post-Scarcity

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Sounds sudden to me.
Good point.

Moving beyond the theological distractions, my point is that I am doubtful the utopia of a scarcity free world can be achieved. Not because we could not find a way to provide for everyone, but because there will always be someone who says "me and mine deserve more than you and yours."
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  #13  
Old May 27th 2016, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Post-Scarcity

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Good point.

Moving beyond the theological distractions, my point is that I am doubtful the utopia of a scarcity free world can be achieved. Not because we could not find a way to provide for everyone, but because there will always be someone who says "me and mine deserve more than you and yours."
Certainly.

Here's a leftist perspective on the potential for various futures:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2011/12/four-futures/
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  #14  
Old May 28th 2016, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Post-Scarcity

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Assuming one did achieve such a society, would it be (ala Gene Roddenberry or Iain Banks) inherently free, tolerant, and egalitarian? Does eliminating scarcity naturally lead to freedom, tolerance, and equality? Or might it, in fact, be far more self-destructive?
Assuming one did achieve such a society...

I don't see any rational reason that a 'post-scarcity' world would be inherently free, tolerant and egalitarian. It might be, but I don't see how one could logically predict that it would or should be.

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A natural follow-up: Would a post-scarcity society even be desirable? And on what basis?
The more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to say it would not be desirable for several reasons:

1. Marx has asserted that 'man is a productive animal'. That is to say, humans have millions of years of evolution behind them, built on being 'productive' animals, producing our own food, clothes, shelter, etc. This forms a significant part of our own definitions of ourselves as humans. Take away the need for any of that and I suspect many people would react to that in inexplicable, unpredictable or possibly even destructive ways.

2.Hegel has asserted that 'consumption' is how we define ourselves as individuals - that the choices we make about consumption are not just affirmational statements of how we see ourselves, but the very act of consumption is what forms that identity. In a 'post-scarcity' world, with no way to derive status from consumption, what will become of personal identity and the human need to express it?

3. Even in a world of 3-d replicators that can produce food, unlimited fusion/solar energy to power those replicators, and robots/computers to take care of all the necessary stuff (building housing, toilets, sewage systems, doing the cleaning, laundry etc), there will still be some roles for humans to control, manage and/or create all that apparatus. Someone has to program the computers and robots to do all this stuff. And that means you will have an 'elite' class of technocrats who will be functionally separate from the rest of the 'non-productive' population. That does not bode well for a classless, free, egalitarian and tolerant society.

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I think at the moment the move toward post-scarcity is what part of what is fueling growing inequality. I think it paints an ever clarifying picture of what we need to do to re-tool our society for that reality. Others call it a post-work world.
While I agree that our social-economy is in transition right now, and yes, inequality is certainly rising, but I don't agree that this transition ought to be characterized by the terms 'post-scarcity' or 'post-work'. A post-scarcity world would require some enormous technological leaps to be made in science and technology and would need to overcome a counter-trend in our declining fossil fuel energy problem (increasing scarcity). Given present trends, it seems quite possible that 100-200 years from now, the mass of humanity will be back to working the fields and praying for rain.

That is to say, our present world is characterized by increasing scarcity of energy and natural resources. The increasing scarcity of fossil fuel is very likely to continue to increase human inequality and is not conducive to either political liberty or a 'post-work' future world.

I might also add that our present contemporary world is not transitioning to 'post-work' at all - work (ie. labor) is merely being exported/imported from the third world. Malaysian sweatshops are evidence of anything but a 'post-work' world. First world workers are suffering 'post-work', but the work didn't evaporate or disappear - it got moved away somewhere else.

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It does seem like many of the same technologies which move us toward a potentially post-scarcity world (e.g. automation) are the very ones which potentially widen the wealth gap between the extremely wealth and the extremely poor. It's hard to see how a capitalist economy could ever phase smoothly into a post-scarcity future.
Indeed. Capitalism requires scarcity. Capitalism is the system we use to allocate production resources and to ration consumption - based on the principle of scarcity of all resources. A post-scarcity world is, by definition, a post-capitalist world.

That being said, in the near or medium term, exploitation of third world labor, automation and the increasing scarcity of energy resources can only reinforce the political-social dominance of capitalism - and inequality will be expected to rise under such conditions.

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Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
Moving beyond the theological distractions, my point is that I am doubtful the utopia of a scarcity free world can be achieved. Not because we could not find a way to provide for everyone, but because there will always be someone who says "me and mine deserve more than you and yours."
Yes, I am afraid that after millions of years of human evolution in a world of scarcity, humans may be unable to cope with 'post-scarcity' abundance and no need for their own human labor. What will they do with themselves and all that time? Amuse ourselves to death?

Imagine what a group of unsupervised bored and affluent teenagers can get themselves up to and that's what I think you would likely see in a 'post-scarcity' world. Some good, some bad, and some downright nasty.
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  #15  
Old Jun 5th 2016, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Post-Scarcity

Again, just to be nauseatingly repetitious:

Stagnation in the West despite such amazingly efficient advancements as computerized bar codes, and where population growth is not a major problem, is due to centralized Keynesian bureaucracies throwing resources into sacred cows rat holes like wars and "education," and impeding the creation of new resources.
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Old Jun 6th 2016, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Post-Scarcity

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Originally Posted by Tom Palven View Post
Again, just to be nauseatingly repetitious:

Stagnation in the West despite such amazingly efficient advancements as computerized bar codes, and where population growth is not a major problem, is due to centralized Keynesian bureaucracies throwing resources into sacred cows rat holes like wars and "education," and impeding the creation of new resources.
Government money spent [specifically] on wars or education is not, and cannot be, considered Keynesian by any stretch of imagination or fanciful manipulation of definitions.

Keynesian theory REQUIRES a direct and specific qui pro quo between the spending and payback. If that ain't there, it ain't Keynesian theory. It really is that simple.

One cannot rationally call generic government spending "Keynesian" just because one likes using that word. The word has a definition and this ain't it.
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  #17  
Old Jun 7th 2016, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Post-Scarcity

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Government money spent [specifically] on wars or education is not, and cannot be, considered Keynesian by any stretch of imagination or fanciful manipulation of definitions.

Keynesian theory REQUIRES a direct and specific qui pro quo between the spending and payback. If that ain't there, it ain't Keynesian theory. It really is that simple.

One cannot rationally call generic government spending "Keynesian" just because one likes using that word. The word has a definition and this ain't it.
As usual, I'll stand by my irrational ignorance.
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