Scarcity Causes All Wars and Violence

Singularity Utopia /

Posted on: November 21, 2012 / Last Modified: November 21, 2012

Someone recently exclaimed: “How can we kill children and their mothers for a piece of land, an ideology or a religion?!…” The note was regarding the current Gaza Crisis. The issue prompted me to respond from a Post-Scarcity perspective and address the causes of war.

I know it’s a rhetorical question, or perhaps it isn’t, but nevertheless I will highlight how all wars are about land; it is about the resources arising from land. Humans often battle over scarce resources thus humans kill other humans to acquire greater resources. This is the nature of all violence. Survival is improved for the winner of the war.

The ideologies or religions of aggressors versus defenders are arbitrary. The beliefs are meaningless randomness despite great meaning people attribute to this or that belief. Disregarding the nonsensical and irrelevant arbitrariness of the specific belief, we must note how beliefs are very important for uniting one faction against another in the battle over resources. Religious ideologies are merely tools, weapons, in the battle over scarce resources. Religion is a cultural rallying point, a vehicle allowing the leaders to control their soldiers-supporters.

There is less need to battle over resources in our current era but the battle to acquire scarce resources is a deeply engrained survival trait, from the beginning of life on Earth, thus it’s a hard trait to break despite growing evidence that we are approaching the age of Post-Scarcity.

I’m not justifying war or violence, I am merely explaining why people have wars (why people kill people). I don’t want to justify any war, I am against all wars because there are more intelligent ways for humans to interact But it is important to explain why people have wars; it is important to explain why people do what they do. Many people don’t care about other people being killed. They are inured to the horror thus they blithely ignore the latest atrocity in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Russia, India, Israel, Palestine or any other part of the world. It is sad but true. It is collective widespread systemic anomie, which is a problem caused by scarcity where brute-survival trumps sensibilities. Perhaps the biggest scarcity problem is a scarcity of intelligence.

Someone suggested blood feuds are not scarcity based, but I suggest otherwise. A blood feud or vendetta is a scarcity issue because past battles to survive based on scarcity continue to have vitality due to current scarcity.

Another person suggested psychopathy is not a scarcity issue. Still, I suggest otherwise. I think psychopathy is wholly a symptom of the social dysfunction created by scarcity. Scarcity creates social dysfunction thus when scarcity exists there is VERY fertile ground for being a psychopath. Psychopaths can only exist in a scarcity-situation because without scarcity the seeds of psychopathy would not grow. I also highlighted how human violence is not merely animal derangement relating to a more primitive part of the human brain.

Violence in primitive animals does exist, furthermore it is scarcity based. Note how chimps can be violent towards other chimps. In the following video an enemy chimp is killed and eaten in a minor chimp war. Why is a raid occurring into land controlled by neighbouring chimps? Does more land equal a diminution of food scarcity? Would they need to eat their enemy if food and land were not scarce? Is this any different to the initial question asking why humans kill other humans for a piece of land?

I also discovered another good video regarding chimps. Note the following demonstration of how chimps can gang-up on and ultimately kill a member of their own tribe

Animals also practice infanticide, notable in hippos and polar bears, which again is a scarcity issue. This violence in animals is about scarcity, exactly the same as humans. The violence can either be a direct attempt to gain more resources or it could be about hierarchical standing, which is also all about scarcity because greater hierarchy entails greater purchasing power.

It has been also suggested that human violence is merely ego-based thus Post-Scarcity cannot eliminate violence, but I disagreed. The ego-mind is the source of everything human, but it does not mean everything can be reduced to an ego-mind cause. Fighting is an issue of scarcity, the ego wants to survive but survival is threatened due to scarcity thus the ego fights to survive. If people felt there was absolutely no threat to the their existence then there would be no need to fight despite the ego being what it is. The problem is that scarcity does threaten our existence.

Soon everything will be free due to Post-Scarcity thus awareness of the coming Post-Scarcity epoch could avert some of the violence. We can start to reduce monetary suffering now. Greater awareness of the looming era of freedom, an era where everything is free, could entail leaders in the human hierarchy investing, with unrestrained abandon, into technologies crucial for creating Post-Scarcity, thereby accelerating the arrival of it. When people realize how everything in the not too distant future will be free, there is less need to madly control profits, there is less need to hoard money. The stranglehold on the economy can be relaxed, there is no need to squeeze out the last drop of money from poor people, there is no need for violence.

Land scarcity will soon be obsolete. We are approaching an age where anyone will be able to print their own personal spaceship, then fly off into space where planets are essentially infinite. 3D-Printers combined with super-efficient nanotechnolgy and Artificial Intelligence will ensure everyone is self-sufficient with easy access to essentially limitless resources. Currently our 3D-printers, marvellous that they are, are primitive and dumb, but relatively soon printers will be integrated with AI, and then will be close to intelligence exploding. Printing another printer is great. Imagine when we can print AIs or AI-printers as easily as we print chess pieces. Violence and scarcity will soon end.

About the Author:

Singularity Utopia writes for Singularity-2045, a Post-Scarcity orientated website dedicated to increasing awareness regarding the coming technological utopia. The goal is to make the Singularity happen sooner instead of later.

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