Abundance Engineering vs Scarcity Engineering

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Michel Bauwens:

Markets are scarcity allocating systems, but capitalism is often a scarcity engineering system, i.e. it needs resources to be or appear scarce in order to make them function in markets. Terminator seeds are a good example of this. Seeds are naturally self-reproducing, but in this example, this function is abolished so that farmers need to buy each year new seeds.

The opposite of scarcity engineering is abundance engineering, i.e. organizing a provisioning system so that the resource is not scarce, and so that they can also be potentially distributed through non-market dynamics. This can often best be done through mutualization, and in particular, through commons-based mutualization. For example, a group could collectively purchase cars for transportation, making them available for all members. In this scenario, 10% of the cars are sufficient to cover the needs previously needing the original 100%, i.e. there is a gain of 9/10th in resource use; the resource becomes more inclusive through the lowering of costs as well.

These dynamics and their rules are explained very well by Daniel Schmachtenberger in our entry on: Omni Win-Win Dynamics.