Many of us barely realize, but the abundance that our society is able to provide is creating problems that we have to address, similarly to how we have addressed problems of scarcity in the past.
The most fundamental scarcity or abundance that we know and recognize readily is that of food. Humanity’s history has been characterized by a scarcity of food and famines where common. Population couldn’t grow, declined, or even went extinct in certain geographical areas. Only more recently, in the 20th century, we have been able to apply new tools that provide ample food for everyone. Today, when people don’t have enough to eat it is not a question of not being able to produce enough. It is a question of not being able to distribute it to them.
A world of abundance is now here, and it is going to be available to more and more people in every part of the world. We have to learn how to live together with this abundance in many areas. If we don’t, well, the quality of our life will decline. Paradoxically, not only when we live in a world of scarcity, but also when we live in a world of abundance. We want quality to increase. Learning about this world is the only way to make sure that we progress, rather than regress.