Desire & Scarcity (was Re: Desire under the Elms)

Eric Beck rayrena at
Sat Jan 29 18:38:15 PST 2000


>I suppose some people think that the world without Scarcity as neoclassical
>economists define it is _dull_ and _without enjoyment_. Never mind whether
>it is possible, since both Doug & Eric think it's _undesirable_. I, on the
>other hand, think that Scarcity makes us unable to enjoy what we can and to
>develop new needs & desires that are incompatible with capitalism.

You are conflating political economy and psychology (an incredible thing considering your hostility toward the latter). I commented on what seemed to be the psychic and emotional barrenness of *your* postscarcity world; I said nothing about whether a world without scarcity was desirable or not. Of course I think it is. (I'm sure Doug does too; it should be obvious to any attentive reader that what he called "undesirable" in his post was "an institutionally unspecified planning regime" not a world without scarcity.) There, now I'm on record as being against scarcity. Let me also say that I am unwaveringly opposed to nuclear holocaust, genocide, and overpriced prix-fixe menus.

>BTW, I have never thought of the world without "jealousy" to be "dull and
>horrible" as Eric puts it.

Well, probably just dull. Seriously, I didn't think it was necessary to qualify the jealousy part. I should have known better. Btw, I notice you didn't address the other items on my list, passion, joy, &c. Does that mean that I was right--you think they will simply become outmoded concepts? You haven't mentioned how those irrational things might disrupt your sensual and sexual paradise, with its lasting friendships.


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