This article originally appeared on the blog of Heretic, the magazine of We Are Libertarians.
For those unfamiliar with the economic concept of scarcity, the most simple way I can put it is this: it is the historical idea that there is an unbridgeable gap between limited resources and abundant needs. Now, I’ll leave the discussion of whether or not this idea should be taken seriously or not for another day. For now, I just want to briefly look at how the ideology of scarcity has been leveraged to make us do awful things to each other: to compete rather than cooperate, to hoard land and other resources (even those as basic as toilet paper), to be willing to fight wars over material things, to seek domination and power over others rather than fostering our collective capacity to care for each other.
The orthodox economic, social, and political systems use this idea of scarcity to justify violent and domineering hierarchies that have set us on a dangerous collision course with our very planet. But if we are supposed to assign value based on how scarce something is, how could we value any resource or “investment” more than the health of our planet?
So many aspects of our shared planet – the core’s magnetic properties, the perfectly-tilted axis, the moon, our celestial neighbors, etc. – underscore the incredible rarity of our planet and its ecosystem.
Given that knowledge, any decision that jeopardizes our ability to live and thrive on this planet should be treated with the harshest skepticism and extreme interrogation. I would advocate for the immediate, non-violent, abolition of any governmental or economic system that is dependent on the exploitation and destruction of the planet.
It is not absurdly self-centered and dangerous to think that our ecosystem on Earth could be unique.
Is is absurdly self-centered and dangerous for the world’s states and capitalists to think they can plunder and pillage Earth without consequence.
Each of us has only one life. One life to see the world, to build our families, to experience what brings us joy and growth, to love as much as is possible. Rather than trampling the planet underfoot for the gain of state and capital, let us liberate ourselves from this cycle of destruction and nourish the Earth as it has nourished us.