How will the world change?

If we were to summarize the political goals of the P2P Foundation it would be fairly easy to pin them down by saying the following:

– What we need to achieve a sustainable world, not a perfect one or an utopian one, is to reverse the current combination of pseudo-abundance in the natural world (i.e. believing that an infinite growth system is possible in a finite material world), and pseudo-scarcity in the immaterial world (believing that artificial scarcity needs to be created and thereby arresting the free flow of cooperation and social innovation). Reversing it into its opposite: a production system that recognizes limits and combines with the free flow of social innovation over networks of cooperation.

But it is true to say that our work really focuses on the latter.

Today, we discovered a rather marvelous essay explaining the logic of moving from pseudo-abundance to a logic of sustainability. It explains the basics of the current crisis, and how we can reasonable expect to get out of this crisis.

This essay deserves a wide readership.

The essay is available here and contains great graphics to make the issues understandable.

The basic logic of the argument is the following:

The world as we know it is about to be transformed. Why? Because our economic system is based on continuous growth, and unlimited material growth cannot be sustained on a planet with finite resources.

There are only two possible outcomes; either increasing resource shortages and collapsing ecosystems will end advanced civilizations on earth, or a sustainable planetary system will emerge.

and therefore:

Growing global crises will dominate our lives and the lives of our children

Over the next few decades the collapse of major ecosystems will accelerate, negatively affecting the human economies that depend on them. If the industrial system with its expansionist consumer culture continues to degrade the environment, growing economic and social crises will inevitably destroy civilization as we know it.

However, positive outcomes are also possible. Sustainable values, theories, technologies and social organizations are emerging. These are networking together and beginning to develop post-industrial societal structures and economic processes.

Humanity has the potential to transform the existing unsustainable system into a sustainable system.”

See the website of Best Futures for more:

1 Comment How will the world change?

  1. Kevin CarsonKevin Carson

    Your comment on artificial abundance of natural goods and artificial scarcity in the digital world is absolutely brilliant.

    But “sustainability” and “material growth” are not necessarily at odds. The reason that economic growth (defined as an increase in the sum total of value created) does not equate to increased consumption of physical resources. A high degree of growth and increase living standards can be achieved, arguably, by more efficient or intensive use of a stable (or shrinking) amount of physical resources.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.