So I am re-reading Charles Eisenstein’s Sacred Economics. I first read this book years ago after I read all the books in David Graeber’s Debt Bibliography, and then all the books in the subsequent books’ bibliographies. i dont know where this book was but it was in one of the bibliographies.
I reread chapter 2 – and this chapter is about manufactured scarcity and money. I was talking with someone who alerted me to the trajectory of the writing. Charles starts out talking about greed and then shifts and goes through a journey understanding greed until he finally decides ok greed is an innate part of being human it is a product of an environment of scarcity – and this environment of scarcity is caused by money.
This is only chapter 2, so the story is not unfolding. As I learned in this chapter, I cannot atomize these ideas the way we do with time, or money, that this is all flowing together as a journey of revelation.
Charles talks about the fact that all economics textbooks begin with a comment about scarcity – that economics is about scarcity. I would probably enlarge this to say that economics is about resource management. Economics comes from the greek word oikos- house – and the management of the household. And I have written about this before.
Charles talks about how many things are now scarce that were one abundant. Things like childcare, in the past kids could run up and down the street knock on neighbor’s doors and be feed, and so forth (perhaps this is a real past or an fantasy past). Today it is definitely a fantasy – childcare is a business and you pay someone to take care of your kids, unless you are lucky enough to have relatives that would like to help out for free.
Years ago I was hang out with some crypto friends when ethereum was having its ICO. I did not invest. I thought there was no way they were going to succeed. That it would be a waste of my time and resources.
I spoke with a friend yesterday who had invested, and he said he invested because he though it was a great idea and wanted to support it regardless of whether or not it succeeded. What a beautiful thought!
Today, if I can I support friends, and artists, and thinkers, and activists, that I believe in. It is a gift to me that I no longer first thing of whether or not they are going to achieve their goal, or whether or not I will get a return on my investment. It feel good to support another human being and their dream. And I think this is part of what charles is getting at when he talks about the gift.