Scientific Research & Self-Development Activism
Just a thought that popped into my head this evening.
- Everything were affordable?
- Everything were available to you?
- There were no restrictions to whatever you are acquiring?
- No obligations, interest, trickery or scams?
You are just able to get anything you need - a course; a product; a type of software; a mentor/guide; a teacher... anything.
Would people live up to their potential?
If things would suddenly change into this perfect world, would your life be changed dramatically?
Would you do something completely different?
I think most people would rush out and go crazy for awhile and then I think people would calm down and eventually be thoughtful in what they wanted. At first one might be frenzied and take anything and everything and reach a burnout eventually. Kinda like getting sick after eating a whole bag of marshmallows.
Most people, I think would reach a plateau of contentment, after their basic needs were met and they felt secure - then the dreaming could begin. Our true natures would come to the fore and happiness would be a part of everyday.
I recall a study done a few years ago that stated that most people reach a certain level of happiness when the money worries are gone. And the sum wasn't very large, something like $3o,ooo (memory?) There are studies of lottery winners and they aren't a million times happier than the rest of us. They have a rush of happiness at the beginning and then it settles down. Once they feel secure and basic needs are met they level out too. Really rich people aren't happier, they might be more powerful, have a higher status but have more worries.
So all that extraneous money should be spread around, don't yah think?
Back to the point. I think the strain, the striving for money makes people behave in negative ways and makes them do things they wouldn't do if their basic needs were met. Free people up from that burden and stress and I think they would fly. And some people will remain A-holes anyway. The majority of people would connect back to their humanity.
Yea, I believe so too although there are many people out there who would argue that humans are "inherently greedy" and will only take and take and take, which doesn't make logical sense to me. If something is abundant and people know it's abundant, they wouldn't be hoarding it because it's everywhere.
It's interesting that you mention the strain of having to strive for money as something that affects human behavior and makes people act negatively because I kind of see a pattern when every time something is banned or becomes very hard to obtain, people will act very possessive and greedy toward that particular thing. Especially when it's something that is necessary for your survival.
Greed is not inherent. It comes from a fear of lack, and if you give people the assurance that they're provided for...and you, somehow, get them to *trust* that concept deeply, I can assure you that crime, greed, and most of the evils would be wiped out, living only in those people who are truly troubled.
I agree. The times that I buy in bulk (or any amount more than I need) are because prices are cheap and I don't know if I will be able to afford them later. If I knew that it was always affordable and available, I'd have no reason to stock up. I'd just go and get what I need when I need it. Have you heard of a resourced based economy?
Laura has it spot on. It *could* be a madhouse for a while. But then again, I think that might be not giving people enough credit. That is to say, the madness that happens on Black Friday happens, I think, because it's a "limited time only" situation.
Whereas here, this would be telling people "From this point forward you will have want for nothing. So start thinking about what you want, and you shall receive." I think there are enough people with pragmatic perspective to, perhaps, not go crazy in the beginning.
It would be hard (without a revolutionary system like Resource based) to get it to work by taxing people. No country in the world would be able to do this because the prices and wages would skyrocket due to the required taxes. You also have to take into consideration the money, work and stress that would go into changing the system and managing it. Making sure everybody is set and nobody is left behind.
You would have to inform everybody about so many things and why and how the new system would work. Anyone who doubts it will move to another country (or riot...) but I doubt a lot of people would vote in favor of a new system because everybody hates change. Especially one this big.
I believe you are correct. The system wouldn't allow the change. Change freaks people out, even though it's going on around us all the time. Capitalism has it's good points and it has some bad points. I read a book a few years ago by Robert Heilbroner called 21st Century Capitalism. I admit I like Heilbroner in that he is an integrated thinker and he looks beyond one discipline. Anyway, he concluded that Capitalism won over Socialism but that Capitalism would fail too if it were not adjusted to consider the social aspects of life. He thought Sweden was a pretty good balance.
He thought that government should play a stronger role in society. This will make a lot of Libertarians and Tea Party people cringe; but America should take a long look at itself and realise how divisive their nation has become. Chris Hedges makes some great comments on the current state of America.
Jane Jacobs made similar predictions in her book Dark Age Ahead. She thought there are 5 pillars that a society rests on and that those 5 pillars need care and attention in order to not fail, like the Roman society (and others) did. Really thought provoking stuff.
But all three I mentioned believe that we all need to be active participants in order to secure the society we want. If we don't we are forced to cope with what we settle for.
The idea just occured to me since I'm currently on my third study and I still have loads of doubts.
I learn in a different way and I think I would never really enjoy the things I'm learning now because of the way I am taught. I wish I could do it differently.
If I could just follow courses instead I would do that, but since "society" wants me to get a degree in order to get a job. I much rather just find out what I'm good at and continue on that path.
it is more of a question whether we could (because we should!) change the system.
Therefore I came up with, what if I could just follow courses and buy every product or book required without any hazzle. Right now, I need DreamWeaver and Photoshop for instance, if I 'd buy them, even with student discounts (special Adobe shit, to get you hooked for when you get a job and stuff) you 'd still pay kind of a shitload (especially if you are not sure wether this is for you).
I just wish society had more of a forgiving/humane approach instead of punishing failure by giving you a fine, condemning you...
Therefore if everything were available to you, would you live up to your potential?
To answer your question. Hell yea i would. I'd get on the train or plane or ship or wherever and go travel. I don't think i would have to be so stressed about getting everything done or having to do so much shit just so I can win the rat race a little. I'd have all the time in the world to learn things i truly would like to learn about. If there is anything about human nature that is certain, it is curiosity. I definitely don't think i'd be a lazy couch potato qq-ing over all the shit i have to do, but instead I'd be chatting away excitedly about everything that I'm going to do or want to do. FUHAHA!
Would people live up to their potential?
I think that an abundance of resources would force us all to reconsider/redefine what human potential is; or what it means. Since March & I have been talking a lot about monkeys lately, I guess I'll use a monkey analogy to describe what I'm thinking. If there were 100 monkeys in a section of the jungle, but only 10 bananas to go around, then I think we might expect that there would be some fighting for those 10 bananas... but if I was a monkey that lived in the middle of a banana plantation and always had enough bananas to eat any time I wanted, then I guess I would spend my time playing monkey games, or drawing monkey pictures in the dirt, or carving a monkey statue, or something... creating monkey art. :-)
And, I doubt that I would be thinking about what my potential as a monkey was.
Does a fish wonder about its potential while it's swimming around in the ocean?
What is it that you are trying to say?
That we would sit around do nothing untill infinity?
Not at all. I think that we will always find things to do to fill up our time; but I also think that our chosen activities in an age of abundance would be more positive & productive, and less competitive & violent. I can still imagine competitive games which are driven by a primitive sexual urge, as a way of "showing off" our superiority as a potential mate to the opposite sex; but I don't think there would be a social need to reward competitiveness for money or resources if there was always enough of everything for everybody.
Dr. Michio Kaku sums up how I feel about all of this pretty nicely in this clip: