How many lives lost in competition for scarce resources.
Every living thing survives by exchanging energy. Most plants in a benign exchange with the sun. Most others by killing and consuming all around them.
We with higher sentience live mostly in fear. Some of us recognize our fear and work to control its negative effect on our actions. In less aware souls, fear is the motivation for most of our behavior but goes unrecognized.
Fear is not just about food. Far more generalized and insidious than that, so many actions around us are perceived as a threat.
My neighbor seeks to build on a field next door to me and destroy my peace. The “professional” recommendation is to get hold of the land by fair means or foul. The man on my bumper in the winding country lane seeks to get there before me, and risks both our lives in his mad scramble to do so. One pointless meme threatens another to take hold of minds and hearts and doubtless the reverse is true.
And in less enlightened days I did the same.
Struggle. All is competition. All ends in violence of a sort, even if only symbolic.
A director of Barings is said to have produced a paper to then British Prime Minister David Cameron which claimed to solve scarcity. Or at least monetary scarcity, which counts for quite a lot.
Abolish inheritance he said. All true “wealth” on this planet is locked in the land. The land produces food, shelter and minerals. Every resource we need to survive.
Let people collect assets during their lifetime and pay no taxes. Let them build their pointless anthills and enjoy them, but on their death take those precious assets back for the good of the commonwealth.
Use that re-distribution to provide plenty for all. No shortages he said. No failing national health service, no lack of cash for any of our needs.
Was he right? Were his figures correct? It is likely we will never find out. We are far too fearful for such radicalism and such dreams have lead in the past to monsters and dystopia.
But the idea can not be wrong. One rocky little planet and it belongs to us all. The smash and grab we have allowed to take place is no less than monstrous.
And our universe? Infinite and with every resource we could need or dream of. Will we allow the same pillage and greed to rule when we escape the confines of our small planet and insignificant solar system?
Doubtless we will, if history teaches us anything.
Survival of the fittest was foisted on us by blind evolution. Fear begat greed and greed begat violence. It need not always be thus had we but the will to change.