Distortions of abundance, restrictions to emphasize scarcity, do not constitute artificial scarcity. Abundance is being distorted because abundance while more fruitful than severe scarcity is nevertheless scarcity. If Post-Scarcity actual existed it would be impossible to suppress it thus when people talk about "artificial scarcity" they are merely talking about scarcity. Scarcity exists in the year 2013, it will exist until at least 2033. Scarcity cannot be created when scarcity already exists.
Artificial scarcity is similar to thinking a person swimming in the ocean can become wet due to precipitation. Yes being rained on is an additional source of wetness but the person swimming in the ocean was already utterly sodden thus they could not become wetter. If someone in a boat throws a bucket of water over the person in the ocean, the type of people who believe in artificial scarcity would say a bucket of water, thrown onto the swimmer, has created artificial wetness, but you cannot really become wetter in those circumstances.
I am writing this blog-post while people are debating the possibility of US and perhaps UK launching missiles against Syria, in response to Syrians being gassed. The missile attacks could happen in a few days. People ask if the justification for war is right. I state war is not about right, war is about might. The mighty do what they want to do. War is a natural consequence of scarcity, it sadly cannot be avoided. The question is, are we sufficiently close to Post-Scarcity for war to be deemed unnecessary? I think we are too far away, or leaders don't have sufficient insight into the future.
Scarcity leads to war thus war is inevitable during times of greater scarcity. Reason cannot stop war because reason is scarce. The liberal illusion of peaceful resolution merely delays the inevitable war. Sadly I think war is the only answer. Humans simply don't listen to reason, scarcity prohibits rational responses, which is why many people believe in God and magic. I think human stupidity has possibly reached a level where only world war will suffice. In theory world war could be avoided if people could use their reasoning ability but not enough people can or are willing to use their reasoning ability. Suppression of opponents with violent force is something humans commonly need to do in situations of scarcity. It is all about fighting over limited resources. People fight when resources are tight.
Alex Jones from infowars.com has published various articles via his site about pending World War III or rebels carrying out gas attacks. I actually fear Alex Jones more than our corrupt governments. Alex Jones from time to time talks about God, he believes in God. I am wary of anyone who believes in imaginary beings. Presidents or Prime Ministers often believe is God but at least they don't object to genetic engineering, synthetic biology, or stem cell research with the vigor which Alex Jones opposes science. I suspect the rule of Alex Jones would be very harsh for science and technology because he and others would be happy, I suspect, if civilization forever stayed at the farming stage of sophistication.
I think the world would be much more oppressive if Jones or other alleged freedom fighters were running affairs. Artificial scarcity is similar to the illusion of civilization, civilization is not civilized, scarcity is very real not artificial, thus people do fight. Wars do need to happen because intelligence is scarce but is it right to attack the Bashar al-Assad Syrian Government? Alex Jones does make some good points about the increasing powers of governments but on the whole I think he is more dangerous than current governments, although I am certainly no lover of governments. So, despite my distaste for governments, it could be right to launch the suggested attacks.
Are we really on the brink of WW3? I do see how WW3 could happen because people are stupid, but I think people also enjoy working themselves up into a fevered state of hysteria. People enjoy scaremongering, the expectation of the worst. I think Bashar al-Assad is a cruel man thus attacking his regime could be the right answer, perhaps it could help accelerate science, technological, and cultural progress. What do the Syrian people think? At least one Syrian is suuportive:
"Since we heard about the international community's will to do these strikes, all the people in our town are feeling for the first time that someone out there is caring about them."
Certainly there are more intelligent ways to accelerate progress but people are stupid, they don't listen to reason, thus wars happen. It can be appealing to think diplomacy is the answer but diplomacy is illusory similar to artificial scarcity. What I am certain of is the illusion of being able to live in a world free from hostility while scarcity persists. Hostility cannot be avoided while scarcity persists therefore the only question is who fights who, which reminds me of the story by Will Self, The Quantity Theory of Insanity.
Shortly after composing these thoughts the UK Parliament blocked Syrian intervention, which may also deter USA intervention. It will be interesting to see how long civil conflict lasts in Syria now. We can wonder what would have happened if military intervention had occurred. Will Syria now become stronger? Perhaps Syria will form a strong alliance with Iran to stop any future Western interventions? If war does occur in the future will it be more protracted because things were not nipped in the bud?
Anyway, moving back into focus regarding artificial scarcity, here is a previous occasion where I criticised the concept in H+ Magazine (archive):
"The enhancement of scarcity, the emphasis of scarcity, the intensification regarding aspects of scarcity, it will never constitute “artificial scarcity” similar to how one ice-cube added to the Antarctic Ice Sheet is not artificial coldness. Creating artificial scarcity is tantamount to thinking you can create artificial coldness via adding one ice-cube to the Sun."
Finally, here is one more analogy. Artificial scarcity is akin to squirting a person with a water pistol during the middle of a extremely heavy downpour, then believing you have made the person wet due, it is the belief you have created artificial wetness despite the person already being utterly drenched due to the rain.