“Scarcity has always been imposed upon the community to serve the interests of those in control. Scarcity has been maintained by the system of organization so as to perpetuate inequity in service of the privileged. Privilege requires coercion; coercion is justified on the basis of scarcity. In the absence of coercion and in the presence of scarcity is the actuality ‘war if each against all’. So scarcity has always been jealously guarded as a justification for the use of force. The use of force requires social acquiescence if it is to have persistence as a means of control. But availability of resources is limited only by the poverty of ideas.

If you doubt this, consider the fact that the mutual convertibility of the elements means that all things are available everywhere; what is lacking are the ideas about how to get at those things. And this general principle applies not only to this extreme case. Ideas have always been controlled for the benefit of the few: the chief, the shaman, the God-king, the priesthood, the lord, … the power elite. It is in the control of ideas that we find the source of scarcity, and hence the justification of coercion.”

– an excerpt from “The Moon of Hoa Binh” by Cong Huen Ton Nu Nha Trang and William Pensinger.