The Myth of Scarcity and the Root of Othering

How a society believing in lack keeps us from collective action

Keri Mangis
The Dissident

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Photo by Robert Bogdan: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-pink-suede-long-waller-910122/

Scarcity

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

Time is money.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Since we were children, we were steeped in the idea of scarcity. There was never enough money, we were told, and so, most Americans developed a scarcity mindset around money.

This belief started at the level of the family, but it expanded to our worldview, too. Uncle Sam’s pockets were only so deep, after all. Meanwhile, that same Uncle Sam that won’t bail out consumers in times of need has bottomless pockets when it’s time to bail out a corporation or go to war against another nation—or even its own people.

With the belief of scarcity firmly implanted, we began to collectively agree: It’s unfortunate, but in any modern society, there will always be hungry and homeless people in our world no matter what we do. There will always be people who will go without. Winners and losers will always exist. It’s just life, we’re told.

If we want a more equitable society, we have to start by noticing, then disrupting, and then overturning, the…

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Keri Mangis
The Dissident

I am author and speaker, dedicated to getting out (and staying out) of Plato’s Cave of shadows and deception. Hope to bring a few people with me.