During this pandemic it is clear that this CoVid-19 virus has crystalized that we have those with a lot and many more without, who are forced by circumstance to serve others. Those without also overwhelmingly get sick and die more often than those with. The disparity between the rich and poor is ever widening, which degrades out society.
A gift economy is based on the idea of providing others with what they need for the purpose of reputation, respect and gratitude amongst your peers. Relationships and not products are stressed. One does not hoard products in order to sell for a higher profit, and this enrich yourself at the expense of your group. When you have abundance you provide it to your group and thus become more prestigious and valuable within the eyes of the group. In turn when you are in need others in your group will help you as well. In this system all of the group rises and falls together, and hopefully be more stable.
When we have gratitude we are more prone to reciprocate and help others, further strengthening the relationship. Products are tools used to benefit society with the purpose of strengthening gratitude and reciprocity.
Our current scarcity economy works on selling people products. For scarce products their price rises. People profit by selling as much scarcity as possible in order to enrich themselves. Scarcity is to withhold a product so as to profit from it. We maximize the return on investment. We often manufacture a scarcity in order to profit for ourselves. Scarcity economics can result in the degradation of the earth’s resources in order to make as much profit for yourself. This has resulted in vast areas of polluted and now unusable land and polluted air.
We work for money to purchase items we do not need. Our consumer society pushes products for prestige that is hollow. What do we really get out of this? We convert the earth’s resources into market commodities, the scarcer they are the more profitable they become, the greater revenue we can reap. We convert free gifts into profit for ourselves, but as we do this we degrade the earth’s resources until they are all used up.
There may be other ways to live, not the capitalist way that degrades the environment, increases the rich-poor gap and reduces the relationships amongst people. We should strive for a better way.