T Nation

Prosperity, the Ability to Thrive

I define prosperity as the ability to thrive while fulfilling ends above the minimum necessary means for survival.

It is my contention that the only means necessary to achieve universal prosperity are:

  1. freedom

  2. peace

Can these notions ever be completely realized? If so, what are the best means to bring about such notions? If not, why not?

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
I define prosperity as the ability to thrive while fulfilling ends above the minimum necessary means for survival.

It is my contention that the only means necessary to achieve universal prosperity are:

  1. freedom

  2. peace

Can these notions ever be completely realized? If so, what are the best means to bring about such notions? If not, why not?[/quote]

Live alone on an island.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
I define prosperity as the ability to thrive while fulfilling ends above the minimum necessary means for survival.

It is my contention that the only means necessary to achieve universal prosperity are:

  1. freedom

  2. peace

Can these notions ever be completely realized? If so, what are the best means to bring about such notions? If not, why not?[/quote]

You need opportunity as well.

Above all, you need a population that does not exceed natural carrying capacity.

If you have 6000 people on an island that supports 1400, you are not going to have prosperity no matter what.

Any organism that cannot maintain it’s population using renewable resources has exceeded carrying capacity.

Organisms that exhaust resources do not exist in nature because they cannot survive 4 billion years of evolution.

[quote]pat wrote:
You need opportunity as well.[/quote]

Opportunity is a direct result of natural and individual given ability potentiated thru peace and freedom; it can exist in the absence of peace and freedom for only the “privileged” classes.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Live alone on an island.[/quote]

Does bringing one more person onto the island negate the idea of peace and freedom? If not, how many more people can brought onto an island before these ideas are negated?

[quote]Gael wrote:
Above all, you need a population that does not exceed natural carrying capacity.

If you have 6000 people on an island that supports 1400, you are not going to have prosperity no matter what.

Any organism that cannot maintain it’s population using renewable resources has exceeded carrying capacity.

Organisms that exhaust resources do not exist in nature because they cannot survive 4 billion years of evolution.[/quote]

Carrying capacity is a function of productivity only. In fact it is a term of convenience that can not be measured and for all intents and purposes is not real.

There would never be 6000 people on an island that could only support 1400. They cannot just magically appear out of thin air. Besides, there is no linear relationship between population and the amount of resources needed to support it.

Good lord - not another one of these bullshit “all I need is peace” threads.

If all you fucking need is peace and freedom, move out to the Big Bend area of Texas. see how long peace and freedom get you.

You’ll be very profitable for the buzzards. They love idealistic idiots. Idealists rotting carcasses taste like chicken.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Live alone on an island.

Does bringing one more person onto the island negate the idea of peace and freedom? If not, how many more people can brought onto an island before these ideas are negated?[/quote]

It has the potential too, yes. Perhaps that extra person would rather you catch all his fish, build his hut, hunt for pig, and provide him with prison style sex.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Live alone on an island.

Does bringing one more person onto the island negate the idea of peace and freedom? If not, how many more people can brought onto an island before these ideas are negated?

It has the potential too, yes. Perhaps that extra person would rather you catch all his fish, build his hut, hunt for pig, and provide him with prison style sex.[/quote]

But what if the ‘other person’ is a smokin’ babe?

[quote]Neuromancer wrote:
Sloth wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Live alone on an island.

Does bringing one more person onto the island negate the idea of peace and freedom? If not, how many more people can brought onto an island before these ideas are negated?

It has the potential too, yes. Perhaps that extra person would rather you catch all his fish, build his hut, hunt for pig, and provide him with prison style sex.

But what if the ‘other person’ is a smokin’ babe?[/quote]

She may take a vow of celibacy while stranded there with you.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Neuromancer wrote:
Sloth wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
Live alone on an island.

Does bringing one more person onto the island negate the idea of peace and freedom? If not, how many more people can brought onto an island before these ideas are negated?

It has the potential too, yes. Perhaps that extra person would rather you catch all his fish, build his hut, hunt for pig, and provide him with prison style sex.

But what if the ‘other person’ is a smokin’ babe?

She may take a vow of celibacy while stranded there with you.[/quote]

That would suck in the worst way.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Gael wrote:
Above all, you need a population that does not exceed natural carrying capacity.

If you have 6000 people on an island that supports 1400, you are not going to have prosperity no matter what.

Any organism that cannot maintain it’s population using renewable resources has exceeded carrying capacity.

Organisms that exhaust resources do not exist in nature because they cannot survive 4 billion years of evolution.

Carrying capacity is a function of productivity only. In fact it is a term of convenience that can not be measured and for all intents and purposes is not real.[/quote]

Carrying capacity is real in every ecological sense where it is used to describe organic life. All life requires food and other resources. If a population requires more food than can be produced by the land, the population is above carrying capacity and is thus unsustainable and prosperity cannot occur.

Untrue for two reasons.

First, populations rise above carrying capacity when they consume a resource faster than it is being replaced. This will eventually cause a shortage, however until that happens, the population can rise above the island’s carrying capacity. This is however unsustainable.

Secondly, the islanders can wage war on another island, steal their resources, and create the appearance of an improved carrying capacity of their own island, when in fact they have simply decreased the carrying capacity of the other.

No one said it is linear, but the two are directly proportional.

[quote]Gael wrote:
Carrying capacity is real in every ecological sense where it is used to describe organic life. All life requires food and other resources. If a population requires more food than can be produced by the land, the population is above carrying capacity and is thus unsustainable and prosperity cannot occur.
[/quote]

If you truly believe this you should castrate yourself to keep the planet from reaching carrying capacity on principle – likewise you need to convince everyone else in your commune to do the same. It is in the best interest of everyone if you do.

How exactly does a population reach carrying capacity if there are not enough resources to support it in the first place? As soon as goods/resources become scarce enough they become expensive (harder to produce) thus lowering the incentive to reproduce which in turn puts the population back in equilibrium. Population is self regulating.

The carrying capacity is exactly how many people are supported right here and now – it is approx 7 billion. Thousands of years ago the planet did not support this many people and could not because industrialization did not exist. Carrying capacity is irrelevant and only valuable for theoretical discussions amongst tree-hugging hippies who favor communal poverty over individual prosperity. Like I said earlier productivity is all that really matters.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
It has the potential too, yes. Perhaps that extra person would rather you catch all his fish, build his hut, hunt for pig, and provide him with prison style sex.[/quote]

How would this happen? No rational person with the means would allow it to. Besides, if I were the one hunting food I would eat and the other person would starve.

This example proves my point about the necessity of peace and freedom for prosperity. In your example, should it be possible to make an other submit, there is no prosperity for anyone. The slave master only gets what is produced for him and still must allow his slave enough to keep from dying of starvation.

The rational course of action would be to peaceably cooperate so that we can provide enough to sustain ourselves and possibly produce more than the sum of our individual efforts. That is the law of association and the only reason why society can exist beyond subsistence.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
It has the potential too, yes. Perhaps that extra person would rather you catch all his fish, build his hut, hunt for pig, and provide him with prison style sex.

How would this happen? No rational person with the means would allow it to. Besides, if I were the one hunting food I would eat and the other person would starve.
[/quote]
The same slavery, rape, and violence has always happened.

Well, the slave-master rapist must be feeling plenty prosperous. Throughout history such people have risked death and dismemberment to keep their status as slavers, rapists, and pillagers.

I’m glad you feel that way. Unfortunately, much of humanity hasn’t/doesn’t.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
If all you fucking need is peace and freedom, move out to the Big Bend area of Texas. see how long peace and freedom get you. [/quote]

I did not say that is all that is needed. I said they were the only necessary means; but I could have said it better. I did not mean to imply that we can live by those two ideas alone. All other human needs still must be produced which require freedom and peace to do so to one’s utmost ability.

We have had this discussion before about the word necessary. In contrast (at least for this discussion) there is sufficiency. Peace and freedom are necessary conditions but not sufficient conditions for the attainment of prosperity. We still need food, etc.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
I’m glad you feel that way. Unfortunately, much of humanity hasn’t/doesn’t. [/quote]

What percentage? Is learning not possible for these people?

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
I’m glad you feel that way. Unfortunately, much of humanity hasn’t/doesn’t.

What percentage? Is learning not possible for these people?[/quote]

I don’t know. Head over to Pakistan’s tribal areas and explain to them they’re being oppressive to their women.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Gael wrote:
Carrying capacity is real in every ecological sense where it is used to describe organic life. All life requires food and other resources. If a population requires more food than can be produced by the land, the population is above carrying capacity and is thus unsustainable and prosperity cannot occur.

If you truly believe this you should castrate yourself to keep the planet from reaching carrying capacity on principle – likewise you need to convince everyone else in your commune to do the same. It is in the best interest of everyone if you do.

How exactly does a population reach carrying capacity if there are not enough resources to support it in the first place? As soon as goods/resources become scarce enough they become expensive (harder to produce) thus lowering the incentive to reproduce which in turn puts the population back in equilibrium. Population is self regulating.[/quote]

Populations are not self regulating. They are regulated by their environment in the form of extinction. Look up the St. Matthews Reindeer experiment. When a population overexploits, it doesn’t necessarily drop to equilibrium levels. It drops – in the form of massive die offs and extinction. There is a latency period between when overexploitation begins and shortages result. This latency allows populations to double or triple carrying capacity.

The biggest example of latency is when a population finds 400 years of a nonrenewable resource and allows their population to blow up because they will not experience any repercussions immediately.

And by the way, scarcity of resources doesn’t lower the incentive to reproduce. This is simply naive. People only have an incentive to mate, and only in affluence and prosperity do people suppress this and plan. Every civilization in history is testament to the fact that it works the other way around.

Tough words coming from a guy who only a few years ago was a registered green and “deeply liberal.”

Industrialization had a minor effect on the population. But the much bigger factor came later – oil.

The population explosion – the quadrupling in the last 150 years – is due to oil. Oil, a finite resource, has created a population that was impossible 150 years ago, and one that will be impossible to sustain in the future as oil becomes increasingly scarce.

Any use of a non renewable resource creates an artificial and unsustainable population. All instances in nature where organisms attempt to use non renewable resources have resulted in extinction. It simply doesn’t work. 4 Billion years of evolution has proven this.

Extracting a non renewable resource to create an artificial bump in the population is not real progress.