In Kingian Nonviolence, we study the four major types of conflict. There is Pathway Conflict (same goal, different ways of reaching them), Mutually Exclusive Conflict (different goals, but functioning together), Values Conflict (different values, different goals), and Distributive Conflict (not enough resources to go around).
One of the key points about a distributive conflict is that the majority of the time, it is only the perception of a distributive conflict, a perception that there are not enough resources to go around.
There are close to a billion people that are under or malnourished in the world, yet the US throws away more than 25 million tons of food every year. It’s not that there’s not enough food, it’s how the food is being distributed. It’s the perception that there is not enough food for all the world’s hungry people.
I was reading the other day about our economic system and the crisis we seem to find ourselves in, and I got to thinking: All of the things we are reading and hearing about the debt ceiling, credit ratings, unemployment, the falling stock market, all of those things are potentially the biggest perception of a distributive conflict ever, in history.
August 8th, 2011 was apparently the 6th biggest single day drop in stocks ever. The economy here in the US and in Europe is tanking, we don’t have enough jobs, we don’t have enough money for services and education, we don’t have enough resources.
But at the end of the day, we still have the same amount of people, the same amount of land, the same amount of food, the same amount of air, water, trees and everything we actually need to live as we did yesterday or 5 years ago.
The system that we live in, the system that we created, creates the perception that all of a sudden, we don’t have enough of the most important resource there is: money.
And money is a made up resource. Money is only valuable because we give value to it, unlike air, water, food, and other resources that we actually need to survive. Yet those things we don’t even look at as resources, we look at them as commodities.
We’ve been dooped. We’ve been bamboozled. We’ve been fooled into thinking that there is a real crisis, that we don’t have enough resources to take care of everyone.
Yes, this crisis does have real implications and real impact. But the conflict itself is made up, just like the value we assign to the all mighty dollar.
As the old Cree saying goes;
Only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and the last fish been caught
will we realize we cannot eat money