Nowadays, who would dare say that the world production is unable to feed, clothe and shelter all of mankind?
The world has entered into an era of plenty: an abundance that already exists or that can be made available at a moment’s notice. There is a surplus of manpower required for the production of the goods needed to sustain our temporal life.
If abundance does not reign in the homes, it is because it is destroyed on purpose. It is held back. Large numbers of workers are kept unemployed. Production is impeded. It is sabotaged both in times of peace and in times of war.
Among many other things, war teaches us the manifest, the immense and the potential abundance that can be had in countries all over the world. With armies equipped for destruction, with our best young people enlisted, and with the most advanced tools removed from the production of useful goods, shortage has yet to appear; people are even being paid to refrain from producing.
Tomorrow: an economy of plenty
And what do we do today when there is no war and when production is displayed before the consumers? Mobilization is long gone; it is replaced by immobility while privation is being preached. The old mentality of scarcity has remained in people’s minds. In the face of abundance, of true wealth, the money controllers have maintained the scarcity of money. And mankind, stopping in front of a symbol, has kept itself from drawing upon its wealth.
Those who thought they were the lights that would guide the crowds, have cried out to the crowds that they must save. Save what? Bread? But there is too much wheat! On clothing or shoes? But those who make these products are unemployed because no one buys their products ! On coal ? But miners only work two or three days out of the week!
No. Saving a symbol, saving money, is to accept that the scarcity of money is something worthwhile. It is to bow down foolishly before the decrees of those who barbarously starve the people. And our ruling classes are guilty of this ignorance or of this cowardice.
Modern facts call for an economy of plenty.
— Louis Even, 1941
Even was a socialist, but John Maynard Keynes was saying the same thing in the 1930s, predicting that the work week would have to be shortened. Bertrand Russell talked about the need for more leisure in the 1932. Read Emrys Westacott on Why waren’t we working less?