Let us eliminate bicycle theft by producing so many bicycles that nobody will perceive stealing a bicycle as an increase in wealth. We remove the motive by reducing to zero the marginal value of one more bicycle.

The larger economy benefits from a similar pattern. One American living in Denmark was willing to pay 70% income tax because it bought him a peaceful life in a friendly environment. When I lived in Switzerland, I twice recovered my umbrella after accidentally leaving it on a train. That involved identifying the train and the approximate location on the train, along with choosing at which station I wanted to pick it up. Even Bicycles and cameras did not require being locked up. Obviously, the populace at large lived content without purloining the belongings of others.

Europeans do not claim to know everything. They remain capable of progress based on hundreds of years of diversity and work ethic. The deadliest attitude would be to claim perfection and abandon trying to improve.

I tell this story to motivate searching for better ways. Instead of stoking discontent over what is wrong, I encourage envisioning what is better. Sadly, my vision is usually met with resistance: “that can never be” and “that has already been tried and discarded.” I respond with another story. I remember vividly a movie scene from prior decades in which a medical doctor starting an emergency blood transfusion explained “sometimes this doesn’t take.” In our time, blood typing has essentially eliminated the risk he was describing. Scientific advancements reduce risk of failure.

Therefore, I continue promulgating my vision of sharing. Naysayers dismiss it as communism that has already failed, because they do not understand it. Fellow visionaries, read on so that our next attempted kindness will avoid the pitfalls of ignorance.

My question is always “do you want this improvement?” Answering “yes” is the first step of the journey. As long as we scientifically evaluate and direct our progress, failure to achieve is no more than failure of will. Realizing a common vision rewards the effectiveness of our science as we desire something together.

I call us to positive mental attitude: Let us focus on hope for that which is not yet, so that we will not try to overcome violence, including poverty, by cursing the darkness.

Photo by LuAnn Hunt on Unsplash