Contemplating a new era of bountiful resources compared to previous times, some call for a socialist, or equal, distribution of the new resources. Two examples of new eras would be those triggered by the advent of the molecular assembler and uploaded human minds; the resources would be, respectively, Earth and Solar System matter and processing capacity.
A socialist resource allocation is moot because:
- At t+1 or t+n, there will have been a reallocation of resources based on individual skill, utility and Darwinism,
- Capitalist forces will figure out how to attain more of the resources in other ways,
- Ways of enforcing a socialist resource distribution will probably not exist or be desirable, and
- Market mechanisms are likely to provide the most effective resource distribution.
Much more important than which post-scarcity economy resource allocation model to use is how to engender a smooth transition to the new era.Presumably the rule of law will persist and the critical part will be adapting it to extend and protect rights in the new eras. What is going to happen when someone erects a Dyson sphere around newly terraformed Mars homesteads and starts levying a toll on IP traffic and physical egress? Law seems to be the most stable profession in the face of accelerating technology and new eras!
Absent UN AI Peacekeeping Forces, there should be a way to design incentives backed by consequences and force if necessary to reduce the claim-jumping, lawlessness and vigilanteism (its new guise: nano-weaponry arms races!) that has accompanied historical landgrabs.
At the end of “Engine of Creation,” Eric Drexler discusses “Inheritance Day,” a time for “distributing ownership of the resources of space” in three possible scenarios:
- (capitalist) First-come first-served, a landgrab as homesteading and mining claims have occurred traditionally. Dismissed since the first one to arrive with an appropriate molecular compiler could to re-work and thus claim as far as it could reach in the universe,
- (socialist) Equal distribution and recalibration over time, and
- (socialist) One-time equal distribution – the libertarian and most preferable approach