The Scarcity Mentality: Why Europeans Are So Violent?

scarcity-abudance-mentalityAfricans are in majority people with an Abundance mentality, and Europeans are in majority people with Scarcity mentality.

Everything you know about civilization could be explained by these two distinct mindsets.

In 2009, I was living in Paris for already 7 years, and I met a young French girl, with an allure you see only see on the cover of Vogue or PlayBoy Magazine. She was beautiful, but also nerdy, and just broke up with her Nigerian boyfriend whom she was dating for few years already.

We were in the conversation for some time around a glass of Chardonnay, when suddenly she burst into a monologue you often see with people in early stage of depression. She rambled “You Africans are childish and scary. How could some people be so inconsequential. You Never care about the future. Only living in the present. It’s irresponsible. I broke up with my boyfriend because of that. I can’t build a family with such kind of man”.

Like an old shoe, I asked softly “What do you mean? ”

My question got her a little bit nervous. She lifted her hands into the air, and said with a tense voice “He spends his money without thinking about the future. When he has money, he spends it all. He has no idea about saving, preparing for rainy days.”

“Oh! yeah, I understand”, I said. Then she continued “For me it’s very important to have some kind of security. I need to own the place where I live, and also save money to plan trips, and the  future of kids. But for him, life is only now and what will happen tomorrow, belongs to tomorrow, and that is not his concern”.

Listening to Christelle, that’s her name, reminded me an accidental conversation I’ve had one year earlier with a stranger in a bus from the center of Paris to the Airport. The conversation, I had with that stranger will widely open my mind and lead to my formulation of the theory of two kinds of societies: societies with scarcity mentalities, and societies with abundance mentality.

The stranger, I’d later discover, was Alexander Mersereau, an associate professor of Accounting Studies at the Elitist management school HEC in Montreal, Canada. At a turn of our conversation, he mentioned a book where the author explained why in many tropical African countries, there were no herding culture, no systematic practice of storing harvest, no developed agricultures practices, while in Europeans countries regardless of the weather conditions people were forced to domesticate and grow animals for food, to invent agriculture tools and practices  to get maximum of harvest, and also manage to store food and harvest for long period of time.

The main reason, the speculation goes, is that in tropical Africa, nature is abundant, food if freely available in nature. Like they say in Cameroon, You trow a grain on the ground, you come back  the next day to find food. When you need protein, you just go into the forest for game, where they are in abundance. People never have to worry about what to eat, and more importantly there is no reason why to worry about the future, because nature is abundant, and centuries of life in harmony with that nature built an absolute certainty into people mind that whatever ever happen future will provide for itself.

In contrary, if you are an inhabitant of a country like Finland or Holland, you can NOT rely on nature to provide. You have barely 6 month to work hard and diligently extract and store enough food for your family, for heating during the harsh winters. People have to prepare for the future. People have to save for rainy day. Resources are scarce, and unpredictably.

In the African environment, people developed an Abundance mentality. In the European environment, people developed a scarcity mentality. And these two very different kind of  mentality lead to two different kind of societies.

Here are the main characteristics of of the two mentalities:

# Main characteristics of an abundance mentality society: Main characteristics of an scarcity mentality society:
1. – Aggression is limited, as competition for resource is limited – Competition for resource is fierce. Predation and aggression is necessary for survival
2. – Trust is open ended toward all people, even people outside the immediate community – Trust is limited to the clan, the family. Outsiders are by experience only predators or enemies
3. – People spend more time in contemplation and search for absolute connection with natural forces. They want to protect nature. – People spend more time in maximizing resources and developing tools for extracting maximum resource from Nature. Nature is a threat!
4. – People are not concerned about time – Speed is important for survival. Observing carefully natural cycle, and timing one actions are critical for survival
5. – People compliance to social normal is limited or relaxed. – compliance to social norm is rigorous. One person misbehavior could jeopardize social survival. Individual freedom is limited
6. – People are nonchalant, and laid back – People are always on their guard, preparing to fight out of danger.
7. – Priests, and Magician are the most powerful member of society – Warriors are celebrated and heralded
8. – We are all one humanity, nurtured by the same nature. – A man is a wolf for a man. Survival belongs to the strongest.
9. – Wars are limited – Wars are permanent and pervasive
10. – Helpless in front of violence – Skilled in the application of violence
11. – Obsessed about peace – Obsessed about security
12. – Can’t understand restlessness and speed – Can’t understand idleness and contemplation

A story said  this.

An European visited an African country and saw a young man lying under a coconut on the beach, enjoying the sun bath and the fresh salted wind from the sea. He shaked his head, puzzled by  what he considered to be the laziness of African people. Now, he is here to show Africans how Europeans got civilized, so he approached the young man and after polite greeting asked the young man “Why don’t you climb this coconut and take some of them to the local market for sales, and make some money?” “That’s a better way of spending your time instead of lying here all day long” he continued.

The young men calmly replied “Ok. And then what?”

“Then you’ll have some money, and after several sales you can buy a truck to transport more to the market, and then you can hire some other people to help you grow the business, and if things turned out well, you’ll make a lot of money. You see!”, the European said.

“Yeah, I see. And then what?”

“And Then, you know, you have enough money to travel and also you can spend your time on the beach enjoying life, you know!”, replied the European.

Upset by that European intrusion, the African asked “isn’t it what I was doing before you’ve arrived here?”

Nowadays, most Africans still are operating from the abundance mentality, regardless of the poverty you can see all around. You’ll visit a person who has nothing, but he or she will offer your a meal. A Congolese in Paris will receive his salary at the end of the month, and would spend it all in less than 3 days, without really thinking about what would happen next.

Nowadays, most Europeans still are operating from the scarcity mentality, regardless of the wealth they have accumulated over the centuries. They still are insecure, and worried they could lose all that wealth and become poor again. They still think predation and looting of other nations is the only way to maintain their wealth.

When the scarcity mentality and the abundance mentality meets, this meeting could result in deep misunderstanding like in the case of Christelle, but both mindsets have so much to learn from each other!

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About Mawuna KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of, Founder of, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at

25 Responses to “The Scarcity Mentality: Why Europeans Are So Violent?”

  1. Heworth

    This article is awesome and overwhelming to digest, as this encounter is a popular experience that takes place often among people of African descent.
    They cannot seize to be amazed how calmly and confidence we are as a people, and this is because we acknowledge the dynamism of true nature.

  2. Malcolm Kofi Sraha

    Don forget it, dont let this give u a glimmer of hope. The tables have turned long time..we have scarcity mentality n they have abundant mentality. They don't have to work hard for food anymore, we have to, n dying of starvation that's not abundant mentality? Their civil wars have ended 100s of years ago n we still fighting each other at present. Look at blacks in the streets of Brazil. Jamaica, South Africa n Chicago n New York n tell me they are not violent. It's a flawed hypothesis.

    • mm Mawuna Remarque KOUTONIN

      Collective mentality could change but not that so fast. Don’t confuse circumstances with mentality.
      I Don’t know where you live, what kind of people you spent time with, but Overwhelming African in tropical zones are still with an abundance mentality.
      Starvation in Africa is not natural, it’s an artificial process. The same about civil wars, most of them are not African wars, but foreigns ignited wars that using African bodies to fight it.

      Regarding European abundance mentality, You have to go beyond opinion to convince me with some data or stories.

      Lastly, check you data again, The last civil wars in Europe were not 100 years ago.

  3. Vince Cushite

    The gentleman below has it backwards. The scarcity mentality comes from European which makes them still feel that they can't get enough, so they must steal it from others. They saw the dark hued world as people living in abundance and used psychological warfare to take what they had.

    "When the white race broke out of Europe 500 years ago, it did many astounding things all over the globe. Inspired by a raging sky-god, the whites were able to pretend that their conquests were in order to bring the One God to everyone, particularly those with older and subtler religions." ~Gore Vidal

  4. Vince Cushite

    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”

    ~Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

  5. Ken Biddle

    Same with the Chinese all over the tropical Far East. They originally came from northern parts of China before steadily migrating (conquering) southward. Rice cultivation was one of their key assets as it took long and hard work, discipline, planning, and teamwork to get a harvest. And with herding in the background, there was always fighting between clans over pasture land and theft of livestock. This formed a very war like mentality amongst the leaders.

    With these kinds of traditions instilled in their everyday life, they were able to easily take over the lands of abundance in the south. Even to this day, in places like Indonesia and the Philippines, it is the Chinese descendants who own the vast majority of the businesses and wealth.

  6. Mawuna R. Koutonin

    Comment from @Laura Davion

    "Another informative, well written article. The reasons for Europeans violent behavior and scarcity towards others is as follows: They are originally descended from African albinos, who were banished from Africa due to their warlike, violent tendencies and because they failed to contribute to the tribes in which they were originally from, and their overall physical appearances, both eyes and skin, which were remarkably different from indigenous Africans, were extremely sensitive toward the sunlight, and as such, were expelled; This expulsion led them to spread to other parts of the world, especially Europe where the climate was much colder, and much more bearable for them and had lived in caves for centuries afterwards, and also altered their evolution and explains their lack of civility towards others, especially people of color; Their appearance changed overtime, which resulted in mixing with each other and creation of different eye and hair colors, developed more hair on their bodies for protection against the harsh cold, and were prone to eating raw meats and developing lice and larvae on their hair and bodies due to insanitation, and eventually became what are known today as Europeans; Africans had taught Europeans civilization and educated them, which they (Europeans), of course, took credit for eventually; The albinoid Africans, deep down, felt inferior to melanated people and were much poorer than they were and had had no cultures and civilizations to speak of, needed something to make themselves feel superior and did everything they could to possibly attain such; Prior to the late fifteenth century, Africans lived in equity and the division of states were nonexistent;there was no such thing as a division of wealth and class; Europe was an extremely poor, downtrodden continent and eventually colonized Africa and enslaved them in retaliation for 800 years of Moorish rule. Because the European was innately jealous of great African kingdoms and what they had contributed to mankind, he therefore developed a deity-like complex and wiped out numerous indigenous peoples throughout every continent to attain the ill-deserved luxuries that he had and still does today; The European eventually became an illegal squatter everywhere he went and Europeanized and proselytized indigenous peoples in order to enrich himself and send numerous abundances of natural resources back to Europe, which helped the continent prosper; and throughout the centuries, had warped up historical claims to perpetuate the European in a positive light and downgraded Africans and discredited their various civilizations and with time became more overt with his avarice. Although Europeans had lived lavishly, there was still something missing within them to despise people of color, mainly people of African descent. The reason why Europeans belittled Africans about their physical appearances and their mannerisms, was because deeply, they wanted to have the same attributes and because they knew they were undesirable, forced their odd perceptions of what beauty was, as well as European ideology, globally. The reason why Europeans despise black people so much, and are so fixated on us, is because we are genetically much stronger than they are and can easily wipe them out. They hate us, but cannot stop thinking about us at the same time. People of African descent do not obsess over Europeans the way they do with us, and they also have the tendency of forcing themselves within African descended peoples' social gatherings, even at times when we don't want to be around them. Whenever some people of African descent express their dislike for whites, their reactions are similar to that of lost puppies and have the inability to fathom why some black people want nothing to do with them and try to do everything in their power to change their mindsets, and revert to calling them racists and say they have black friends, or dated blacks, in an attempt to cover up the overall terrorism and destruction Europeans have brought upon various nations. Moreover, the main reason why people of African descent are hated is this: we contain the most human DNA out of everyone else while other races are a mutation of us, and are part Neanderthal. There have been numerous historical descriptions of the European, which described him as warmongering, stupid, etc. and he innately despises that, although he has been very successful with one thing, and that is brainwashing. Now that the European's time on this earth is declining and everything is crumbling before his very eyes, he reverts back to the behavior of his predecessors and trying to do everything in his power to take more natural resources, and continue the live the lavish life that he's accustomed to, as well as claim Asians, Arabs, and those of Hispanic origin as white to save their dying population. Mark my words, this planet will be merciless towards the European and will get his long overdue Karma for the way he has ruthlessly screwed over others and polluted everything."

  7. Kobby Amissah

    With Our Religious Minded Personalities, The Ability to identify or Recognize Joseph as a great Economist of His Time, rather than seeing Him as an Interpreter of Dreams, could be a determining Factor—This Typical Difference is the one between Planned Future for Coming Generation and Life by Chances in the Wilderness of Survival!
    Hahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Nana Yaw!

  8. Mawuna R. Koutonin

    Kofi Tufuor Sraha
    Collective mentality could change but not that so fast. Don’t confuse circumstances with mentality.
    I Don’t know where you live, what kind of people you spent time with, but Overwhelming African in tropical zones are still with an abundance mentality.
    Starvation in Africa is not natural, it’s an artificial process. The same about civil wars, most of them are not African wars, but foreigns ignited wars that using African bodies to fight it.

    Regarding European abundance mentality, You have to go beyond opinion to convince me with some data or stories.

    Lastly, check you data again, The last civil wars in Europe were not 100 years ago.

  9. Paula-Jean Morris

    Wow I'm amazed, It's as though you have thought up a fictional story and put it across to the public as being fact!…..The parts about there being plenty of food in Africa so there being no need to store or collect it!- Africa is starving and suffering!!! And then there's the parts about violence- you (in Africa) are all killing each other!! Europeans are what are called a civilised society.We are not void of crime by any means but in the uk for example we don't get our school girls kidnapped by the hundreds and sold for marriages and I have seen public fist fighting in the uk but not what iv seen from Africa- public killing by machete hacking, burning and even eating the victims alive! You really ought to do some real research as your article being read by anyone who isn't naive, uneducated, non – European really is jaw dropping and not in a good way. My boyfriend has had to build a house in Africa with a ten foot electric fence around it but in the uk is able to leave his front door open without feeling threatened. We are not permitted to have guns except for Sport ie clay shooting. It's people like you who help to prevent your country from progressing!
    Telling people of a country that is lacking proper education and health care, is by far underdeveloped, struggling appallingly, has a corrupt government, collosal numbers of murders, dying, starving and victims of civil war that it is actually better than most other countries is well…counter productive to say the least. If you had instead spoken about the TRUE strengths that Africans have over Europe then it would have been kudos to you but this is just a compilation of lies. Do you have no idea about what is going on in your own continent? If not then you should not be writing public articles, journalists are not just writers they are also researchers.And then there's all the money that the common European who you call "aggressive" sends to your country trying to help ease suffering and help build better societies! we send millions of our earnings….you should be ashamed to be honest.

    • mm Mawuna Remarque KOUTONIN

      Your knowledge of history, geopolitics, world events, and news is obviously limited to what you heard from CNN, BBC, RFI. Epiphenomena!
      You’ll soon declare you can compete in a Formula 1 race because you have watched Michael Shumacher so many times on TV, and heard the commentators on radio!

      Check these 3 articles which wouldtell you more about the topic on hand:
      1. Why europeans continue to collect ransoms from poor countries:
      2. The Black man burden:
      3. France colonial tax on 14 african countries:

      Please, educate yourself better about the world in which we live! Our common survival depend on that shared education!

      • PJ Morris

        You are making a huge amount of assumptions while having absolutely no knowledge of how much I educate myself or what my sources are which displays your own naivety. I won’t dignify that by explaining how or where I study or obtain my information and find you to be plain insulting by making random assumptions as to what I do with my time.
        While on the subject of over generalisation, that is exactly what the author of this article has done. Africa is in the condition that it is in (call that condition what you wish) not only due to what how others have abused in in the distant past or present but also due to the people it contains. It’s about time we took some responsibility instead of blaming, blaming, blaming. It has become pathetic and boring listening to blacks blaming whites for every problem they have. It embarrasses me personally and YES I do my research as a black person am around people of my own ethnicity enough and research enough to hear the incessant blaming. It’s tantamount to a child like mentality.

    • African

      Let me guess, your so called boyfriend is black right? That’s the problem with you ppl, you white women specifically, you think that because you are shagging a black man you know all about Africa and Africans but you know nothing, not about our struggles and the after effects of the handiwork of your forefathers. And contrary to what your white ass would love to promote, civilisation has been here on Earth since before white ppl as in black ppl had civilizations. Actually Europeans and white ppl have no civilizations, how can a group of ppl who kill, steal, lie and cheat be civilized? GTFOH. White ppl or Europeans in the same sentence as civilized is a joke. Y’all are barbaric and your ancestors are neanderthals

  10. Ben-Jamin

    You know, I wouldn’t have a problem with an abundance mentality if it ended with a space program. I think the biggest problem for technologically advanced societies is that as soon as we have enough for everyone, people just make more people instead. How about we cap the population? Less people, more to go around.

  11. Nzingha Shabaka

    You do not see a picture that Europeans has created in Africa. Before the invision, colonialism, enslavement of African people, kidnapped and carry all over the world, resources being stolen, and so you have a broken people, whose progress has been interrupted by Europens as they enjoy the fruits of African people's destruction. Some African people are doing what you are saying, but only out of survivor, had it not been for the Europeans and others, Africa would be just as he described. You should be ashame, because, of the crimes committed by Europeans and others on African people. What Africa need to be free, is to reap the benefits of their own resources, and the invaders to get out of Africa so that they can harvest their own resources, then Africa will not be what you described, help Africa and her people to really be free. Africa has all that she need for her people, the colonizers, need to get out.

  12. Nasser Ugoji

    Now is the time to find out the root cause of Ebola, is it made in the laboratory? Will we be talking of the devastation of Africans again when the next cycle of reflection. Its good to find fundamental reality but then they must be used to systematically prevent the past from ever happening again.

  13. Sam Dallman

    I have said man belongs in the tropics where the sun clothes and raw fruit feeds…There is no progress, just hard work for inferior mimics.

  14. Sam Dallman

    In the UK you cannot leave your door open. Africans are starving because land is taken over by Europeans to grow coffee, sugar, etc that cannot grow in uselessly cold Europe. Crime is a result of this artifical scarcity created.

  15. Will Peters

    If an abundance mentality brings with it an obsession for peace, why are European countries currently at peace and most African countries in the grip of civil war, sectarian violence etc?


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