The article proposes a reflection on two concepts, related to the theme of sustainability. The first is scarcity, the latter is sovereignty. The article considers the institution of the scarcity on a social level. In this perspective, scarcity is a set of goods and resources insufficient to satisfy the needs of all people. The paper emphasizes not only a natural dimension linked to human needs, but also a social dimension: the conditions for the institution of scarcity are not only economic, but related to power and interest to manage a resource. In this sense, scarcity is not just a natural fact. The idea of scarcity is socially established and the social institution of scarcity is a means of controlling the conflict. Secondly, the paper proposes the Bataillean concept of dépense, which includes not only the excessive consumption, but also the dimensions of luxury, of play, of art, of the sacred. In such dimensions, time and resources are not destined to a profit, but are an end in themselves, in a non-utilitarian way. The dépense implies sovereign attitudes and behaviours of people over things, thanks to a way of consuming goods according to a non-servile logic.
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