We do not understand value at all
We do not understand value at all. We conflate value with price. Perhaps it is because value is harder to measure, and we’re lazy creatures.
Maybe it is our penchant for wanting to gain advantage, for seeing how far we can push things and what we can get away with that gives us permission to ignore value and focus on price.
Or, it could be our extraction/exploitation mentality. We see ourselves as separate from nature and see it as a field of conquest where everything is for sale and feel we must define value as a transaction.
Or… maybe we are just bullies and want to have things our way. Value is what we say it is.
As usual, we take things to ridiculous extremes.
But the ultimate test of value is whether more value is created than extracted.
Think about the value created by nurses, mothers, service workers, firefighters and educators. Compare that the the value created by entertainers, CEOs, and billionaires. The difference is qualitative and not reflected the transactions that accompany whatever value they create for their context. The former create value within their context. The later extract more value from their context and hoard it to themselves.
Nature’s processes are based on value as it relates to Life. In Nature, everything must create more value within its context than it extracts or it becomes very rare. Maybe even non-existent. The things that create the most value, that is, they are valued more within their context, become more stable.
But everything is temporary, and value is continually being redefined within every context. It is an eternal process. It is a way of defining relationships, not a way of setting oneself apart from everything else. That’s what price does.
Sooner or later we’ll have to admit price is not a sustainable way to measure value. Sooner or later, we will realize we must take a closer look at how we define value and measure it. To do that, we will have to change our thinking about what value is. We will have to change our minds about value.
As long as our economic system permits the extraction of value without creating any value whatsoever, humanity will continue to destroy itself. As long as we continue to refuse to recognize value cannot be measured financially, we will continue to undermine Life itself. We simply must change the way we do things.
The problems we see out there are just reflections of our own imperfections. We much change the way we do things. We need more heart and less mind.