Thursday, September 11, 2008

Revalue Value

I think I am pretty convinced by much of the economics that exists today - I think that corporations have many incredible functions, that money serves a purpose that will not be easily replaced, trade certainly has its advantages as do certain clusters of specialization's. Therefore I wonder what drives the economy to destroy the very backbone of our existence? Is it because the economy is something separate from us? Has it really become so unembedded (to play of Karl Polayni)? Perhaps it has, perhaps we as a a society have forgotten that we created this entity, this thing called the economy. It is a product of human ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness. It is not something separate from us like water, and sky - rather it is something that will not exist after us, it did not exist before us and perhaps we may even be able to live without it.

Therefore it is about taking ownership of the economy - not in a revolutionary overthrow the rich or the powerful. No, I am actually talking about it in a much more participatory and creative process. I like to think of it very academically but actually it is something far more creative actually something co-creative. It is a creation of a theoretical understanding and interpretation of our society and how we "need" to exist. The economy has been and continues to be in many different forms - socialist, capitalist, communist, authoritarian etc...there is a long list of many smaller and more refined understandings of these economic differences.

What I am after is how do we recreate our economy from a fundamental point - from the point of value! How is value understood and interpreted. And, why do certain things, the things that we hold to be the most sacred in so many levels hold minimal value in our economic system? How do we add to the story of our economy a new understanding of value. I play with it by calling it Infinite Value - this is a value that encompasses that which holds so much value due to its critical role in our sustenance as people.

This is my effort at going at the understanding that we do not need to save the planet - I am 100% certain that the planet will live long beyond our existence. The thing that needs saving is us and the way we can save ourselves is by valuing what is critical to our survival. This is not a dictatorial approach or a "rule" based approach that tries to constrain the behavior of people and companies with a set of arbitrary regulations that have been placed after long battles. No, this is rather an attempt to get the economy to recognize the value of certain elements upfront despite their apparent abundance or short-term lack of utility.

We need an economy that takes this into consideration. The economy is based on value and value is based on ideas that we have theorized and put together in books like Marx and Smith etc...It is at this place that we step into a realm that starts getting a bit more complicated. The essence, and to keep it simple for this post, is that I want to see how I can incorporate a value concept that recognizes that which is critical and holds Infinite Value.

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