So how are we to establish value in 2017? What is valuable and why?
Price, value, worth and cost are often interchangeable in everyday language and have, to a large degree, lost their significance in the world of today. A world where we have lost our path and are constantly distracted, a world where we understand only one thing regarding value. The only aspect to be considered in assigning value is economic. Everything has a price, only the monetary value assigned truly carries weight and has any significance today, everything else is considered superfluous.
Today’s values are deliberately shallow and are that way by design not accident. Our current superficial and artificial values are designed and implemented by the corrupt and toxic financial system to preserve the status quo and maintain their position of complete control of everything. A huge corporate mechanism drives these values incessantly forward to stimulate and satisfy the parasitical system that requires a two-tier society, the haves and the have nots, in order to survive. Our compliance must be maintained at all costs otherwise, their game is up. If the rabbits dared move out of the glare of the massive headlights, they would see that there is nothing of substance behind them and that the whole system is fake and built on deception and lies, the Wizard of Oz.
We are positioned and groomed to look at the trivia and not question beyond. We are tossed celebrity and sport and any suitable trite to keep us glued to the screen instead of thinking for ourselves. We learn to view and judge all things, human, environmental and material and classify them per their position on a predetermined commercial index, arriving as high as possible on this index is what constitutes success, position and worth to our vapid society. We are encouraged to buy into the system and become part of it, which we willingly do, like lambs to the slaughter to the point where we go to war and lay down our lives to protect the institution that enslaves us and robs us. Therefore, we hold footballers and vapid 15 minutes of fame non-celebrity celebrities like the Kardashians in such high regard whilst teachers and nurses are dismissed.
This is how a tiny unscrupulous few maintain a vice-like control of 7.5 billion people. And 7.5 billion people are too stupid and pathetic to do anything about it and improve their lot and the quality of their lives and will willingly die to preserve it and prevent their advancement.
Firstly, we need to nail down the specifics of the system that supports fiscal barter as a medium of fair exchange.
Price is the amount of money paid by a buyer to a seller, it is determined and calculated as a fixed amount that has been deemed to be appropriate for the exchange in ownership of a particular asset or commodity, it is the basic mechanism upon which markets are built. There are different ways of arriving at and securing a figure. The highest figure that a buyer will pay, the lowest figure that a seller will accept or a figure arrived at by a following a specific formula based on a cost/mark-up percentage equation or a combination of any and all these factors. The price is determined by the seller or agreed between the buyer and seller, based on the market conditions bearing in mind the strength of the desire to acquire the item. Factors that influence the market for an item or service and ultimately affect its price are need, practicality, benefit, desirability, abundance or rarity, ease of manufacture or supply of that, how much you love it or loathe it, what you are willing to sacrifice in exchange will determine the price demanded. The price reflects value or Worth of the acquisition to the purchaser or consumer.
An oversupply, undersupply or a price that is considered too high may mean that the price demanded will not be paid by the purchaser who feels that the item represents poor value for money in a competitive market. An alternative, more economical solution may be available and this makes the initial item undesirable in comparison and surplus to requirements. Negotiations may be part of a pricing process, and these factors will often be cited as being contributory or incisive in determining the price through negotiation.
The sum required to acquire the desired item or service, the physical expenditure, the outlay, is the Cost. Cost is generally viewed and related to in financial terms as a monetary sum. Cost can also be represented in more philosophical terms, for example, the number of lives lost, the number of deaths that are deemed permissible to acquire the desired objective or the loss of quality.
Combined or individually these terms give us the value. When we consider selling, we imagine an ideal buyer who values the item as we do if not more and aligns with our expectations accordingly. Value, however, is a broader more embracing term, it is perceived, it is subjective, it can be determined by the usefulness or desirability or significance of an item, the price paid, its importance, its desirability. It can be measured in financial terms measured by its considered excellence and suitability for purpose.
“Value” is too often confused with “worth” and too often solely a financial figure is applied to something and its value accepted as a fixed fiscal quantity devoid of anything greater import, but the greater value may be non-monetary. Value is not just a number, it is dependent on individual preferences and social, cultural or philosophical context. Value has a deeper and more significant meaning when used in relation to mental, spiritual or moral qualities.
We see these spiritual and moral values as being largely intrinsic and stable over a prolonged time. Someone who fails to share our values is considered undesirable and vice versa, however, value in the monetary sense is more volatile and is not necessarily constant and may become valueless as it becomes redundant over time. It is a moral sense that is measured as a value and this moral sense gives us the ability to determine the justice or injustice of an action or situation. Our moral sense is determined by our experiences, culture and our position within the structure of society. Our value system is integral to the structure of our society and our sense of community. Individually we have our own moral sense or compass, we know if we or someone else is behaving in line with our value system. Socially and culturally we have a collective value system that regulates our collective behaviour and judgements and decisions are made of other groups based on their adhesion to, or lack of, our value system.
Our moral standards, our ethics, such as integrity respect, loyalty, duty, honour, empathy, courage have become lost and distorted under our current financial value system.
Value is considered solely as a fiscal commodity that transcends all before it. It’s true relevance in a moral sense has been debased and swept aside, corrupted to a point where ownership is sacred and held above all else, possession has a quasi–religious, talismanic, fetishistic significance, private property and gain are held in reverence and worshipped with pious devotion. Any adhesion to the moral aspect is weak and greed allows for gain to be beyond the limits of any moral code. You can’t turn over the money lenders tables in the temples anymore because the money lenders turned the temples into Banks.
The corporate world is controlled by the lowest calibre human parasites motivated solely by greed. They are bereft of the moral qualities of values and anything is permissible if the desired objective is attained. The perpetrators removed from criticism in the public eye because the ends justify the means, their success and self-adoration places them on an imaginary pedestal.
They are too simple, too stupid and too greedy to look beyond their ivory tower at what is happening to them and the ramifications on the rest of the world. Like the aristocrats of the French Revolution, they feel they have some divine right and do not care one iota for anyone beyond themselves. They believe that they are entitled beyond the masses. And the masses, like the pathetic peasants of Le Vende, are the willing idiots who believe that they must conform to their whims and dictates to the point of self-sacrifice and annihilation in exchange for a few meagre crumbs from the table.
We have lost sight of what ‘value’ means and continue tolerating and feeding an increasingly sick and perverse system that gradually draws us into an inevitable vortex from which there is no escape. The concept of value beyond the financial is simply no longer discussed and is an irrelevance.
So then, I ask again, how are we to establish value in 2017? What is the price of a river? It is a whole ecosystem, to the fish that lives within the ecosystem it supports, it is life itself, to the fisherman, his livelihood, to the farmer, his family, his livestock, his crops, whose land it irrigates it is the sustenance of life itself, the trees it sustains provide shelter and housing. To Nestle its value lies in denying access to anyone else and is measured solely in the number of plastic bottles that it can fill and sell.
What is the value of a rainforest? Rainforests play a crucial role in the ecological and meteorological cycles of the planet, they maintain global rainfall and regulate climate patterns worldwide. Rainforests cover approximately 7% of the of the world’s land surface but are home to about 50% of the all living things including somewhere in the region of 50 million indigenous people. The canopy, the root systems, the vegetation and plant life prevent erosion by slowing rainfall, preventing floods and landslides [Hurricane Mitch cost in excess of 11000 lives in Central America, the death and destruction was primarily caused by the resultant floods and landslides]. The current rate of rainforest destruction is about 1 acre each second, 60 acres/min, 31.5 million acres per year. The rainforest is ‘owned’ by someone, who somehow got a piece of paper that says they own it from someone who said they owned it. This paper gives them license to freely trade its contents for their own gain, with the financial rewards going to the shareholders. Its minerals, timber and other “assets’ can be harvested or mined and sold or traded.
What is the value of a house? Is it simply the price of the combined elements that the land can fetch on the open market, or is its real value the shelter, safety and security it provides, its role as a home, is the true value the laughter, love and memories that it created and nurtured?
They excessively privileged think they own the house we all live in. They think they will become richer by burning and selling everything in our home. Every stick of furniture, the carpets, the floorboards, the roof, the rafters, the window frames, the bricks, the beds, the blankets, everything, it all goes into the fire or is sold off cheap, nothing is saved. Stashing their hoard in secret they naively believe their privilege and wealth means nothing can touch them, their divine right will mystically protect them, they will float in a flood, feast in a famine and breathe when the air turns solid. Then cruel winter arrives and where once stood the house there remains just dirt. We all perish together in the dirt and bitter cold.
Sadly, price and value are manipulated by a select few tyrannical despots, an ignorant and over-privileged few who understand nothing but money, are interested in nothing but money and want nothing but money. These despots have no preconception of the benefits of mutual well-being, only their own avaricious desires and needs, they have no understanding or comprehension of culture or beauty, no comprehension of the sanctity of nature and the essential balance it brings to all life, it’s just about the money.