Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It's the book that "woke me from my dogmatic slumbers," to quote Hume (I think) reading Rousseau (I think).  

And it's a very powerful, romantic story--lone wolf tracking a powerful idea, standing fast against conformity, smug self-satisfaction, and sheer hermetic wrong-headedness.  It's been an exemplar for me.

But I do think that the thermodynamic point of view has something to offer.  Not that I would replace a "labor theory of value" or a "socially constructed" (i.e. neoclassical economic, utility-based) "theory of value" with a "thermodynamic theory of value."  Low entropy doesn't capture all of what we (humans) mean by "value."  But that persepctive has a lot to show us; and one implication seems to be, that value has an irreducibly objective component.  There's simply no way that the valuation of cast metal as being more valuable than the ore from which it was made is a subjective valuation; the former has lower entropy than the latter, and low entropy is always and everywhere prized above high entropy.

Industrial society is not sustainable. Unsustainable systems change--or disappear.

by Eric Zencey (Eric dot Zencey at UVM dot EDU) on Thu Mar 13th, 2008 at 12:27:41 AM EST
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