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What are the sources or bases of Value?

You've left out one critical factor, which is the single most important driver of economics today:

Value is used as a social/Darwinian game to define a pecking order and hierarchy.

In conventional economics the accumulation of this kind of 'value' becomes an end in itself - not because of any objective use-value, but as a social convention.

Put very simply, value is used as a store of 'face'. High-face individuals are exalted, low-face individuals are punished. Many business and political transactions are based on creating an appearance of face and 'value' where there's no objective reason for same.

Similarly high-value collectives - cities, corporations, nation states - are exalted, and low-value collectives are attacked and destroyed.

Current economic understanding has the scientific sophistication of a wolf pack. So much time, energy and effort goes into status plays that there's very little left over for useful activity.

No alternative economic system can work unless it deprecates this mental model and replaces it with something more objectively sophisticated.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Feb 26th, 2012 at 07:54:25 PM EST

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