My Worthies, what is value?

The words, value and worth are used interchangeably and also for both deep and shallow – for that which we love at all costs and also for the relative masses of goods and money.
What is the worth of what I’ve done? What is the value of what I do? Am I worthy? I don’t worry about which word to use and in which context. I think they have survived on my tongue from differing ancestral roots – the one from Old English and the other, Old French perhaps. Both are in use in Middle English. Gwerth is Welsh – old and new.
When we consider the potency of money, perhaps the shallower usage is not so shallow after all. Richard Douthwaite illuminated that money-flow and energy-flow should be directly related. Energy-flow is the power of what people do. Recently, money-flow has vastly expanded, because the power of what people can do has been magnified by fossil-fuelled tools. Plainly, money-flow must rapidly shrink again to just the small power of mortal, fallible humanity. It must fit what the human frame can do to transform only that which can be monetarily valued. Much human activity is culturally valuable, but yet has no monetary value – parenthood, home-making, singing, dancing, walking to the hill-top… So, money flow must be much smaller than even the power of what people do. Such a small flow of money, is very easily managed as a tool to a more complex exchange of labour and resource both within and between cultures. Any community can create its own currency. Within Adam Smith’s definition -Goods can serve many purposes, besides purchasing money, but money can serve no purpose, besides purchasing goods. – the creation of moneyed hierarchies is severely limited. Of course, other hierarchies can evolve – military, sexual, religious, and of skills. Some, within a cultural tradition may be beneficial, others not. For instance, we may consider the positions of master and apprentice to be beneficial. How else can an apprentice begin to master her tools?
Meanwhile, that money which now has a purpose besides purchasing goods, must also be out-lawed. It is theft – pillage. What is the power/mass of that money? I don’t care. All I know is that it is vast and that we must repel it – it contains money-interest, land rent and rent for the monopolistic enclosures of architects, “consultants”, lawyers, medical practitioners… Then we have the money extracted from the casino of stocks, bonds, shares and fluctuating currencies. Shares are an ancient way of launching an adventure – merchant shipping for example. But the buying and selling of shares as chips in a casino is something new – perhaps two hundred years old – its destructive power is plain.
My worthies! We can find a worth, which is beyond price and we can defend it. It is plain that what peer/career-reviewed economics professors call an economy is bound to collapse sometime soon. It has no ground beneath its vast monetary illusion. It is a spun tale, which depends on the complete belief of listening punters. Even so, the collapse will be horrible. It will not be the collapse of a mere illusion, so that truth can finally dawn to contrite visionaries of a new age. Real economic infrastructures will also crumble, causing terrible physical pain. The barbed wires of flailing enclosure will rip open the real economic common. Wages, which once provisioned households to pay taxes, to spend on vital infrastructures, will be gone – leaving fear, anger, confusion, hunger…
That is our task – to build a worthy economy, which fits, just so, inside its ration of Earth. We’ll maintain the capital, which we inherited, so that we can bequeath it in turn. There is nothing we can do about collapsing casinos and monetary systems. We must let them fall, while inviting refugees to join us in a new adventure, whose central value is the worth of people and whose central taboo is diminishment of the invaluable – that is the greater ecology on which all species depend.
After the casino collapse, we’ll have collapsed systems of distribution. We’ll have human misery. But a passing satellite will photograph no change. Roads, streets, houses, bridges, harbours, fields, woods, rivers… will all be unchanged.
We can occupy those commons, each to her skill and with a common vision of the values we had always held, though forgotten in a wild century or two of delusion. In the household we had always understood the fair distribution of chores and pleasures; things and the rationing of things. That is the true economy. We shall make it universal.
Dream on, you say, lost in your dream. Your dream is for the end of times, but with the full dignity of office…

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