Archive for the ‘Nihilism’ Category

Stave-off-starvation theory of value

September 16, 2008

We live in a culture in which everything has a price, but nothing has value.

When you go to purchase a loaf of bread you see the price – perhaps $2 – and if you are really health-conscious you may also check out the caloric content. But what if that loaf of bread also had a value printed on the side in terms of provision of nutrition to the poorest of the poor? Perhaps it would be quantified in terms of ‘days starvation staved’ for a typical dangerously underweight, starving African male.

Of course, this would never happen. Our economic system dictates that the only value an item has is its price received at the market. We can pig out and throw out what we don’t eat, not caring what value that food might have for others because ‘hey, we paid for it!’

Oh, what great myths we indulge in, and how tremendous the empathy and humanity sacrified to that God we call the market.