Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘value of work

Is there any equivalence between Wealth and Value?

Any difference between products (services) in Usage Values versus products for Exchanged?

You read “This person is worth a million

If this person own shares worth one million, or have that wealth in cash, or in real properties, or accumulated through an enterprise, or inherited… would you consider these forms of wealth as equivalent?

If the shares go bust and you find yourself penniless, or the cash has been devalued through currency changes, or properties have been confiscated or not amounting to much after a calamity, or the enterprise was selling illusion of wealth, or the inheritance was divided up early on while alive and has been wasted… what could be the common denominator among all these forms of wealth?

That once upon a time you were wealthy?

That you knew how to accumulate wealth but unable to hold on to?

That feeling poor in old age is overshadowed by a social recognition that you were once rich?

You read that the economists have lately estimated that Nature can extend worth of 54,000 billion per year on services rendered . What that means?

That concept of valuing the various services that nature are saving the corporations was first contemplated in 1997 by Robert Costanza, and the studies multiplied since then. For example:

Bats save $23 bn per year in the US on pesticides

Bees and pollinating insects save $190 bn per year.

And how about the photosynthesis of forests? How much this process saves on accumulated CO2? And valued per ton of CO2 eliminated on the market… A purely political price consensus by the G20

Anything that can be transformed into money is computed by the neoliberal capitalists who have this faculty of absolute recuperation in their mental system.

William Petty once said: “Work is not the unique source for practical values that it produces in material wealth. Work is the father, and land is the mother…”

The new trend among economists is to include all kinds of factors that can be capitalized in their linear models: Sort of analogue addition of variables that include human capital, social capital, knowledge capital, natural capital, communication capital, cognitive capital…

The motto is: “Economical Factors that can be monetarily evaluated should be considered as Capital

One of the problems in these models is ignoring the interactions among the variables, such as the metabolism within the natural eco-systems. All these interconnections that constitute the vast networks for a living condition and the preservation of the productive conditions.

There are new concepts and terms created by international organizations such as the World Bank, the UN Environmental Programs (PNUE) and the Organization of Cooperation and Economic development ( OCDE), and the European Union…. Terms such as “Valuing the living“, “Intrinsic economic value of nature“, and “service value generated by nature”…


1.  Can Nature have  Intrinsic economic value since it is not within the social category?

2. Should the wealth of nature be  reduced to political price decision that are reached by consensus of the largest exporting nations?

Since it is human work and efforts exercised on nature that produce values, should the economists and politicians exclude the social context in navigating within a network of interconnected anthropological living organism?

You read that daily transactions amount to over what all nations produced in GNP for an entire year. What that means?

The neoliberal capitalists have been trying hard to eliminate the notion of “value of work” and replace this term with “circulation of capital” as the main wealth producing factor, sort of connecting work with exchange value and disconnecting usage work as a value in generating wealth.

Neo-capitalists want to equate value with everything that can be transformed into capital, including knowledge, talents, health care, education, potable water, breathable air… Everything that maintain life and the survival of mankind has to be taxed and “capitalized”…

Neo-capitalism has created two contradictions that is handicapping any progress in sustainability of nature and mankind. To be explained in the second part.

Note: Post inspired by the article of Jean-Marie Harribey in Le Monde Diplomatic #717 under “Of bats and capitalism




June 2023

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