Introduction[edit | edit source]
In a VIAAC transferic model, Value Theory is not to be confused with VIAAC Ethics Theory. VIAAC Value Theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how, why and to what degree the removal of the profit mechanism from transactions assists in correct resource valuation.
Value in a VIAAC[edit | edit source]
Priority theory of value is defined as:
Things are valued most rationally according to their centrality to people.
No theory of political economy would be complete without a theory of value to relate people to the goods they use. There are essentially two sides to the value discussion, one which asserts that value is determined by the act of production, the other which asserts that it is determined by the act of consump-tion. Each asserts that the other is incorrect. In VIAAC theory, value is most sensibly conceived as the quality of the relationship between the ecology of the VIAAC and the thing which is to be evaluated. This idea is called priority theory of value (PTV). PTV attempts, by enumerating our relationships to the resources we use, to understand which ones are truly valuable to us.
If one were to examine, for instance, the quality and quantity of relationships we have to water, we would find that we have a universal need for water, and thus its value could only reasonably be described as extremely high. On the other hand, the uses of high-priced diamonds could not ever reasonably be described as a need. Given a choice between a want for water and a want for dia-monds, the latter choice could only be made by a system in which the worthiness of individuals must be judged and compared. This sort of system has intractable ethical issues and perpetuates hi-erarchies and antisociality.
The use of prices to negotiate trade are inherently discriminatory based on ability: They are invariably based on the provision of labor or subjective value, so those who provide less, receive less. This idea is appealing to those who believe that lazy people should get less reward than hard workers—although in practice, this is not at all what happens. However, consider that there are many people who are not lazy but simply un- or less- able to work, through no fault of their own, such as age, illness, birth defects, mental disabilities, or accidental injuries. Does it really make sense to punish unproductive workers, considering this would involve punishing not only the “lazy” workers, but also the elderly, frail, disabled, and ill?
There are numerous other problems with prices, which I have already described: The misrepresentation of value, the distorted set of economic priorities, the incentive to keep secrets, and the severe constraint placed on the realm of possibility for a trans-fery. PTV seeks a way not to find the most effective way sculpt reality until “value” matches prices, but a way to relate our-selves to the reality of the things we need.
Even though we are all individuals with different needs, that doesn’t mean that the only way we can define value is from a purely individual standpoint. The things we use must not be considered only for their value as an end product for each person, not only for their equivalence in exchange for other things, but for how important they are to the whole process of fulfilling needs and wants. Existing theories of value are constrained, non-relational forms of a relational perspective, which treat all value defined in terms of the individual. The labor theory of value argues that individual effort is what determines value, ignoring that most of the value in any product or good comes from social efforts. The subjective and marginalist theories of value argue that individual preference is what determines value, ignoring that most of our values are social values, and it is only when those social values can be freely fulfilled that individual preference even begins to matter.
The Social Psychology of Profit[edit | edit source]
When I generate profit in a transaction, if I am trading fairly in the current system, my profit is limited only by the willingness of the other entity/entities participating in the transaction to reward my service beyond the calculated cost of the transaction. Thus, profit in any given transaction can only result from reciprocal manipulation of perceived resource value. In contemporary society, these manipulations are influenced by lawful regulations and restrictions, as well as social consciousness considerations and individual cognitive biases, and all transactions will favour those most capable of bypassing these influences.
For empathic individuals (those without sociopathic tendencies and other similar psychological disorders) participation in economic transactions is likely to result in high levels of cognitive dissonance, as the individual is required to seek profit in the transaction for individual or family survival, while simultaneously understanding that skilled manipulation is required to extract the maximum profit. The empathic individual recognises the social limits on profit, and thus also recognises that maximum profit for one party in any transaction requires the loss of profit for the other entity/entities. Only by pursuing learned sociopathic, economic behaviours can an individual extract profit from transactions.
Traditionally, the justification for profit-based economics has been that the potential for profit acts as an incentive for the individual to perform to their best ability in order to attain the highest potential reward. However, since the dominant portion of society is not inherently sociopathic, a profit-based system cannot result in its ideological aim without resulting in large-scale anti-social, dissocial and psychopathic behavioural patterns.
This is in evidence today, as large portions of society are encouraged to exhibit the range of behavioural patterns consistent with sociopathic patterns, through repeated use of memes and stereotypes in marketing, advertising and various elements of mass-media.
- Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.
- Gross persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations.
- Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them.
- Low tolerance to frustration, and a low tolerance for the discharge of aggression, including violence
- Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment
- Markedly prone to blame others or to offer plausible rationalisations for behaviour exposing conflict with society
- Deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
- Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead
- Reckless disregard for safety of self or others
In addition to the sociopathic behavioural patterns, the predicted cognitive dissonance of an empathic society forced to mimic sociopathic behaviour in its socio-economic interactions, is likely to result in a wide variety of destructive or irrational belief systems being accepted in order to reinforce the individual’s positive self-image and alleviate the internal psychological pressure arising from the conflict.
In order to reduce the cognitive dissonance experienced, empathic individuals need to assert either one or the other of the ideologies held. If there are mechanisms in place that permit the reinforcement of empathic behavioural tendencies, individuals are able to enact their inherent and socially beneficial empathic behavioural tendencies.