The Subjectivity Of Value


On a regular basis, Earth Custodians will have to go through intense and challenging discussions and the ‘Open Letter Series’ is meant  to share possible answers as how to address the tremendous mental resistance to let go monetarism. Earth Custodians will often have more chance to justify their stance if able to  generate the right questions. There is nothing to compete about but demonstrate the ability to initiate a dialogue whose logic stands by itself.

What Monetarism will never be able to fix:

There is out there, an interest-free monetary theory using precious metals that seems a lot more preferable over fiat currencies but the real problem, un-fixable by man, is the subjectivity of value. Regardless of the currency use’ fiat or hard, who or what does determine value? The creator of a concept selling the latter to a manufacturer or the success of a particular item on the market regulated by demand and supply? Sound monetary theories want us to believe that trends within a free-market even out and but the fact is that an investor will always be on the look out for cheaper investments and more profits margins, hence arguing from a value standpoint appears rather moot, if not completely fruitless – especially when the machines’ takeover is already happening right before our very eyes. When free markets speak of the flexibility of value regulated by demand and supply, a fancy terminology, they really do mean and refer to subjectivity. As a matter of fact even street cops will be eventually replaced with robots, each costing the system 6 dollars or so per hour. So what is the actual value of a police officer as we speak? Here is another example: it is a certainty that anybody refusing to buy an (expensive) driverless car will see his insurance premiums skyrocket as soon as the latter become safe enough. Such paradoxical sense of value cannot be resolved with monetarism. Moreover, who will be able to afford such a vehicle when jobs are getting scarce?

The real estate market, going through the roof in many parts of the industrialized world, offers the striking evidence that value is purely subjective, even despite the 2008 market crash. Not only because many could easily obtain a mortgage but the sale pitch comparing home ownership with a human right that any hard working individual is entitled to. The demand just followed that mantra and the unprecedented boom occurred – and still is ongoing. Until the mid 1900’s parent could still hope that their children would manage to keep a family estate, but today it is no longer the case. This because existential values have changed and that booming markets distort the perception of value. However, going back to the pre-industrialization era is impossible because time is a device ever changing the sense of value. Moreover, when monetarism is involved, what doesn’t progress does regress and this means that if not competing continually, one stands to be outpaced by others and lose everything at some point. And this is another side effect of using money as a time device. Although retirement is beginning to sound elusive, having a 401k or an IRA is too a form of competition. Although money could have a positive impact if circulating continually, the mentality of hoarding and accumulating wealth makes it impossible. Hundred years or so ago, the German economist Silvio Gesell (1862-1930) had understood this problem pretty well and drafted a monetary theory imposing negative interest rates on any currency that wasn’t spent after a certain time. Of course, his theory never encountered any major success at all because penalizing ‘dormant money’ seems outrageous. But on the other hand, banking loans are so readily available to overspend that interest repayments steadily slow down the pace of world economy.

Maya in Sanskrit means the Illusion:

The pipe dream of most individuals is to invest in penny stocks and becoming a millionaire after a certain while, by just watching their stock market shares going up monthly. Due to its slow motion legalization, medical marijuana, for example, is currently going through such a boom, but people rushing into it are also unaware that they help fuel sale values, making it less and less affordable for those who really might need it.  Housing prices come to mind. That is just how inflation works. Fueling demands, means higher prices, there are no winners at this game unless one is an insider – or smart enough to figure out the economic cycles and has enough financial cushion to enter such a casino to start with. Such manias are really hazardous to life because it is not just about medical marijuana nor other trendy drugs but the entire stock market. Although medical tourism offers ways to circumvent the problem it doesn’t make it right nor ethical. At best, every time the early stage of whatever boom takes shape, buyers should stay away from it. A next column will elaborate further on this subject.

The most puzzling perhaps is that because value is entirely subjective, we end up destroying the fabric of society trying to do good. Shocks to the system happen because society resists Nature’s balance or perpetual zero-sum game. As a result many must lose for a very few to win the jackpot. Human history is dotted with economic crises wiping out middle classes over and over. Social classes are but an illusion. Realistically speaking, there is nothing wrong with money… until people begin to use it for hoarding, getting whatever perks and free rides, creating and sustaining cheap or slave labor, imposing price subjectivity behind any market manias, accumulating power, which is why meritocracy paradoxically rules over its own self-made servitude. So it all implies that flaws are embedded in monetarism. Because value will forever remain subjective, getting rid of money is the best solution – if supported by the right social premises and mindset.

Monetarism twists everybody’s mind

As a matter of fact, most people find economics such a big real headache. They have difficulties to understand inflation and where it originates, and why it is the root cause of all the world paradoxes they help sustain. Market manias, also described as booms, wouldn’t exist if there was ever a way to attribute the fairest prices to whatever is traded on the market place. Unconsciously or not, people often thrive to inflate, make things look better than they actually are – and this tendency is driven by monetarism. Honesty is very rarely rewarded in such a landscape and this implies that mistrust is rampant. Reality of Nature is what turns any monetary theories into an unsolvable puzzle because Nature tells us that profits are but an illusion. So is the widespread thinking that the government borrowing power is supreme (social programs, grants, student loans, medicare, standings armies, etc) which in fact bankrupts the system, or condoning speculation (trying to get more than what one puts in) at the core of the boom/economic crisis cycles, which are real poverty machines and help transfer wealth in the hands of insiders (the top 1%). Let alone currency debasement being 4000 years old already. Life cannot be monetized. Today’s real economic black holes are world multinationals. Planned obsolescence is a byproduct of consumerism to keep people into spending mode.

The subjectivity of value is the main challenge people must come to term with, and for a money-free society to win over. But it really is about sensing versus knowing and knowing is more important that sensing. Unfortunately, most people sense that they still can do good in a system that is so blatantly beyond repair, meanwhile the big and objective picture (real knowledge or lack thereof) is gobbling us up, every day more and more.

It sounds as if money helps give many a life purpose, for those people a moneyless world is regarded as an absolute threat. Realistically, monetarism has conditioned populaces for much too long and this paradigm begins to shows deep cracks throughout the system, mainly because the pursuit of technology cheapens the means of production and therefore the elusive investment in human energy. At some point, machines will build machines, and if we do not have the right mindset and social frameworks, and it may not – will not – end well.

The Earth Custodians Movement merely strikes at the core: there is nothing to lose, really. Free will comes with personal responsibility and, there is no personal responsibility without staring at the precipice and taking action. And yes, free will does exist but within the Laws, we all have the free will to notice or not that Nature’s immutable Laws just work the same way for everybody.

Stay tuned!

Please forward your questions to manasearthcustodian at and the most compelling ones will be answered monthly on this blog.