Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Concept II: Value

What is the value of a resource?

1. If without it, you die - then, its priceless to you.

That resource is air, water and nutrients.

They have Use Value - and, in this case, I would call them Life Use Value.

It is not strange that almost everything that is critical to life is everywhere free and in abundance.

It is that they are freely abundant that life as we know it is so plentiful.

I would even contend that the sheer size of the human population today is the result of the great availability of air and water as well as the great success that human beings have in obtaining nutrients.

In the processing of scrambling for nutrients, human beings seem to be degrading the quality of their air and water.

If the trend continues, human beings worry but not Mother Nature.

There would simply be less humans - and life as we know it to be.

Other forms of life will take over - and be born with masks over their noses and mouths.

But for now, let us acknowledge that it is Mother Nature that is nourishing life.

Which means that:

>It is quite possible to live life simply and get on with it.
> Life has come so far through the thousands of years.

Traditional life as preserved in rural life around the world, including Malaysia, is ancient civilisation in less dramatic terms.

Rural life is priceless.

2. Modernisation vs Exchange Value

Life in the urban centre is a production of the Industrial Revolution and, I would quickly add, of the IT Revolution and, why not, Globalisation.

We have gone way past Adam Smith's idealisation of the benefits of specialisation and the economies of scale.

We are in the Age of the Great Abundance of industrial products - fascinating sophisticated products which have us all mesmerised over the greatness of humans but not of Mother Nature.

The industrial gadgets are the symbols of Modernisation which have been spread throughout the world through Global Exchange.

The rural folks with their rich cultural lives look at the industrial gadgets of the urban folks and get extremely jealous.

The opportunity cost of the modernisation and the urban life is the cultural richness of the rural life.

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