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What is ‘VALUE’ today? Is it Subjective or Objective?

May 3, 2012

Scream reveals the subjective nature of ‘value’ under our Ponzi Capitalism today!

The above art (called The Scream) was sold for a record $119.9 million on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. This picture was expected to sell for about $80 million. This sale represents the trophy-hunting atmosphere buoying the global art market, as billionaires vie for the few masterpieces that come up for sale. Bragging rights are part of the bidding process.
The Scream comes from a collection by Peter Olsen, a Norwegian real-estate developer. The angst in the image is meant to reflect the world’s environmental worries. The ‘value’ of this art reveals how subjective and personal this concept is to each person. Value is what ‘money’ is supposed to measure…but does it?
Today, we have a monetary unit (our dollar) which is created ‘out of nothing’ and many now want to rid themselves of this ‘unit’ in favor of something material. Capitalism is based on the concept we call ‘value’. We then invent ‘money’ to measure our idea of ‘value’ when we exchange a material good. Today, however, our ‘money unit’ is not based on any ‘thing’ (say silver/gold) and is merely a ‘name’ (dollar) and a ‘symbol’ ($). Our Central Bank then creates digital units via typing in ‘numbers’ in a computer screen. This process reveals the ‘valueless’ nature of our monetary unit today.
To understand ‘money’ we also need to understand the concept of ‘value’. Before we had ‘money’ we exchanged our goods via barter. Barter is the foundation of Capitalism and it is this type of environment which reveals the subjective nature of ‘value’. To make ‘value’ more objective and measurable, we invented a ‘money unit’ (say 371.25 grains of silver) and we then gave this definition a name (say ‘dollar’). This is precisely what our founding Father of money (Thomas Jefferson) did in 1792 with the passage of the Coinage Act of 1792. 
Today, we do not have any definition for our money ‘unit’. Our dollar is now merely an imaginary number which appears as an ‘image’ within our computer screens. This makes our money totally subjective and we see this subjectivity as we witness people ‘valuing’ items of art or other goods in the marketplace. The above image is ‘art’ which was given a ‘value’ of $119.9 million by one person. Personally, my ‘value’ would be closer to $50.00. Value and money is totally subjective today and this art reveals this subjectivity is spades. Enjoy!
2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2012 3:51 pm

    My value for “Scream” would be zero dollars. To me, this art has no value at all. A child could have created this. In fact, it looks like art from five year old in a primary school. That’s my opinion.


    • May 7, 2012 4:34 pm

      Lloyd: You confirm my argument. The concept of ‘value’ is very subjective. Thanks for taking the time to respond.D


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