Moneytheism

Re: Profit as Proxy for Value

There is a deep and pervasive analogy between systems of commerce and systems of communication, turning on their near-universal use of symbola (images, media, proxies, signs, symbols, tokens, etc.) to stand for pragmata (objects, objectives, the things we really care about — or would really care about if we examined our values in practice thoroughly enough).

Both types of sign-using systems are prey to the same sort of dysfunction or functional disease — it sets in when their users confuse signs with objects so badly that signs become ends instead of means.

There is a vast literature on this topic, once you think to go looking for it. And it’s a perennial theme in fable and fiction.

This entry was posted in Commerce, Communication, Economics, Moneytheism, Semiotics, Sign Relations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Moneytheism

  1. egoboy@egoboy.com says:

    I can always count on you to wake up my mind….thanks for keeping my clockwork grinding away….

    Robert Stearns

  2. Poor Richard says:

    Cargo cults became global in the wake of mass media. Now its called consumerism. Many of the non-essential material goods are important mainly for their symbolism.

    A frequent conversation in the commons movement is exchange value vs use value, with some parallels in debates about property ownership vs use rights. It all seems six of one and half a dozen of the other to me. Although accounting methods are seldom neutral, I think the more fundamental issues are things like well-being, sustainability, subsidiarity, and externalities. Maybe those are pragmata.

  3. Poor Richard says:

    Reblogged this on Poor Richard's Almanack 2.0 and commented:
    Cargo cults became global in the wake of mass media. Now its called consumerism. Many of the non-essential material goods are important mainly for their symbolism.

    A frequent conversation in the commons movement is exchange value vs use value, with some parallels in debates about property ownership vs use rights. It all seems six of one and half a dozen of the other to me. Although accounting methods are seldom neutral, I think the more fundamental issues are things like well-being, sustainability, subsidiarity, and externalities. Maybe those are pragmata.

  4. Pingback: Peirce and Democracy • 2 | Inquiry Into Inquiry

  5. Pingback: Peirce and Democracy • 2 | Inquiry Into Inquiry

  6. Jon Awbrey says:

    When you have a market — and Moneytheists are determind [sic❢ ] that all creation shalt never be anything but a market, then it becomes a pressing matter that every commodity shall have a market value, but it remains a matter of indifference to Moneytheists whether the market value has any significant relation to any conceivable actual value.

    JA • 25 Jun 2014

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