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Human Values Stock Market

Investing in shares in a value market of fundamental principles (Part #1)


Introduction
Virtuality of value: the challenge of intangibility
Equivalence of value-related intangibles?
Key human value "stocks" or "shares"
"Portfolios" of human values -- and "mutual funds"?
Psychic income?
Insights from terminology: stocks, shares, bonds and securities
From stock exchanges to "value markets" and "value exchanges"?
Value transactions: "buying" and "selling"
Value promotion -- and the role of the media
Value brokers: buying and selling
Learnings from financial market strategies: investment styles and preferences?
Comprehension of stock exchange operation through metaphor
Learnings from financial analysis and modelling
Benefits vs Losses: dividends from investment in values
Fluctuation in values
Performance indicators in the values market
Assessing the value of shares
Abuse in the value exchange system
Conclusion: ambiguities with regard to human values
References

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Introduction

There is a strong possibility that human values may tend to be thought about by many in capitalist societies with the same logic and mindset as company stocks and shares. There is therefore a case for exploring those values as though they were "stocks" that could be "traded" --, bought and sold -- on a "value market".

The two kinds of value -- "human" and "economic" -- may be more intimately related than is readily assumed. Economic values may be confused, deliberately or inadvertently, with other values that may be as essential, or more fundamental, to community viability -- as argued by Dee Hock (Birth of the Chaordic Age, 1999; One from Many: VISA and the rise of chaordic organization, 2005).

Part of the challenge lies in the overlap in terminology between "values" as economic values and those considered to be of psychosocial, even spiritual, importance. For example governments issue "bonds", a term fundamental to social and other bonds considered vital to a sense of relationship and community. There is a sense in which the terminology applicable to "intangible" fundamental human principles, such as "equity", has been appropriated to facilitate descriptions of the specific needs of investment and trading in economic values treated as significantly more "tangible".

This overlap is more consciously explored with respect to local exchange trading systems (LETS) and complementary currencies where there is a recognition that economic transactions can underpin community relationships more effectively than monetarized transactions. LETS could be understood more generally as systems for the exchange of community values -- as is the case of such web-based variants as Friendly Favors and GiveGet Nation. The arguments for use of such systems are not however the immediate concern of the exploration here -- although their specific concerns with the poorly understood operations of the monetary system may well point to insights of more generic significance with respect to human values (cf Margrit Kennedy, Why Do We Need Monetary Monetary Innovation? 1995; Richard Douthwaite, The Ecology of Money, 1999; Bernard Lietaer, The Future of Money, 2001; Thomas H Greco, Money: understanding and creating alternatives to legal tender, 2001; Peter Koenig, 30 Lies About Money, 2003).

In part the following exploration is an effort to determine whether there are insights from the process of trading in values in the financial market arena -- notably in the light of the terminology used -- which are of relevance to understanding the dynamics of society in relation to human principles. It is however also possible that the disciplined thinking devoted worldwide, and so intensively, to the financial markets and their operation might offer insights into forms of thinking that would give greater discipline to thinking about human values and principles -- perhaps with more fruitful implications for the challenges of humanity.

The pattern of thinking with regard to financial values is therefore used here as a form of cognitive template offering a means of tentatively ordering understandings and possibilities with regard to human values. However this is NOT an exploration of possibilities of placing monetary value on human values, as studied in other contexts. Nor is the intent to explore the morality of the marketplace as studied by Daniel Finn (1998, 2003, 2006) [more more]

More generally this exploration is an effort to address the collective "split personality" that is seemingly so determinative of the dynamics of society -- between preoccupations, on the one hand, with economic values and, on the other hand, with values extolled as exemplifying the best of humanity. The fact that "trillions of dollars" are exchanged daily through various financial markets -- whose benefit to humanity continues to be debated -- suggests a need to explore ways of understanding how human values are (or might be) "traded" or "exchanged" to the greater benefit of humanity.

In clarifying the intent of this exploration, two further potential misunderstandings need to be addressed:

  • There is a concern expressed by some that the term "human values" should be understood as referring to the uniquely "positive" and "good" in contrast with other non-monetary "values" which are the reverse, do not meet such standards, or are unfortunately misunderstood by those mistakenly holding them. Although there is no universal consensus in practice, such qualities are held to be non-valuable to society and therefore should not be misrepresented as "values". The purpose here however is to treat any quality that some humans would label as valuable to themselves as "human values", including greed and other qualities (even those held by some to be hindrances to spiritual development). The intention in doing so is to recognize the challenge of a "market" in which people might indeed "trade up" or "trade down" -- reflecting the reality of the psycho-social system rather than a particular human understanding of how it ought to be (with which, in the light of human colonial intervention, extraterrestials might well disagree!).
  • There is a concern expressed that the very nature of the "market" process is incompatible with the emergence of a better society. This argument has been well-expressed by John Raven (The New Wealth of Nations: a new enquiry into the nature and origins of the wealth of nations and the societal learning arrangements needed for a sustainable society, 1995) in presenting evidence that: "undermines any lingering faith one might have in the effectiveness of the so-called market process as a means of orchestrating communal action for the common good". Here the confusion lies primarily in the assumed indissoluble relationship between "market" and monetary values. In what follows the whole focus is on the possibility of a non-monetary approach to "trading", as widely experienced in many aspects of human relationship. Raven however recommends: "to develop ways of ensuring that [public servants] seek out, and act on, information in an innovative way in the long term public interest, recognising that, in order to do this, they need to develop and release the know-how, creativity, and initiative of all members of the population in a pervasive climate of innovation". The issue in what follows is how to make such an ideal approach less dependent on "public servants" but to provide processes which could benefit from insights from consideration of the market approach, whether or not the parallel is only of limited relevance.
ation of the market approach, whether or not the parallel is only of limited relevance.

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