VALUE AND CAPITAL
How easy is it to conflate the two.
Yet when we do, we continue to animate the current monological story of value being measured in only one domain – money and its equivalents.
Value is about intrinsic worth. We might begin from the premise that everything has intrinsic worth. How that worth is expressed in the exterior world of measurement is the question. In the right context, all people, living and inanimate things have value in their expression. In the wrong context, intrinsic value is diminished, or negated.
Value is the interiors, the often unable to be measured. The warm data.
The moment we try to measure and capitalise on some forms of intrinsic value is the moment we debase what it means to be human.
What is the capital of being present for the birth of a child, a shared sunset with a beloved, the kiss of the morning sun upon your skin? When we try to reduce these experiences to a measurement that fits our world of capital, we know in some deep part of ourselves we have broken the ties that have us be human, compassionate, loving, caring…all the unable-to-be-measured things.
Capital is extrinsic. It carries within its etymology and symbology excess, accumulation, objectification, extraction. It is one step removed from the gritty, messy, awesome human experience, and in this gap arises permission to do things that violate humans and Earth.
As steward leaders of Syntropic Enterprises* our inquiry is how do we create the context and ecology for people to express their real value. And then how do we honour this value, in multiple domains. We use Integral Accounting as a place to start, considering value in six domains and honouring value in six domains, one of which is money.
We can consider all six domains as having the potential to hold capital. But only after we have nominated and honoured intrinsic value. Human/life/love first, capital as precession.
If we are committed to creating a world with a future for all then we need new language, new models, new maps. Continuing to exist only in the world of capital, be that capital natural, social, people, conscious or financial…is to continue to rob the future of the whole domain of real value and in the process debase the very things that ultimately matter most.
*Syntropic Enterprise – based on ensuring that the enterprise leaves all stakeholders, all it touches, in better shape for having existed in the short and long term
Photo taken October 18th, 2019