The transformation of the capitalist order requires a new calculus of the value of work, the value of human needs and the value of nature; basic human needs of security, affection, respect and protection have no place in formal economics. Economic decisions have to be made. But the value system must be one that accords with the realities of real people living in real societies, and a very real dependence on the natural environment and its very real limitations. Economics has to return to some very basic questions of use value and exchange value. We have to take into account the real value of human effort and work, and that is very different from its market value. We have to protect nature and our social and cultural heritage. People do not like to be valued and respected only for the income which they can earn and to be totally disrespected if they are not able to earn income for whatever reason.

-Kari Polanyi Levitt, “Development and Regionalism: Karl Polanyi’s Ideas and the Contemporary World System Transformation.”

Advertisements