…all values to instrumental ones. If it isn’t of value to the economy, it has no value.
Inherent value is either not recognized or simply ignored.
This is how it becomes possible to have a healthcare system that operates on the assumption that the lives of people with money are more valuable than the lives of people without.
This is how it becomes possible to have a justice system that operates on the assumption that the lives of drug addicts are less moral than the lives of people who only do as many drugs they can afford.
This is how it becomes possible to have an education system that teaches children that their worth is not in who they are but in what they can achieve. That teaches children to value a letter on a piece of paper more than the process of educating themselves and becoming individuals.
This is how it becomes possible to have “art” that exists for the purpose of making money, of gaining views, of rocking the boat enough to get people talking about it but not so much that it turns people away.
THIS is how it becomes possible to have a political system that is so easily co-opted by a reality television star with no real values whatsoever other than the survival of his own ego.
And this is also how we have come to see each other. Not as ends in themselves, but as purveyors of other ends. Money. Sex. Power. Exposure. Validation. Acceptance. Companionship.
But the saddest part, perhaps, is that this is how we have learned to see ourselves. And so we’ll continue to try to fill the hole in our hearts with all these other values in an attempt to convince ourselves that WE have value, that WE deserve to be seen as more than just the goods and services we can provide, even if we live in a world that stubbornly refuses to acknowledge it, that has trained us since we were children too see ourselves as vehicles of value, not as possessors of it.
Let yourself be valuable just because you exist, and you become a subversive. Let yourself value others just because they exist, and you become a radical. Let yourself choose values that serve something other than the machine of production and spectacle that is the world economy, and you become a revolutionary.