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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Heinlein on value part 1

From Starship Troopers (the novel):

Of course, the Marxian definition of value is ridiculous. All the work one cares to add will not turn a mud pie into an apple tart; it remains a mud pie, value zero. By corollary, unskillful work can easily subtract value; an untalented cook can turn wholesome dough and fresh green apples, valuable already, into an inedible mess, value zero. Conversely, a great chef can fashion of those same materials a confection of greater value than a commonplace apple tart, with no more effort than an ordinary cook uses to prepare an ordinary sweet.

These kitchen illustrations demolish the Marxian theory of value - the fallacy from which the entire magnificent fraud of communism derives - and to illustrate the truth of the common-sense definition as measured in terms of use.

...

"Value" has no meaning other than in relation to living beings. The value of a thing is always relative to a particular person, is completely personal and different in quantity for each living human - "market value" is a fiction, merely a rough guess at the average personal values, all of which must be quantitively different or trade would be impossible. -Mr. Dubois

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