Human rights engage questions of value, values and valuation. However, to directly inquire about the ´value of rights´ has long been seen as sacrilegious by many in the human rights community who have tended to treat rights as absolute trumps over politics. Following the (still) dominant Western liberal script, rights are here seen to articulate, in the form of individual entitlements vis-à-vis public authority, the fundamental precepts of subjective personal autonomy, which, in turn, is deemed to be constitutive of the human condition and human dignity. As such, rights represent not a set of values relative to other values, but the absolute value of human beings who are, in the Kantian formula, ´ends unto themselves´. Yet, this (liberal) conception, and the human rights law-faring practice it underwrites, has of late come under severe attack from various sides. Weiterlesen
Dies ist ein Gastbeitrag von Oliver Schlaudt. Er ist Teil des Symposiums „Constitutions of Value“ (Projekt 03) und wurde zuvor auf dem Verfassungsblog veröffentlicht.
The epoch of overt colonialism is over. Violent exploitation of the colonies has been replaced by interactions through the international market, often within the frame of trade agreements. Markets and trade are the realm of ʻvalueʼ, incarnating an ideal of freedom, equity, and justice. Exchange of equal values indeed is what defines a ʻfreeʼ, ʻregularʼ and ʻundisturbedʼ market and also what such a market is supposed to bring about thanks to its inner characteristic mechanism. For the former colonies this should change everything. For each Dollar leaving there is now one Dollar coming in. The result seems to be the same, though: poverty persists in the Global South. Additionally, poor countries suffer from disproportional environmental degradation. Abundance of natural resources all too often results in poverty, debt, war, and destruction of the environment. Weiterlesen
Dies ist ein Gastbeitrag von Donatella Alessandrini. Er ist Teil des Symposiums „Constitutions of Value“ (Projekt 03) und wurde zuvor auf dem Verfassungsblog veröffentlicht.
Various reports published by International Economic Institutions, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO), stress the significance of Global Value Chains (GVCs) for development. The common claim they make is that, although GVCs have existed for a long time, the level and intensity of global interaction is rapidly changing, and so is the nature of trade. Whereas ‘classic’ international trade consisted of the exchange of goods manufactured for the most part within national borders, production today increasingly entails intermediate goods and services (parts, components and tasks) that originate from different parts of the world. According to the narrative of these reports, ‘development’ today requires the ability of states to create a regulatory environment that enables efficient companies to ‘technologically upgrade’ and insert themselves in GVCs so as to add value and consequently reap a greater share of revenues. As development is equated with greater value-capture, ‘developing countries’ are expected to adopt a new set of rules to facilitate and expand value chain trade. Referred to as ‘WTO plus and extra’ provisions because they go well beyond current liberalization commitments and extend to areas not covered by the Organization, these rules strengthen the protection of investors’ rights, particularly their intangible rights, and enhance the free movement of capital. Weiterlesen
Dies ist ein Gastbeitrag von Gunther Teubner. Er ist Teil des Symposiums „Constitutions of Value“ (Projekt 03) und wurde zuvor auf dem Verfassungsblog veröffentlicht.
“The value of commodities that is valorizing itself, always striving for its own increase, is the ‘automatic subject’ of society, constituted by human beings by their daily actions, but at the same time subjecting them totally and making them mere functionaries of an anonymous, unconscious process that is out of their control.” This is a quotation from Klaus Kempter’s contribution to this symposium.In style and terminology, it is written in the tradition of Karl Marx, but in its substance, it is not far away from Niklas Luhmann: profit, i.e. the institutionalized pressure to create surplus value, is the anonymous self-regulating principle of the recursive autopoietic self-movement of the economic system – but not only of the economy. This is a decisive difference. The renewed Marxist Wertkritik claims to capture the totality of modern societies. But this is a mistaken totalization of economic value and monetary profit. It ignores the development of social theory after Karl Marx, from Max Weber to Pierre Bourdieu. What follows are six arguments which rebut the primacy of economic profit in advanced capitalist societies, and submit that the imperative to create surplus value is a function of autopoietic systems generally and not merely a product of economic forces. Weiterlesen
Dies ist ein Gastbeitrag von Klaus Kempter. Er ist Teil des Symposiums „Constitutions of Value“ (Projekt 03) und wurde zuvor auf dem Verfassungsblog veröffentlicht.
Wertkritik is a critical theory developed first and foremost by Robert Kurz (1943-2012), which claims to capture the totality of modern societies in the tradition of Marxian thought. Marx made value the central category, the fulcrum not only of his economic critique, but of his entire social analysis, and this is what Wertkritik refers to. Turning away from the traditional Marxism of class struggle, labor movement and the post-Hegelian philosophy of history, Wertkritik emphasizes the revolutionary socio-scientific insights that Marx unfolded in his critique of political economy: the concept of modernity associated with commodity-producing society as well as the idea of the value of commodities that valorizes itself, always striving for its own increase. This is the idea of the “automatic subject” of society, constituted by human beings by their daily actions, but at the same time subjecting them totally and making them mere functionaries of an anonymous, unconscious process that is out of their control.
Viel wird in diesen Zeiten über Wert und Werte diskutiert: über Grundwerte, die Politik zu schützen und zu fördern habe, über unterschiedliche (extraktive oder produktive; ressourcenverbrauchende oder -recycelnde) Wertschöpfungspraktiken in der Wirtschaft, über die Bewertung von Menschenleben im Gesundheitswesen –nicht erst seit, aber ganz akut veranlasst durch den Ausbruch der COVID-19-Pandemie.
Dieser Blogpost stellt das Forschungsprojekt „Constitutions of Value“ (Teil des ForDemocracy Projekts 03) vor und erläutert, warum Demokratisierung auch eine Auseinandersetzung mit Wert und Wertschöpfung erfordert. Diesem Beitrag folgen sieben weitere Texte, die aus einem ersten Workshop entstanden sind. Sie wurden zuvor auf dem Verfassungsblog veröffentlicht. Weiterlesen