What if there were a shortcut for understanding the world? Maybe some brilliant people really aren’t that smart, they just use very efficient mental rules?
Valernianism is not just a political or economic theory, it’s a complete world view. It’s a way of understanding people and reaching agreements that benefit everyone. It can be used to quickly break down how things work in foreign countries, cultures, industries, etc. One of the key simplifiers is to use Valerian Vision. That is, to characterize things by answering this simple question:
Who controls what value?
So often we use generalizations that are not useful or are counterproductive. For example, a common Japanese method for describing the difference between Americans and Japanese is to refer to Americans as hunters (independent, adventurous, risk taking, reckless) and to the Japanese as farmers (organized, cooperative, forward thinking, conformist). Never mind the fact that early colonial Americans were agrarian. Are these labels helpful?
We refer to Hitler’s Nazi Party as Fascist and to Stalin’s Russia as Communist, so does that mean they had little in common? Does Fascism correctly entail the network of thousands of forced servitude camps established all over Europe by the Nazi’s? Does the term Communism encompass the unnatural deaths of tens of millions of Russians under Stalin? I don’t believe so, which is where Valerian Vision comes in.
When looking at Stalin’s Russia, we get a very different description from Valerian Vision that we do from the description of Communism.
Communism: noun 1. A society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.
Obviously millions of peasants and farmers were not paid according to their needs and starved. Millions of political prisoners lost their ability to work and their lives. The above description does not seem to describe Stalin’s Russia. What can Valerian Vision tell us?
Who controlled what value in Stalin’s Russia?
What value did the farmers and peasants control? Very little.
The Value Motive predicts that Stalin would want to control as much value as possible. So instead of using his power to benefit the people, he used it to transfer even more value away from the people. The farmers died because they controlled so little value that they were left absolutely destitute. They didn’t even control their own labor and land holdings enough to raise their own subsistence crops. There wasn’t a scarcity of food, but rather a scarcity of protection. The political officials that controlled a lot of value certainly didn’t go hungry.
Political prisoners also controlled extremely little value. They were deprived or their liberty to travel and work, deprived of their speech and freedom of conscience. Even their control over their own life was violated (they were killed)).
Interestingly, Valerian Vision gives the same description of Nazi occupations. The Polish, Russian, Czech and other occupied peoples lost control of their own value. The Germans systemized the transfer of value through force labor camps, prostitution camps, and even extermination camps.
Valerian Vision helps us to see past labels like Fascism and Communism and realize that very bad things happen when people’s value is not strongly protected.
Here’s an example of applying this principle to the health care and cell phone industries.
We’re working on a Valerian Vision App for Google Glasses. Wouldn’t that be nice?