A revaluation of value? The politics of value between populism and pandemic

Former Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s BBC Radio 4 Reith Lectures have restimulated interest in the topic of ‘value’. For Carney,  the first decades of a century of crisis have been characterised  by a continuing commitment to abstract ‘subjective’ theories of value. These subjective approaches see value as relative, not absolute, resting in the eye of the beholder and expressed via the medium of market  price. The mainstream adherence to such a view of value, Carney suggests, has contributed to everything from the 2008 financial crash, climate catastrophe, underinvestment in infrastructure and the undervaluing of health and social care exposed by the COVID-19 crisis. The solution, he argues, is to return to more concrete objective assessments of the real and true value of things.

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Foto: Sylvia John

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