[-empyre-] entanglement

davin heckman davinheckman at gmail.com
Sat Apr 4 04:01:17 EST 2009

Along with Nick, I'd be very interested in hearing about what the
stock market is worth, especially from people who invest in it

It seems to me that the stock market's values and fluctuations are
highly situated, in the way that people can come to fairly certain and
practical "truths" through the situated negotiations of a particular
conversation.  What is GM worth?  Well they have some assets and
stuff.  They might make X dollars this year.  But really, people are
more concerned with the question of whether or not GM is going up or
going down, based on something that happened in relation to some other
stuff that happened.  I think you'd have a hard time finding original
value of some sort.

Of course there is the sort of emotional investment that we place in
the stock market, which provides ethical cover for all sorts of
nonsense.  I remember talking with someone who ran a shelter in San
Diego, during the late 1990s.  The stock market was soaring!  The San
Diego economy was booming!  Yet, homelessness was steadily on the rise
in that area, with really strong growth among two sectors, the
employed homeless and single mothers.  So while there was all this
frothing effervescence about the stock market and the wonderful
economy, there was this epidemic of unemployment or underemployment
leading to a sharp rise in the number of people who had to sleep in
cars or under bridges.  Any effort to gripe about credit card debt,
student loans, monopolistic practices, runaway housing costs, lack of
healthcare--all the things that might have diminished the impact of
the current crisis, we pushed aside with the sola scriptura 2.0
mentality which said: The stock market is the ultimate account of all
things.  Disruptions of the social and political order are just the
signs that we have been chosen for great things.  Etc.  So, I would
say that emotionally and subjectively, the stock market could be worth
whatever we are willing to pay for it:  Trillions in stimulus,
fasting, mortification of the flesh, guilt, and, perhaps, blood
sacrifice.  On the other hand, financial atheism, agnosticism, or
conversion--the loss of consumer confidence, a turn towards socialism,
making things yourself, shoplifting, the tightening up of credit, the
paranoid fears of a "one world currency," etc--would not just hurt the
stock market, it would lead towards a collapse of the social and moral
order.  In the words of mastercard, this fact is simply "priceless."


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