Chapter 4


Values and

Related Matters[1]


All experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

The Declaration of Independence


Now that we have looked at our political animal both as a unit and as part of the group, we will examine the elements by which a group and its members identify themselves. We are setting out to answer the question posed in our last chapter: What is a norm? But before dealing with norms, we have to study those elements which provide bases for them. Norms are related to values, and values are elemental to group life and political organization. In this and subsequent chapters we will deal with values and the matters intertwined with them. Even their occasional segregations emphasize their relationships. If we divide this chapter and those that follow into different sections we do not intend to compartmentalize the topics, but simply to ventilate the study. Each section is titled according to the nucleus of its topic, although the areas shade and fade into each other.


I. Interests


Discussing man and his groups, we found reasons for his social behavior. For example, man is driven to provide for his basic physiological, psychological and sociological needs. When he is hungry he needs to eat, when he is tired he needs rest, when he is confined he needs freedom, and when he is bondless he needs attachment. All along he has "needs," which are flexible, retractable and expandable. The yogi of India can live on an almond a day, while the Western man reaches for the moon. Within this span some needs may seem more justifiable than others. Caught in a blizzard, a man needs shelter lest he not survive. That need is imperative, while the desire of the owner of a comfortable suburban house to upgrade his dwelling into a mansion may be considered dispensable. You may notice the word "need" in one case and "desire" in the other. Although the two terms are used interchangeably, we may establish, on the basis of their connotation, a spectrum ranging from necessities to frivolities. This semantic acrobatic will reveal a distinction between the insufficiency of a need and the relatively mire comfortable position from which a desire is formulated. In the first, the entity in search of its needs may be desperate to acquire them, yet handicapped in obtaining them because of their very absence. In the second, comparatively abundant means may make the desirable end more accessible. In the latter situation, accessibility may relax the drive toward procurement of the goal; it may create a tendency to conserve the available means and slow down the move toward the goal or it may augment the desirous appetite. In political terms, these situations may be illustrated on one hand by the unfavorable yet militant position of a disinherited group, class or nation, and on the other hand by the powerful position yet conservative or rapacious attitude of the propertied.


There is, of course, no clear dichotomy between need and desire, and one term turns into the other depending on social context. Our example of the man who desires to replace his comfortable suburban home with a mansion illustrates the point. Many people may consider him in need. If, for example, he has been promoted to the presidency of an important firm, he may have to reside in a mansion to fulfill the social obligations attached to his position. As it is in the interest of the man caught in a blizzard to find shelter, so is it in the interest of our executive and his firm to acquire a mansion. These interests provide functional spheres making life and social life possible. Interests interpret, convert and qualify individual needs in social terms. The chief of the tribe, the king, the president, the commissar, or the tycoon is treated according to the customs and expectations of his position in his group context. The group discriminates among its members and establishes gradations of expectations on the basis of differentiation and identification. When corresponding to the group's fermentations and dynamics, these gradations blend into the acceptable social pattern. When we talk about "self-interest" or "national interest," we are referring to functional spheres believed expedient for survival. I was tempted to say "well-being" instead of "survival," for it is a question not of mere existence, but of its quality. In Aristotelian terms, Polis did not come about only for the sake of life, but for the sake of the good life.[2]  The concept of good; of course, is in itself relative; what is good depends on who is formulating it where and when. But man claims the faculty of choice, and that implies a scale of preferences.


Although we have elaborated no hierarchy of preferences, an order of importance may be inferred, with the immediate needs for survival, such as food or shelter, preceding others. The proposition is obviously elementary. We noticed in earlier chapters that man, like some other animals, may renounce his food or his rest in the face of danger. In fact, the history of mankind is filled with instances, like-that of the Japanese Kamikaze, where men have thrown their vary lives onto scales where self-conservation did not weigh the heavier. The loci of security and conservation are at times displaced from individual security to preservation of the group, nation, empire, fatherland, principles, religion or whatever the cause of the sacrifice. In the words of Tillich:


Man, like every living being, is concerned about many things, above all about those which condition his very existence, such as food and shelter. But man, in contrast to other living beings, has spiritual concerns-cognitive, aesthetic, social, political. Some of them are urgent, often extremely urgent, and each of them as well as the vital concerns can claim ultimacy for a human life or the life of a social group. If it claims ultimacy it demands the total surrender of him who accepts this claim, and it promises total fulfillment even if all other claims have to be subjected to it or rejected in its name. If a national group makes the life and growth of the nation its ultimate concern, it demands that all other concerns, economic well-being health and life, family, aesthetic and cognitive truth, justice and humanity, be sacrificed.[3]


Faced with the choice, man may prefer to die rather than renounce his country, creed or belief.  The situation is, of course, unlikely. Man is not usually faced with such extreme choices, and when faced with them many prefer to live. But as long as the ultimate is not present, many will pretend to believe in sacrifices they re-ally would not be prepared to make. However, man is faced with choices, and in making them he simultaneously conforms with and helps establish a scale of preferences in which his very being, although indeed essential, may not always occupy first place.


If so, then is it that life and what is good for it are not the key to man’s preferential scale? We may start to answer the question by trying to detect differences in the nature of the situations we have so far illustrated. Recalling the affectional-functional model in the last chapter, with its extremes of emotional and state-of-nature or mechanical rationales, we may notice that what was described as the interest of the newly elected executive to upgrade his domicile could, in the appropriate group context, correspond to certain functional dimensions of social relations.


On the other hand, it would be difficult to explain the functionality of an individual’s or a group’s sacrifice of its well-being and even its very existence to defend an ideal. The term “interest” does not seem to justify fully the Kamikaze’s behavior: hitting a battleship in a live bomb is hardly good for his health. The Manichean Colonies of the Mediterranean Basin in the seventh century who refused to renounce their belief were wiped out by the Christians, who themselves a few centuries earlier had braved the teeth of the lions. Such behavior does not seem materially and functionally motivated, but nonrational and affectional. Yet, although abstract, it overlaps and competes with the concrete and material phenomena we have termed interests. In the scale of preferences, it arises from values as distinct from “valuables.” When the believer donates his fortune to his church, he parts with his valuables for his values. Without attempting a watertight compartmentation, we may reasonably propose that while interests are based more on functional-rational considerations, values appear to pertain to the affectional, non-material dimensions of human behavior. But the distinction should be applied with caution, as interests and values merge and generate and justify each other.[4]


II. Interest-Value Insularity


We can distinguish interests from values by their degree of finitude. An interest, such as the need for shelter in a blizzard or a bigger mansion for the executive, can be identified, formulated, strived for, attained and finally consummated. Once a shelter is found or a bigger mansion procured, the end is reached. While other similar interests may arise in time for the same people, they will all be separately definable in means-ends terms. But values like love, patriotism and piety are not attainable once and for all. The Kamikaze’s ultimate goal was not to be blown to pieces on the impact of his bomb with the battleship, nor did the Buddhist monk burn himself in Saigon during the Vietnam War for the pleasure of seeing flames flare about him. The goal is beyond the act and, because of the very act, beyond the actors. Values that imply finite ends eventually fall into the functional category and are therefore closer to interests. A value, such as honesty, must continuously be affirmed. You cannot make a balance sheet of your honesty and say, “I have attained it,” and from then on become fraudulent. An act of faith does not absolve the actor of his faith, but merely manifests the belief that lies beyond and that continues even after the act is over. A lover cannot fold his arms after a gesture of affection and wait for reciprocity from his partner. If he does, he is not loving but doing business. In contrast to functionally definable interests, values lie in the affectional sphere. They are values because they can only be approxi­mated functionally. If they were attained, if they were consummated, they would cease to be values. In the words of Sartre, “Value is always and everywhere the beyond of all surpassings.”[5]  Man’s ultimate effort in the sphere of his value is to be consumed towards its attainment, as were the Christians facing the lions in. Rome, the Buddhist monks in Saigon or the Kamikazes.[6]  Different natures and dimensions of interest-value relationships can fit our model. For example, speaking of commercial profit as an interest, fair play and honesty as a value, and wealth as a goal, or likewise of defense, patriotism and glory, we may visualize the model as presented in Fig. 4.01.


Fig. 4.01


Man’s behavior, then, is motivated by a pattern of interacting and intermingling functional material interests and affectional transcendental values. Some interests are more directly goal-oriented and value-free, while others, in an increasingly transcending scale, are polarized and value-laden. There are those who go after wealth, and there are those who go after wealth honestly. Some go for power ruthlessly; some are tempered in their drive by their fear of God.


As observed earlier, the gradation from functionally goal-oriented interests to transcendental values does not necessarily parallel the gradation from man’s physiological needs for survival to his metaphysical sublimations. Those very goal-directed physiological needs may themselves be conditioned by values. Between the appeal to a prostitute for satisfaction of the sex drive, a functional extreme, and the romantic love which may culminate in sacrifice, there is a wide spectrum of interest-value combinations which influence and regulate man’s sexual behavior and which explain, for example, the different institutions of marriage. Not only are the interest-value patterns not identical for different individuals, but they may be different for the same individual under different circumstances.[7] As in our above example, the same man may both seek the services of a prostitute and fall in love.


In the preceding chapters we saw that the group as the unit of identification needed to set a pattern of behavior for its members in order to secure its cohesion. The togetherness of the group under given conditions already presupposes a group pattern of behavior. But both that pattern and the togetherness may be caused by the given conditions which may be external to the group. A shipwreck may create a group, but the group may not be long-lasting. For the group to secure its continuity in spite of the given external conditions (which may not always be conducive to its cohesion but detrimental to it) and not because of them, the pattern of social behavior among its members should be ingrained in them. The group should be more than an aggregate of heterogeneous people temporarily brought together by some external factor, and it should be able to resist disintegration in the face of external factors tantalizing its members. In discussing groupness in the last chapter, we noticed that communication and communion brought about understanding and a sense of belonging. But what was being communicated, and what was that communion? We saved this question for our present discussion. The survival of the group, the security of its existence and its interests in the material and functional sense depend on the conviction of its members as to the validity of the group itself. This validity must be more than the sum total of private material and functional interests of the group’s components, for otherwise conflicting interests will disintegrate the group. Without such a transcendent validity, there would be no sense in risking one’s life, for example, to be a patriotic soldier on the front.


In the process of communication and communion, then, more is passed along than the simple rudiments of how to procure material satisfaction. The pattern of behavior is enveloped in a sense of “oughtness,” making conflicting interests reconcilable and giving the individual a sense of values. In the words of Perry:


The quality of moral goodness, like the quality of goodness in the fundamental sense, lies not in the nature of any class of objects, but in any object or activity whatsoever, in so far as this provides a fulfilment of interest or desire. In the case of moral goodness this fulfilment must embrace a group of interests in which each is limited by the others. Its value lies not only in fulfilment, but also in adjustment and harmony. And this value is independent of the special subject-matter of the interests.[8]


To create this sense of values, the group, through socialization, appeals to affectional ingredients of human nature. We have mentioned some of these (such as paternal love, faith and patriotism) as transcendental feelings---values—corresponding to functional institutions (such as heritage, church and state) which serve material interests. Paternal love provides heritage, faith maintains the church, and patriotism secures the state.[9]


The group appeals to man’s nonrational and affectional inclinations to reinforce and coordinate the interests which are functional according to the group rationale, but not necessarily so for the individual members. When a man is hungry, he wants to eat; indeed, he must eat in order to survive. But if he belongs to a primeval superstitious group, and the only food available is the totem animal, and he eats it, he may have convulsions and die a voodoo death.[10]  In this extreme example the organism responds to the supernatural value more intensely than to the material interest, and the value is transformed into an internal norm, carrying its own sanction and having psychosomatic consequences. The group’s values stimulate the group member, are processed by his organism and condition his response. The more the value is straightforward and recognizable as a value and its impact regulated and controlled, the less confused the organism will be. The value’s efficacy depends on how well the organism has been conditioned to give the desired response. The voodoo death is the ultimate, uncommon extreme of such conditioning, but it helps us demonstrate rather dramatically the vast gap that can exist between values and interests. The taboo on the sacred food emphasizes the value that safeguards the group’s structure.


But groups are not amorphous and, in the last analysis, their interests and structures should reflect the interests of their members: If certain values instilled in group members can be detrimental to their interest in terms of survival and security, then they must correspond to some other drives of the individual members. If order and justice are prerequisites for the group’s continuity, it is because of man’s inner need for predictability. If for cohesiveness the group fosters a sense of identity and communion among its members, it is because of man’s psychological need for contact comfort and belonging. And if supernatural belief can bring about a voodoo death, it is because man has a drive to search and fear the unknown. Thus, despite the gap between them, both values and interests are part of man’s reality, of his basic needs and drives.


If man’s drives engender both his values and interests, then their common origin may imply an organic relationship. What is the nature of that relationship?


III. Interest-Orienting Properties of Values


Man’s drives and his search for their satisfaction are generated by his consciousness of lacks, whether of food, attachment or eternity. As we saw earlier, an interest is the formulation of a need and a move towards filling the lacuna. But if the move is haphazard, different interests may –  and in a social context are bound to – conflict, jeopardizing the social pattern conducive to satisfying the drives. The passage from interests to goals therefore needs some sort of orientation, like the molecular magnets in a steel bar which are random when unmagnetized, but which are oriented parallel from one pole to another after magnetization.



 Fig.  4.02


Values provide the field for this orientation of interests. But as molecular magnets are the same before and after magnetization, except for their direction in the magnetic field, so interests are the same before and after



orientation, except that some have been sublimated by values. What we said earlier about the appeal to man’s nonrational affectional dimensions to direct the rational and functional should be completed by the statement that the appeal is not the point of departure of a relationship between two properties other-wise foreign to each other. There is no such abstract, independent value as patriotism and another totally separate entity as a fatherland; rather, the two are components of an interest-value constellation which gives meaning to man’s territorial imperative. The organic relationship between the affectional and its corresponding functional—the value that orients the interest—is causal. Interests and values grow on and into each other. We are thus closing the gap between values and interests, but not to the extent that pure interest theories do. Both interests and values, as we have discussed, emanate from man’s drives and have a circular, organic and causal relationship with man’s needs, goals and expectations. Yet they are not totally identical. To say that they are, is like saying that the beams produced by the flashlight are the same as those produced by the laser because both are propagations of light by photons. Such an equation ignores the proportionality of their energy and frequency which distinguishes their penetrative potentials. Transferring our simple metaphor, we may say that values are the conversion of interests beyond apparent recognition. Like the laser and the flashlight, values and interests are similar up to a certain frequency, intensity and concentration, but beyond they reveal different impacts and consequences. Liking and wanting become loving—the extrapolation of the ego. The interest in security and survival becomes patriotic sacrifice.


Drawing further from our laser analogy, when man’s behavior is strictly controlled and directed with intensity within a field of values, he is capable of deeds and behavior otherwise beyond the common realm of human achievement. We have already referred to some such extremes—the sacrifice of the believer, and the primeval man’s voodoo reaction. Like the laser, in the process of orientation and intensification, values narrow their field and isolate the subject from his surroundings. But we should be careful not to follow our analogy with physical phenomena too far because, unlike the laser, the consequences of valuational rigidity may, for example, turn faith into fanaticism and fanaticism into superstition, thus reducing the efficacy and penetration of the values and increasing the group’s vulnerability. Our present discussion will gain plasticity if we keep in mind that values are the cohesive field for a group. They are the integrative factor in a homogeneous group and help orient the members of a heterogeneous group toward integration. The results for political organization are obvious.


IV. Interest-Justifying Properties of Values


If there is need for a value field to regulate the passage from drives to satisfactions, then, in the absence of such a field, different interests are likely to clash. The Hobbesian state of nature would tremendously reduce the chances for drives to receive satisfaction. In other words, without a field of values the chances of filling the lacuna would be scarce, whether the basic material for fulfillment is abundant or not. This idea of lacuna and scarcity lies deep in the phenomenology of value. It is said that the crea­ture most unconscious of water is the fish in the water. The human body lacks air at each exhalation, but man is not constantly conscious of air unless it becomes polluted or scarce. Maybe we should emphasize here that the concept of a lack does not necessarily refer to an absence, but rather to the consciousness that absence is possible. The more one is conscious of the irreplaceability of the beloved, the more one clings to the beloved. Without that consciousness, one takes the beloved for granted. It is not, therefore, so much the intrinsic abundance or scarcity of a supply, but rather man’s subjective want and his consciousness of that want that provide grounds for the formulation of interests, elaboration of their orderly orientation and their sublimation into values. Man’s subjective perception of a want, independent of the abundance or scarcity of its supply, implies that a lacuna can be produced, displaced, magnified or reduced by the intervention of values.


As before, we use the concept of lack and scarcity universally; i.e., it may refer to a physiological lack, such as water or food, or to a spiritual long­ing for immortality. Our discussion of the orienting properties of values implied their sway over the formulation of interests. Let us go back for a minute. The orderly orientation provided by values will, of course, bring about control over the hypothetical loose and direct passage from wants to satisfactions which may have existed in the state of nature. It provides a field which in the social context regulates drives towards filling the lacuna. But if you look at the position of the arrows in Fig. 4.02, you will notice that in the field provided by values, both needs and the direction of their fulfillment are modified from their original state-of-nature position. That is why in our Fig. 4.01, which was originally inspired by the concept of a magnetic field, we placed needs and goals at a lag. Any of our examples of interest-value relationships will make the point. For instance, you may seek wealth for what it can buy. But in the process of becoming wealthy your assortment of needs may change and eventually you may consider wealth itself as the goal. And if you go after wealth honestly, you may never become rich, thus consumed by the value on your way to achieve the goal.


In the state of nature the social unit, the individual (illustrated by arrows representing a molecular magnet in Fig. 4.02), might have been only a short way from satisfaction for a given want—with a small chance of getting it, to be sure, but nevertheless at a short distance. Once in the field provided by values, he may have to go through a whole social process without neces­sarily reaching his original goal which, as our-illustration suggests, may lie aside from the path which his values provide for his behavior:



Fig. 4.03


Of course, the stronger the field created by the value system in its orienting properties, the less relevant our statement about modification of interests and goals. When the value field is not strong enough, the subject, feeling the pull of his original drives and goals, may be inclined to deviate to satisfy them in a value-free, state-of-nature way. But as the pull of the value field intensifies, it overpowers the original drive, which must then be taken into account less and less. The lacks that the individual seeks to fulfill in the social context cannot always be satisfied by the nearest sources. Man has sexual drives, for example, but the incest taboo makes him impervious to his children. Our example indeed makes the point that a supply may be intrinsically abundant yet be rendered scarce and its attainment made subject to certain values in order to regulate its social distribution and to create motivations within the group members beneficial for group interests.


If values can play a role in making scarce what is abundant in order to orient interests, it is reasonable to conclude that they will also influence those areas where the supply is intrinsically scarce, in which case the orientation provided by values is even more crucial, since there is not enough to go around. The value system must orient interests toward their goals so as to explain and justify the multiple standards which will permit some but not others to attain certain goals. The value system will have to supply comfort and compensation for those interests which have been allotted lesser satisfactions. There again, depending on the impact of the value system, we must qualify our statement about the intrinsic scarcity of the resources because, as the intensity of the value orientation increases, the relevance of our statement decreases. The ideal situation can be hypothesized as one where the value system is so well adapted to the social pattern that each interest flows towards its own goal orientation and finds its difference from others justified. The Sudra cannot be a Brahman; he was born a Sudra. And those in Brave New World who are not supposed to have roses are conditioned not to want them. It is when a value system leaves loose ends that the feeling of uneven apportionments becomes acute and threatening. A value system which proclaims opportunity for all leaves room for a good number of lacks to be filled. If it does not provide enough opportunities, it risks having those available appropriated by the opportunists and not by all. Thus, it creates frustrations and unfulfillable expectations, reducing the effectiveness of that particular value system for the group’s cohesion.


A value system, then, may be called a framework within which differentiations find justification. These differentiations, in turn, if the value system is efficient, provide the scale required to justify discrepancies and set standards (render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s). In other words, not only does the value system orient, adjust and explain the place and domain of different interests, their title to different resources and the conditions for the attainment of certain goals, but it is itself contained within them. If eternity is beyond the mortal’s reach, then it is the eternal that will dictate the values to ensure life after death and salvation for man. If gold is scarce and imperishable (its permanence defying man’s destiny to decay), it becomes the standard and its possession is good; and those who possess it are those who control. If you are a Brahman you may set the rules, but in order to become a Brahman one must die and be reborn. The revelations of the eternal, the mercantile doctrine and the Vedic caste systems serve their social functions through their value charges (which may be different in different situations). By converting the functional into the affectional, values justify interests and their discrepancies and attenuate their conflicts. (By the same token, conflicting values enhance interest conflicts.) Interests in general, and sometimes some of them in particular, promote values. Of course, not all interests are value-laden. The difference between values and interests resides in their intensities and their possibilities of being attained. Values, deep-rooted in the affectional and sublimated in transcendental abstractions, are more intense and less negotiable. Interests, having attainable goals in view, compromise and negotiate on their way towards their ends.


The relationship of values and interests becomes apparent when conflicting interests find it time to compromise, while the values justifying them lag behind. In such cases the mechanism is set to modify, reshape, dilute and disregard the values, or reinterpret and re-explain them in the light of other, superior values. Harun-al-Rashid recognized the protectorate of Charlemagne, the emperor of the infidels, over the Holy Places in 807; the Crusaders finally settled down to coexist with the Mamelukes in 1274; the Catholics and Protestants recognized each other as equals in 1648. More recently, societies imbued with principles of free enterprise have resorted to government control of the economy, such as anti-trust laws, to ward off crises inherent in their system of values, while regimes based on Communist ideals have adopted methods of liberal economy (such as the private gain incentive elaborated by the Soviet economist Liberman). On the international level, those who had fought Fascism a few years earlier accommodated Fascist Franco in the face of the superior Communist threat of the Soviet Union, which itself was later transformed into a negotiating partner and turned away from its former ally, China, accused of and accusing misinterpretation of Communist values. The latter, after 25 years of being an outcast of American moral standards, was visited by the President of the United States. The list is endless, as it is the very history of mankind.


V. Metaphysical and Material Variations of Values


While the evolutions and transformations of values comprise human history, they are not apparent practices of everyday life; otherwise values and interests would become hardly distinguishable. Values, intense and irreducible, are latent to change. That is why interests are turned into values for their mainstay. This latency, however, is relative. In the examples above, the earlier value changes spread over a longer period of time. The mobility of the modern world, enhancing rapid social, economic, technical, political and ethical changes, develops variegated value structures and attenuates some of the transcendency, intensity, irreducibility and therefore latency of the values.[11]  In a way, the dwindling of values in modern society, while providing greater material possibilities for diversified interests, also reduces the gap between values and interests. This, to some extent, explains the interchangeable use of the two terms by modern philosophy and social sciences. But the modern world is only a fraction of the world, and much of what happens in transitional and traditional societies, which are far from attaining the economic standards to satisfy their material interests, cannot be understood without the concept of value as discussed in the last pages. Besides, even the modern world is facing a value crisis. By confounding values and interests, by going increasingly after material satisfactions, the modern man empties his beyond of its substance. Yet values, besides serving social and material interests, are dimensions of human needs in themselves: If there were no God, man would have created one.[12]


Our examples of those who were consumed in their élan towards the attainment of their values were taken from earlier Christian Europe and more recent non-Western cultures, while our discussion of materialism centered around modern Western philosophies. The question thus arises as to whether there is a correlation between a society’s material development and the nature of its values. Without any pretensions of compartmentation, we may again attempt to differentiate in shades the relationship between the nature of values and certain social dimensions. When we were discussing primeval subsistence economies earlier, we quoted Redfield as saying that under such conditions man called on the supernatural as support for his livelihood. Other social studies have shown that in more complex societies appeals to salvationist religions are more frequent in the deprived groups whose poor material conditions in this world are made bearable by promises of compensation in the next world.[13]  This goes along with Marx’s famous, but often only partially quoted and therefore misunderstood statement: “Religion is the sigh of the creature overwhelmed by misfortune, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”[14]


When material conditions provide for good living, the focus of attention turns from the beyond to within, as has happened through the ages in different cultures, among different classes. The apogees of Greek, Persian, Roman, Chinese or Indian cultures had material traits similar to those of modern Western civilization. They differed from modern Western civilization, however, in that their material abundance often turned the appeal to the supernatural for livelihood into superstitious rituals. In other words, abundance alone does not reduce supernatural values to materialistic ideologies. For that, a dimension of empirical scientific inquiry is needed. Among the cultures listed above, those which developed at some time a noticeably materialistic approach to values, such as the Greek and the Chinese, also had an inclination for scientific inquiry free from religious dogma.


Modern Western culture turned to scientific materialism with the decline of natural law doctrines and the age of enlightenment. Together with the fruits of the industrial revolution, progress and the ideals of social justice, material well-being (the good life) became the ultimate goal. Life was considered worth living and became a value in itself. And the value-polarization of interests on the way to their goals was conducted within a comparatively closed field, of which the sanctity of human life and being was the approximation rather than consummation of the beyond. ‘But even in that context, the man who, striving for power and deference, rationalizes and wraps his drive in his great concern for public interest,[15]  may himself become wrapped up in his own rationalization—a process which lays ground for modern values: ideas, ideals and ideologies. This is the process which produces public figures like Jefferson, Robert Owen, Sun Yat-Sen and Gandhi, who subordinated their own power positions to their dedication to a cause.


Despite the metaphysical-material dichotomy suggested here, then, there exist different processes of value-building—some relying on supernatural sublimations, others emanating from material rationalizations. In our next chapter we will examine this aspect of our topic and discuss the crystallization of values through beliefs, myths and ideologies.


[1] For a more elaborate version of this chapter see A. Khoshkish, "The Concept of Values: A Socio-Phenomenological Approach," The Journal of Value Inquiry, 8:1-16 (1974). Or go to values on this site

[2] Aristotle, Politics, Bk. I, Ch. II, 8.

[3] Pau1 Tillich, Dynamics of Faith (New York: Harper & Row, 1956), p. 1.

[4] See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn and others, "Value and Value-Orientations in the Theory of Action," in Talcott Parsons and Edward A. Shils, eds., Toward a General Theory of Action (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1951), pp. 388-433, where a distinction is made between the desired and the desirable, with value being the explicit or implicit conception of the latter (p. 395).

[5] Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness (New York: Washington Square, 1966), p. 144.

[6] We say "consumed towards its attainment" because the fact of consumption takes place before consummation (attainment of the value).

[7] R. Athanasiou and R. Sarkin, "Premarital Sexual Behavior and Post-marital Adjustment," Archives of Sexual Behavior, 3:207-225 (1974).

[8] Ralph Barton Perry, The Moral Economy (New York: Scribner's, 1937), pp. 15-16. See also his General Theory of Value (New York: Longman's Green, 1926); Fritz Heider, The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations (New York: Wiley, 1958), pp. 225-229; and S. C. Pepper, The Sources of Value (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1958). Pepper makes a critical analysis of Perry's General Theory of Value in his Ch. 9.

[9] These are examples applicable to particular cultures. Different cultures may have different sets of values justifying different sets of interests. As we shall see later, the proposition that values justify interests can be reversed to read that interests promote values. We can say that the group, in order to maintain heritage, church and state, promotes paternal love, faith and patriotism.

[10] For other arguments see Robert A. LeVine, "The Internalization of Political Values in Stateless Societies," Human Organization, 19:51-58 (1960).

[11] See, for example, Alvin Toffler, Future Shock (New York: Random House, 1970) , notably Ch. 14.

[12] For some empirical data see Clyde Kluckhohn, "Have There Been Discernible Shifts in American Values During the Past Generation?" in Elting E. Morison, ed., The American Style: Essays in Value and Performance (New York: Harper, 1958), pp. 145-217.

[13] See Berelson and Steiner, Human Behavior, p. 394.

[14] Kar1 Marx, Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right.

[15] See Harold Lasswell, Power and Personality (New York: Norton, 1948), pp. 20-38.