I just talked to my sister Mimi . She is interested in thinking about the commodification of culture. It is kind of interesting because another way of saying what I am theorizing is the culturalification of economy, which is the same phenomenon, but from the opposite perspective as usual.
She talked about Marx and his notion of commodity fetishism and the alienation of labor, or the idea that things have use value and exchange value. The idea is that the value of things are often based on the price and the value of the labor involved is not considered. She agreed that Marx is far too hung up on the labor thing, but is idea of use value vs. exchange value is interesting.
Thinking about Simon who I just read:
I think that we are on the third stage of development of markets
- The market managed the value of goods and therefore was stable and in control.
- Later, large corporations and organizations/managers took over the economy and the market reflected their decisions and the value of goods, but became more unstable as the actions of the leaders became less predictable and less local.
- Recently, the market is just a chaotic byproduct of a general trends in fashion, brand, technological development, culture and other completely non-physical highly context sensitive interactions. The market is no longer in control. The value of corporations have very little to do with their physical assets. In fact, they do not even have realistic values based on standard discount and business valuation methods.
Therefore, the idea of trying to commodify culture is backwards. We should be thinking about a way to structure, support and manage the efficient exchange of non-commodifable information, or high-context information. This probably relates to the idea of developing community.