Investment Theory and the dual Ethos principle

Labor ethos:

Every act that contributes to the human survival process. It is both a necessity and a desire: in order to survive we must eat and reproduce, but we can improve the conditions around it by making food that is more to our personal liking or make the reproductive process more pleasant and a social goal of personal desire. It’s a necessity that can be made desirable.

<eating, drinking, reproducing, working to make money,…

         a necessity in daily life

         the basis of every behavior, act and socialization

         contained within the instincts of every living creature

         experienced as self-evident and oblige

         traditionally and rationally legitimized

         essentially common (family, employer-employee, society,…)


Heroic ethos:

Every act that doesn’t contribute to the human survival process, but to the development of personality and ego. It is not a true necessity, but people develop it as soon as they have their productive ethos under control. It is a naturally human desire and therefore perceived to be a necessity. We can transform it later on in a productive ethos, by e.g. selling our artistic creations. It’s a desire that is oft portrayed as a logical act to perform.

<creating art, loving, cherishing, hating, competing, endeavoring ambition, desire,…

         not a necessity in daily life

         no basis of real surplus value

         no causal derivative of behavior, act or socialization

         result from the abundance of time à importance of time management

         is perceived as “own contribution”, opposed to what is self-evident and oblige

         legitimized through personal pleasure à importance of the self-image

         essentially personal



Investment Theory

People use their time, talents and means to invest in either productive ethos or heroic ethos. From the moment man has reached a point of productive efficiency, he can invest his newly created time abundance in more labor ethos or in heroic ethos. This choice is relatively free, but not absolute. Our choices are made under influence of family, society, values, normative behavior, marketing, etc. The Investment Theory states that investing in one ethos implies a disinvestment in the other and this has its replications.

People choose their dominant ethos all the time and it is very variable. Sometimes these investments mean an improvement of the other ethos, sometimes they can diminish the other. Convergments imply a proportionate effect of one ethos on the other. They can be either interacting (both improve) or adversative (one improves and the other doesn’t, but the outcome is better). Conflicts imply a diminishing effect of one ethos on the other. They too can be either interacting  or adversative. The Investment Theory results in 8 possible scenario’s of choice we make on a daily basis. We use these 8 scenario’s or “choice scripts” to improve ourselves and our environment and form the basis of the free will and personal choice.

Choice scripts

Our choices are not made freely. Choices rely on investments in either productive or heroic ethos and can only result in a limitative selection of so-called choice scripts. These scripts are according to my Investment Theory limited to 8 possible scenario’s:

         external value effect: investment in heroic ethos to increase personal production

                                               “I am confident, therefore I produce more and more efficiently.”

         internal value effect: investment in labor ethos to increase the self-image

                                               “I am efficient and productive, therefore my self-confidence grows.”

         questioning recoil: investment in heroic ethos to make productive changes

                                               “I will educate myself, so I’m able to improve my environment.”

         demanding recoil: investment in labor ethos to make personal changes

                                      “I will become more productive, so I can benefit from more expensive choices.”

         rebellion: investment in heroic ethos to make personal changes

                                              “I am self-confident, therefore I can revolt more easily.”

         competition: investment in labor ethos to make productive changes

                             “I am efficient and productive, therefore I can become more productive and efficient.”

         social decay: investment in heroic ethos to avoid collective impact on personal change

                                              “I am a strong personality, therefore I don’t need collective support.”

         co-operational decay: investment in labor ethos to avoid collective impact on

                                            productive change

                                             “I am efficient and productive, therefore I don’t need collective support.”


Choice chains

These investments are mostly made consciously, therefore to some extent rationally. Although we don’t invest deliberately in either heroic or labor ethos, we definitely make choices based upon investments in time, talent and means. Taking your bike to the grocery store because gasoline has become too expensive is an investment in labor ethos (use your ability to drive a bike and your mean ‘a bike’) to make productive changes (invest less money and gasoline in the trip to the grocery’s), therefore the choice script ‘competition’. Because you make your possibilities to achieve your goal compete: taking your bike or taking your car. If you have spare time and you love to dance, you might join a dance group and perform for people who pay to see you. You invest your spare time and your desire to dance in perfecting your skills, so you will feel good and people will appreciate your talent. This is an example of ‘rebellion’, because you invest your abundance of time and your ambition to become a good dancer in order to change personally and be admired more intensely than when you wouldn’t be a good dancer.

Mostly, the choices you make can be easily classified in one of the eight choice scripts. But a lot of times these choices can be intertwined. The external value effect for example can lead to questioning recoil, when in your strife towards perfection you wish to adjust your environ-ment to become even more efficient and productive, which leads eventually to the uselessness of co-operation and support by others, being co-operational decay.

The internal value effect can lead to rebellion when we strife towards personal depth and a developed personality. Competition might lead to demanding or questioning recoil, etc.

Every choice we make, every choice script we follow, every investment we make, will inevitably lead to new choices and new choice scripts and new investments. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes automatically. Sometimes calculated and foreseen, sometimes not. We call this the choice chains. Because a choice never comes out of nothing and is never absolute. It has a cause, a purpose and an effect and cadres within a universal cohesion of choices, both personal and collective. Therefore, choices are not entirely free and well calculated.

Choice makers

Because the choices we make are essentially answers to problems and are therefore links between causes and effects, they are not freely made. Which doesn’t imply they’re not made rationally. If rational means agreeable to reason and based on good judgment, not all decisions we make are based upon it and therefore aren’t the result of the mere computer calculation that is the cost-benefit analysis. The computer computes its inserted problems on its own and uses programmed parameters to find the best solutions based on mathematical empiricism. The computer doesn’t take other computers into account and can not adjust its outcome to its liking, because it doesn’t have “a choice”. A man can listen to what his fellow man has to say, he can alter his behavior to the situation he’s involved in and rephrase both his problems and solutions to his liking. A rational choice is based on good judgment and is agreeable to reason. A human solution is based on personal judgment and agreeable to preference. A clear distinction must be made. People are free to make bad decisions: smokers smoke because they choose to, even though they know it’s killing them. Can this be considered a rational choice? Is this considered good judgment? It’s not. It is merely a personal judgment and has little to do with the subjective value of good and bad. Smokers don’t perceive smoking as good, while it is actually bad. They consider it as bad as a non-smoker does, but still they choose to smoke. This is not rational. This is essentially personal.


Neither are choices essentially personal and individual. Influence is not necessarily rational but plays an important role in our choice-making. Although choices are “made” on a personal level under personal responsibility, groups and institutions have more influence on our choices than ourselves. These are called the “choice makers”. Their aim is to profit from you personally and from your collective. They compete with each other, because they want complete dominance over your judgment. They make you invest in one of the ethos and make you pick a choice script. They invest in granting you benefits, both material and immaterial in order to posses your incentives.


There are 3 choice makers:

         the state: the redistributor and peacekeeper

         the society: sovereign owner of the collective labor force and peer pressure

         the capital: sovereign owner of the production force and money distribution


The main objectives of the choice makers are simple: gain power and remain in power. To achieve these goals the choice makers must not only win the hearts of the individuals and their ethos, they must also compete with each other. This free competition guarantees its safety and reliability, just like a free market economy guarantees quality and reasonable prices. The objectives of the state are to gain as much profit as possible from both its legal subjects, foreign subjects and the local capital (including industries). Therefore it raises taxes and stimulates the economy to gain even more. In order to distribute the power over its accomplices and the collaborators it must provide enough incentives not to be put aside, like political power, social improvement, personal enrichment,…

The objectives of society are to preserve its homogeneous consistence, its predictability and its social influence it has on individuals who might rebel against. Therefore it imposes social control, morals, normative behavior and a social uniform.

The objectives of capital are to grow, find markets and distribute what they produce as efficiently as possible. Therefore it distributes high wages and low consumer prices, provides social mobility and uses marketing to guide choice-making.






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