The Value Orders of Society

Underlying all forms of credit and discredit are the orders of value that can be found in individuals, groups of people and nations. In part, these orders of value are a system of binary oppositions, that define what is good and bad, or desirable and undesirable, of high status and low status, or important and unimportant. The basic opposition of good or bad, or of highly valued versus devalued or negatively valued, can be used as a general description of what all the oppositions come down to, although plus and minus might work as well. In every case, one side, which is placed, here, on the left, defines what is valued, and the other side, which is put on the right, defines what is devalued and negatively valued.

To start, we will look at characteristics that all such orders have in common. As just noted, these orders are based on binary oppositions, which undoubtedly have their origins in our primal perceptions of physical and psychological pleasure and pain, and also of "me" and "not me." Some of these values are also based on our perceptions of "high" and "low," derived from an animal ancestry that included living in exclusive groups, based on hierarchies, in which some members were higher or lower on the vertical scale of group status.

Among the most important of the pairings in the value order are the following: right and wrong; important and unimportant; powerful and powerless; desirable and undesirable; and beautiful and ugly. The most important of these is the moral order or suborder, which encodes our perceptions of violation - of right and wrong, and which breaks down into a host of more specific pairs: lying versus telling the truth; stealing versus honesty; stinginess versus generosity, and so on. Another suborder is the aesthetic order, which includes its own pairings of beautiful and ugly, entertaining and boring, and so on.

It is these pairings which underlie all acts of credit and discredit. To portray or construct an image of someone as in some way engaged in a valued action or as having a valued characteristic, on the left side of the pairings, is to credit them; to portray them as on the right, is to discredit them.

We can think of these binary oppositions as having a large number of locations or gradations from one side to another, with outer limits that define the farther reaches of positive and negative value. Most commonly, we construct images somewhere between the two ends - in America, for example, to rob a bank isn't as far to the right as murdering someone in a fit of passion, and murdering someone in a fit of passion isn't as far to the right as mass murder.

All societies, indeed, all people who are conscious have a value system like this, which is embedded in cognitive schemas in the mind. No two schemas are identical, although there are significant similarities within groups, which helps gives those groups their identity. There may also be significant differences between groups.

One has to go up the ladder of generality to find categories all or most people share. We may not all agree on what constitutes a violation of gender roles but most people have a concept of gender roles and their violation. We don’t all agree on what unjustified killing is, but all cultures oppose killings they consider unjustified. As these last references make clear, a great many categories are universal or held in common - they are held by all groups of people, although how they are applied still differs.

Defining orders of value

We can create a systematic description orders of value by describing them as systems of emotions, ideas and predispositions to action that allow and require certain things, telling us we must and can do or not do. Among other things, they regulate:

1. What must or must not be credited/ avowed/ asserted/ (and said/ done); how it must be, in what situations, and to what degree.

2. What must or must not be discredited/ disavowed/ denied; how all this must be done; in what situations, and to what degree.

3 What can be credited /avowed/ asserted/ proposed / (and said/ done); how we should go about doing these; in what situations, and to what degree.

4 What can be discredited /disavowed/ denied/ ; how we can go about doing these; in what situations, and to what degree.

The moral order thus tells people what they are expected to credit and discredit when they engage in any kind of communications. It also tells them when they have some maneuvering room in what they do, since much of this obviously allows for a wide range of choice, which also varies between different orders of value, and thus, between different groups. One must discredit murder-for-hire in America, if one mentions it, but whether or not one discredits the idea of, say, building a space station, is a matter of choice.

As the listing above makes clear, the order of values doesn't only tell us what we must say and do, in varying degrees; it also prohibits some things from being referred to at all in communications or done, at all. Thus, there are some things that must be portrayed as evil and some things which are so evil or disturbing, they can't be referred to at all, and some things that can only be referred to in certain circumstances or certain ways. The practical world of society thus takes place inside a force field of sorts; to try to go outside it is have a sense there is danger, and to feel an electric shock that pushes one back - a shock of anxiety or other negative emotions and/or the sting of social disapproval and attack which will, in turn, arouse the stint of anxiety. In contemporary societies, these boundaries are changing rapidly, and we can, once again, study these changes empirically.

Thus, society takes place inside a force field of taboo and psychological repression, in which there is an effort to banish some things from being mentioned in certain situations, some things from being mentioned at all, and some things from being thought. There is a definite correlation between social taboos that tell us what is considered evil, and that seek to banish ideas from being expressed or thought, and psychological repression, which banishes ideas from being consciously thought. It isn't a simple relation, nor can either category be collapsed or perfectly correlated with the other, but it exists, and it includes influences that go in both directions. If a society says that to avow communism is a terrible evil, then many people will censor out, and disguise, positive thoughts about communism. But some will also be tempted to have such thoughts precisely because they are forbidden.*

Cognitive schemas in mind

One might reasonably ask, where this system comes from and why it maintains these patterns. It exists, first and foremost, in the minds of all participants, in the schemas that determine not merely what model we will use to picture the world and understand our attitude toward the world, including what we will evaluate as good and bad. To the extent that people share these schemas, they form a group, based on similar characteristics. Since many people in America share certain values, these can be said to form a value order; values shared by smaller groups can be said to form suborders if they have much in common with the larger order. They may also be in conflict with it and/or with other suborders, if those in the suborder are seeking to have their values predominate in the larger order.

Value orders also appear in all the existing (and changing) cultural productions of humanity, which are already there waiting for us when we are born or get up in the morning, much as they may need maintenance, so that we have a world of texts, of already-produced television programs, books, laws, buildings, etc. that constantly transmit these ideas, often in disguised and indirect form. Thus, a book of moral precepts might express these ideas in a purer form, but a book of instruction on how to build a table will, as well, in less pure form.

The system is constantly being created and re-created out of all the actions taken by all actors. These actions are based on thoughts and "computations," that are unconscious, not avowed or not consciously symbolized in words, by most participants most of the time. Generally the computations by which journalists decide how to depict someone or something, using this knowledge, are also made outside consciousness, although an incomplete version of this information is undoubtedly conscious in many participants at various times.


Using these ideas, we can operationally define value orders, in part, according to what they credit and discredit, which is another way of saying what they hold to be good and bad, right and wrong, desirable and undesirable, and so on. We can study any strip of communications - study what the people credit and discredit, in what situations they credit and discredit, and how they do it; and we can create lists of these actions, and identify patterns, and thus form models of what the underlying value order is, in terms of the "must/can" system above. We can similarly determine what the suborders are and who adheres to these, thus opening up a way to both systematically and empirically study the differences between groups, while ensuring we are comparing the same kinds of things. If the same actions are the object of discrediting statements, say, by computer hackers around the nation, or affluent people in one zip code, or among most Republicans, then we may be looking at a value suborder, which can refer to one or a few issues or an entire outlook on life.

Thus, we can pick out any communication, or part of a communications, or a group of communications, and treat them as a single "strip," or segment of information, and analyze it to see if it manifests discernable patterns. We can study individual news stories, or we can study only New York Times editorials of the last decade, or the speeches of Boris Yeltsin between January 1, 1992 and March 3, 1993, or all American grocery store weekly tabloids last week or Chinese language newspapers with a circulation of over 100,000.

In each instance, we can then search for patterns, of narrative form and content, and credit-discredit. Having discovered patterns, we will then need to compare these with other related texts in time and space, to discover the "boundaries" of the micro-world we have discovered..

We may also discover that that "strip" of communications we have segmented off for study betrays no pattern that seems to divide it from anything outside the strip. In that case, we may conclude that what we have isn't a separate order.

When examining American publications or kinds of publications, we may discover they have their own style of narration and action, and their own favorite kinds of recipients for credit and discredit. Those that are considered more sensational, for example, turn out to engage in certain kinds of discrediting attacks. They portray a world of extremes, of evildoers, suffering victims; shameless hypocrites. And they try to evoke strong emotions in viewers; anger at evildoers; pity for victims, a sense of ridicule or gloating directed at hypocrites. We may, by grouping these kinds of publications and programs together, discover that there is a category of sensationalized news, that manifests certain patterns, in its choice of targets, methods of credit and discredit, and so on.

We may also find an order of credit and discredit in supermarket tabloids. The supermarket tabloids routinely discredit celebrities with embarrassing information and misinformation allegedly about their private lives. They allow readers to peer inside, to enjoy seeing the famous brought down to size. Their specialty is making the important seem feeble and the publicly perfect and widely admired seem imperfect, vulnerable and pathetic. These stories are the dark side of the simulations celebrities present to the public of who they really are. The celebrities present a fake image of themselves that credits them to a high degree - they are rich, in charge, talented, glamorous, beautiful, a center of attention, charismatic and so on. Much of this is simulation and staging, made possible by controlled lighting, staged events, the use of scripted dialogue disguised as normal conversation, plastic surgery, make up, outright lies, and a good deal of hiding and covering up of flaws and inconsistencies. Along come the supermarket tabloids, which specialize in piercing behind the false and fabricated image, and often presenting the worst of what they find there or can claim they have found, when it comes to marital problems, violence, drug use, financial problems, sex, and so on, so as to engage in extreme discrediting attacks.

In People magazine, things are a little more balanced: characters are portrayed overcoming obstacles; these are high on empathy; even when they focus on someone who is significantly discredited, they want readers to see how the world looks from that person's perspective. Typically, these make a point of presenting at least some credit and discredit; they create the impression they are trying to convey some of the complexities of individuals. It is clearly part of a different order of credit-discredit than the tabloids, one that has similarities and differences in relation to them.

Once we have defined various orders, such as these, we will ultimately have to decide precisely what it is and what its boundaries are. Are there other publications or writers or cultures that belong in this same order. In the case of People magazine profiles, for example, we may find that they are similar to feature profiles of famous individuals in many large newspapers which may, similarly, seek to show the reader the world through the subject's perspective and include some credit and discredit, to seek to convey some of the complexity of the individual. In that case, we are on to some kind of an order or part of an order - perhaps it is the order of personality profiles in America's mainstream news organizations, which may, itself, turn out to be a part of a larger order.

We thus find that whatever moral order or suborder we study, actions tend to fall into well recognized and fairly orderly patterns. Most Republicans in the House and Senate will behave one way out of strategy and common interest; Democrats another. National news organizations will similarly fall into patterns, with some differences and variation; there is a kind of flocking pattern, as they enact not only their own motives, but also take their cues from each other.

Using this understanding, we can come to a far more empirical and systematic understanding of what value orders are, in place of vague assumptions about societies with commonly held moralities. Ultimately, it should be possible to provide a systematic statement of the orders and overlapping suborders of credit-discredit, from humanity, down through various large groupings of people and nations, to smaller groups, down to individuals and within individuals.


These value orders don’t exist in a vacuum. They are embedded in a view of the world, which can be described in terms of the way it defines things and the way all of this is organized into narratives, with plots, characterizations, settings and themes. In other words, they are embedded in the stories we tell ourselves and each other, explicitly and implicitly, about ourselves and the world, and about what is good and bad. Thus, different groups may tell themselves different stories and thus not merely make different judgments, but have different categories and ideas about the world that these judgments are attached to. Once again, we can study the collections of narratives that define how different groups of communicators, from nations to newspapers, view the world, to find patterns.

Expanding outward, we can see that these value-saturated narratives are part of cultures, and they may correspond to patterns in language use, artistic styles, kinds of clothes, rituals, and so on. Once again, one may find a dominant order of culture and suborders. Indeed, orders of value and narratives, are always intertwined with other cultural forms.

We can examine the interactions between the orders of value and other aspects of culture, studying where they overlap and where they cross boundaries. Perhaps there are certain things which are credited and discredited that cross language barriers, so various linguistic groups share a common value order. Perhaps one linguistic group is divided into various allegiances when it comes to judgments of value. Or perhaps each language group has its own dominant system. In many instances, of course, the culture itself shapes part of the value order; its members believe that their language, their forms of dress, and so on, are what is good, while others are bad or of little value. Indeed, this is the typical attitude of most value orders and cultures, which see their own cultural system, and system of values, as superior to others; based on a basic binary opposition: us/them.

Value orders in nations

One thing that can very profitably be studied is the value order of large groups and of nations. Most nations have a single, overarching value order, which most members at least pay lip service to, and various suborders, although there may be all kinds of blurring at the boundaries between all these. The reason many nations have such an overarching value order is obvious, if one examines the way nations operate. It isn't because nations are necessarily coherent "societies," full of interaction networks, institutions, and patterns of culture that end at the borders. Rather, it is because there are powerful forces in most contemporary nations that try to exert pressure for the nation to act as a single society. These pressures come from the formation of various groups, mostly governing groups, that may exist because the nation exists, and that have a stake in the nation's unity. National politicians and national governments seek to create national political movements; they centrally regulate much of the economy and money supply; they supervise national elections, pass national budgets; they interact with other governments as unified actors; they try to evoke feelings of patriotism and loyalty directed at the nation as a whole and against its enemies; they set up check points at borders, to regulate who and what passes through, and so on. Similarly, many members of news media have an interest in developing national audiences and covering things at the national level, which widens their scope, particularly since much of what they cover is the functioning of the national government and other large institutions. And other actors find themselves dealing with these national governments and media, and may have other reasons to want what is defined as an entire nation as their home base. And, inevitably, political parties of national scope will form, to take control of the central government. So there is pressure for many nations to function as single societies, economies, and cultures, sharing the same media space, currency, language, leaders and national symbols. All of this can engender extensive efforts to develop national histories, and symbologies, that will similarly unify the nation into a single society. (And, all of this, of course, may be in conflict with other tendencies, toward separatism for cultural/value groups, or toward transnationalism, in which various actors become drawn beyond the nation’s borders, especially into today’s global economy.)

So, at the national level, there may be journalists, celebrities, government officials, and dominant political parties that will, in their official roles, often embody and express an order of values, and use multiple forms of overt and covert pressure, rewards and punishments, to get others to pay the same allegiance to the formally dominant order. In the United States, for example, the dominant order includes ideas about the rightness of patriotism, free speech, good hygiene, civility in public, saying please and thank you, free enterprise, and not staring in other people's windows. Similarly, communism was off limits to criticism in the Soviet Union until Mikhail Gorbachev arrived. It was and is almost always scapegoated in the United States, although sanctions in the U.S., for those who defy accepted convention, usually come from public opinion and various forms of discrimination, rather than from internal security or in acts of physical violence.

The relationship between this dominant order and what people actually believe is also a complex one. The official dominant order always has elements that don’t reflect people's true feelings. But it may also barely correspond at all, so that one has an official dominant order and an actual dominant order or no dominant order at all.

In Eastern Europe, until recently, an official value order involving phony ideals of brotherhood, worker power and egalitarianism, was maintained by force. But it failed to correspond with the true values of the majority. And the image of government that everyone, including journalists, was pressured to support, bore little relationship to government's real actions and motives. Many dissidents who refused to conform, were upholding the genuine values of the people, and were punished accordingly.

In addition to the dominant order, there will be various suborders of people who share ideas of what is right and wrong that aren't part of the dominant order. These groups may be defined by any combination of ethnicity, religion, race, occupation, ideology, occupation, age, language, previous national affiliation, and more recently, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and so on. The people in these suborders often, although not always, share many of the ideas of the dominant, officially recognized order, but depart from it in other ways.

In general, orders and suborders, whatever their nature, behave the same way: they credit themselves and discredit their opponents, and seek to use rewards and punishments to get other people to submit to their vision of value. Thus, the dominant order of society includes mechanisms by which those who fail to conform to it, including those who directly challenge it, are discredited, and those who do conform, are credited. These actions are themselves, credited. In essence, what the dominant order seeks to do is get everyone to conform, to credit, discredit, avow, disavow, say, not say, do and not do, in the way "it" believes they should. It thus seeks to push everyone into a state of submission to itself or, rather, those who carry its values do so.

Those who fail to submit may be subject to all kinds of institutionalized and informal punishments - prison, social disapproval, public criticism. Those who credit and discredit the wrong things are themselves discredited, including those who try to discredit the system of credit and discredit. Actors thus have a choice between submission to an order, or being subjected to discrediting attacks from it, if they come to its attention.

The system is thus held in check by a powerful incentive: communicators who obey the rules are themselves rewarded and credited. Those who violate the rules or are perceived to have done so by a vocal group or individual, are themselves subjected to discrediting attacks. An interviewer who aggressively questions a nun in a television feature about her volunteer work or who implies a senator has committed a crime, despite a lack of evidence, may be perceived as a bully and himself subject to discrediting attacks. At the other extreme, a journalist who fails to discredit a scapegoat may also come under attack. Criticizing Mother Teresa may not be allowed but neither is not criticizing violent drug dealers or Muammar Qaddafi, if one is to mention them. When journalists and other communicators cross a line, they can quickly become the issue.

But this effort to discredit those who fail to credit and discredit, speak and act, in the correct way, is also carried out by all suborders, which means you have all kinds of groups trying to pressure everyone to submit to their own code. Thus, what we find, beyond the basic areas of agreement about how people should be portrayed that was described above, is a complex world of image and action in which disagreement is all pervasive and every player in the system, meaning not just journalists, but politicians, interests groups, members of the public, and so on, are all making these decisions and expressing these perceptions, each with its own set of consequences. Different political groups, different players, different groups in the same nation, different regions, different news organizations, different sections of news organizations within the same nation, may all have their own perceptions and approaches, within some larger areas of consensus and constraint.

As we will see later, in nations such as the United States, this has reached an advanced stage, in which anyone who engages in public rhetoric, be he journalist or politician, is immediately set upon by all kinds of, often conflicting, groups, each trying to pressure him to submit to, and express, their own system of values and tell the story of life, the way they see it.

There thus arise in contemporary society what we see in America today: a contestation in which morality is politicized and groups that adhere to value suborders do battle with each other in the political arena to win control of government, and in other arenas, such as the media. Each group's goal is for its own suborder to become the dominant order, enforced by laws, government programs, media descriptions of problems and solutions, and so forth. Gay rights activists want heterosexuality and same-sex sexuality credited as equally good and right, and they want legal sanctions against those who fire someone because of sexual orientation, and laws that allow marriage between those of the same gender. In other words, they want the story they tell about the world – that homosexuality is a natural variation – told as true, (credited as true) and supported by the sanctions of law. Many Christian fundamentalists want their own story told and credited as the official story – that God set down rules of conduct, among them, rules requiring sex inside of heterosexual marriage – and they want the force of law to back it up. Each takes the same phenomenon, and defines it differently in value-saturated definitions. Each tells a different story about the same world, with different qualities that are credited and discredited. Thus, values, which have always been political, have themselves become an explicit battleground of groups that want their suborder to dominate.

The press, politicians and others in public life thus finds itself caught in a never-ending negotiation process involving politicians, interest groups, viewers, readers, victims, juries and other journalists, all making charges, pronouncing guilt, changing channels, engaging in boycotts, calling press conferences, complaining to supervisors, editing out quotes and pulling in various directions determined by their own perceptions, values and self-interest.

These battles often involve complex differences: basic values may be in dispute; or more nuanced shadings or there may be differences over what the facts are in particular situations that value judgments are being made about. In other words, conflicts center around struggles over whose story about the world will be credited as true, and thus what will be credited and discredited.

Of course, many of these essential moral issues being fought over are instrumentally manipulated by those seeking and holding power. Battles over values become battles over image – who can depict who and what as good or bad.

As a result of these differences, in contemporary societies, at least, all people know about more than one kind of order, and about disagreements about what is good and bad, although they will adhere to particular ideas themselves, not infrequently oscillating back and forth between a number of value systems. As morality becomes an object of overt political struggle, people also begin to think more clearly about morality as a system and what they believe. Morality is relativized to the extent that people recognize that there are competing claims, but it may also be strengthened, as people put into words in endless conversations with themselves and others, what they believe, what they don't believe and why. Morality is often also fragmented, in the sense that people will typically adhere to ideas that characterize more than one order, sometimes in contradiction with each other, often with ideas from different orders referring to different aspects of life and action.

The American Order

By way of illustration, lets look into a part of the dominant value order the United States, which is to say the order of value judgments that a large majority of people avow and, to varying degrees, are guided by in their thoughts and actions. In another section, we will look at some of the partial orders that are in a contest with each other to be the dominant order and to control public rhetoric and action. Those include such orders as economic conservatism, religious traditionalism, worker's liberalism, reformist centrism, and the rights-based left, which includes such partial orders as feminism, gay rights and black nationalism.*

As we will see, the dominant order includes some elements of these. Contrary to views which hold that the public rhetoric of contemporary societies are governed by single dominant ideologies that reflect the interest of ruling classes, public rhetoric, at least in America, is actually stitched together, as groups vying for power have various successes and failures pushing their point of view. Here are some of the essential elements of the dominant value order in America, with a few references to where they are derived from.

1. A distrustful view of politicians and bureaucrats. The discredit of Washington and politicians when it comes to issues of truthfulness, hypocrisy, corruption, and the fulfillment of campaign promises, and also the discredit of government bureaucracies, when it comes to motives and the competence to carry out tasks. Cynicism about politicians traces many of its roots to real world experiences, particularly to portrayals in the news media of politicians as manipulators, and to the anti-politician sentiment evoked during the Vietnam War and Watergate. Cynicism about government bureaucracies and Washington, and the way they implement rights-based claims, also derives from George Wallace, who enunciated the themes of anti-Washington anti-bureaucrat sentiment, in which what are viewed as utopian ideals end being turned into social disasters. This fed into another stream of distrust of government avowed by economic conservatives. These interrelated influences - news portrayals of politicians, and Watergate, anti-Vietnam sentiment, Wallace and economic conservatives, are an example of the way values and social beliefs can derive from many sources.

2. Patriotism. The intense crediting of the nation as a symbolic entity derives from longstanding nationalist sentiments, as strongly encouraged by the military and military families, and by politicians. This is probably less common than it was.

3. The crediting of Democracy as an American invention and the best, most just, form of government:

4. Crediting America as having a special role.

5. Discrediting efforts at "censorship:" This is probably more common than it was. It has been pushed by the news media, entertainment media and intellectuals, all of which have a very direct and professional stake in the issue, and by liberals.

6. Profound discredit of discrimination and prejudice, and the crediting of tolerance, diversity, equality, and laws against discrimination. This derives primarily from the efforts of disenfranchised groups (and liberal allies) to end their social exclusion and win legal and cultural equality. It is now avowed by all major parties in public rhetoric, including conservatives. This is more common than it was.

7. Crediting the family and traditional values. This theme has been semi-successfully pushed by religious traditionalists, building on longstanding sentiments.

8. Crediting the rights of privacy: pushed by liberals. This is probably more common than it was.

9. Extreme discredit for those who criticize specific religious beliefs. This is derived from the discrediting attacks by specific religions when their religions have been so attacked, and by a longstanding moratorium on virtually all public discussion comparing the value of different religions, which is done to damp down religious differences and prevent conflict.

10. Crediting of free enterprise, capitalism, the right to private property, and deregulation. This has been pushed by economic conservatives. The case for this was massively bolstered by the economic and political failures of communism and socialism.

11. Discrediting the use drugs.

12. The crediting of self-support and self-reliance.

In each case, we find acts of credit and discredit which are expected to be engaged in, if one refers to these subject. We also find things that cannot be said at all and are to be discredited, if they are.

Regarding things which can and can't be said and shown, we also see the following: many things that deal with sex, body functions, violence and narcissism can be expressed more openly than they were in the past. Indeed, they are being turned into entertainment products, which means that transgressing the moral order on these issues has become a form of recreation. At the same time, negative comments about race, ethnicity; disability, gender and so on, have a new set of taboos being erected around them, so many things that could once be said, now can't be said. So expressions of sexuality are much more open and expressing oneself on these issues is often not seen as discrediting in the ways it was. But discrediting attacks on many groups of people are now themselves discredited.

To repeat, what we see, here, is an order of values that is a result of a political process. It is about groups seeking and exercising power to push their point of view. The resulting order of values, at any one time, isn’t a unified whole. Rather, it reflects the various conflicts, negotiations, victories and so on, that go on during this never-ending political process, much of which is, itself, fought in the public, media-saturated arena.

Taxonomies of Credit and Discredit

We can also come up with more generic taxonomies - lists - of what is credited and discredited, and thus define value orders in these terms. Many basic ideas are universal; disagreement ensues as things get more specific.

Below, is a list of some of the common pairs of binary opposites that, in general, are part of the dominant order in America. In theory, it should be possible to list all these basic values, with their variations, and describe their relation to the stories that are told about life. Nothing that grandiose is attempted here. Rather, a list is provided of a few essential binary pairs of values, to give the reader an idea what this substrate of judgment referred to as the value order, consists of.

The most important suborder is of morality, which regulates people’s relations to each other. Among its subdivision are:

* Physical violence - Respecting people's physical integrity versus causing injury and pain, or robbing them of their physical functioning and safety.

* Privacy - Respecting people's privacy versus robbing them of their privacy, by asking intrusive questions, spying in windows, etc.

* Trust - Fulfilling people's trust in one versus violating that trust, by lying and betraying. Truth-telling versus lying. Loyalty versus treason.

* Reputation - Respecting people's reputation versus robbing them of their reputation, with slander, put-downs, name-calling.

* Property - Respecting other's property versus robbing them of property through theft and destruction.

* Sensibilities - Respecting and protecting people's sensibilities versus violating their sensibilities, or robbing them of their comfort level, by being boorish, making references to unpleasant subjects, being offensive, being verbally abusive, failing to engage in the ceremonies that show respect for others. This combines moral and aesthetic aspects.

* Freedom - Showing respect for another’s freedom versus robbing them of their freedom, through slavery, kidnapping, and manipulation.

* Self-esteem - respecting another’s self-esteem versus attacking it, robbing them of it.

* Equality - respecting another's equality versus robbing them of it through discrimination and prejudice.

* Cooperation - Working with others versus being obstinate, creating conflict.

* Charity - Charity/generousness, helpfulness versus stinginess/selfishness.

* Responsibility - Taking responsibility and being careful versus neglect, dereliction of duty, abandonment.

* Corruption.

* Self-control.

Another suborder is that of aesthetic value, rather than morality. Here again we can come up with various divisions:

* Beautiful versus ugly

* Interesting versus dull

* Moving versus not moving

* Entertaining versus boring or not entertaining

* Funny versus humorless

* Creating pleasant sensations versus unpleasant sensations

- including comfortable versus uncomfortable or annoying

* Fun versus not fun

* Graceful versus clumsy

There is another element of the order of values, which concerns things that are working correctly versus not working correctly. Unlike moral issues, these are primarily seen not as concerning acts of will. They include physical health and also psychological health which combines function/dysfunction with morality, to the extent we see psychological characteristics as a result of will or a failure of will. Here are some categories:

* Physical health versus sickness. There is being healthy or sick; acting in a healthful way or a way that is unhealthy, and things which are healthy or unhealthy. In this category we find a range of other binaries: vigorous versus weak, incontinent versus continent, and so on.

* Broken versus working.

* Competent versus incompetent.

* Understandable versus incomprehensible;

* Accurate versus inaccurate (can involve issues of competence and morality, as in truth versus falsehood.)

Qualified versus unqualified (competence)

Consistent versus inconsistent (the may involve competence versus incompetence and moral versus immoral. For example, you may fail to be consistent because of a lack of competence in thinking clearly or because you are hypocritical.)

Psychological health versus pathology and neurosis, can embody functionality or morality, depending on whether or not these are seen as acts of will. Some examples:

* Self-respect versus self-loathing;

* Mature versus immature

* Gender appropriate versus inappropriate

* Self-involved versus not self-involved

* Eccentric versus normal

* Mature versus immature

* Self-involved versus not self-involved;

There are also issues of high and low status, which can include the following:

* Powerful (influential) versus powerless;

* Successful versus unsuccessful;

* Winner versus loser

* Rich versus poor

* Impressive versus not impressive

* Included by a group versus excluded

* High class versus low class

* Educated versus uneducated.

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