Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 17. 19th July 1972


The inaugural meeting of The Values Party was held here at Victoria early this year. Their policy is one with emphasis on a humanist approach to politics, rather than having an obsession with economics. In the coming election Tony Brunt, the party's leader, will contest the Island Bay electorate, and other electorates in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland will be contested too. The Values Party address is Box137 Wellington.

Tonight I do not want to talk about women's liberation. I want to put it in perspective and outline its place in the Values revolution which is going on at the present time. That term is a rather dramatic one but it is a fact that at the moment we are going through nothing less than a revolution in social values and there is no precedent for it in human history.

Firstly I should define what I mean by a value. A value is that which acts as a guide to human behaviour. It may be as lofty as a principle or it may be as ill-defined as a basic human urge. Now the primary motivating forces of man in western society were, until recently, the need for physical security and the need for economic security. Physical security involved protection of oneself and one's family from fellow man-thieves, invaders, hostile tribes and armies - protection from dangerous animals and protection from nature—the elements. Economic security involved adequate food, adequate clothing, a comfortable home and a good standard of living and reasonable assurance that this would continue into the future. Although physical security must have come first, for the most part the two values systems co-existed side by side. There was never a time in history when you got a transition from the quest for physical security or survivalism to economic security or materialism, and I do not mean materialism in a derogatory way. There was no clear graduation from one need to what psychologists call a higher-order need. Perhaps after the Middle Ages physical security declined in importance relative to economic security because of a gradual reduction in the number of wars and the development of a law-and-order system. But there was no clear historical cut-off point.