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Hierarchy of Human Values Systems

Updated on June 8, 2012

Our values are not what we believe in. Beliefs are simply what we trust as being true. Values, however, are what absolutely are important to us. This hub advances to show that most of us belong more or less exactly to one particular framework of values, our values system, at any particular moment in time. And as time progresses our values system will change entirely. In each person there is a spiral progression as they shift values, so find out where you are on this spiral at the moment.

Any significant personal event may shift our values system, just as familiy life (eating dinner around the table, parents living an active social life), religion (being Christian, believing in the supremacy of sheer power), education, media, etc do. And each shift is a response, because human behavior is geared for adaptation by nature. This single quality is responsible for putting us on the spiral of progression.

If at the moment it is hard to grasp what I mean, ask yourself: If some of your past problems are not there any more, is it more because you've solved them or rather because your personality has so evolved that they don't constitute a problem any more?

Survival | Source

Values System I - Survival

The most basic values system is survival placed as the centerpiece of your life. It's a characteristic of street people who find that it is hard to survive so the get together in bands.

Their central value and the driving-force behind their actions is survival. They care about noone but themselves.

Tribal system
Tribal system | Source

Values System II - The Tribe

Tribal values system, like that of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, expresses itself in its purest for when young, aimless people come together under the wings of a common leader whose words constitute law in their eyes. This same values system applies to the precursors of these groups too. They were the Hashashin of the Middle Ages, a group that we know today as the Assassin, the same kind of saboteurs and terrorists as the Taliban are. Their leader's word is unquestionable and it is in most cases the word of their God.

John Rambo graffiti
John Rambo graffiti | Source

Values System III - Aggression

Aggressive values system stands for the next step on the spiral of progression. A person holding these values is completely alone. He can't trust or rely on anyone.

Only the strongest survive so he has to be the strongest. He is the archetype of Rambo standing up for himself in front of the leader of the tribe.

The only way is The Olde Way
The only way is The Olde Way | Source

Values System IV - The Old Way

But as Rambos get older they have to realize they can't maintain their power as the strongest person in the tribe, because new young ones arrived who are just like he was back then. They are here to claim his throne. Therefore Rambo changes his name and starts creating rules and regulations to keep the new ones at bay. He creates what is called 'The Only Way System', the Company lead by one person whose rules are law to which everyone under the protective wings of the Company have to conform. The rules sometimes possess a religious characteristic and a sect is born. If the members obey the laws, they can live the thriving but empty life of a conformist.

Quest for Power
Quest for Power | Source

Values System V - Tyranny

Living a good life in the material world they find that something is missing. They also start to stand up for themselves in the quest for fire, because they want to control their own lives. Under the pressure of the system they return to selfishness on a higher level of the spiral. They don't just want to make their stand in life any more, as this has already been satisfied. They want to get extremely rich. Bill Gates comes to mind here who established his own company in pursuit of control and domination. Gates is known for being an extremely focused individual who shows no interest in the free will of others and people wishing to work for him must conform to this and make their own submissive stand.

Agreement via consesus
Agreement via consesus | Source

Values System VI - Consensus

Even Bill Gates changes. Having achieved everything one could think of, people start to crave something else, the only thing they don't have: a politically correct system. Remember, people always want more and there is no end to this. This is how generously giving away to others becomes a selfish act aimed exclusively at satisfying a need still unsated. A politically correct system is where people care for each other's opinions. They don't do anything until they've not reached a consensus on it. They may not produce result in each case but they feel good.

Results! Results! Results!
Results! Results! Results! | Source

Values System VII - Competency

The following stage is the best-person system when people get bored with being unable to get anything constructive done and whatever works becomes good for them. Consensus is not so important any more as the necessity to put the most competent person in charge. The best suited for the job should be in charge. This is the cult of professionalism where result is the ultimate goal.

Global Living Organism
Global Living Organism | Source

Values System VIII - Global Living Organism

This situation, however, leads to a state in the individual where they start to miss connectedness. When result was raised to the pedestal, caring for each other was somehow sacrificed. The 8th values system is sometimes called 'Global Living Organism' in which the planet is regarded as a living orgasm on which everything is interconnected. We need to look at the price of results an what sacrifices our achievements require from others.

Values systems 1, 3, 5, 7 are self-centered systems where the individual is most important and the focus is on control and power. Values systems 2, 4, 6, 8 are community-oriented systems where each person is important.

(When I rumble about moneymaking (result) being the most important thing on Hubpages, it's really an expression of hope that in reality this is not so and that hubbers care for each other more than for the result. Values system 8th is about the result and the community together with the emphasis on the community.)

Let's take a look at how people holding different values systems see their world:

1th - the state of nature
2nd - a mysterious and frightening place
3rd - the world is a rough place
4th - the world is divinely controlled and guilt driven
5th - the world is full of opportunities, it's all for the money and power
6th - everyone's got to be equal
7th - complex system at the risk of collapse
8th - a resurgence of 2nd on a higher level of consciousness

The Roman two-faced god, Janus
The Roman two-faced god, Janus | Source

Why we do what we do:

It's a great idea, because...

1st - I feel so.
2nd - our honoured chieftain says so.
3rd - it suits me well in this situation.
4th - it conforms to the rule of law, it's duty.
5th - it suits my plans and objectives.
6th - everybody agrees on it.
7th - it's functional.
8th - the living orgasm ultimately benefits.

So, I repeat the question: can you determine where you are on the spiral of progression? Do you think you have a typical values system or are you inbetween two?

This hub is already too long but if there is a request in a comment here so that I may see it, there cold be a second part involving typical relationship patterns among people of different values systems (which systems like to date or marry each other and why), and how the transition occures from one system to the next. Thanks for reading.


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    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Hungary

      I think immaturity can be understood as good or bad depending on the context. I won't take guesses as to what you mean now, but I've heard about some of the ways yours manifested itself.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Too funny you became the opposite of me! We might have something here, yet more mature might be more realistic...I'm the odd one or is Vinaya! :))

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Hungary

      LOL I'm so not where I was 10 years back either. More mature, less patient, less tolerable. Perhaps women become better with age and men become worse. Or as in the case of Vinaya, some people never change. ;)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Good question and excellent hub! I'd have to say I'm not where I was ten years ago. I'm more patient, more tolerable and less mature. Haha!:)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      I think I am, because I'm pursuing the same dream i had 10 years ago.

      Your analysis and point of view is very interesting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      People and our worlds are constantly on changing, upgrading and it is in our nature that we adapt and so forth replace too. I agree with you, great examples too, thank you!

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hungary

      lolol I didn't even notice that. I saw follow haunty on my profile. Then I went over to yours and it says quit following Justine. It really is a funny feeling you get. I don't know if they thought this through... I guess maybe not.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      knocked out huh? Luckily, this is game that you can get back into....

      the whole follwer thing is so funny to me. Now it says over there to the right...quit following haunty....makes me feel like a real stalker!!

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hungary

      Justine, I reread that comment and I still hold it true. But yes, things have changed enormously. Many changed for the better and a lot for the worse. I heard someone say life was a board game. Sometimes you get knocked out...

      Thanks. And I'm going to correct the typo. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Funny to read this now, it was here before I knew you. I see your comment up there to the frog..things change so fast sometimes, dont they? (Do you mind if I tell you about a sort of funny typo? Its about.."The 8th values system is sometimes called 'Global Flux'"...did you mean "organism"?)

      This was another very thoughtful hub. Im glad I read it. :)

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hungary

      True enough. I usually don't aim for perfection, or at least not in my sane moments. Thanks, CC.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target. Nothing perfect in this world. We are all changlings. Good hub. Sorry I missed it.

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hungary

      Thanks, Dolores! :) I believe you are right. And it's a relief when you finally decide to live according to your OWN values.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Haunty, I think your basic values pretty much stay the same throughout life, that you may behave differently, or switch beliefs, but values seem deeply ingrained in character. Anyway, you gave me something to think about. You're good at that!

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hungary

      Thanks, Kari! My own thinking has changed since I joined hp. The people here impacted my very much. Now I think the same as you, which was not the case at the time of writing this hub. :)

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      I really enjoyed this. I feel were are all connected and we are here to support each other and help each other grow. I love to learn about new things and I love to find out what makes other tick. And just for the record, I did not find this hub too long, more like just right! :D

    • TheMindlessBrute profile image


      9 years ago from Orlando,Florida

      I've come to realise the last 11 years or so that there are only experiences.I no longer categorise them as good,bad or indifferent,they simply are.Everything seems less stressful and it's easier to look through the looking glass and learn any lessons contained in the fish bowl.I enjoyed this piece tremendously and I would like to see your thoughts on relationships between people with different value systems.

    • lumberjack profile image


      9 years ago

      Nah, I'm not an adolescent anymore.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      thoughtful and thought-provoking. . . thanks for a great read.

    • jennshon4 profile image

      Jenn Flynn-Shon 

      9 years ago from Phoenix

      For a very long time I lived by 'flock' type mentality but there were some personal situations that occurred in my life over the course of just a few years that broke me of that and since the light was shined that there is no one true person in charge, I have attempted to be more community minded. Great hub, made me think.

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Hungary

      then you live by the wisdom of the ages, my friend

    • Hawkesdream profile image


      9 years ago from Cornwall

      I live by , whatever will be will be, but strive for a challenge, I need to push myself to learn new things and skills, where am I heading? I will know when I get there. All in all I am quite content.

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Hungary

      Thanks, Carol. I can tell you this comes across when I read your hubs. :)

    • Carol-King profile image

      Carol King 

      9 years ago from Barbados

      This was very interesting and well written. I like how you have used the images too. I have actually been all of the above but I think I have now come full circle to a place where I no longer need the things I used to value as so important and can therefore find joy, peace, beauty and serenity in many different things. Great Hub

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Hungary

      Anyway, I learned this from a HR trainer, so you people have a fascinating job.

      Yes, I know, that's why everybody likes Indians, I think. :)

    • cashmere profile image


      9 years ago from India

      This is extremely interesting. I feel I have a more community centred value system than an individual centred one.

      WHich is true of most Indians...

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Hungary

      Thanks. This reminds me of something, but I don't remember what it is.

    • lbtrader profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      The global flux is regarded as the earth being a living that a typo....

      excellent hub and nice use of graphics....

    • Haunty profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Hungary

      That's great as it is, frogdropping. Thanks for actually reading this long hub. I have to make serious mistakes to learn from them, ones that are really painful. :)

    • frogdropping profile image


      9 years ago

      Haunty - This a interesting - and well written. Where am I? I don't know. I leave my past where it is - and that's because ultimately I learn from my mistakes and try not to repeat them. Is that survival?

      Rated up :)


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