Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
but not for human society in general.

Jerome a Paris: Money is at the heart of politics, society and human relations.

If you are talking about commerce-based cultures, then you may be right.  But if you are talking about politics, society and human relations in human society at large, I really hope and believe you are wrong.  Granted, today, practically the whole planet is infested with commerce-based culture, but wasn't there a time when human society existed before and therefore without money.  And is it not possible to imagine a post-money post-capitalist human society?  If not, then that is a bleak prospect, indeed.

Jerome a Paris: Again, I'll plug Aglietta and Orlean's La violence de la monnaie and its updated version La monnaie entre violence et confiance

Aglietta and Orléan seem to make the crucial distinction:

La monnaie entre violence et confiance Michel Aglietta et André OrléanMoney between violence and faith Michel Aglietta et André Orléan
La monnaie est constitutive du lien social. Elle est à la source de la société marchande, parce que, sans elle, personne n'accepterait de se séparer de ce qui lui appartient contre quelque chose dont il risque de ne pouvoir se défaire. ...Money is fundamental to the social bond. It is at the origin of commercial/market society, because without it, nobody would agree to let go of something that belongs to them for something that they may not be able to get rid of. ...

Of course, this is a tiny extract from their book, so dangerous to jump to conclusions based on just this.  But their language of appartenir / belong, se défaire / get rid of, on top of the explicit reference to société marchande reveals assumptions indicating that they are talking about societies in which these commerce-based notions have already developed.

On the other hand, if they have based their theory on the work of René Girard, then maybe they are in fact talking about human society in general, and not just commercial society, since Girard apparently believes his theory applies to all societies and that it explains "the genesis of archaic religion".  Perhaps for Girard, Aglietta and Orléan, what I consider to be "commerce-based notions" are actually universal notions intrinsic in human society regardless of whether they are commercial or not.

Now that I am in Paris, I should find myself a copy.

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.

by marco on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 03:41:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More realistically money is one particular instantiation of politics, defined as the quest for personal power and prestige.

Debt is a personal obligation, and credit is simply the socially sanctioned - or socially appropriated - right to create social obligations that are enforced by physical penalties.

It's also the socially sanctioned right to make a claim on another individual's or group's industry and creativity.

The mythology is that this kind of credit-based creates an environment which promotes industry and creativity. Sometimes it does. But just as often it destroys or wastes them.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 04:19:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series