Money as Metaphysics: Deleuze & Guattari on the Two Flows of Capital

“In day to day experience, money is taken to be an unproblematic medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value. This is how money is defined by most economics textbooks—that is to say, in terms of its function. But what is money? That is a much more difficult, and in fact troubling question to try to answer. It turns out that money has been and continues to be a great many of things: debt, tribute, gift, and power, just to name a few. It has not only taken many material forms but also borne many different meanings. When this is understood, it becomes easier to criticize the hegemony—the unquestioned and unquestionable dominance—of the contemporary money form and the relations of power and judgments of value that are implicit in the modern money form. While there are increasing numbers of local, complementary, and solidarity currencies in circulation today—from Berkshares to bit coins-—it’s important to realize that in some sense all currencies are local, in the sense that they reflect specific conceptions of authority, value, and what counts as social order. From this perspective radical critiques of the global dominance of finance capitalism can be made.

About dmf

alienist @ large, mostly on foot
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