Thursday, September 5, 2019

Monetary Man

Money is a curious invention since it’s partly an abstraction. The evolution of currencies culminating in government banks and institutions like the Bretton Woods agreement all describe a world that has two or more degrees of separation from the everyday back and forth that characterized society before the invention of coins and bills. Of course the notion of exchange itself represented a significant bit of progress that may have attended the development of prehensile creatures who were in turn capable of tool making. One’s neighbor was no longer potential prey but actually a source of useful items—something that recent proponents of tribal politics need to be reminded of (along with the notion of altruistically based "gift economies"). Money is a little like a secondary sex characteristic, the external manifestation of an inner drive, the phenomenological representation of the noumenal essence. There are some people who are like dogs in estrus. They’re hormonally never satisfied and are constantly seeking ever larger pots of gold like the great seducers and temptresses of history. They create great monuments which are based on their ability to manipulate what's essentially an abstraction. George Soros for example has made at least a part of his fortune through currency speculation. For others money like sex is a constant source of longing either because they don’t have any or enough. Money is also the title of a l984 novel by Martin Amis.

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