By G. Papadopoulos
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Extra info for Notes Towards a Critique of Money
The salience of money is manifest in the dominance of financial speculation over ‘real’ productionxlix. Money emerges as the vehicle that realizes the global economy of unequal exchange, and as the instrument that commodifies social relations and regulates bio-politics; it is the signifier par excellence. Money signifies the particular content that hegemonizes the universal ideological construction of capitalism providing a particular and accessible meaning to economic value, which colors the very universality of the system of prices and accounts for its efficiency.
If by imagination we can understand the propensity to perceive something that is absent, then monetary media facilitate the mass orientation of imagination towards a common and therefore ‘objective’ perception of value and identity, replacing the necessity of social familiarity. Perception that is not based on immediate physical interaction is based on the recognition of standardized symbols imbued with meaning. Although the propensity to imagine may not have definite borders, symbols are effective insofar as they facilitate social interaction or refer to a common narrative that supports the unconscious associations to value and authority.
The relation of profit to productivity is effectively reversed. The production of objects gets increasingly pushed in the periphery, both in geographical (developing world, China, India) and in social terms (almost exclusively supported by a migrant and marginalized work force). The economy of the developed countries is centered on services, immaterial labor, creative industries, virtual technologies and of course financexl. Firms are no longer in the business to produce commodities; their main goal is to maximize shareholder value.
Notes Towards a Critique of Money by G. Papadopoulos