More money fetishism

In: Uncategorized

22 Jan 2012

The extent to which the current crisis is being explained as a consequence of the timeless problems of finance is astounding. There is of course nothing inherently wrong with studying the history of money. But it is a mistake to draw sweeping conclusions about the economy as a whole based solely, or even largely, on the role of credit.

Detlev Schlichter, a German free marketer, can be added to the list of money fetishists with his new book entitled Paper Money Collapse (Wiley 2011). He recently appeared on a BBC Radio 4 Start the Week programme alongside, among others, Philip Coggan (see 9 January 2011 post). Meanwhile, David Graeber, a social anthropologist and Occupy activist, talked on the same theme on Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed programme. All parts of the contemporary political spectrum, such as it is, seem to share this narrow focus on money.

That is even leaving aside the burgeoning genre of writing on how financiers supposedly control the world nowadays.