Economics/Material Culture

Home Up

Citations related to ECONOMICS & Material Culture (works cited listed at bottom):


“'...consumerism kills the soul, as any good Augustinian can see, because it places things before the valuing of God and human community.' It deadens our consciousness and thickens our senses. Drug and alcohol addiction are leading symptoms of this. The evangelicals cry out about this, but what do the mainline churches have to say? Almost nothing. 'Why?' asks Hatch. 'Because we have defined religion as a deeply interior or otherworldly reality prior to any kind of life practice. Once you do that, how you actually live every day doesn't affect it one way or the other.'" Bellah, Robert et al, The Good Society, Vintage, 1992, p. 211.


"A 1990's management quiz:
1) Do you work in a 'learning organization'?
2) Is the boss talking about 'business process reengineering'?
3) Is your company's 'organization architecture' sound?
4) Are you a 'time-based competitor'?
5) Is your company leveraging its 'core competencies'?" Business Week, August 31, 1992, p. 44.


“The global economy is increasingly manifesting the nature of an interdependent whole: Each of its parts has become dependent on the whole and, in a \reciprocal manner, the whole is influenced by the perturbations and chance happenings that influence the parts.” Morin, Edgar. Homeland Earth: A Manifesto for the New Millennium. 1999. Hampton Press. p. 17.


“The politics of demand frequently lies at the root of the tension between merchants and political elites; whereas merchants tend to be the social representatives of unfettered equivalence, new commodities, and strange tastes, political elites tend to be the custodians of restricted exchange, fixed commodity systems, and established tastes and sumptuary customs. This antagonism between ‘foreign’ goods and local sumptuary (and therefore political) structures is probably the fundamental reason for the often remarked tendency of primitive societies to restrict trade to a limited set of commodities and to dealings with strangers rather than with kinsmen or friends.” Appadurai, Arjun. The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. 1986. Cambridge University Press. p. 33.


“Where in one case status systems are protected and reproduced by restricting equivalences and exchange in a stable universe of commodities, in a fashion system what is restricted and controlled is taste in an ever-changing universe of commodities, with the illusion of complete interchangeability and unrestricted access. Sumptuary laws constitute an intermediate consumption-regulating device, suited to societies devoted to stable status displays in exploding commodity contexts, such as India, China, and Europe in the premodern period. Appadurai, Arjun. The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. 1986. Cambridge University Press. p. 25.


“...I would suggest that barter is the exchange of objects for one another without reference to money and with maximum feasible reduction of social, cultural, political, or personal transaction costs. The former criterion distinguishes barter from commodity exchange in the strict Marxist sense, and the latter from gift exchange by virtually any definition.” Appadurai, Arjun. The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. 1986. Cambridge University Press. p. 9.


“The Lockean ideal of the autonomous individual was, in the eighteenth century, embedded in a complex moral ecology that included family and church on the one hand and on the other a vigorous public sphere in which economic initiative, it was hoped, grew together with public spirit. Without overlooking its many injustices, we may note that it was still a society that operated on a humanly intelligible scale. Both the economy and the government were sufficiently small-scale as to be understandable to the ordinary citizen. Looking back from our present position, we can see that citizens then were faced with two possibilities, which we may denote as ‘cultivation’ and ‘exploitation.’”

“The pattern of exploitation was destructive to both the natural environment and the life of the community. It appealed to that aspect of the tradition in which individual accumulation , measured in monetary terms, came loose from other social goods and became an all-consuming concern, undercutting even the devotion to self-cultivation and the family that were originally compatible with the Lockean ideal. But what should have been even more disturbing to true followers of Locke is that this pattern of exploitation led to the development of large economic and governmental structures that grew ‘over the heads’ of the citizens and beyond their control, making a mockery of the most fundamental principle of Lockean politcal philosophy: government by the consent of the governed. When this was followed not only by plundering the natural resources of the North American continent but by the development of an imperial military state, operating with the secrecy and arbitrary domination that empires always employ, the eighteenth-century notion of a republican polity, answerable to its citizens in the full light of day, was hardly recognizable.” Bellah, Robert et al. The Good Society. Vintage Books. 1992. pps. 265-6.


“The process of capital accumulation–the transformation of life (living work and nature) into commodities, money, and steadily increasing capital–is polarising and irreversible. In other words, money and capital can grow out of life, but no new life can grow out of capital and money. Life always has to be added to capital in order to make it palatable and bring it to life. Money that ‘breeds’ more money out of itself (as through interest) is a myth.” Bennholdt-Thomsen, Veronika & Mies, Maria. The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalised Economy. Zed Books (London). 1999. p. 21.


“With regard to the growth paradigm it is our thesis that permanent economic growth or capital accumulation can only continue so long as such ‘colonies’ [peasants, nature, women, any free services] exist which can be exploited free of cost or at very little cost. These are the areas for the ‘externalisation of costs.’” Bennholdt-Thomsen, Veronika & Mies, Maria. The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalised Economy. Zed Books (London). 1999. p. 32.


“Keynes in turn leavened the call of duty with G.E. Moore’s ethical philosophy, which postulated personal cultivation and friendship as the core values of a life worth living. This complex background provides some understanding of the reason he insisted that economic growth was never an end in itself and that capitalism could never by itself produce a decent or humane civilization.

“The point, Keynes liked to insist, was to maximize not material abundance but ‘goodness’ in that sense of cultivated humanity that Moore advocated.” Sullivan, William. “Politics as the ‘Public Use of reason’: Religious Roots of Political Possibilities.” pp. 236-253. Madsen, Richard & William Sullivan, Ann Swidler, Steven Tipton. Meaning and Modernity: Religion Polity and Self. University of California Press. 2002. p. 242.


“Industrial Capitalism defies its own logic by liquidating, but not valuing, its largest stock of capital–the natural resources and ecosystem services that make possible all life. In contrast, natural capitalism behaves as if not just money and goods but also people and nature were properly valued, but without needing to know or signal that value.

“Previous industrial revolutions economized on people because the relative scarcity of people limited progress in exploiting seemingly boundless nature. Now people are abundant and nature is scarce. Applying the same logic to this new pattern of scarcity, natural capitalism makes natural resources 10-100 times more productive. It redesigns industry on biological lines with closed loops and zero waste, and changes the business model to reward both these shifts. Finally, as any prudent capitalist must do, it reinvests in restoring, sustaining, and expanding the natural capital that creates wealth and sustains life.

“The result profitably addresses many social problems. Lack of work and hope, shortages of satisfaction and security are not isolated pathologies, but result from the intimate links between the waste of resources, money, and people. Their solutions are equally intertwined: firing the unproductive tons, gallons, and kilowatt-hours lets us keep the people, who will have more and better work to do.” Lovins, Amory. From a prospectus for a seminar on “Introduction to Natural Capitalism and the Resource Efficiency Revolution.” Esalen Institute catalogue. September 2003-February 2004. P. 42.


“Clearly, the problem with this strategy [increasing energy inputs for growth] is that a sustainable resource utilisation presupposes that natural systems are allowed to follow their own complex and diverse regulatory mechanisms. And this is where information techniques enter the scene. So far we have simplified nature to match our heavy technical system. With the information techniques [modern information technology and its likely steep complexity growth] we would be able to fit our technical system to match the complexity and refinement of living nature. And this would be the only way to increase the amount of resources extracted without fatally damaging the living systems.” Hoffmeyer, Jesper. “The Changing Concept of Information in the Study of Life.” Paper prepared for the Symposium “Nature and Culture in the Development of Knowledge: A Quest for Missing Links.” Uppsala, 8-11 September 1993. P. 6.


"Information is a beacon, a cudgel, an olive branch, a deterrent, depending on who wields it and how. Information is so powerful that the assumption of information, even if the information does not actually exist, can have a sobering effect." Levitt, Steven & Stephen Dubner. Freakonomics. 2005. William Morrow. P. 67.


"'The basic reality is that the risks that scare people and the risks that kill people are very different.'" Peter Sandman, quoted in Levitt, Steven & Stephen Dubner. 2005. Freakonomics. William Morrow. P.150.


"'Risks that you control are much less a source of outrage than risks that are out of your control.'" Peter Sandman, quoted in Levitt, Steven & Stephen Dubner. 2005. Freakonomics. William Morrow. P. 150.


"Sandman is an expert who works both sides of the aisle. One day he might help a group of environmentalists expose a public health hazard. His client the next day could be a fast-food CEO trying to deal with an E. coli outbreak. Sandman has reduced his expertise to a tidy equation: Risk = hazard + outrage. For the CEO with the bad hamburger meat, Sandman engages in 'outrage reduction'; for the environmentalists, it's 'outrage increase.'"

"Note that Sandman addresses the outrage but not the hazard itself. He concedes that outrage and hazard do not carry equal weight in his risk equation. 'When hazard is high and outrage is low, people underreact,' he says. 'And when hazard is low and outrage is high, they overreact.'" Levitt, Steven & Stephen Dubner. 2005. Freakonomics. William Morrow. P. 152.


“However, unlike collective goods, or public goods that are indivisible and must be equally shared (even, possibly, with nonparticipants and cheaters), corporate goods can be divided in accordance with various principles, rules), or contracts. The division of the spoils is thus not preordained, as is the case with the payoffs in most game theory models; in other words, the payoff matrix can be manipulated at will.” Corning, Peter. Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution. University of Chicago. 2005. P. 155.


“The monetary system just takes the first slice of that growth to pay for interest. In agrarian societies, one customarily sacrificed to the gods the first fruits of the harvest. Now, instead, we give the first fruits of our toils to the financial system.” Lietaer, Bernard & Stephen Belgin. 2006. Of Human Wealth: New Money for a New World. Pre-publication Edition Version 4.1. Citerra Press. Boulder, CO, USA. P. 59.


“Demurrage induces different behavior and investment patterns than interest:

• “Saving in the form of accumulating such currency is discouraged. Demurrage-charged currency operates entirely as a means of payment and exchange. Those in possession of this type of money will automatically be prompted either to spend or invest it, not hoard it. In technical terms, the functions of ‘medium of exchange’ and ‘store of value’ are separated.

• “Other kinds of savings are encouraged, not in the form of currency, but rather in the form of investments in productive assets. The ideal investment is land improvements or high quality maintenance of equipment, such as water wheels or windmills, or enduring investments for the community, such as the cathedrals.” Lietaer, Bernard & Stephen Belgin. 2006. Of Human Wealth: New Money for a New World. Pre-publication Edition Version 4.1. Citerra Press. Boulder, CO, USA. P. 74.


“The long and systematic repression of the Great Mother archetype has created deeply etched shadows in the collective unconscious. As will be shown, many of the most important challenges we face today can either trace their origins directly to, or are in part influenced by, the long repression of this vital archetype. The key questions become: What are the shadows of the Great Mother archetype? How do they manifest in society today? The two shadows are Greed (excess) and Fear of Scarcity (deficit).” Lietaer, Bernard & Stephen Belgin. 2006. Of Human Wealth: New Money for a New World. Pre-publication Edition Version 4.1. Citerra Press. Boulder, CO, USA. Pp. 176-7.


“The psychological issues resulting from this imbalanced monetary situation can be understood as ‘sacred wounds’ because they run deep and touch our most vulnerable nerves. They can undermine our relationships and make us doubt our own self-worth. Most of us identify with, and likely have empathy for, the plight of those who suffer primarily from the fear of scarcity that arises from living with insufficient resources. The wounds created by poverty are indeed pervasive, devastating, heart-wrenching, and easily understood. But the monopoly of Yang money affects all economic classes–the rich as well as the poor. Less well known or appreciated are the formidable wounds of having too much money. Jungian psychologist Bernice Hill has identified four wounds of wealth, which appear at successive levels of intimate interaction.

“The Four Wounds
“1. Burdens of Expectation
“Those few who are considered wealthy are often the targets of the fears, needs, and expectations of the many who lack money. Societal expectations permeate many aspects of life, including supporting charities and generally ‘doing the right thing,’ which often translates into writing check after check. The affluent are left to ask themselves, ‘When asked to attend an affair or participate in an event, social or otherwise, am I or my checkbook being invited?’

“2. Isolation
“Similarly, the wealthy must question if their personal relationships are based on money or status rather than genuine caring and true feelings of friendship. As a consequence, those of means tend to socialize only with others with similar financial and social backgrounds, and ultimately come to experience a deep sense of ‘isolation.’ The painful question lingers, ‘How many of my friends would still be my friends if I didn’t have any money, and how might I find out?’ Love, popularity, and camaraderie can be as paper-thin as money itself.

“This lack of trust is reflected in the security measures that are taken, the higher walls built around their homes, possessions, and lives, literally and psychologically. In the end, the affluent tend to seek refuge in ‘golden ghettos.’

“3. Unhealthy family dynamics
“Wealth can lead to unhealthy family dynamics. How often do we hear of rich family feuds–the nagging fears and general angst regarding inheritances, wills, and pressures brought to bear on siblings regarding proper behavior? Even the most intimate relationships–choosing the ‘right’ mate in marriage–are subject to the all-important pre-nuptial agreements, becoming yet another business contract.

“4. Crisis of Identity
“Most importantly perhaps, particularly for those who have inherited wealth, are the questions of identity and self-worth. ‘Who am I’ can be a painful question when the main public identity is that you have money. Philosopher Jacob Needleman observes that ‘the only thing that money will not buy is meaning.’ Often, wealthy people suffer from guilt, anxiety, and the sense of meaninglessness.” Lietaer, Bernard & Stephen Belgin. 2006. Of Human Wealth: New Money for a New World. Pre-publication Edition Version 4.1. Citerra Press. Boulder, CO, USA. Pp. 194-6. [Reference is to Bernice Hill, Money and the Spiritual Warrior, Five Centuries Foundation, Boulder, CO, USA, 2004.]


“The Sabers are allocated to primary schools in economically depressed areas where funding would typically not be available for higher education. They are given to the youngest students (7-year-olds) on the condition that they choose a mentor from an older class (a 10-year-old) to work with the younger students on their weakest school subjects. The Sabers are transferred to the older student in compensation for the hours they spend mentoring. The 10-year-old can do the same thing with a 12-year-old, and the latter with a 15-year-old, and so forth. Up to this point, this process has already been tested with Time Dollars in the U.S. school system with great success.

“At the end of this ‘learning chain,’ the Saber would go to a 17-year-old who would then be able to use his or her accumulated Sabers to pay all or part of the university tuition. The university in turn is able to exchange the Sabers for conventional money through the Education Fund, but at a discount of perhaps 50%. This is because most of the costs at a university are fixed and the marginal cost of an additional student really has no impact on those expenses. In the above example, we have assumed that the Saber circulates five times before it reaches the university. The total learning multiplier for the education budget allocated to this project would then be a factor of 10 (five times for the exchanges among students of different ages, multiplied by two for the arrangement between the Ministry of Education and the university).” Lietaer, Bernard & Stephen Belgin. 2006. Of Human Wealth: New Money for a New World. Pre-publication Edition Version 4.1. Citerra Press. Boulder, CO, USA. Pp. 296-7.


“The formula used to calculate the commodity valuation in Terras is:
Commodity price per unit X number of units = # of Terras created
Terra Unit Value”
Lietaer, Bernard & Stephen Belgin. 2006. Of Human Wealth: New Money for a New World. Pre-publication Edition Version 4.1. Citerra Press. Boulder, CO, USA. P. 328. [“Terra Unit Value” would be the total price (per respective units) for all the commodities in the “Terra basket” so that the formula treats the total price of about 10 commodities as the unit of value of which any one has a Terra price proportional to its currency price relative to the total currency price of the Terra basket of all commodities. One Terra is always equal to the total currency price of the Terra basket.]


“As long as there is a systemic conflict between financial priorities and long-term thinking, there is little chance that we will properly manage this shift towards a sustainable society. The Terra is a key tool in realigning financial interests with longer-term concerns, including long-term ecological concerns. This is in direct contrast to what happens today with conventional money. A discounted cash flow of money with positive interest rates, by definition, values the immediate future at the expense of the longer-term throughout the system.

“Realigning financial interests with long-term thinking is a necessary condition for sustainable development to have a realistic chance at the scale and speed now required. In short, the demurrage feature of the Terra provides the financial incentive to think long-term and thereby re-aligns stockholders’ interests with the development of a sustainable society.” Lietaer, Bernard & Stephen Belgin. 2006. Of Human Wealth: New Money for a New World. Pre-publication Edition Version 4.1. Citerra Press. Boulder, CO, USA. Pp. 333-4.
 

“Defining use-value as ‘the utility of a particular object’, Smith equated wealth with the access to use-values, since ‘every man is rich or poor according to the degree in which he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniencies, and amusements of human life’. Along the same lines, Marx (and all the authors of Classical Political Economy) started from the acknowledgment that ‘use-values (...) constitute the substance of all wealth, whatever may be the social form of that wealth’.

“Nevertheless, although recognizing use-values as the very essence of wealth and a prerequisite for any exchange-values, the emerging discipline of economics would leave considerations about use-value behind, and come to focus solely on the basis and origins of exchange-value. Taking use-value for granted, the whole academic field of economics would be erected around the discussion about the mechanisms of value creation (equated, significantly, to exchange-value tout court) and later, with the neoclassic economics, the mechanisms of price determination and the functioning of a market economy. Everything else (including the physical and cultural dimensions of use-values, and thus the very essence of wealth) was seen as something external to the greatly narrowed field of economic inquiry.” Stahel, Andri. “Value from a complex dynamic system’s perspective.” Ecological Economics. 54 (2005) 370-381. P. 371.


“Use-value is realized only in the relational act of consumption, as a subset of all different potential utilities of a given good or service. This process is clearly context dependent: it will depend on the material (or informational) content of the particular commodity, but also on the environmental, socio-cultural and individual (subjective) context in which it is consumed. Different social, cultural and environmental contexts can radically alter the use-value of given goods. Water may irrigate deserts or flood towns, and Smith’s water/diamond paradox could become even more dramatic in the case of a miner who finds himself lost in the desert, with his pocket full of diamonds and his canteen empty.

“Thereby, if content only defines potential uses and context determinates how this use-value realizes itself, it makes no sense to talk about use-values in an abstract and static way. At the demand side, human needs and preferences are not fixed, but culturally and individually changing over time and space. In this sense, if the goal of economics is to determinate the ‘nature and causes of wealth’, the way necessities are culturally and historically defined by different societies and different environmental contexts should be a primary issue for any economic inquiry. Our wealth and our poverties do not exist in the abstract, but emerge from the relational qualities of the environment we live in and the cultural and personal values that confer meaning to our existence.” Stahel, Andri. “Value from a complex dynamic system’s perspective.” Ecological Economics. 54 (2005) 370-381. Pp. 373-4.


“This non-linearity, scale and context dependency of any value is particularly true for what Funtowicz and Ravetz called emergent complex systems, which, as we saw, is the case of the human economic system, which ‘flourish ‘at the edge of chaos’‘.

“In this context, not only the modern ideals of perfect foresight and complete control have to be abandoned, but we need to review the very idea of the social and ecological value of a given element per se. It is only within a given context that we may assess the value and importance of any given element of a system. And every element participates in multiple, ever-changing contexts.

“In this sense, the ecological and social cost of, let us say, one litre of oil, cannot be established as a fixed, immanent value. In some contexts, fossil fuels consumption may contribute to increased negentropy in social and ecological systems, while in other contexts it does the opposite. In some cases it asks for subsidies, in other for eco-taxes. The social and ecological value of fuels used by firemen to arrive and combat a forest fire is not equal to its value when used to accelerate the ‘F-1 circus’. Although self-evident in this rather crude example, this variability is a common feature which permeates the social, ecological and even economic value of all commodities. Standard economic value-theory and cost evaluation procedures, even if considering the context, aim to arrive at a final, fixed, objective value. This mean value not only does not reflect the different particular cases, but ignores the dynamic changes undergone by the system too.” Stahel, Andri. “Value from a complex dynamic system’s perspective.” Ecological Economics. 54 (2005) 370-381. Pp. 376-7.


“First of all, as we argued above, while prices are an attribute of the commodity, the social and ecological value of this commodity is a context dependent, relational property. It is only within this larger framework that the net effect of any particular commodity in terms of social and ecological wealth creation (that is, a far from equilibrium negentropy) can be assessed. If the decisions of the different economic agents are based on prices only (which is the way market regulation process works, through ‘objectifying value’), there is no reason why these decisions should be congruent with sustainability – that is, the (re)production process of the larger whole. As Polanyi already argued more than half a century ago, at least for what he termed ‘the false commodities’ (labour, land and money), market-regulation is incongruent with the larger social and ecological organization logic within which they are actually reproduced.” Stahel, Andri. “Value from a complex dynamic system’s perspective.” Ecological Economics. 54 (2005) 370-381. P. 377.


“Prices, as fixed and objectified quantities, are always an average value. This means that they send different signs to different agents. This is clearly seen in the neoclassical idea of consumer and producer surplus: if we take a standard demand and supply curve, the resulting equilibrium market price only reflects the production cost and utility for the marginal (least efficient) producer and consumer, respectively. There are producers willing to supply at lower prices and consumers willing to buy at higher ones. Symmetrically, there are producers and consumers who are, altogether excluded from participating in the ‘democratic’ market bidding and offering process, since they are located, for one reason or another, beyond or below (respectively) this equilibrium price.

“Thus, changing prices do affect differently different ‘economic agents’ (according to the price sensibility of their demand and/or supply curves). The net effect of a price change over a system’s dynamic depends thus on the different roles those different actors play in that system. To give an example: imagine the global cost of climatic changes could be evaluated and this total value divided by global fossil fuel consumption. Would the resulting carbon tax increase or decrease the sustainability of our social ecological systems? How would this tax affect the creation of socioeconomic wealth on a global scale? Would it affect the ‘F-1 circus’ or even reduce fossil fuel consumption by the global upper classes, or would it mainly affect those for whom the ‘fuel budget’ already represents an important burden, and thereby increasing the socioeconomic distance between rich and poor, and adding further social stress to the system? Who would be most affected by the resulting inflationary pressures and how would these affect the traditional use of carbon and firewood, and thus the desertification process, which in turn generates further economic pressures, in a positive feedback process leading to an unsustainable socio-ecological trend? Clearly, a carbon-tax would affect differently different social actors, leading to a net result – in terms of the overall development process in its interdependent socioeconomic, political and environmental dimensions – which is not linear, nor straightforward.” Stahel, Andri. “Value from a complex dynamic system’s perspective.” Ecological Economics. 54 (2005) 370-381. P. 378.


“General prices changes (due to taxes, quotas, scarcities, etc.) will affect different systems differently, sometimes in undesired negative ways. It is only in a case-by-case framework that the best policy for each case can be decided. This calls for a social control of each economic activity, (re)directing it into ways that increase the overall system stability and ability to generate a negentropic far from equilibrium order, that is to say: wealth.” Stahel, Andri. “Value from a complex dynamic system’s perspective.” Ecological Economics. 54 (2005) 370-381. P. 378.


“If not explicitly, at least implicitly, the current social and ecological crisis, as well as the discussion around the need to 'internalize' social and ecological costs, put on the global agenda again the need to ‘politicize’ economics and to politically control or redirect the economic process. Moreover, the acknowledgment that there are not only economic wealth distribution issues, but also social and ecological cost and risk issues, add a further political dimension to the ‘political economy’”. Stahel, Andri. “Value from a complex dynamic system’s perspective.” Ecological Economics. 54 (2005) 370-381. P. 379.


“If, as in the case of our modern economic system, price formation is done within the free-market regulation process, serious system malfunctions arise. This is due, as argued above, to the self-referential information on which the organization of the economic system’s dynamic is based – that is, internally generated price signs. These signs are blind to the needs and requirements of the larger social and ecological systems on which, nevertheless, the economic subsystem depends. As Funtowicz and Ravetz put it, ‘no single perspective from within a subsystem of fewer dimensions can fully encompass the reality of the whole system’. Nonetheless, it is exactly this magic that the ‘invisible hand’ is supposed to perform, generating a ‘collective good’ by means of the competing interest of the individuals who base their decisions solely on market-prices and their own self-interest.” Stahel, Andri. “Value from a complex dynamic system’s perspective.” Ecological Economics. 54 (2005) 370-381. P. 379.


“It is no longer physical stuff that is in short supply, we are told, but information about it. So, we live in an ‘information economy.’ But information is not in short supply in the new information economy. We’re drowning in it. What we lack is the human attention needed to make sense of it all. It will be easier to find our place in the new regime if we think of it as an economics of attention. Attention is the commodity in short supply.” Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. 2006. University of Chicago Press. P. xi.


“Consider, for example, Achilles’ choice [“between a short, famous life and a long, prosperous obscurity”]. A capitalist economy brings with it a perennial argument, lively again at the present time, about when profit turns into greed. The same argument has been pursued since Homeric times about fame. Achilles’ choice. Practically every literary hero we know about has been ‘greedy for praise,’ lofgeornost as the Anglo-Saxon hero Beowulf is described. Yet, much more often than not in Western history, we have applauded this ‘greed,’ unlike the money kind, as a noble longing, an aristocratic hunger. Why is this?

“Modern mass communications have created centripetal attention structures that bottle celebrity, and celebrities, for sale. Centripetal attention structures like these emerge so spontaneously from our behavior that they must be an inherited primate behavior pattern, part of our attention capital. So onward to our adoration of princesses, movie stars, and basketball players. These structures focus attention efficiently but on a very few people. They create machine-made fame.

“They also create a winner-take-all society, as a recent book styles it.” Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. 2006. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 10-11.


“It is the rhetorical habit of mind that created both the free market and the free market of ideas. The freedom comes from persuasion not coercion, whether you buy a product or an idea. Planned economies constrain attention; rhetorical markets attract it. They do not compel agreement; they invite.” Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. 2006. University of Chicago Press. P. 26.


“The money made in a stuff economy was transferred, via philanthropy, to the stuff that makes up an attention economy: libraries, museums, universities, opera houses, symphony orchestras–the infrastructure of the arts and letters. Jean Strouse remarks, in her Morgan biography: ‘Capital markets are essentially the organized processes through which money for long-term investment is raised, distributed, traded, and above all valued’ Think of the cultural conversation as the capital of an attention economy, and notice the fit. It is possible, then, to read these robber baron biographies in quite another light. Economics preoccupies itself with the motives required to make money. It might pay more attention to the motives required to give it away. They testify to an awareness, vague perhaps to these money men but keenly felt, that another conception of economics lay behind the world they worked in.” Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. 2006. University of Chicago Press. P. 36.


“If attention is the prime economic asset, as Christo’s creative universe assumes, how do you raise this new species of money? How do you provide the attention financing? How do you ‘get so many people so involved’? You start with a grand idea, dramatic in the making, beautiful in the execution. This is what beauty is for in an economics of attention, not to be gazed on for its own sake but to focus social purpose. Such a focus does not mean that the beauty need be of the ‘Seven Brave Tractor Drivers’ socialist sort. Far from it. The more absolute it is, the less connected it is with social purpose, the better it works in leading social purpose.

“Then you take your grand idea and you persuade people to share its grandeur. You do this in all those hearings and applications. This plunges you deeply into the paradox of stuff. You are trying to build something–the stuff is vital–but the attention structure the stuff creates, both in the making and the standing, is what finally matters. You create, as persuasion must, a participative drama. It must include, if it is to have dramatic vitality, a vociferous opposition. This was supplied by the local artists. They hated this foreigner coming in and hogging all the attention and redefining art in a way that left them clerks of a forgotten mood.” Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. 2006. University of Chicago Press. P. 59.


“Gintis and his colleagues observe that humans are ‘conditional cooperators’ who will behave generously as long as others are doing so, and ‘altruistic punishers’ who will strike back at those perceived to behave unfairly, even at the expense of their own immediate interests.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. P. 121. Reference is to Herbert Gintis of the University of Massachusetts and the Santa Fe Institute.


“We thus have two opposing forces at work in organizations: the informational economies of scale from node growth, and the diseconomies of scale from the buildup of conflicting constraints. Taken together, these opposing forces help us understand why big is both beautiful and bad: as an organization grows, its degrees of possibility increase exponentially while its degrees of freedom collapse exponentially.

“Put simply, large organizations inherently have more attractive opportunities before them than small organizations do (the large can theoretically do everything the small can do, plus more). But reaching those future opportunities involves trade-offs, and the more densely connected the organizational network, the more painful those trade-offs will be.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. Pp. 152-3.


“There are tight linkages between PTs [Physical Technologies] and STs [Social Technologies]. As humans move across the fitness landscape of PTs, they cause rumblings, earthquakes, and other upheavals in the landscape of STs, and vice versa. An advance in PT such as the ox-drawn plow could only have happened after the ST innovation of village-based agriculture (try carrying a plow as a nomad). Likewise, as mentioned earlier, many management innovations in the modern era have depended heavily on advances in computing and communications technology. In fact, the agricultural, industrial, and information revolutions can each be viewed as coevolutionary merry-go-rounds of advances in PTs leading to new forms of STs, which in turn were crucial for further advances in PTs, and so on.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. P. 265.


“There are four basic sources of 1 + 1 = 3 magic in non-zero-sum games. All four have been well known to Traditional Economic theory for a long time. First is the division of labor....

“Second is the heterogeneity of people. Their different needs and tastes create opportunities to trade for mutual benefit...

“Third are the benefits of increasing returns to scale....

“Fourth, and finally, cooperation helps smooth out uncertainties over time. If one hunting band has a successful day and another does not, the successful band can share its bounty with the unsuccessful group under the proviso that the others do the same when the situations are reversed.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. Pp. 266-7.


“Nash’s elegant solution was to say that how two or more bargainers split up the gains from exchange depends on how much each values the benefits of the deal, and what the parties’ alternatives are. Each looks for his or her best deal assuming everyone else is looking for the best deal, too, and the trade is made at the point at which no one has any incentive to change position, given the actions of the other. This point became known as the Nash equilibrium.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. Pp. 267-8.


“Thus, Social Technologies that are better at tapping into sources of non-zero-sum gains, finding cooperative Nash equilibriums for allocating those gains, and managing the defection problem will be higher on the fitness landscape than those that do not. As people have deductively tinkered their way across the landscape in search of fit STs, humankind has evolved increasingly complex and sophisticated social structures for addressing these three issues.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. P. 270.


“We have seen how Business Plans are instructions for creating businesses that can be implemented by qualified Business Plan readers. These instructions bind Physical Technologies and Social Technologies together into modules under a strategy. Business Plans are differentiated through the deductive-tinkering of agents as they search for potentially profitable plans. While the distribution of experiments created by this process differs from the purely random differentiation of biological evolution, it nonetheless feeds the evolutionary algorithm with a superfecundity of Business Plans for selection to act on.

“The process of selection is nested and occurs at several levels, ranging from the mental simulations of individuals to the problem-solving activities of groups. Further selection occurs as Business Plans percolate up and down the hierarchies of organizations, but then at some point the plans are implemented and the market renders its judgment.

“Finally, successful modules are rewarded by gaining influence over more resources. Success for a module comes at two levels. The first level is within an organization, when a Business Plan is implemented and is given resources for its execution, for example, when people and money are invested in executing a plan. The second level is when modules are expressed in the market-place and rewarded with growth and more capital by customers and financial markets.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. P. 293.


“Markets win over command and control, not because of their efficiency at resource allocation in equilibrium, but because of their effectiveness at innovation in disequilibrium.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. P. 294.


“Wealth is thus a form of anti-entropy. It is a form of order, but not just any order–it is fit order. Patterns of economic order, in the form of products and services, compete with each other to be needed, desired, and even craved by consumers.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. P. 316.


“We can think of culture in an organizational context as a set of concentric rings, moving from the most widely shared norms, to ones that are more specific and individual.” Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society. 2006. Harvard Business School Press. P. 369.
 

“The inventor may work in the play sphere and the entrepreneur in the game sphere, but the manager, who by definition works in the middle ground of practical purpose, finds his task in balancing the flow from the extremes without inhibiting it.” [As support for thesis that motive is dimension with purpose in the middle and game and play on each end of the spectrum.] Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. 2006. University of Chicago Press. P. 173.


“The ‘buying decision’ that allocates the scarce commodity of attention is a complex one. It cannot be resolved into a simple choice between selfishness and altruism. The caprices of voluntary agents do indeed laugh at calculation. Information purchases must assess the informational signal, the category of information the perceiver is prepared to perceive, the motivational structure that animates the communication, and the global assumptions about the human world within which human communication takes place. In an economics of attention, we must ask not only how people go about achieving their goals but where the goals come from. Economics in an information economy is about how choices of attention are made and, thus, about human motive.” Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. 2006. University of Chicago Press. P. 180.


“Does the university [know what business it is in]? It may realize it is in the information business – it sometimes talks this way – but I don’t think so. The business it still thinks itself in is academic landlord: renting space in classrooms to students. The virtual university does not labor under this illusion or think at the old landlord speed.” Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. 2006. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 247-8.


“Since the seventeenth century, the sciences of stuff have moved steadily to its [the university’s] center and the arts and letters, which deal with attention structures, have occupied the periphery. In an economics of attention, the two change places. Many reversals follow on this, including how communication, the arts, and the law are taught. It will take some time for the academic world to sort these reversals out.” Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information. 2006. University of Chicago Press. P. 259.


“So the distinction between writer and baker, speculator and doctor, fraudster and prostitute, is a helpful way to look at the world of activities. It separates those professions in which one can add zeroes of income with no greater labor from those in which one needs to add labor and time–in other words, those subjected to gravity.” Taleb, Nassim. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. 2007. Random House. P. 28.


“Objects are the material things people encounter, interact with and use. Objects are commonly spoken of as material culture. The term ‘material culture’ emphasises how apparently inanimate things within the environment act on people, and are acted upon by people, for the purposes of carrying out social functions, regulating social relations and giving symbolic meaning to human activity.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 3.


“... objects are culturally powerful because in practice they connect physical and mental manipulation.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 15.


“One of the basic insights of recent conceptualisations of material culture studies has been the idea that objects have ‘social lives’ or ‘biographies.’ Essentially, this means that in modern societies, where meanings and interpretations attached to images are relatively flexible and fluid, objects have careers or trajectories whereby their meaning for consumers changes over time and space.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 29.


“As Levi-Strauss famously points out in a brief, yet widely quoted and instructive, section toward the end of his book Totemism ‘natural species are not chosen because they are ‘good to eat’ but because they are ‘good to think’‘ (‘bonnes a penser’). From this insight, we can conclude that a fundamental tenet of Levi-Strauss’ theoretical model is that material objects do not exist just to serve straightforward, utilitarian purposes. In fact, the more important, symbolic role of objects is to allow humans to construct and assign meanings within their cultural universe. Such a proposition is a – possibly the – bedrock assumption within material culture studies.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 67.


“The fundamental principle of the structural approach to material culture is that any object derives its meaning from a semiotic relation to another object. That is, objects have meanings that are relational and contextualised. Saussure’s groundbreaking work in structural linguistics established this. So, we can understand the meaning of an object by reading it in relation to its difference from other objects, of the same or different class. For example, a Ford motor vehicle is distinguishable from other motor vehicles (Honda, BMW, Chrysler) in terms of size, shape, quality, brand association and so on. The point is that we only know what a ‘Ford’ motor vehicle is because of how we perceive its differences in relation to other motor vehicle types.

“The structural tradition recommends that analysts focus on studying the langue plane of material culture, rather than its parole plane. This recommendation is drawn from Saussure’s distinction between the surface of language (parole) and its deep, generative structure (langue). The point structuralists make is that only by studying these langue elements can we begin to understand the generative forces of culture.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 80.


“Human beings thus have a drive to classify – as we would understand a scientist to do – but they also cannot help but assign cultural value. Durkheim and Mauss’ argument is that classification is a process of marking-off, of demarcating things that are related, but have distinct point of difference to another. These systems of ideas of relation and difference serve to connect and unify knowledge about the world. They build up a hierarchical system where ideas form chains of meanings, and where values can be assigned and competing discursive constructs weighed up.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 88.


“Hierarchies of classification develop as society develops – in fact, they are the basis of forms of sociality. Systems of classifying people, objects and things are thus linked to a collective consciousness – they obtain meaning by reference to other socially sanctioned classifications such that conceiving or classifying something is both learning its essential elements better, and also locating it in its place. In making such classifications, humans perform a commitment to the social, and bear out that ‘society’ is deep within them:” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 90. [Description of the insights of Durkheim]


“Gifts then are not inert but are alive and personified, and achieve a type of magical, spiritual hold over giver and receiver, such that receiving a gift is akin to receiving a part of a person’s essence: ‘to give something is to give part of oneself.’ Gifts thus bring with them: (i) an obligation to repay, (ii) an obligation to give, and (iii) an obligation to receive.”

“Mauss extends his analysis of gift exchange on other cultures to note that even in western culture, where social and economic routines are apparently dominated by contracts and forms of instrumental rationality, economic activity incorporates more than a system of exchange, being one part of the enduring, wider social contract amongst citizens. Economic activity then brings with it a form of civility, so that trade and wealth generation brings with it general increases in living standards, social solidarity and peacefulness. Forms of exchange cannot be reduced to economy.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 91. [Describing the study of gift-giving societies by Marcel Mauss]


“Douglas and Isherwood’s core argument is that goods are resources for thinking, demarcating and classifying. They acknowledge that while goods, or consumer objects, originate in the system of capitalist production, at the same time ‘all material possessions carry social meanings’ and, as resources for thinking, commodity objects make ‘visible and stable categories of culture.’ Though goods ‘come from’ the economy, in order to understand their attractions and meanings we should conceptualise them autonomously from economic frameworks. As something for making sense of the world, consumer objects assist people in demarcating social categories, maintaining social relationships, and thus assigning worth and value to things and people.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. Pp. 95-6. Reference is to Douglas, Mary & B. Isherwood. 1996 (1979). The World of Goods: Towards an Anthropology of Consumption. Basic Books.


“Whereas commoditisation tends to reduce all things to exchange values, there is a strong cultural imperative to make some things singular, powerful and meaningful. In the Durkheimian sense, there is a drive to make certain objects sacred in order to render them culturally resonant within the larger cultural universe. Kopytoff argues this can happen at both a cultural level and an individual level. At a cultural level, sports fans may sacralise the bat, outfit or shoes of a legendary player; music fans may assign sacred status to the piano, violin or guitar of a composer of performer; a museum may recreate a furnished room designed by an esteemed person, such as the “living room from the Little House, Wayzata, Minnesota’, 1912-14, originally designed by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright now in permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum, New York.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 104. [Reference: Igor Kopytoff. “The cultural biography of things: commoditization as process.” In Arjun Appadurai. The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge University Press. 1986.]


“... Goffman distinguished between objects that allow for social confirmation of categorical status (such as a uniform), and objects that afford expressiveness, which he saw as reflecting a person’s style of life, preferences, or personal tastes – in effect what we could understand as their identity. Along similar lines, Harre distinguishes between the functional and expressive orders of objects. While the former order relates to the functional purpose to which an object can be put, the latter capacity relates to social hierarchies of status and honour, which individuals negotiate.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 134. [Erving Goffman. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. 1959. Doubleday.]


“Cote’s ‘identity capital’ thesis suggests that in late-modern culture individuals have the potential to develop situated, contextual modes of self-presentation that are reflexive and self-monitoring, allowing ease of forms of ‘cultural mobility’ through time and space. Identity capital constitutes investments people build in themselves, which assist them in making their way in a variety of personal and professional arenas they aspire belonging to. This variant of capital includes things like: development of social and technical skills, enhanced behavioural repertoires, and associations within networks. One could add that the possession of particular object tokens that afford desired identities could be included as part of the ‘tangible resources’ for identity capital Cote refers to. Such material tokens – the right ‘look’, clothes, jewellery, motor vehicle, and so on – all become passports into desired social, cultural and institutional spheres.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. Pp. 136-7. [Reference: James Cote. “Sociological perspectives on identity formation: the culture-identity link and identity capital.” Journal of Adolescence. 1996. 19:417-28.]


“Csikszentmihalyi and Rochberg-Halton also found important differences in how objects were cherished across the life-course. On the basis of their generational sampling approach, they suggest a master binary scheme for interpreting age-related differences between: (i) objects that are cherished for affording of action (for example, a ball, or a bike, or a kite), and (ii) objects that are cherished for affording contemplation (for example, a photograph, an old plate, a sculpture). The objects young people and children tend to nominate as their most cherished are things that cultivate or encourage action – they are instruments for doing, and require physical manipulation and engagement, such as musical instruments, sports equipment, bikes and skateboards. On the other hand, older people, the grandparents within the study sample, tend to cherish objects that require mostly mental and emotional engagement, such as photographs. The middle generation tended to nominate objects toward the contemplative end of the spectrum, resembling the older generation within the sample. The general trend the authors identify is for meanings of objects to shift over time, from what one can do with an object to what one has done in the past.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. Pp. 146-7. [Reference: Mihaly Csikszenthimalyi & Rochberg-Halton. The Meaning of Things: Domestic Symbols and the Self. 1981. Cambridge University Press.]


“Kamptner found that adolescent males listed the following categories of objects, in order, as their most treasured: music (CD player, musical instruments), sports equipment (from surfboards to baseball bats), motor vehicles, small appliances (mostly TVs but also computers, cameras and videogames), and clothing (including shoes). Females listed the following objects, in order: jewelry, stuffed animals, music, clothing and small appliances. Csikszenthimalyi and Rochberg-Halton report a similar type of finding from their study. Males tend to report instrumental objects more frequently, such as furniture, TVs, stereos and musical instruments, while women tend to rank highly expressive categories such as photographs, visual art, sculpture, books and plants. In terms of the meanings derived from their most treasured objects, according to Kamptner’s data males were most likely to refer to enjoyment (mood enhancement such as ‘feeling good’ or ‘escape’), utilitarian reasons (such as it ‘gets a job done’, or fulfils a role), and self (the object represents a part of one’s identity); while females were most likely to list the social meanings of objects (objects that have some type of link or tie to another person) as the most important meaning, followed by self and enjoyment. In this sense, there are important gender differences: men tend to focus on objects that get things done, fulfil perceived important roles or tasks and which give direct enjoyment, entertainment or pleasure; while women tend to focus on objects that afford kin and friendship ties (for example, of memory, or direct current associations).

“In terms of age and object attachment, Kamptner finds that, compared to when they were young, older respondents suggested they treasure objects now for their utilitarian roles, rather than comfort or entertainment reasons. So, the kinds of objects treasured did change with age, generally from ‘emotional comfort’ to ‘utilitarian’ and ‘enjoyment’ roles.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. Pp. 147-8. [References: Laura Kamptner. “Treasured possessions and their meanings in adolescent males and females.” Adolescence. 30(118: 301-18. Mihaly Csikszenthimalyi & Rochberg-Halton. The Meaning of Things: Domestic Symbols and the Self. 1981. Cambridge University Press.]


“In her research into object meanings, Marsha L. Richins distinguished between the public and private meanings of possessions, while noting the interpenetration of such categories. Public meanings relate to meanings assigned by members of society at large. While there will be some variation and misinterpretation, by and large, members of a community can agree on the meaning of many objects as they are shaped by meanings around fashion, style, status and stigma. Private meanings are what a possession means for an individual. This might include some aspects of the owner’s personal history, especially related to significant kin relationships. In terms of the types of possessions valued by respondents in her study, Richins found the following categories of objects, in ranked order: sentimental objects (gifts, photo albums), assets (house, property, money), transportation (car), practical objects (tools, kitchen appliances), recreational objects (sports equipment, musical instruments), personal appearance related things (hair dryer, hair straighteners, jewelry), extensions of self-representing personal accomplishments (trophies, degree certificates), and aesthetic objects (paintings, sculptures).” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 148. [Reference is to Marsha Richins. “Valuing things: the public and private meanings of possessions.” Journal of Consumer Research. 21(3): 504-21. 1994]


“Richins finds that less materialistic people value objects likely to be used privately, or visible within the home only, whereas more materialistic people value objects that are worn, or used, in public spaces. Further, the more materialistic a person, the more expensive the items they highly valued. High materialist respondents were more likely to refer to financial value when describing objects, and less likely to mention interpersonal ties. Those who were low in materialism were more likely to value objects for their interpersonal meanings, rather than instrumental values. Appearance related meanings – or aesthetic values – were more highly scored by high materialists when determining their satisfaction with objects.” Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture. 2007. Sage Publications. P. 149. [Reference is to Marsha Richins. “Special possessions and the expression of material values.” Journal of Consumer Research. 21(3): 522-33. 1994]


“Even more than through the action of scientists and politicians, with the help of economists propositions can be expressed; interests have a say in the matter. Through the circulation of its tracers, economics makes the collective describable.” Latour, Bruno. Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy. 2004. Harvard University Press. Translated by Catherine Porter. P. 154.


“Money, beginning with private enterprise as a means of escaping the limitation of barter soon developed the cheat to exploit the honest trader who in an effort to protect himself turned to government for protection, only to find that now he had two thieves, the private money changer and the political plunderer working hand in glove against him. By this combination the money changer gained the prestige of political sanction through legislative license and the state secured a deceptive device for laying taxes upon the citizenry [by means of the hidden tax called inflation]. It was and remains a vicious alliance.” Riegel, E.C. Breaking the English Tradition. Available at www.reinventingmoney.com/documents/BreakingEnglishTradition.pdf. From Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. 2009. Chelsea Green Publishing. Pp. 30-1.


“Professor Heinrich Ritterhausen traces the development from private issuing banks to modern central banks through the following stages:

A. The exclusive license to issue notes is granted to a bank as a state privilege.
B. The state discovers that the bank is a source of credit.
C. The government tax offices begin to accept the still purely private notes in tax payments instead of metallic money.
D. The state needs money in times of emergencies [like wartime]. The bank cannot refuse large loans to the government [for deficit spending]. Economically, these loans are long term.
E. In this way the note issuance becomes excessive. Redemption (in metallic money) becomes impossible and therefore is abolished by law.
F. In anticipation of feared reactions of the public, i.e., discounting the notes or refusal of acceptance, the notes are given legal tender power, i.e., compulsory acceptance. By this means, the notes lose their character as an issue of a private bank currency note.
G. Legal tender (forced acceptance of the notes) and repudiation of note redemption make the metallic standard inoperable. The measure of value now becomes the paper currency itself. The automatic regulation of the note supply by market forces comes to an end.”
Quote from Heinrich Ritterhausen. Die Zentralnotenbank. Knapp. 1962. Pp. 18-19. From and translated by Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. 2009. Chelsea Green Publishing. P. 40.


“The truly devastating thing about the dominant monetary system is that usury has been built into its very foundation, resulting in a debt imperative and the growth imperative that derives from it. This dual imperative creates a Hobbesian war of ‘all against all’ as those in debt to the banks vie with one another in the market to capture enough money from an insufficient supply to repay their loans with interest. This not only causes gross inequities and social strife, but it also drives the destruction of our physical environment.” Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. 2009. Chelsea Green Publishing. P. 54.


“The exchange function has need of short-term credit that bridges the gap between the delivery of goods to market and the sale of those goods. It is this credit, and only this credit, that should be embodied in modern money. Money, then, becomes a virtual representation of real value in the form of goods and services that is ready to be bought and consumed. The question is, ‘What is the proper basis upon which money should be issued? The principle that applies to proper operation of the exchange function is this: money should be created on the basis of goods and services that are already in the market, or shortly to arrive there. This is the essence of what is called ‘the real bills doctrine.’’

“The finance function has need of long-term credit that enables ‘capital formation,’ i.e., it provides the means by which production capability can be renewed or increased. The question here is, ‘How shall capital formation be financed?’ The applicable principle in this case is that long-term uses of credit should be matched to long-term sources of credit. The logical conclusion is that investments should be matched to savings.” Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. 2009. Chelsea Green Publishing. P. 58.


“An improper basis is any loan that does not put goods or services into the market either immediately or in the very near term. Commercial banks play a dual role. They act both as ‘depositories’ and as ‘banks of issue.’ In their role of depository, banks lend out depositors’ funds (your savings and mine) to those who have need of them. That may be for either consumption or the creation of new productive capacity (capital formation). As banks for issue, they create new deposits (money) on the basis of short-term commercial bills that accompany the delivery of goods to market. That’s the way it is supposed to work.

“In practice, however, banks these days make little distinction between these two roles and they commonly create deposits (money) by making loans to finance both the flow of goods and services into the market as well as making loans that take them out of the market. When a bank makes a loan for the purpose of financing consumer purchases or for investment in long-term productive assets, those newly created deposits are inflationary–because they deliver goods and services to the marketplace only in the distant future, or not at all. Improper bases of issue, then, include the purchase by banks of government bonds in excess of time deposits held by savers, as well as loans that finance market speculation.” Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. 2009. Chelsea Green Publishing. Pp. 63-4.


“Here are the basic principles that underlie a system of free exchange.

• Buyers and sellers should be free to use any payment medium that is mutually agreeable to them, including the issuance and acceptance of their own currencies.
• Only the issuer of a currency should be obliged to accept it as payment, and must always accept it at face value (‘at par’),
• There should be no forced circulation of any currency, Legal tender should obligate government only, and should not apply to transactions between private parties.
• Governments should give legal tender status only to their own currencies that they spend directly into circulation, and should not grant privileged status to the currency of any particular issuer.
• Government currencies should be denominated in objective units against which the market may evaluate them, and governments should oblige themselves to accept their currencies at par regardless of the market rate (discount).

“As John Zube puts it, ‘Currency cannot be acceptable unless it is rejectable.’ The freedom to use, refuse, or discount a currency is essential to its acceptability.” Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. 2009. Chelsea Green Publishing. Pp. 85-6.


“... we must distinguish among the various modes by which real economic value changes hands. These are as follows:

• Gifts
• Involuntary transfers
• Reciprocal exchange”
Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. 2009. Chelsea Green Publishing. P. 88.


“The inherent dysfunctions of the present monetary regime derive mainly from three things.

1. Legal tender status for central bank-created currency.
2. The monopolization of credit by the banking cartel.
3. The lack of an operational measure of value and unit of account that is independent of political currencies.”
Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. 2009. Chelsea Green Publishing. P. 109.


“The keys to transcending the monetary confusion, and liberating the exchange process, lie in accomplishing the following:

1. The separation of the various functions that money is supposed to serve,
2. The democratization and decentralization of the exchange process, and,
3. The definition and use of an objective, concrete, international standard unit of account.”
Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. 2009. Chelsea Green Publishing. P. 113.


“Newsweek’s Robert Samuelson notes a remarkable statistic: ‘Every three months, seven to eight million U.S. jobs disappear and roughly an equal or greater number are created.” Smick, David. The World is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy. 2009. Portfolio. P. 20.


“Today the world is curved precisely because the political and financial market worlds increasingly don’t understand each other.” Smick, David. The World is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy. 2009. Portfolio. Pp. 211-2.


“For decades in tax policy, Washington policymakers of both political parties worshipped at the tax shrine of business depreciation with generous tax incentives for machinery. The educating and, if necessary, retraining of human capital, however, was treated as almost an afterthought in the policymaking process, usually the last-minute trade-off, needed as political cover, to move the business tax provisions through Congress. My point is that for the economy to prosper in the long term, the tax code must not value and honor machinery over people.” Smick, David. The World is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy. 2009. Portfolio. P. 234.


“Today there are no short-term advantages commensurate with the danger of not coming up with long-term solutions to the challenges of growing fiscal imbalances, the entitlement nightmare, the Chinese juggernaut, class warfare, and the lack of trust in our financial architecture.” Smick, David. The World is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy. 2009. Portfolio. P. 270.


“Consequently, those who preach the need for a return from financial speculation to the ‘real economy’ of producing goods to satisfy real people’s needs miss the very point of capitalism: self propelling and self-augmenting financial circulation is its only dimension of the Real, in contrast to the reality of production.” Zizek, Slavoj. First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. Verso Press. Excerpted in Harper’s Magazine. October 2009. Pp. 15-17. P. 17.


“No solution will be perfect, but citizen and employee property rights are worth developing in law because they have the potential to create a countervailing force to the growing global power of finance.” Kelly, Marjorie. The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy. 2003. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. P. 125.


“Employees are in essence a colonized people. As Ellerman notes, a stockholder board electing someone to govern employees is like the British Parliament electing a ruler to govern America.” Kelly, Marjorie. The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy. 2003. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. P. 151.


“When corporations assert aristocratic privileges like exemption from taxes, power to control the legislative process, or the right of the private realm to self-regulate, they do so by co-opting our democratic framework. They use this framework to claim the constitutional rights of persons for themselves, even as they deny the same rights to actual persons working inside corporations.” Kelly, Marjorie. The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy. 2003. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. P. 159.


“The outcry today is for better alignment between CEO and shareholder interests [following the Enron collapse], but that too-close alignment was itself the problem. By pushing too hard on one element of the system–share price–executives destabilized the entire system. It’s like driving the family car solely for maximum speed and shaking it apart in the process, or like taking steroids to pump up muscle mass and destroying the body. A one-dimensional company is not healthy, any more than is a one-dimensional life.” Kelly, Marjorie. The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy. 2003. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. P. 191.


“The wave of financial calamities that took place in 2008 was cloud-based. No one in the pre-digital-cloud era had the mental capacity to lie to himself in the way we routinely are able to now. The limitations of organic human memory and calculation put a cap on the intricacies of self-delusion. In finance, the rise of computer-assisted hedge funds and similar operations has turned capitalism into a search engine. You tend the engine in the computing cloud, and it searches for money. In the past, an investor had to be able to understand at least something about what an investment would actually accomplish. No longer. There are now so many layers of abstraction between the elite investor and actual events that he no longer has any concept of what is actually being done as a result of his investments.” Lanier, Jaron. “The Serfdom of Crowds.” Harper’s Magazine. February 2010. P. 16.


“The centrality of advertising to the new digital hive economy is absurd, and it is even more absurd that this isn’t more widely recognized. The most tiresome claim of the reigning digital philosophy is that crowds working for free do a better job at some things than antediluvian paid experts. Wikipedia is often given as an example. If that is so, why doesn’t the principle dissolve the persistence of advertising as a business?

“A functioning, honest crowd-wisdom system ought to trump paid persuasion. If the crowd is so wise, it should be directing each person optimally in choices related to home finance, the whitening of yellow teeth, and the search for a lover. All that paid persuasion ought to be mooted. Every penny Google earns suggests a failure of the crowd–and Google is earning a lot of pennies.” Lanier, Jaron. “The Serfdom of Crowds.” Harper’s Magazine. February 2010. P. 19.


“When a loan is issued, the bank’s accountant enters two numbers in the bank’s accounting records: She records the borrower’s promise to repay the loan as an asset, and the money the bank puts into the borrower’s account as a liability.

“At first glance, it looks like these entries cancel each other out, which in a sense is true. The key is that neither entry existed previously.” Korten, David. Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth. 2009. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Pp. 22-3.


“Privateers, the forerunners of publicly traded corporations, were pirates to whom a king granted legal immunity in return for a share of the booty.” Korten, David. Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth. 2009. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. P. 57.


“National military forces and colonial administrations remained important to this new model of empire [after the rise of national monarchies], but for the most part the European kings of the modern era projected their power and augmented their treasuries by granting commissions to favored adventurers, brigands, and corporations who worked for their own account.

“Thus began the historic transition from rule by imperial monarchs to rule by imperial corporations, and from the rule of the sword to the rule of money.” Korten, David. Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth. 2009. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. P. 58.


“Happy Planet Index =   Life Satisfaction X Life Expectancy
                                          Ecological Footprint

“The result is an indicator of the ecological efficiency with which a society’s economy is producing a given level of physical and emotional well-being.” Korten, David. Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth. 2009. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. P. 99.


“In the real world, retirement is necessarily a contract between retirees and the working people who agree to devote a portion of the fruits of their labor to providing for the retirees’ needs. The threat facing future retirees is not insufficient money; it’s demographics....”

“...The answer to a secure retirement will not be found in the financial services sector. It will be found in a recognition that we all need to remain active contributors to the real-wealth economy for as long as we are able, and that we need to rely on a universal Social Security system to manage the intergenerational transfer of real wealth to care for our needs once active engagement is no longer practical.” Korten, David. Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth. 2009. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Pp. 145-6.


“The Emergence Paradigm is consistent with the foundational assumptions of economic sociology: Economic action is a form of social action, economic action is socially situated, and economic institutions are social institutions.” Sawyer, R. Keith. Social Emergence: Societies as Complex Systems. 2005. Cambridge University Press. P. 225.


“The great transformation demanded a great deal of social upheaval. In order to buy and sell land, the people who were previously using it had to be evicted. This happened through the sometimes violent process of enclosure, where peasants were evicted from common land and consigned to cities where they might find income through selling their labor, and provide demand by becoming consumers. In other words, the great transformation required that the social rules governing land and work be entirely rewritten–and through this transformation, entirely new things became eligible for ownership, and for pricing. The process hasn’t stopped. The engineers of new financial products work at the bleeding edge of this transformation in the twenty-first century. So do the makers of the cap-and-trade policies designed to solve climate change, in which the right to pollute becomes a commodity.” Patel, Raj. The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy. 2009. Picador. Pp. 18-9.


“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” Keynes, John Maynard. Quoted in Patel, Raj. The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy. 2009. Picador. P. 61.


“There’s a poetry of choice, freedom and death that weaves through political rhetoric in the United States, past and present. It’s a language of frontiers and revolution, but its grammar fits the way capitalism sets the terms of value. At its heart beats the idea that private property and profit-driven markets provide one thing that no other system can: liberty. Commoning involves other people putting limits on what resources you can exploit, how much you can accumulate, how things will be shared. The free market has none of those constraints. Within it, you’re free to buy, sell, consume or produce whatever you like. With a walletful of cash and a pinch of entrepreneurial spirit, the world lies at your feet. There is no system more attuned to this version of liberty than capitalism. This soft power of the market, its ability to suggest liberty as part of exchange, is one of its most attractive elements.” Patel, Raj. The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy. 2009. Picador. P. 111.


“Without cash in a market society, you’re free to do nothing, to have very little and to die young. In other words, under capitalism money is the right to have rights. Patel, Raj. The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy. 2009. Picador. Pp. 112-3.


“Economics is about choices. But it’s never said who gets to make them. Markets are a way of making a choice about that choice: By choosing to value the world through markets, we choose the principle of ‘The more money you have, the more you can get.’” Patel, Raj. The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy. 2009. Picador. P. 146.


“What we need is a more plastic idea of property, one in which property and markets are always subordinate to democratic concerns of equity and sustainability.” Patel, Raj. The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy. 2009. Picador. P. 189.


“The major revitalization of non-equilibrium economics, for instance, demonstrates the growing popularity of approaches that can grasp the real dynamic and self-reinforcing aspects of economic phenomena. In this, circular cumulative causation has been acknowledged as a key concept of evolutionary-institutional economics and a ‘common denominator’ concept for many non-equilibrium research areas.” Berger, Sebastian, Ed. The Foundation of Non-Equilibrium Economics: The Principle of Circular and Cumulative Causation. 2009. Routledge. P. 1.


“Causality does not lie with human agents; rather, in a performative context the subject is not the site of a stable existence prior to the field that it negotiates. Instead it is the reiterative quality of performance that produces agency and causality: agency is a matter of intra-acting, an enactment, it is not possessed by something or someone. Agency cannot be designated as an attribute of either subjects or objects, as neither subjects nor objects pre-exist as fixed entities.” Jones, Andrew & Nicole Boivin. “The Malice of Inanimate Objects: Material Agency.” Pp. 333-351. From Hicks, Dan & Mary Beaudry. The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 351.


“Olsen makes the case that humans and non-humans might be reconceptualized as entangled hybrids, part of complex socio-technical collectivities that are comprised of mixtures of animals, objects, landscapes, and indeed all material substances, a position reiterated by other authors who subscribe to a broadly Latourian approach.” Crossland, Zoe. “Materiality and Embodiment.” Pp. 386-405. From Hicks, Dan & Mary Beaudry. The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 394. Reference is to Bjornar Olsen, “Material culture after text: re-membering things.” 2003. Norwegian Archaeological Review 36(2), 87-104.


“Early technologies form using existing primitive technologies as components. These new technologies in time become possible components – building blocks – for the construction of further new technologies. Some of these in turn go on to become possible building blocks for the creation of yet newer technologies. In this way, slowly over time, many technologies form from an initial few, and more complex ones form using simpler ones as components. The overall collection of technologies bootstraps itself upward from the few to the many and from the simple to the complex. We can say that technology creates itself out of itself.

“I will call this mechanism evolution by combination, or more succinctly, combinatorial evolution....”

“Something else, something more than mere combination, must be going on to create novel technologies.

“That something else, I will argue, is the constant capture of new natural phenomena and the harnessing of these for particular purposes.” Arthur, W. Brian. The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How it Evolves. 2009. Free Press. Pp. 21-2.


“Technology, once a means of production, is becoming a chemistry.” Arthur, W. Brian. The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How it Evolves. 2009. Free Press. P. 25.


“A change in principle then separates out invention–the process by which radically novel technologies arise–from standard engineering.” Arthur, W. Brian. The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How it Evolves. 2009. Free Press. P. 109.


“Invention, we can say, consists in linking a need with some effect to satisfactorily achieve that need.” Arthur, W. Brian. The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How it Evolves. 2009. Free Press. P. 109.


“At all levels new combinations appear, new technologies are added, and old ones disappear. In this way technology constantly explores into the unknown, constantly creates further solutions and further needs, and along with this, perpetual novelty. The process is organic: the new layers form on top of the old, and creations and replacements overlap in time. In its collective sense, technology is not merely a catalog of individual parts. It is a metabolic chemistry, an almost limitless collective of entities that interact and build from what is there to produce new entities–and further needs.” Arthur, W. Brian. The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How it Evolves. 2009. Free Press. P. 205.


“Digitization allows functionalities to be combined even if they come from different domains, because once they enter the digital domain they become objects of the same type–data strings–that can therefore be acted upon in the same way. Telecommunications allows these digital elements to be combined remotely so that virtually any executable anywhere can trigger another. And with sensing devices, systems can now perceive their environment, albeit primitively, and configure their actions. The result is a hitching together of functionalities from different domains and from widely separated locations into temporary networks, connected collections of things-in-conversation-with-things that sense their environment and react appropriately.” Arthur, W. Brian. The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How it Evolves. 2009. Free Press. P. 206.


“... words such as self-configuring, self-healing, and cognitive are not ones we would have associated with technology in the past. These are biological words. And they are telling us that as technology becomes more sophisticated, it is becoming more biological.” Arthur, W. Brian. The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How it Evolves. 2009. Free Press. P. 207.


“To begin, circular and cumulative causation can contribute to Darwinian change in socioeconomic structures in at least three ways that Radzicki discusses in reference to system dynamics.

“First, because the technique itself is constantly evolving, changes in the modeling process enable researchers to adapt their models based on data availability and improvements in their own knowledge of the specific relationships among variables. In the language of system dynamics, the researcher’s mental models are refined based on information feedback from the real socioeconomic system. Second, shifting loop dominance, most often the result of nonlinear relationships, can occur as feedback relationships are redefined when simulation takes place. Third, and perhaps most importantly, circular and cumulative causation models can help identify needed changes in behavior that has been dictated by previous path dependence. When decisions become locked in as a result of previously determined dynamic paths, respecification of relationships in the circular and cumulative causation approach can identify inefficiencies that those paths have caused.” Pluta, Joseph. “Evolutionary Alternatives to Equilibrium Economics: Some Suggested Applications.” 2010. American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Vol. 69, No. 4 (October). Reference is to Radzicki. M. J. “Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Forrester, and a Foundation for Evolutionary Economics.” Journal of Economic Issues. 2003. Issue 37(1): 133-173.


“The gap between what labour was earning and what it could spend was covered by the rise of the credit card industry and increasing indebtedness.” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 17.


“Financial institutions, awash with credit, began to debt-finance people who had no steady income. If that had not happened, then who would have bought all the new houses and condominiums the debt-financed property developers were building? The demand problem was temporarily bridged with respect to housing by debt-financing the developers as well as the buyers. The financial institutions collectively controlled both the supply of, and demand for, housing!” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 17.


“Capital is not a thing but a process in which money is perpetually sent in search of more money.” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 40.


“This way of thinking yields us seven distinctive ‘activity spheres’ within the evolutionary trajectory of capitalism: technologies and organisational forms; social relations; institutional and administrative arrangements; production and labour processes; relations to nature; the reproduction of daily life and of the species; and ‘mental conceptions of the world’. No one of the spheres dominates even as none of them are independent of the others. But nor is any one of them determined even collectively by all of the others. Each sphere evolves on its own account but always in dynamic interaction with the others.” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 123.


“The argument is not, therefore, that the seven spheres should always be given equal weight but that the dialectical tension within their uneven development should always be born in mind.” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 134.


“For capital accumulation to return to 3 per cent compound growth will require a new basis for profit-making and surplus absorption.” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 215.


“The central problem to be addressed is clear enough. Compound growth for ever is not possible ...” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 227.


“The trick is to keep the political movement moving from one sphere of activity to another in mutually reinforcing ways.” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 228.


“There are two broad wings of the deprived and the dispossessed. There are those who are dispossessed of the fruits of their creative powers in a lbour process under the command of capital or of a capitalist state. Then there are those who have been deprived of their assets, their access to the means of life, of their history, culture and forms of sociality in order to make space for capital accumulation. Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 242.


“This brings us to the second grand category of the dispossessed, which is much more complicated in its composition and in its class character. It is largely formed by what I call ‘accumulation by dispossession.’ ...

“Capitalists open up spaces for urban redevelopment, for example, by dispossessing low-income populations from high value spaces at the lowest cost possible. In places without secure private property rights, such as China or the squatter settlements of Asia and Latin America, violent expulsions of low-income populations by state authorities often lead the way with or without modest compensation arrangements. In countries with firmly established private property rights, seizure by eminent domain can be orchestrated by the state on behalf of private capital. By legal and illegal means financial pressures (that is, rising property taxes and rents) are brought to bear on vulnerable populations.” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. Pp. 244-5.


[Referring to the IMF’s ‘structural adjustment’ process to cure ailing economies healthy] “The closer capitalism gets to death’s door, the more painful the cure. The trick, of course, is not to let the patient die.” Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital. 2010. Oxford University Press. P. 247.


“A defining feature of a world-economy is that it is not bounded by a unitary political structure.” Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. 2004. Duke University Press. P. 23.


“We are in a capitalist system only when the system gives priority to the endless accumulation of capital. Using such a definition, only the modern world-system has been a capitalist system.” Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. 2004. Duke University Press. P. 24.


“A world-economy and a capitalist system go together. Since world-economies lack the unifying cement of an overall political structure or a homogeneous culture, what holds them together is the efficacy of the division of labor. And this efficacy is a function of the constantly expanding wealth that a capitalist system provides.” Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. 2004. Duke University Press. P. 24.


“But over time, there can also be said to exist a single virtual world market for all the factors of production combined, despite all the barriers that exist to its free functioning. One can think of this complete virtual market as a magnet for all producers and buyers, whose pull is a constant political factor in the decision-making of everyone–the states, the firms, the households, the classes, and status-groups (or identities). This complete virtual world market is a reality in that it influences all decision making, but it never functions fully and freely (that is, without interference). The totally free market functions as an ideology, a myth, and a constraining influence, but never as a day-to-day reality.” Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. 2004. Duke University Press. P. 25.


“One of the reasons it is not a day-to-day reality [totally free markets] is that a totally free market, were it ever to exist, would make impossible the endless accumulation of capital. This may seem a paradox because it is surely true that capitalism cannot function without markets, and it is also true that capitalists regularly say that they favor free markets. But capitalists in fact need not totally free markets but rather markets that are only partially free. The reason is clear. Suppose there really existed a world market in which all the factors of production were totally free, as our textbooks in economics usually define this–that is, one in which the factors flowed without restriction, in which there were a very large number of buyers and a very large number of sellers, and in which there was perfect information. In such a perfect market, it would always be possible for the buyers to bargain down the sellers to an absolutely minuscule level of profit, and this low level of profit would make the capitalist game entirely uninteresting to producers, removing the basic social underpinnings of such a system.” Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. 2004. Duke University Press. Pp. 25-6.


“Households are quite different from clans or tribes or other quite large and extended entities, which often share obligations of mutual security and identity but do not regularly share income.” Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. 2004. Duke University Press. P. 32.


“Households serve as the primary socializing agencies of the world-system. They seek to teach us, and particularly the young, knowledge of and respect for the social rules by which we are supposed to abide. They are of course seconded by state agencies such as schools and armies as well as by religious institutions and the media. But none of these come close to the households in actual impact.” Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. 2004. Duke University Press. P. 37.


“There are three different costs that are normally externalized in significant measure: costs of toxicity; costs of exhaustion of materials; costs of transport.” Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. 2004. Duke University Press. P. 48.


“The changing relationship between government and private enterprise, between political and economic forces, has been the clearest feature of capitalism’s evolution from one phase to the next–first in the early nineteenth century, then in the 1930s, then in the 1970s, and again today....”

“In the classical laissez-faire capitalism that dominated the world from the early nineteenth century until 1930, politics and economics were essentially distinct spheres. The interactions of government and markets were confined to collecting taxes, mainly to pay for wars, and erecting tariff barriers, mostly to protect powerful political interests. Then, from 1932 onward, came the New Deal and the social democratic European welfare states. In reaction to the Russian Revolution and the Great Depression, this second version of capitalism was defined by an almost romantic faith in benign, all-knowing governments and an instinctive distrust of markets, especially financial markets. The third version of capitalism, created by the Thatcher-Reagan political revolution of 1979-80, took the opposite view. This version romanticized markets and distrusted government.” Kaletsky, Anatole. Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis. 2010. Public Affairs. P. 4.


“A proper understanding of the dynamics of capitalism requires us to recognize both the long-term trends that change the world and the financial cycles that sometimes exaggerate and overwhelm these secular trends.” Kaletsky, Anatole. Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis. 2010. Public Affairs. P. 56.


“Broadly speaking, the value chain in any business consists of three links–first, the conception and design of a product or service; second, its manufacture or preparation; and third, its marketing and distribution.” Kaletsky, Anatole. Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis. 2010. Public Affairs. P. 72.


“The essence of the Platform Company, or Platco, is that it no longer sees its core competence as the middle part of the value chain, production.” Kaletsky, Anatole. Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis. 2010. Public Affairs. P. 73.


“Soros’s theory of reflexivity generalizes this simple example to a wide range of situations in which expectations about economic and political fundamentals diverge from reality and then influence reality. The changed fundamentals then reinforce the initial expectations, creating self-perpetuating cycles that can push an economy, or indeed an entire society, further and further from a balanced state. Eventually, a point is reached when expectations become so extreme and unrealistic that the fundamentals can no longer be sufficiently manipulated by the process of reflexivity. At the point that Soros calls the Moment of Truth, which is identical in financial markets to the Minsky Moment, the self-reinforcing mechanism goes into reverse–and boom turns to bust.” Kaletsky, Anatole. 2010. Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis. Public Affairs. P. 117. Reference is to Soros, George. 2010. The Soros Lectures: At the central European University. Public Affairs.


“In that one extraordinary month, from the GSE seizure of September 7 until the British announcement of unlimited guarantees on October 8, the world financial system came closer to total collapse than ever before in history. A U.S. treasury secretary and former Goldman Sachs chairman had come closer to destroying capitalism than Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Ze Dong combined.

“But there is another, more important and positive lesson. Nothing was inevitable about the calamitous outcome of the 2007-09 boom-bust cycle. It was actively, if advertently, triggered by the U.S. Treasury and it could have been arrested at any point by the sort of decisive government actions that were finally taken by Britain on October 8, 2008, the United States on October 9, and all other major economies on October 13. Just as Iraq was a war of choice, September 15 was a crisis of choice.

“Henry Paulson, along with many lesser policymakers in America and Europe, chose to foment the crisis by refusing to accept that capitalism depends on a symbiosis between efficient private enterprise and an effective government that sometimes has to override market forces.” Kaletsky, Anatole. 2010. Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis. Public Affairs. Pp. 153-4.


“Capitalism 4.0 will also differ from previous variants by becoming a self-consciously adaptive system. To become more stable, the system will have to be more flexible, even fluid. This may sound paradoxical, but it is not. Capitalism survives by bending instead of breaking. What might be meant in practice by this quality of adaptation? Regulations will be subject to more discretionary fine-tuning. The dividing line between private and public sectors will become less clear-cut. The rules of behavior for all economic players and the structure of the economy will be more tentative and open to reform. This will be a major change from the modus operandi of Capitalism 3.” Kaletsky, Anatole. 2010. Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis. Public Affairs. P. 191.


Authors & Works cited in Economics:

Appadurai, Arjun. The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural
Arthur, W. Brian. The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How it Evolves.
Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics

Bellah, Robert et al, The Good Society
Berger, S., The Foundation of Non-Equilibrium Economics: The Principle of Circular
Business Week, August 31, 1992
Corning, P. Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics
Crossland, Zoe. "Materiality and Embodiment."
Greco, Thomas. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization
Harvey, David. The Enigma of Capital.
Hoffmeyer, J. “The Changing Concept of Information in the Study of Life
Jones, Andrew & Nicole Boivin. "The Malice of Inanimate Objects: Material Agency."
Kaletsky, Anatole. Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis
Kelly, Marjorie. The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy
Korten, David. Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth
Lanham, Richard. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information
Lanier, Jaron. “The Serfdom of Crowds.
Latour, Bruno. Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy
Levitt, Steven & Stephen Dubner. Freakonomics
Lietaer, B. & S. Belgin. Of Human Wealth: New Money for a New World.
Lovins, Amory. From a prospectus for a seminar on “Introduction
Morin, Edgar. Homeland Earth: A Manifesto for the New Millennium
Patel, Raj. The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy
Pluta, Joseph. "Evolutionary Alternatives to Equilibrium Economics: Some Suggested
Sawyer, R. Keith. Social Emergence: Societies as Complex Systems
Smick, David. The World is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy
Stahel, Andri. “Value from a complex dynamic system’s perspective
Sullivan, William. “Politics as the ‘Public Use of reason’: Religious Roots
Taleb, Nassim. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Thomsen, Veronika & Mies, Maria. The Subsistence Perspective:
Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction
Woodward, Ian. Understanding Material Culture
Zizek, Slavoj. First as Tragedy, Then as Farce.

Home Introduction Sources (Citations Library) Writings, History, Bio Site Map