Homo Libidinous and the Economy of Desire: Rereading Simmel’s The Philosophy of Money after Freud
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Collegium Civitas
Publication date: 2020-03-16
Polish Sociological Review 2018;204(4):486–498
Georg Simmel’sThe Philosophy of Money([1900],2004) contains one of the most pertinent and sub-tle diagnoses of modernity—a critique of economic reason moved by desire. This article shows that Simmel’sdialectic of desire has a significant affinity with Freud’s economic point of view in terms of the psychic appa-ratus being ruled by the pleasure principle. Considering these two libidinal economies I will focus on how thefigure ofhomo oeconomicustransforms intohomo libidinousand why money has become the symbol and formof modern life. The assumption is that money is not solely the fundamental principle of social reality—what wecall hyper-modernity or late capitalism—but the reality principle as such.