Simmel and the Posthuman: Money as the God of Bad Infinity
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University of Białystok
Publication date: 2018-12-30
Corresponding author
Bartosz Kuźniarz
Polish Sociological Review 2018;204(4):447-462
Contrary to a longstanding tradition of associating the attractive force of the modern economy with it sunbridled materialism, I claim in my paper that the power of capitalism lies in the transfer of human desire into the realm of the abstract. Our passionate attachment to the capitalist system stems from its money-mediated capabilityto organize the infinite: money is a special form of structuring infinity, which I term the “count to infinity.” Thepaper develops this concept, drawing on three in-depth analyses offered by Georg Simmel in his The Philosophy of Money: first, the infinite structure of value, or, money as bad infinity; second, money as the pure vehicle of life;and third, money as the “absolute means.” It is my main contention that by moving human desire into the realm ofthe abstract, money has provided life with a vessel to elevate itself to a higher plane of energy, thus transcending the bounds of the human species.
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