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Money in itself is not a relationship, commodified or otherwise, though it
derives from relationships.  Paper money is a symbol.  It is used to
represent and quantify the exchange values of tangible goods or services in
a diversified economy, to overcome the limits of barter.  As a symbol, money
becomes abstracted from its relational context.  It can be hoarded and
transferred, developing its own laws of motion. Some people make money into
a fetish and spend their lives in the service of its accumulation.  At that
point, if "relational" means mutual recognition and response, money is no
longer relational.  It is completely instrumental and impersonal,
dehumanizing social life.



Jeffrey Broadbent
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Director of Graduate Studies in East Asian Studies
909 Social Science Building
University of Minnesota
267 19th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
USA 55455
Tel. 612-624-1828
Fax. 612-624-7020
Email: [log in to unmask]


-----Original Message-----
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Kerimcan Ozcan
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 10:39 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Centrality --- a blog from Visible Path

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On Mon, 21 Feb 2005, Blyden B. Potts wrote:
>
> Without relationships there is no money

Without relationships there is hardly anything. So, this premise is a
tautology.

> the primary purpose of money is to create (exchange) relationships.

Money doesn't have a purpose of itself. Humans use money. Humans' purpose
in using money is not to create but rather facilitate or smooth out
exchange relationships. People want to, and oftentimes can, create
exchange relationship independent of and prior to money.

> Money *IS* commodified social relationships.

I hear echoes of Georg Simmel's Philosophy of Money here but what he said
was that money commodifies and weakens all social relationships and
thereby ushers in the Gesellschaft (vis-a-vis Gemeinschaft). This is a
subtle but significant difference.

Kerimcan Ozcan

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