Michele Graziano CeddiaAssistant Professor, Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern
- Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern
About Michele Graziano Ceddia
Channels contributed to:Behind the Paper
I read with interest Marx’s observation that, within the belief system we call capitalism, we agree to accept that “it becomes as completely the property of money to create value, to yield interest, as it is the property of a pear tree to bear pears.” In a passage condemning usury (Politics, 1258b), Aristotle noted the absurdity of believing that money can be bred with itself to generate offspring in the same way that cattle and fruit trees can—not only is money not a living thing, it is not even of the same ontological order as any real thing, since, as a symbolic entity, money has no independent existence at all outside of our human belief systems. The irrationality of allowing the ontologically real biogeophysical systems that sustain all planetary life to be destabilized in a mindless competition among certain human individuals to maximize quantities of socially constructed symbols needs to become increasingly obvious.
Dear Ronnie (if I may), thank you for your comment. Indeed, it seems we live under the power of abstractions. Marx talks at length about this aspect (e.g., with respect to the concept of value). In some respect Aristotle' observations on chrematistic are reflected in the debate about financialization, about which Marxist scholars have quite a bit to say. I sincerely hope that man will grow past capitalism, liberate himself and live in order to fullfill her/his true potential.