What Is Money?
A Discussion with J. Philipp von Bethmann, H. Binswanger, W. Ehrlicher, and R. Willert
The world of finance exerts a huge influence over our lives, being responsible for economic turmoil and seemingly interminable peaks and crashes. Whereas money was once a simple means of exchange, today it is a commodity in itself and, as “capital,” exerts power over individuals, degrading work to tradable labor. Can we find a new way of understanding money today, so that we can begin to overcome its destructive aspects?
In November 1984, a remarkable discussion took place at the Meeting House in Ulm, Germany. It featured the radical artist Joseph Beuys, two professors (of financial sciences and political economics) and a banker. Beuys would seem to be out of place among such heavyweight academics, professionals, and authors, but rather than feeling intimidated by his fellow panelists, Beuys—also a social and political activist—demonstrates his groundbreaking thinking on the subject and his ability to introduce fresh perspectives.
Here for the first time is a record of this discussion, as well as analysis by Ulrich Rösch, which will be of equal interest to artists, economists and spiritual seekers.