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Money and the Technologies of Subjugation: A Poststructuralist Analysis of the Ideology Which Legitimizes Liberal Political Economy

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In this chapter, the author has focused on the change of the form in which power is exercised in the era of deindustrialisation, and on the social and political consequences of the conversion of productive capital into money capital, which provides money with a new predominance. Understanding the nature of subjugation as a whole and its inner economic logics is possible only through reflecting on capitalist dynamics in both aspects economic and philosophical. Hence, the synthesis of philosophy and economy sheds light on the power of money as the supreme social power through which social reproduction is subordinated to the reproduction of capital. The chapter examines the role of money within the mature money economy, by using the contribution of the critique of political economy and poststructuralism, in which the theoretical complementarity of these two scientific disciplines is pointed out.

On a global level, subjugation is institutionalised through the principal international economic and financial organisations. Market liberalization and pressures for equalizing wages around the world result in a cutting of the price of labour and lowering or stagnation of the living standards of a large part of the working population. Consequently, today is no longer possible to discuss the political development of any state or region separately from the movement of money on the world markets, which reveals the inherently global nature of power relations. The power of money is not the power of banks and financial institutions, but rather the power of capital in its most abstract form (Clarke, 1988; 1991). Albritton (1999) argues that it is the selfreifying character of capital that distinguishes it from other social subjects of knowledge, making it into an object whose deep structure can be understood through dialectic logic. As emphasized by Bonefeld and Holloway (1996), money cannot be treated as an aspect of the economic, but rather as social power which has meaning only when it commands the work of others (Bonefeld, 1996). Hence, its role is changed and is constituted by the antagonistic social relations of capitalism. Money is not something external to the social conflict, but is a form of social relations and class struggle.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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