Emperors, clothes, money

BBC Radio 4’s documentary series Analysis has a fascinating programme that explores the little-asked question ‘What is Money?’ – and the answer turns out to be scarily psychological.

In fact, the definition is very close to William Gibson’s description of cyberspace as a “mass consensual hallucination” because money relies on us to believe in it for it to work.

In other words, it’s largely a social concept we all sign up to and this episode of Analysis looks at the economics of how (or rather how not) money is tied to actual goods and services in the world and what this means in times of financial crisis.

It also turns out that the BBC are now linking to podcasts directly from the programme pages so even though we live our lives in the grip of a self-imposed imaginary power at least the Radio 4 website is now easier to use.

Link to Analysis episode ‘What is Money?’


  1. vieome
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Great programme!
    Living in Zimbabwe and seeing the suffering caused by money printing makes me think it is now time for the world to go back to the gold standard.


  2. Benjamin
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow.. that is true.. it is only of value because everyone agrees that it is of value.

    It really is only paper that we trade for other stuff.

    But still there is ALOT of emotions, guilt etc around money that if we are to attract it to us, we need to let go of.

    And since it is agreed upon as the thing to exchange for goods and services, I believe that we do want to work on attracting it to us so we can do what we want to do in our lives!


  3. Mike
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    William Gibson used to make this link himself: when asked in the early days to define cyberspace, and whether it was ‘real’, he would say “it’s where your money is kept” ;-)

  4. Otto Lijep
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Money is a global ritual that almost all of us participate in. If Crowley defined magick as the application of will, then I would say money is magick. Think of all the will power being poured over it, all the emotional energy stored into this paper with a magnetic strip and occult imagery. If one were to manipulate the money (supply) then they would be working with the collective will investment of all those people, able to do serious things. Global rituals….. hey wake up people, Moloch still exists and some people are still sacrificing children to Moloch.

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