On Simmel’s Financial Aristocrat: from The Philosophy of Money to its Contemporary Actualisation

Authors

  • Donato Cocozza

Keywords:

Philosophy of Money, cryptocurrency, financial aristocrat, desubstantialised money, money culture

Abstract

Despite Simmel’s idea of a secondary qualitative significance of money, the paradigmatic figure of the “financial aristocrat” (Geldaristokrat), owner of a great amount of money, is conditioned by the external reality, the technical intellectualisation and the quantitative reduction of life contents. The problematic nature of such an expression lies in the fact that Simmel, like Nietzsche, sees a strong opposition between money culture (Geldkultur) and the aristocratic ideal (Vornehmheitsideal). However, such an expression seems rather fitting to the contemporary phenomenon ofthe emergency of cryptocurrencies, that can be considered as the actualisation of Simmel’s “perfect money”. Thus, it is hypothesised an aristocratic-cosmopolitan consideration of the miners as guarantors of perfectly desubstantialised money where the connection between money and technology comes to a hybridisation. Starting from these considerations and taking into account the importance of the financial aristocrat in Simmel’s framework, a phenomenological observation of the XXI century Geldkultur could be put forward.

References

Agamben G. (2011). IV,1. Altissima povertà. Regole monastiche e forma di vita, Vicenza: Neri Pozza.

Auerbach D. (2018). “Understanding the Ethics of Bitcoin Through the Ideas of 19th-Century Thinker Georg Simmel”, in Tablet Magazine (30/11/2018). https://www.tabletmag. com/sections/news/articles/understanding-the-ethics-of- bitcoin-through-the-ideas-of-19th-century-thinker-georg- simmel

Barber A. (2015). “Bitcoin and The Philosophy of Money: Evaluating the Commodity Status of Digital Currencies”, Spectra, 4 (2).

Benveniste E. [1966] (1971). Problemi di linguistica generale, «”Essere” e “avere” nelle loro funzioni linguistiche», pp. 223- 247, Milano: il Saggiatore.

Benjamin W. [1921] (2013). Capitalismo come religione, a cura di C. Salzani, Genova: Il melangolo.

Bourdieu P. [1979] (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Brandes G. [1888] (1995). Friedrich Nietzsche o del radicalismo aristocratico, Padova: Edizioni di Ar.

Brandl F. (2014). Von der Entstehung des Geldes zur Sicherung der Währung: die Theorien von Bernhard Laum und Wilhelm Gerloff zur Genese des Geldes, Frankfurt am Main: Springer Gabler.

Butler S. (2021). “The Philosophy of Bitcoin and the Question of Money”, in Theory, Culture & Society, 0(0), pp. 1–22.

Caliskan K. (2021). “Data money makers: An ethnographic analysis of a global cryptocurrency community”, in the British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 73, Issue 1, pp. 168-187.

Castiglioni L., Mariotti S. IL. Vocabolario della lingua latina, Quarta edizione, Torino: Loescher.

Chainiyom S., Giordano J. (2019). “On Bitcoin and Simmel’s idea of perfect money”, in Prajñā Vihāra: Journal of Philosophy and Religion, 20, pp. 52-65.

Coeckelbergh M., DuPont Q., Reijers W. (2018). “Towards a Philosophy of Financial Technologies”, in Philos. Technol. 31, pp. 9–14.

Dodd N. (2014). The Social Life of Money, Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Dodd N. (2015). “Redeeming Simmel’s money”, in Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 5 (2), pp. 435–441.

Dodd N. (2016). “Vires in Numeris: taking Simmel to Mt Gox”, in The Anthem Companion to Georg Simmel, London: Anthem Press, pp. 121-140.

Heidegger M. [1950] (1999). Sentieri interrotti, Firenze: la Nuova Italia.

von Kahler E. [1920] (1996). La professione della scienza, Napoli: Edizioni scientifiche italiane.

Knapp G.F. (1905). Staatliche Theorie des Geldes, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

Lansky J. (2018). “Possible State Approaches to Cryptocurrencies”, Journal ofSystem Integration, vol. 9, 1, pp. 19- 31.

Macho T., Sloterdijk P. (2016) Il dio visibile. Le radici religiose del nostro rapporto con il denaro, Bologna: EDB.

May T. (1988). The Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto (https:// groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/classes/6.805/articles/crypto/cyp herpunks/may-crypto-manifesto.html).

Menger C. (1892) «Geld», in Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften, vol. 3, Jena: Fischer, pp. 730-757.

Montanari F. GI. Vocabolario della lingua greca, Seconda edizione, Torino: Loescher.

Nietzsche F. [1887] (1984). Genealogia della morale, Milano: Adelphi.

Popper N. (2015). “Decoding the Enigma of Satoshi Nakamoto and the Birth of Bitcoin”, The New York Times, 15 May 2015.

Rilke R.M. [1923] (2017). Elegie Duinesi, Milano: Feltrinelli.

Scharding T. (2019). “National currency, world currency, cryptocurrency: a Fichtean approach to the Ethics of Bitcoin”, in Business Society Review, 124. pp. 219–238.

von Schmoller G. (1901). „Simmels Philosophie des Geldes“, in Jahrbuch für Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung und Volkswirtschaft, XXV, n. 3.

Simmel G. (1903). Die Großstädte und das Geistesleben, Dresden: Petermann.

Simmel G. [1900] (1907a). Philosophie des Geldes, Rev. 2nd. Edition. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.

Simmel G. (1907b). Schopenhauer und Nietzsche, «Die Moral der Vornehmheit», Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

Simmel G. (1908). Soziologie. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.

Simmel G. [1903] (1995). Le metropoli e la vita dello spirito, Roma: Armando Editore.

Simmel G. [1900, 1907] (2004). The Philosophy of Money, 3rd enlarged edition. London/New York: Routledge.

Simmel G. (2013). Filosofia del denaro, a cura di A. Cavalli e L. Perucchi, Novara: UTET, EPUB e-book.

Simmel G. [1908] (2018). Sociologia, Milano: Meltemi.

Sloterdijk P. [2009] (2010). Devi cambiare la tua vita.

Sull’antropotecnica, Milano: Raffaello Cortina.

Soldavini P. (2021). «Bitcoin brucia l’energia di un intero Paese: ecco quanto e perché consuma», in il Sole 24 ore (17/06/2021). https://lab24.ilsole24ore.com/green-generation/bitcoin- brucia-l-energia-un-intero-paese-ecco-quanto-e-perche- consuma.php.

Vozza M. (2003). Introduzione a Simmel, Roma-Bari: Laterza.

Waizbort, L. (2020). “A Gloss on the State Theory of Money: Simmel and Knapp”. Simmel Studies, 24(2), 21–42. https:// doi.org/10.7202/1075565ar.

https://www.forbes.com/billionaires

Published

2022-07-30

Issue

Section

Articles