Wednesday 2 March 2011

Exchange, money and the process of property

Yesterday, I described how property might be conceived of as a process which relates individual viability and identity to external artefacts and people. I wondered about the effects of loss of property - not just theft - which has an immediate systemic reaction in the individual, but also those instances where property might be lost without the individual realising it. The latter can be achieved, I think, when other sensual stimuli are applied at the moment of the loss to compensate for the stimuli presented by the artefact itself. There are simple tricks and illusions that can demonstrate how this might work.

Now I want to think about exchange in this process. For the principle of exchange is precisely one of compensation, and I wonder about the extent to which that compensation is sensual and to what extent it is communicative. We exchange artefacts according to our individual needs and desires. Those needs and desires arise from particular states of viability within an individual where the preservation of identity is judged to be dependent on new sensual stimulation brought about through establishing new 'property relations' with new artefacts. A calculation as to the loss of existing 'property relations' through exchange is then made, this also taking into account the needs and desires of those who have established property relations with the artefact that we might desire - for whom there will similarly be a loss.

Direct exchange is the simplest case: a swap. But it is interesting to consider what money does. Money appears to be a universal mediator of exchange. What happens when a property relation is given up for money? What is the nature of the compensatory stimulation? I think money represents (within an economy) possibility - in other words, it represents the capacity to establish new identity relations without specifying immediately what they are. This is a high-level stimulation of a person's viable operation (in the VSM, it is at System 5 and 4). It would counter-balance operational and reactive activity. Typically, when operational issues get too hot to handle, a response is to "throw money at it". That means "try and stimulate the mechanisms of possibility". What does that mean with regard to the bail-out of the banks?

However, establishing property relations with money itself can not contribute to personal viability or the maintenance of identity. This may be because money is not material, and identity depends on the relation between a person and the material world... although I'm not sure about this. But in our society many people do exactly this, and it leads to personal and social pathology, usually in the form of greed.

Part of my interest in all this is because money and property is going to become a big factor in the future of education. This is a curious situation, because education is closely tied to the establishment of identity, which in my view, is also about the establishment of property relations. There is clearly a 'deal' that will be done between students and universities and that deal will be conceived in terms of money. However, this money does not relate to property relations that exist at the time the deal is struck, but potential of property relations in years to come. But education can also creates potential. Thus, where education 'works' the potential of property relations created by it will outweigh the potential of monetary exchange made for it.

The problem is that money is a bit more reliable than education in increasing the potential of property relations. But education and money would seem to be very similar entities in terms of their function.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Always property matters and a big factor for all. send money london