The Immanent Frame: Money- flat, broad, and deep
Is money transcendent or immanent?
Some might suggest that money is the preeminent symbol of immanence. It enables exchange, the dyadic interface of two agents, passing values about on the same plane. It requires no “outside.” Money has supposedly become the be-all and end-all of our age, as the horizon of the good, and, as such, forges a closed, self-contained system. The modern era, the age of immanence, is also the age of money and capital, as economy has come to ground and delimit much of how we understand ourselves. Money and its preponderance appear correlated to the immanent.
Others may counter that money appears irrevocably tied to transcendence. After all, money only works by serving as an abstract “third” position to mediate two incommensurate articles of exchange. Money signifies value, itself an ethereal category not fully exhausted by materialist definitions. Money “stands above” the plane of objects of labor, commodities, and use-values. Some might press further to claim that money has usurped the place of God in societal imagination, trading on theological residues to become the index for ultimate concern and even sovereign decision. Implied here is a critique of false transcendence. The immanent has overstepped its place. Which brings us full circle.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this circularity reveals the shortcomings of the opening query. It cannot be asked meaningfully without specifying the types of immanence and transcendence in question, for clearly their registers are multiple, layered, and textured...
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