599 - What Economics Can't Tell You About Money (Alienation, The Black Magic of Money)

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#595#596#597#598 Episode #599 - What Economics Can't Tell You About Money
(Alienation, The Black Magic of Money)

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This is a choice episode Sat 14 April 2012  David Hawkes, Robin Upton, Jean-François Brien
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2 This week, a set of sideways looks at money. We begin with an interview of David Hawkes on a range of ideas about the 'magic' of money, its ability to promote materialism and alienate humans from their work. Next an audio version of Robin Upton's 2011 presentation, "What Economics Can't Tell You About Money", followed by a radio adaptation of the film On Modern Servitude.
In our first hour this week, we hear an interview with Arizona State University Professor, David Hawkes. He talks about the strange power which the idea of money has on people's lives. Why, he asks, does its introduction accompany a rise in belief in the supernatural? He suggests that its ubiquity makes its users more materialistic. Most of us, he says, are simultaneously members of formerly different social classes; those who work for money are alienated wage slaves and members of the proletariat, just as those who derive income from investments are members of the bourgeoisie.
Quotes-66.gifFear has made us slaves, and it keeps us in that condition.Quotes-99.gif

— David Hawkes

Then we hear an audio version of a 2011 presentation by Robin Upton, entitled "What Economics Can't Tell You About Money". He summarizes various recent academic research which details money's ability to subtly affect the mind of its users, making them more distant from one another, less inclined to collaborate, more independent and even less susceptible to physical pain. This continues into our second hour.

We conclude with a radio adaptation of Jean-François Brien's recent film On Modern Servitude. It begins with the following quote:

Quotes-66.gifMy optimism is based on the certainty that this civilization is about to collapse.
My pessimism lies on the things that are dragging us down in its fall.Quotes-99.gif

— Jean-François Brien

This wide-ranging critique of wage slavery focuses on alienation and wage slavery but looks at a range of topics familiar to the show such as urban decay, health of workers, consumerism and hierarchy.
Thanks to C.S. Soong and Against The Grain for the David Hawkes interview, and to Jean-François Brient for the film, which inspired this episode
Some of this episode's content is repeated in episode 681.
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