Post-Modern Monetary Economics
A rhizome does not begin or end, it is always in the middle, among the things, inter-esse, intermezzo. The tree is an affiliation, a rhizome is an alliance, just alliance. The tree imposes the verb <<being>>, but the rhizome has as a
texture the conjunction <<and… and… and…>>.
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari – Mille Plateaux
Mille Plateaux – Capitalism and Schizophrenie is a masterpiece of Post-Modern thought. It is indeed a guide for re-thinking with a critical continental approach at the selection of the principles leading monetary systems design. The claim for the urgency to detach from the Modern cultural paradigm in the West at least for reasons of mental health (and hence species survival) of the subjects operating in the Modern paradigm, which acknowledgedly leads to Nietzschean nihilism or Marcuse’s one-dimentionality of existence is the major contribution of Mille Plateax for conceiving a theoretical reaction to the present economic, viz. monetary crisis. Deleuze and Guattari teach how to manage the primarily syntactic and epistemic metaphors of the tree and of the rhizome in order to make them two coefficients for evaluating the same monetary economic reality.
On the one hand, the arborescent structure is one that resembles a tree in properties, growth or appearance. The structure grows from below (although in the characterization of the monetary tree it s easy to acknowledge the necessity to turn it up side down), through one or more shafts onto which ramifications graft themselves by following a hierarchic and dualistic process that dictates points and modalities of the connections between the components. On the other, it is the a-centered structure of the rhizome, in which any point can be connected to any other point of the structure without the need to bypass some sort of privileged knots (as it is in the case of hierarchic structures).
Both monetary tree and monetary rhizome are to be thought of as semiotic expressions of two slightly different possible representations of human monetary economic organization.
The monetary tree is the Modern paradigm we are used to consider as natural when we think about our monetary system. We do not look at it as the result of the appeal to a peculiar coefficient of evaluation of our monetary reality. What’s more, there is also an erroneous natural inclination to consider a central authority – the root, i.e. the Bank for International Settlements - as an unavoidable institution for managing the monetary system.
The monetary tree is a cultural metaphor fostering a monetary system, which does not include by design those principles that would enable the economic agents living into the system to contrast the problematic issues of current times.
In short, the Modern paradigm of the monetary tree is based on very precise and particular principles, which are among the others:
1) Scarcity of the currency in order to induce competition.
2) Centralized management;
3) Hierarchic, oligarchic and elitarian administrative bureaucracy;
4) Top-down and strictly discretional policy strategies carrying out redistribution inefficiencies and injustice.
5) Indefinite debt at interest to run the system itself.
By contrast, the monetary rhizome represents all the (literally!) Post-Modern alternatives for overtaking the Modern paradigm of the monetary tree and to develop the ontology of money and its manifestations.
It is a rhizome because it enables to connect parameters belonging to different domains of existence (ethic, economic, psychologic, etc.) to design the most suitable currency needed in the social economic context one will to fulfill them. For instance, this is possible by running local monetary systems in parallel with the monopolistic national one through the implementation of complementary currencies and the involvement of local authorities in order to make heterogeneity a force together with – and fostered by - new constellations of connections among different dimension shaping the economy of the Information Age.
Complementary currencies are thought of as financial resources for increasing social capital while maintaining in the best conditions the natural capital. They therefore foster co-operation, because they resemble some of the features a gift economy presents: horizontal and a-centred connection between peer-participants. Moreover, they do not involve positive interest charges and, if correctly designed, complementary currencies do not affect inflation rates imputable to national ones.
Thus, the graft of monetary rhizomatic elements onto the structure of the monetary tree is a reasonable and desirable process for both the urgent monetary paradigm-shift and its liberating consequences in favor of the singularities shaping the Multitude that animates it.