Friday, September 27, 2013

Money Wisdom #206

"The proverb says that "time is money". In the labor theory of value, value consists of units of labor-time. The result, according to Marx, is that 'time is everything, man is nothing; he is no more than the carcase of time.' Fromm explains, 'Capital, the dead past, employs labor, the living vitality and power of the present.' From that point of view, interest is a tribute levied on present activity by past achievement. From another point of view, the dynamic of capitalism is postponement of enjoyment to the constantly postponed future - in Keynes' words, 'a case of jam tomorrow and never jam today'; in Ruskin's word's, 'bulb issuing in bulb, never in tulip.' The rate of interest has been called 'impatience crystallized into a market rate'; Schumpeter says that in the phenomenon of interest 'time itself becomes in a certain sense an element of cost.' The problem is therefore summarized in Professor Hick's formula, 'The rate of interest is the price of time'.

Norman O Brown Life against Death - The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History (1959) p.272-273

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