Saturday, April 9, 2016

Money Wisdom #402

" The reasons for the condemnation of usury are multiple and complex. The theological justification for the sanction is that the usurer sells time, which properly belongs to God. Like Hermes, the usurer is a thief who steals not only from his fellow man but, more importantly, from God. This theological explanation, however, is inadequate for it is obviously overdetermined in many ways. The deeper reason for the fear of usury is its association with illegitimate excess and unlawful surplus. Far from avoiding money's perversity, the usurer freely traffics in supplements whose danger is not merely economic but is, more insidiously, sexual. The censure of usury rests on a dread of perverse sexuality. This is already evident in Aristotle's claim that usury is 'unnatural' because money gives birth to money. The generation of money by money seems to be a process of autoinsemination that breeds illegitimate offspring. By the Middle Ages, the association of usury with sexual perversity led to its condemnation as a form of bestiality. "

Mark C Taylor Confidence Games (2004) p.73-74

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