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e-flux conversations

Time, Acceleration, and Violence

What do you store in a bank? You store time. But is the money that is stored in the bank my past time—the time that I have spent in the past? Or does this money give me the possibility of buying a future?

These distinctions between storing and investing are linked to essential changes from early bourgeois capitalism to late capitalism, and also to the history of the relationship between capitalism and our lives, our subjectivity and our singularity. Here I will try to find some reference points for understanding recent shifts in the perception of this relation between money, language, and time.

If we begin with a look at the current European landscape, we find Germany to be the only happy place at the moment. The Greeks, the Portuguese, not to mention the Irish, were happy some years ago and have now suddenly changed their mood, while the Germans have not. Why is this the case? Because German banks have stored Greek time, Portuguese time, Irish time, and now they are asking for their money back. Something in this exchange is not working, but how can we locate the problem?

This is precisely the necessary enigma or secret within the age of financial capitalism—but is it a secret or an enigma? We can say that the secret is something that is hidden in a box. If you find the right key, the secret will become truth. On the other hand, an enigma has no key and no truth. Christian Marazzi would say that financial capitalism is constructed as an enigma—you cannot find the truth because it is based upon the fact that the truth has dissolved. It is no longer there.

Read the full article here.