The world of finance exerts a huge influence over our lives, being responsible for economic turmoil and seemingly interminable peaks and crashes. Whereas money was once a simple means of exchange, today it is a commodity in itself and as ‘capital’ exerts power over individuals, degrading work to tradable labour. Can we find a new way of understanding money today, so that we can begin to overcome its destructive aspects?
In November 1984 a remarkable discussion took place at the Meeting House in Ulm, Germany. It featured the radical artist Joseph Beuys, two professors (of Financial Sciences and Political Economics) and a banker. Beuys would appear to be out of place among these heavyweight academics, professionals and authors. But rather than being intimidated by his fellow panellists, Beuys — also a social and political activist — demonstrates his groundbreaking thinking on the subject, and his ability to bring fresh perspectives. Here for the first time is a transcript of this debate, together with analysis by Ulrich Rösch, which will be of equal interest to artists, economists and spiritual seekers.