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Summer School 2016 - Money Talks

Summer School
22nd - 24th July 2016
Fircroft College, Birmingham
Money flows through every aspect of society, and therefore affects every aspect of our lives. What possessions we have, the efficiency of the services we use, and how we are supposed to value ourselves are all shaped by the money system.
We’re encouraged to think of the economy in much the same way as we think about the weather – something changeable, but always there. When the climate is ‘good’, life feels brighter. When the climate is ‘bad’, we huddle down until we can ride out the storm. Although we’ll always have the weather, the economy doesn’t have to be permanent.

Notes on Economic History (2)

The Mercantile System

This was the beginning of the modern era. A new form of economic practice was developing, and new theories made their appearance in the form known as Mercantilism. This term (introduced by Adam Smith) is, however, a little misleading for its advocates were quite as concerned with industrial development as with the exchange of merchandise.

The term "Mercantile system" is loosely used to denote all the principles applied by the governments and traders of those days—though it is a fact that these principles have a general conformity. Mercantilism was a growth of its time. It was a system of political absolutism and centralization in favour of the burghers and mobile capital, to the detriment of the lords of the soil. To throw light on this we must glance at the economic process of this period.

Who Needs Money?

We live in a society where almost everything is bought and sold. That which you need in order to live is a commodity; you must buy it from someone who will make a profit out of selling it to you. Our minds are dominated by money. It is our passport to existence. No money, no access to what we need. Too little money, no comfort. Money drives people crazy: contrary to the words of the song, money does not make the world go round—money makes the world go mad.

Book Review: 'Marx on Money'

'Marx on Money', by Suzanne de Bronhoff, Urizen Books (New York). 139 pages. Paperback £2.70, hardback £4.70. (Republished in 2015)

This book attempts to bring together and comment on Marx's writings on money and credit, and to relate them to other monetary theories.

It can serve a purpose to students of Marx who are already familiar with his main economic theories but it suffers from two defects, one of presentation and the other an astonishing omission.

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