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What Is Money?

A Discussion with J. Philipp von Bethmann, H. Binswanger, W. Ehrlicher, and R. Willert

Joseph Beuys and Ulrich Rösch

96 pp.  
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Clairview Books




  • “If we want to achieve a different society, where the principle of money operates equitably, if we want to abolish the power money has developed over people historically and position money in relationship to freedom, equality, and fraternity...then we must elaborate a concept of culture and a concept of art where every person must be an artist.” —Joseph Beuys

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 labor. 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 seem to be out of place among such heavyweight academics, professionals, and authors, but rather than feeling intimidated by his fellow panelists, Beuys—also a social and political activist—demonstrates his groundbreaking thinking on the subject and his ability to introduce fresh perspectives.

Here for the first time is a record of this discussion, as well as analysis by Ulrich Rösch, which will be of equal interest to artists, economists and spiritual seekers.

Related Titles

  • Money Can Heal : Evolving Our Consciousness: The Story of RSF and Its Innovations in Social Finance
  • The Social Future : Culture, Equality, and the Economy (CW 332a)
  • Money Matters—but so Does Trust! : From an Economy Based on Money to an Economy Based on Human Value
  • Inhabiting Interdependence : Being in the Next Economy

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Social Responsibility: General and Social Responsibility: New Economics