Monday, September 28, 2009


I was interested in the relationship between the new difficulties of the creation/maintenance of traditional "identity markers" due to the "fluidities of transnational communication" and the apparent destabilization of capital as represented by the increasing irrelevance (invisibility?) of so-called "old money;" and whether these are products of discrete phenomena or various results of a general cultural and economical shift. As currency is no longer attached to an stable, physical element, and capital is tied to risk and "finance capital," it follows that economic power resembles less a pile of gold coins and more a network of dispersed risk and capital; old money is stored money, built on a reserve of wealth that is more static and focused on maintaining itself rather than risk and dynamism. This is not to say that old money lacks any power- it is still money, after all- but instead, that in an increasingly connected and mobilized age, true economic power resides in being able to spend money, and not just "have it."
A similar problem seems to present itself to tradition and "identity markers"- the transformation of time into a new postmodern homogeneous time, the collapse of spatial (and temporal) distance, the large increases in trans-national (and other classic boundaries) communication disrupt the previously steady model and replace it with one founded on immediacy and movement. Formerly, "tradition" emerged from a steadiness of time and space, and currency was founded upon gold- and now, both tradition and wealth have to update themselves in order to operate in a world that instead relies upon the constant and near-universal transference and exchange of capital and culture. All these both derivatives of a new world order based on movement, or are they manifestations of distinct yet coincidental phenomena?

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