In The Philosophy of Money, Simmel assesses the impact of the money economy on the inner world of individuals and the objective culture as a whole. In his writings he contends that man is an exchanging animal, and money is the most flexible of all exchanges. Man may do what he desires to do, and his work or labor is then converted into money. This allows him to work at whatever trade he chooses. Money becomes a bridge between people and objects. He says, money drives a wedge between people and itself. Simmel believed people create value by making objects, In order to separate themselves from the object they create they must find a way to overcome the distance and they use money to do so. He found when it comes to the value of something the things that were too close were not considered valuable and the things that were too far for people to get were also not considered valuable. In addition to distance what was also considered in determining value was the scarcity, time, sacrifice, and difficulties involved in getting the object. As the use of money and transactions increase, the value of the individual decreases and everything becomes about what the individual can do instead of who the individual is. Another negative effect of money is the effect it has on people’s beliefs. There is little consideration given to emotional value and everything becomes about monetary value. Simmel agrees with Marx that man has been alienated from his work. He says that man has also been alienated from his fellow worker, but he says that man has been given a great deal of autonomy of choice. Simmel goes into detail about the nature of alienation and touches on the psychological effects of alienation. He says that the body and man then are separated from labor, both mental and physical, owning none of the means of production, and having no connection to the final product. As a result man surrounds himself with impersonal and specialized objects, which destroys...
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