Money and Modern Society – the History of a Close Relationship
When we watch the news programme, just before the weather forecast we are told something about the latest trends in stocks and shares and currency rates. There are highs and lows; the prices and rates seem to move up and down as if controlled by fate, and somehow we suspect that all this concerns us. Money has become an all-embracing medium of our society, its significance extending far beyond negotiating economic transactions and depicting them in terms of value or the safekeeping of wealth. Modern society, our whole civilisation, nothing about it can be imagined without money and the way it functions today. Georg Simmel (1858–1918), philosopher and one of the founders of the science of sociology, was the first to recognise and describe this fact. His analysis is thought provoking to this day.