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Money as Social Exergy

Spiegelman, Eli ; Spiegelman, George ; Spiegelman, Jonah

Journal of Bioeconomics, 2007, Vol.9(3), pp.265-277 [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    Money as Social Exergy
  • Autor: Spiegelman, Eli ; Spiegelman, George ; Spiegelman, Jonah
  • Assuntos: panarchy ; complex systems ; monetary theory ; resilience ; self-organization ; cross-scale effects ; ecological economics ; thermodynamics
  • É parte de: Journal of Bioeconomics, 2007, Vol.9(3), pp.265-277
  • Descrição: It has been proposed that open thermodynamic systems will act to dissipate available energy gradients by self-organizing into coherent structures that, with time, evolve and develop into nested hierarchies – panarchies – that adapt to internal and external changes according to a characteristic adaptive cycle. This paper seeks to apply these ideas in the purely societal realm by investigating the role of money in economic systems. Money represents the value embodied in goods; a value that is separate from the exact nature of those goods. We suggest that money thereby liberates the ‘free value’ of economic desire and that this free value has properties analogous to energy. The result is the self-organization of structures and systems (‘econosystems’) that dissipate this ‘free value’. Econosystems act at different scales, and nested levels of econosystems form a panarchy, having effects that can be observed. In particular, it appears that money facilitates the creation of relationships between econosystem actors, increasing the connectedness of the econosystems that envelop those actors. We have identified a phenomenon whereby freed social value (i.e. money) can aggregate, or pool, at a larger econosystem scale in structures such as banks. These pools act as gradients that actors at the neighborhood scale can exploit for self-organization in the econosystem. Thus, econosystem actors appear to be freed from thermodynamic constraints by using money as a means of self-organization. However, because of these pools of aggregated social exergy, connectedness is increased at the larger scale of the econosystem. The potential consequence of this dynamic is that money may act to push larger scale econosystems toward a state of heightened vulnerability to collapse, while freeing smaller scale actors from apparent constraints. In this way, we propose that money acts to skew information feedback loops between econosystem actors and larger scale structures such as economies and ecosystems.
  • Idioma: Inglês

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