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Monetary Mediations and the Overcoding of Potential: Nietzsche, Deleuze & Guattari and How the Affective Diagrammatics of Debt Have Gone Global

Matthew Tiessen

Abstract


In this paper I focus on the affective dimension of debt and its primary mode of dissemination--privately and digitally created credit money. To do so, I examine the age-old--though increasingly visible--relationship between debtor and creditor, a relationship that today is (re)defining social, cultural, and political relations by (re)distributing power along a financially inflected debtor/creditor continuum. My aim is to focus not merely on the affectively charged nature of the creditor/debtor relationship, but to consider more closely the nonhuman agency or desire of credit-money itself. My suggestion is that contemporary credit-money can compellingly be understood as a sophisticated technology of dispossession and that today’s money-machine, which necessitates and gives rise to the infrastructure that supports it, affects the social landscape by pre-conditioning it, by opaquely overcoding the relationship between debtor and creditor on a grand scale (but also imperceptibly), until finally debt saturation, through the extension of credit, precipitates a credit crisis at which time all is revealed: that the creditor holds all the cards, that the debtor holds none, and no matter how much desire the debtor has to repay the exponentially compounding debts, the debtor’s future is, and will be forever, foreclosed by the promise to repay.

Keywords


debt; credit-money; Deleuze; Guattari; Marx; Nietzsche

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