The Politics of Money
Frances Hutchinson, Mary Mellor & Wendy Olsen 
Pluto Press 2002







On the whole, classical and radical economists have marginalised the role of money, most particularly the role of credit, in driving the machinery of accumulation and exclusion. Although critiques of capitalism from Marxist, feminist, ecological and many other perspectives abound, The Politics of Money is unique in gathering the strengths of these differing critiques into a coherent whole. The authors have drawn upon their varied expertise in economics and the social sciences to produce the foundations of a new political economy that will enable communities to reconstruct their socio-economic fabric through social and political control of money systems.

The book opens with a review of the role of money in current society, an overview of the history of money creation and a critique of the main theoretical developments in economic thought. Alternative perspectives on money are then presented through a review of a number of radical perspectives but focussing mainly on the work of Marx, Veblen and the social credit perspective of Douglas and the guild socialists. In the final part of the book contemporary monetary theories and experiments are analysed within the theoretical and historical perspectives provided in the earlier chapters. The main argument of the book is that it is necessary to understand the crucial role of finance in driving the 'free market' economy if a democratic and sustainable economy is to be achieved.

Frances Hutchinson is research fellow at the University of Bradford with a lifelong interest in ecology, economy and society. She has published three books so far, including: The Political Economy of Social Credit and Guild Socialism, (1997).

Mary Mellor is professor in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and Chair of the Sustainable Cities Research Institute. She is the author of numerous publications and her most recent book is Feminism and Ecology (1997).

Wendy Kay Olsen researches and lectures in economics and development at the University of Manchester. Her publications include Rural Indian Social Relations (1996)


List of Figures

  1. The Money Society
  2. Why is There No Alternative?
  3. Money, Banking and Credit
  4. Capitalism - the Elimination of Alternatives
  5. Marx, Veblen and Money Waged Labour
  6. Guild Socialism and Social Credit
  7. Institutional Critiques of Capitalist Finance
  8. New Ways of Thinking about Money and Income
  9. Innovations and Alternative Money Systems
  10. Towards Sustainability and Economic democracy



Review by Ariel Salleh