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Fragilität der Macht

Die Zukunft, die Angst und das Geld bei Thomas Hobbes

Christoph Hennig

Abstract

In the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes – as in William Shakespeare’s historical dramas – even the most powerful individuals can never be sure of their power. Fundamentally, power is grounded in imagination. It refers to the future, not to the present time; but the future is, in Hobbes’ own words, “a fiction of the mind”. Moreover, in a circular process, power rests on the “reputation of power”; it is based on social recognition. For both reasons, individual power is fragile, bringing about an undercurrent of fear. Following Hobbes’ approach, these characteristics may consistently be applied to the concept of money. This paper argues that by conceiving power on a very abstract level, Hobbes might have unintentionally developed the fundamentals of a theory of money as the dominant power in the emerging capitalist society.

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Published Online: 2016-4-18
Published in Print: 2016-4-1

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