chapter  3
57 Pages

The Price of Capital

ByNico Stehr, Dustin Voss

Money always has the potential to become a moral imperative unto itself. The history of colonization by the European trading powers offers essential insights into the technical functionalities and the social value of capital. This chapter examines the underlying social dynamics of capital and financialization and discusses which societal value transformations and associated lines of conflict manifest themselves particularly in its price. It explores the meaning of capital and its price, the rate of interest. The chapter proposes the modern social relationship between capital and debt, also examines deeper-lying institutional conditions that lead to capital inequality, and also discusses regulatory approaches to ease the social tensions that arise from these processes. Neoclassical economics offer a theoretical explanation for the practical challenges. Taxation is the most important regulatory instrument of a welfare state. It allows to correct the inequitable results of a liberal market order depending on social conceptions of justice and equality.