In an important essay on the economy in society Niklas Luhrmann describes money as the medium which brings about the economy as a recognized, selfreferential sub-system of society. The economy as an ‘autopoetic’ system that produces and reproduces itself receives its self-referentiality from the activity of payment which gives relationships a particular meaning. Money institutionalizes the activity of payment, and as a ‘medium of communication’ has become an unequivocal signifier. Any relationship in which payments are made become part of the economy, while these relationships are understood by anyone as economic relationships (Luhrmann 1989: 13-51).