Diet Soap Podcast #170: Money without Value?

The guest this week is the podcaster Tom O’Brien. O’Brien grew up in Athboy, Ireland and is now living in London and his From Alpha to Omega podcast was apparently partially inspired by this one. Being a regular listener to his show I’m glad to have had some claim to it. Tom O’Brien and I discuss Kliman’s value theory and the monetary theory of Mathew Forstater.

The next Talkshoe after party will occur this Sunday the 27th at 1pm PST or 4pm EST and I encourage everyone who is listening to participate. If you don’t want to talk you could just listen to the live stream and use the chat function to interject questions.

This week Andrew M made a generous donation and I’ve rebooted the original podomatic page for the podcast. So you can now find Diet Soap at and The podcast is also available via iTunes and I urge you to subscribe there and to consider donating to the podcast if you can.

In this episode O’Brien and I focus on a fairly narrow point about value and money, but I believe it is a question that has fairly far reaching implications. If one believes, as Forstater does, that the current economic crisis could be mitigated or even solved if we were to allow ourselves to live with ballooning deficits then a political project to unshackled the wallet of Washington, one demanding more social spending and job creation, would be adequate. If, on the other hand, you believe that the realm of production has to be changed if we’re to avoid recessions and depressions and that there are limits on what government intervention can accomplish then something more radical, even unthinkable, is required.

The music you’re listening to right now is a George Antheil’s Jazz Symphony, but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Tom O’Brien and I discuss money and value.

Bifo and MacKenzie Wark

Doug does a nice job refuting the kind of transhistoricization (if that’s a word?) of primitive accumulation that much of the Left is going for these days, following Harvey, Graeber, etc.

29 Jan 2013, 6:10pm
by Douglas Lain


Thanks, dola. I suppose the idea of primitive accumulation sill has some bearing in parts of the worlds that are still being industrialized. Where tribal people are being moved into factories or shopping malls or whatever, that’s primitive accumulation, but I find the idea that the economy is backed by the primitive accumulation of the State to be a bit backwards.


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