jeudi 26 septembre 2013


Since many years, the work of Jean-Joseph Goux, a philosopher who taught during several decades in USA, specially at Rice University (Houston), is articulated between various branches of interest, economy, psychoanalysis, aesthetics and anthropology. As soon as the era of the Tel Quel movement, to which he actively participated, at the end of the 60th, he paved the way of an original thought that has no longer ceased to unfold the pertinence of his insights. In fact, all unrolls as if the extent and duration of the financial crisis, becoming endemic and global, demonstrated the accuracy of his analysis.

L’homo economicus, well and truly, became a central figure. The power, in now, at the hands of finance. Intellectual and politicians, form now on, run behind, unable to impose other points of view and guidelines for an action, that have truly untangled the deep causes of a situation where the world is sinking day after day.

That is where our philosopher intervenes, in untangling the deep reasons (non strictly economical but also philosophical and anthropological) of the question. Man is searching for pleasures, for satisfaction, for an equilibrium between his needs and what society offers him. The exchange always was supposed to favored the full range of these needs. For a long time, the exchanges organized themselves, around a calibrated, standardized, reliable money, of which gold was the guarantee.

All entered in a state of panic in 1971, when President Nixon decided to stop the convertibility of dollar into gold. The consequences of this decision, on which we have no longer stopped to interrogate ourselves, were incalculable. The exchange rate of currencies became sharply fluctuant, and economy became more and more ungovernable. We entered in this floating zone of value, that Jean Baudrillard, also pin-pointed in regards to signs.

Because money is really a language, a way for individuals and societies to exchange more than goods, but also meanings, signs and values. It is that world that little by little became scared and crazy. To the point that we may truly ask ourselves to-day to which abyss the world is going to.

The most recent work of Jean-Joseph Goux, Le Trésor perdu de la finance folle, is rich and complex, in accordance to the whole of his work. The great culture, which heavily nurtures his thought, make him tackle the world of art, finance, fashion, literature, architecture, economy, etc… He takes us through the work of Condillac,Voltaire, Mme du Châtelet, and Rousseau (who already thought about the question of pleasure, luxury and value of things) to Freud, K.Marx and Baudrillard.

Criss-crossing, of course, the works of these economists (Adam Smith, Bentham, Ricardo, Pareto, Keynes, etc.) who since the eighteenth century, have tackled and decrypted the springs of what we called economy. “The value of money rest on a fiction”, as wrote Milton Friedman. The world also, the one of the bankers, of high finance traders, of an European currency, acephalous and paradoxical,etc…)

“Mad money”, “madness of market”, “crazy finance”, “mad capitalism”: the crisis that rocked economy displayed a disturbing vocabulary. Why these extreme wordings? Since the desappearance of the gold convertibility and the fluctuation of currencies, which lead to the absence of a stable treasure, and the collapse of pyramids of intertwined debts, is this word of madness not justified? All values, economic, financial, but also aesthetic and political, are lured in a movement that carries them toward an equilibrium that seems always unstable and that triggers bubbles, panics, according to a mechanism similar to stock-exchange. The author explores different facets and consequences of this insane conjuncture, where to-day the world is engulfed. (Editions Blusson, 2013)

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