Humanization as Money: Modern Monetary Theory and the Critique of Race

Abstract: In this article, we build on the work of Frantz Fanon and Paulo Freire to develop a relational understanding of dehumanization and humanization through money. We first show that Fanon and Freire share a critical normative vision of humanization, which they conceptualize as that which occurs when people reject dehumanizing practices that deny their agency, begin to grasp their world-in-common, and emerge as historical agents who remake it. In a second step, we advance Fanon’s and Freire’s vision by identifying the constitutive and dehumanizing role of money in liberalism’s ontological commitments, and develop a humanizing monetary ontology. We show how John Locke’s theory of “monetary individualism” is also a monetary theory of race that constitutes the liberal ontology and propose an approach to humanization grounded in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).

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