TAILIEUCHUNG - Tim Newton Credit and civilization

Our first requirement for competitive equilibrium is that of borrower optimization: given a type’s predictions about how she would behave with each contract, she chooses her favorite one from the perspective of period 0. Our next two conditions are typical for competitive situations, saying that firms earn zero profits by offering these contracts, and that firms can do no The last, nonredundancy, condition says that all repayment options in a contract are relevant in that they affect the expectations or behavior of the consumer accepting the contract | Tim Newton Credit and civilization ABSTRACT This paper analyses financial credit in order to re-examine the work of Norbert Elias particularly his association of interdependency complexity with social discipline and his approach to contradiction. Following a discussion of these issues the paper examines Elias s writing on money and explores the emergence of financial credit networks in early modern England. Attention is paid to credit networks and social discipline to credit and the state and to the contradictory images associated with the transition to modern cash economies. From one perspective early modern credit networks might be read as a confirmation of Elias particularly his argument that interdependency complexity changing power balances and self-restraint are interwoven. Yet the development of modern cash money raises questions not just in relation to Elias s treatment of money but also with regard to his assumptions about social discipline and his approach to ambivalence and contradiction. Drawing on the foregoing discussion the paper argues that the relation between interdependency complexity and social discipline is contingent and variable and that interdependency complexity may simultaneously encourage contradictory processes such as those of civilizing and barbarity. KEYWORDS Elias credit money commerce subjectivity contradiction INTRODUCTION This paper analyses the development of commercial society especially that relating to money and webs of credit . It uses this analysis to re-examine contentious issues in the work of Norbert Elias particularly his argument that interdependency networks and social discipline are interwoven and his ability to account for contradictory processes. Given that credit and money provide an historical example of the development of lengthy and complex interdependencies they might be expected to be central to Eliasian argument providing a means to both extend and scrutinize his contentions concerning interdependency .