The physical object representing money (like a bank note) is public: it belongs to society. While its represented monetary value (like that of ten dollars) is private: it belongs to whoever controls its representing object (that bank note). Thus, money must be both private, as its value, and public, as its representation: despite private, its value must be social, which is impossible without its public representation.
All monetary objects (like gold or a bank note) represent money. This money they represent is their own identity to the exchange value of any commodity: their social omniequivalence.
That represented identity or social omniequivalence is the ultimate concept of money. Only with this concept we can fully understand commercial and central banking. Whether private, if commercial, or public, if central, banking is the modern form of debt monetization: the process by which money becomes an interest-paying debt,1 as which it must be a self-inflating debt principal for already being its own interest. Hence private and public banking being the causes of modern inflation, “booms” and “busts,” deflation, and monetary crises.
Social Versus Individual Omniequivalence
Omniequivalence is the equivalence of an object to all commodities. That equivalence can either be social (money) or individual. Recognizing money to be just social (as opposed to individual) omniequivalence is beginning to learn that:
No single object necessarily represents money.
Not all money constitutes debt.2
All debt monetization (including private and public banking) results from confusing an actual monetary value (monetary identity) with its representing object.
That confusion between the identity of money and its representation is a representational monetary identity.
Whether individual or social, omniequivalence has a general and a generic aspect. In its general aspect, it is the same as multiequivalence. Finally, understanding omniequivalence as generic (or multiequivalence as omniequivalence) requires understanding omnistitution.
- Since banking is always private, public banking requires the privatization of public interests. [↩]
- If A has an ounce of gold and a pair of shoes worth two ounces of gold and B has two ounces of gold and a knife worth an ounce of gold, A can give B a pair of shoes while B gives A a knife and an ounce of gold. In this example, A and B always own three ounces of gold each, in both monetary (golden) and commodity form, and never owe each other anything. [↩]