The link forwarded by NLK in the Iran elections thread was to a recent essay by Alf Hornborg. In that author’s own words, this paper serves as a fine summary of his thinking on the nature-culture-personhood triad, the fetishism of the machine, the progression of accumulation by dispossession, the devastation of the biosphere, and the money-sign.
It takes about half an hour to read if you poke through like me.
His conclusion is not the conclusion of a “realist.” Not by a long shot. He argues that general purpose money-itself contains the power from which emanates many of our most discomfiting and dangerous trends in social evolution — because money is the sign-agent that makes everything interchangeable on the market. We have used the term “solvent” here to describe the same thing. Over at Insurgent American, I just posted something (still being edited) called Midrash on Money, that provides a kind of cristological account of this same phenomenon.