Die versteckten Kosten des Geldes

PRINCETON – Wenn die Leute sagen, „Geld ist die Wurzel allen Übels“, meinen sie normalerweise nicht, dass Geld selbst die Wurzel des Übels ist. Wie der heilige Paulus, von dem das Zitat stammt, denken sie dabei an die Liebe zum Geld. Könnte Geld selbst, egal ob wir danach gieren oder nicht, ein Problem darstellen?

Karl Marx war dieser Meinung. In den Ökonomisch-philosophischen Manuskripten aus dem Jahre 1844 , einer frühen Arbeit, die bis Mitte des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts unveröffentlicht und weithin unbekannt blieb, beschreibt Marx Geld als den universellen Urheber der Trennung, da es die menschlichen Eigenschaften in etwas anderes verwandelt. Ein Mann kann hässlich sein, schrieb Marx, doch wenn er Geld hat, kann er sich „die schönste aller Frauen“ kaufen. Ohne Geld wären vermutlich gewisse positivere menschliche Eigenschaften notwendig. Geld entfremdet uns, so dachte Marx, von unserer wahren menschlichen Natur und von unseren Mitmenschen.

Marx’ Ansehen sank, als offenbar wurde, dass er mit seiner Prognose Unrecht hatte, dass eine Arbeiterrevolution ein neues Zeitalter mit einem besseren Leben für alle einläuten würde. Wenn wir uns nun lediglich auf seine Aussage über die entfremdende Wirkung des Geldes verlassen müssten, könnten wir sie wohl getrost als einen Teil einer irrigen Ideologie ansehen. Doch deuten die 2006 in Science veröffentlichten Forschungsergebnisse von Kathleen Vohs, Nicole Mead und Miranda Goode darauf hin, dass Marx zumindest an dieser Stelle einer heißen Spur nachging.

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