jeudi 24 mai 2012
Le marché comme émergence sociale
Fascinante histoire sur l'émergence d'une économie de marché dans les camps de prisonniers de la 2e guerre mondiale. Market institutions, Radford concluded, were universal and spontaneous, “a response to immediate needs” rather than an attempt to imitate civilian life. One of the spontaneous developments was the emergence of a currency: the cigarette, which was portable and reasonably homogenous. Not entirely so, though: cigarettes could be “sweated” by rolling them back and forth between the fingers to shake a little tobacco out. Gresham’s Law – “bad money drives out good” – asserted itself, as the plumper cigarettes were reserved for smoking, while those that circulated as money grew thinner. When Red Cross supplies were interrupted, deflation set in, as a cigarette bought ever more goods.