What is money, how do we create it, and how politically significant is its production? In The Production of Money, political economist Ann Pettifor makes the striking claim that the way we currently produce money gives rise to one of the most substantial challenges facing Western democracy. But how could this be so? Money is produced by printing presses and there we have the end of it. What threat could it represent for democracy?
At present, the Western democratic institutions that have remained fundamentally unchanged since the settlements at the end of World War II are under considerable threat. Most notably – and this has been much discussed by various political pundits – there are powerful political groups who reject ideals such as the separation of powers and limits upon executive authority and who have used the economic upheavals and social dislocations resulting from the global financial crisis to pursue what are fundamentally anti-democratic agendas.