Volume 1, Number 2 (2008)

Time, Space, and Money in Capitalism and Communism

Geoff Mann

Simon Fraser University


Money is the code through which capital regulates the abstraction necessary for its temporal and spatial regime. That regulation is not limited to the oft-noted coordination, in particular spaces of production, of human labor and every-day clock-time—seconds, minutes, and hours (Thompson, 1967; Roediger and Foner, 1989; Postone, 1993). Capital also regulates, at a more fundamental level, through the production of the spatio-temporal frame itself: i.e. the formal abstraction essential to any conception of social life as unfolding over something called “time” and across something called “space”. Capital structures multiple geographies—times and spaces— through abstraction, substituting logical time and space, for real time and space. Money is the chief instrument by which this abstraction is accomplished.