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Social Comptabilism

Social Comptabilism

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Excerpt from Social Comptabilism: E Cheque and Clearing Service in the Austrian Postal Servings Bank; Proposed Law Laid Before the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium

On these accounts we deem it our duty, after what the Institute has already published with reference to it, to return again to the subject, limiting ourselves to purely monetary and account-keeping grounds, and an exclusively theoretical explanation of the conception which, connected as it is with the inductive researches of our fellow workers we have submitted to their consideration.

In the first place let us examine into the use of money in society, and to whom it is of use; we will next consider if it is indispensable.

Money presents itself to us as being an indispensable instrument for effecting transactions which are not mere acts of barter, and it presents itself also as having rendered possible, - and this is of capital importance as the sequel will show, - the registering, the writing down or account-keeping of the transactions, if one may so say, which barter did not permit.

Money is exclusively of use to those who enter into commercial transactions. Thus a man who could sufficiently provide for himself in everything without any such transactions, would not have to make any use of money; a landed proprietor may have a considerable fortune and have only a small monetary need, whilst a merchant whose fortune may be much less will find himself in a very different situation: for the greater part of his fortune consisting of merchandise, continually renewed, and consequently engaged in circulation, his monetary need will be considerable. It may therefore be said that the need of money is proportional to the need for commercial transactions.

Beyond what we have just pointed out, has money fulfilled, or does it fulfil any other purpose? We shall see.

If, from the beginning, we could have had a system allowing us to exactly register transactions, would money have been indispensably necessary? In a word, is money in point of fact the particular element in such transactions which caused the writing of them down, or, in reality does not its use hide an agency entirely independant of money? Let us examine this.

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