About solvency and insolvency
To see an incipient world economic crisis as a manifestation of the (class) contradiction between capital and labor, to ame from a marxist perspective that capitalism is about to abdicate, would certainly be puffery. And yet, with the sociologist niklas luhmann1 , who died in 1997, we could see in the present situation that the problem revealed in this crisis is even more fundamental. It is much more elementary to recognize the paradox that the economic system has to cover in its functioning with each of its everyday operations – payments. Namely, that every payment leads simultaneously to the ability to pay and to the inability to pay; every payment leads to the inability to pay for the payer in the same amount as it leads to the inability to pay for the recipient.
A functioning economy must therefore ensure that this paradox remains invisible. The payments constituting the economy were otherwise blocked, the economic system collapsed. The fact that in the money economy the preservation is trusted, thus the trust advance of the acceptance of payments is covered by the security of a thereby made possible expenditure under basically same conditions, is a condition making at least exchange economy possible. The paradox that payments as payments – in pure self-reference – simultaneously generate both solvency and insolvency is resolved by reference to external conditions. In luhmann’s diction, the distinction, which has become questionable, unstable due to the paradox, is reinterpreted by reference to another distinction "deparadoxes". Was long considered the gold standard in this sense external, "deparadoxing" condition, nowadays have the central banks as "wahrungshuter", as institutions conceived in this sense in the broadest possible independence, to provide for consistent conditioning of payments in the period of income and expenditure. In the case of a strong change of conditions from payment to payment, as is the case with hyperinflation, the elementary paradox of the economy became visible, blocking payment transactions.