Sonntag, 2. Juni 2013

Momo, Michael Ende and the money-go-round

This year the 40th anniversary of Michael Ende's children book classic "Momo" is being celebrated.

Michael Ende dealt for a long time with philosophical questions about the monetary system especially with  Rudolf Steiner' s and Silvio Gesell's thought system of social threefolding which is based on ideas by Wilhelm von Humboldt, summarized in his 1792 essay "über die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staates" ("the Sphere and Duties of Government (the limits of State Action)").

Ende discussed those ideas already at the beginning of the 1980's in interviews with e.G. the artist Joseph Beuys ("Kunst und Politik") and politician Erhard Eppler ("Phantasie, Kultur, Politik").

In an elaborate documentation of Sat1.Bayern the contemporary relevance of "Momo" is now highlighted, among others with proof of a letter conversation between macro economist Werner Onken and Ende.

Onken wrote an essay interpreting "Momo" in an economical context. He sent his essay to Michael Ende asking wether he was right with his analysis and received the following answer:

"Dear Mr Onken,

Thank you very much for your letter and for sending me your essay! I am very lucky that you understood my book so well, especially concerning it's esoterical and economical background.

By the way, you are the first one to realize that the idea of aging money dwells in the background of my book MOMO. During the last years I had been deeply involved with precisely these thoughts of Steiner and Gesell since I have come to the conviction, that the whole of our cultural question cannot be solved without solving the money problem at the same time or even before.

May I call your attention at this opportunity to the book „Geld und Magie*“ by professor Binswanger, published by Edition Weitbrecht. I believe it could be of great interest to you.
Once again my cordially thanks.

With kind regards

Michael Ende"

As Ende's longtime friend and publisher Roman Hocke states in the documentary: If Michael Ende would hear about the actual discussion and understanding of Momo today he would presumably say:

You can find the whole German langauge essay of Werner Onken here

Link to the German language documentary by Sat1.Bayern.

The drawn animations in the film were done by Berlin based illustration/animation artist Danae Diasz

"Geld und Magie" ("money and magic") by Hans Chr. Binswanger: an economical interpretation of Goethe's "Faust"


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