Currencies of Exodus: The Hidden Ledger of Proletarian Money Sabotage


Haiven, Max. 2019. “Currencies of the Undercommons: The Hidden Ledger of Proletarian Money Sabotage.” In  State Machines: Reflections and Actions at the Edge of Digital Citizenship, Finance, and Art, edited by Yiannis Colakides, Marc Garrett, Inte Gloerich. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.


In this chapter, I look at money ‘from below’ to problematize our utopian dreams so that we might dream more dangerously together. I take up the almost forgotten examples of convict love tokens, hobo nickels and Notgeld to illustrate how proletarian subjects have transformed money into an experimental medium of mutual aid, class struggle and solidarity, representing a hidden ledger of meaningful ‘disruptive innovation’ that can inspire us today.