Hendrickson apparently longs to be a Galbraith-type writer, dealing intrepidly with big economic themes, setting us on our...

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THE CASHLESS SOCIETY

Hendrickson apparently longs to be a Galbraith-type writer, dealing intrepidly with big economic themes, setting us on our monetary ear with elegant thrusts and parries, dazzling with telling cross-disciplinary syntheses drawn from the intellectual elite -- Thoreau, Bellamy, Mill, Keynes, Orwell, Maslow, Charles Reich, and many others appear in this disorderly essay. This is a neat and sometimes not unproductive game second-raters play, but Hendrickson lacks the power and elan required to pull it off. For after all the highfalutin formulations and quotations are melted down, there's not much gold; in fact Hendrickson has only three real points to make, the first pedestrian, the second questionable, and the third repetitious (from his earlier book The Future of Money, 1970): (1) industrial nations are moving inexorably toward a society where credit will replace cash money; (2) despite acknowledgment that a cashless society will ""add a new dimension to the power that governments already wield over their people's lives,"" this situation should be welcomed, not feared, Hendrickson making much of the ""lawlessness"" of cash, a ""lure"" which makes us ""a target for a crime against our own person,"" breeds political corruption, etc.; and (3) the need to replace ""the cash-and-carry society with new machinery for the rational creation of monetary capital resources on a global basis,"" reiteration of his previous call for establishment of an International Money Reserve System, a ""system of record keeping and tracing which makes available all details of all money transactions."" The Egyptians had no cash money, says Hendrickson, and just look at the wonderful monuments they left behind--Mr. Hendrickson appears to be either distressingly insensitive or champion of a perverse value system.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dodd Mead

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1972