Legen Sie Ihr Geld in Dada an, in: Riha, Dada Total (Anm. 2), S. 106–107.


Riha, Dada Total (Anm. 2), S. 106.


Ebd., S. 106.






The Dadaists themselves spelled that out. For example, there is the manifesto Legen Sie Ihr Geld in Dada an [8] issued by the «Zentralamt des Dadaismus» in 1919. Also Raoul Hausmann wrote in 1922 a polemical text about the inflation, entitled Von der Macht des Dollarkurses, dem Barometerstand, den Butterpreisen und eines Menschenherzens Elend. [9]

Dada Economics

The text Legen Sie Ihr Geld in Dada an was published in the year 1919 in Der Dada and it represents a typical Dada manifesto of the time. Dada is here advertised as a solid and very stable investment that produces astonishing revenue. The text does not only mock the financial discourse but also religious promises. «Der Chinese hat sein tao und der Inder sein brama. dada ist mehr als tao und brama. dada verdoppelt Ihre Einnahmen.» [10] This is a strategy that makes fun of all kinds of «Heilsversprechungen» or ideologies in general, something that one can already see in the very first manifestos from the Zurich time. [11] From its beginning, Dada appears suspicious of great belief systems and mocks their agendas of improving the political, social, or the individual life. Dada ridicules these ideological systems through an attitude that again and again promises to do great things through merely nothing.

The text Legen Sie Ihr Geld in Dada an projects this attitude more explicitly onto the economical realm and addresses in fact the question of inflation, once implicitly by referring to the reparations to the Entente powers («dada ist die einzige Rettung vor der Sklaverei der Entente») [12] – which were a major factor for the explosion of the inflation – and once more explicitly by claiming that «dada ist der geheime Schleichhandel und schützt gegen Geldentwertung […]» [13] This manifesto is already in 1919 aware of the dangers of the coming currency devaluation, but Dada appears as a remedy and not as symptom of that inflation. Of course, this is a remedy with an ironic and even absurd twist: the kind of financial «security» that Dada offers is much more an effect that will lead to a hyperinflation, because it wants to inject empty meaningless signifiers into the discourse and no actual value.

Like the orgiastic spread of Dada, as it was implied in the earlier manifestos, the multiplication of the capital that is invested in Dada also appears as a rapid, organic growth. As the manifesto promises: «Jeder Hundertmarkschein vermehrt sich nach dem Gesetz der Zellteilung 1327fach in der Minute.» [14] Although the promised stable growth of 1327 times a minute does not correspond to the logarithmic rate of cellular procreation, the picture is clear in its allusion to a natural unregulated growth.

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