The society of merchants can be defined as a society in which things disappear in favor of signs. When a ruling class measures its fortunes, not by the acre of land or the ingot of gold, but by the number of figures corresponding ideally to a certain number of exchange operations, it thereby condemns itself to setting a certain kind of humbug at the center of its experience and its universe. A society founded on signs is, in its essence, an artificial society in which man's carnal truth is handled as something artificial.
Albert Camus (pronounced Kam-oo, IPA: ka.m) (November 7, 1913 January 4, 1960) was a French author and philosopher and one of the principal luminaries (with Jean-Paul Sartre) of existentialism. Camus was the second youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature (after Rudyard Kipling) when he received the award in 1957. He is also the shortest-lived of any literature laureate to date, having died in a car crash 3 years after receiving the award.