[OPE-L:2317] Re: State theory of money

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Fri Feb 04 2000 - 08:49:02 EST

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Re Rakesh's [OPE-L:2316]:
The source of the quote that Rakesh cites is:

* Paul Mattick _Economics, Politics, and the Age of Inflation_ [White
    Plains, NY, M.E. Sharpe Inc, 1978].
> Mattick demonstrates the explanatory power gained from Marx's
> abstraction from credit money and all other obstacles that hide the real
> relations of production and often seem to contradict them.

Marx only _initially_ abstracts from credit-money, but goes on to
explicitly analyze that subject in Volume 3 (see Chapters 32-33).

> Now Mattick demonstrated the
> soundness of Marx's initial restriction to a contradiction inherent in
> capitalist production, which, although ever present, need not be visible in
> market events, as it can indeed by countered by capitalist reactions for
> shorter or longer periods of time. The point however here is that the
> contradictions immanent in production are explanatorily fundamental to
> grasping and indeed anticipating the limited possibilities of government
> credit money used as such a counter-tendency.

It is misleading to claim that a diminution in the rate of accumulation
in the private sector occasioned by an increase in spending by the state
sector is a "contradiction inherent in capitalist production" which "need
not be visible in market events". That is because the conversion of
surplus-value into capital (and hence, possibly, a change in the rate of
accumulation) *follows* a "market event", i.e. the selling of the
commodity output (and, thereby, the actualization of surplus-value). In
other words, the process of accumulation is necessarily linked to "market
events" and this is a contradiction which necessarily arises because of
the nature of the commodity-form and thereby includes what happens in the
spheres of production *and* circulation.

One last comment: you often refer in your post to what Mattick (Sr)
"demonstrated". I think that it would have been better to provide fuller
quotes and citations from PM so that we (the readers) can decide for
ourselves to what extent he "demonstrated" or "showed" certain points.

In solidarity, Jerry

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