[OPE-L:2800] Re: Marx's Method

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 11:29:23 EDT

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>I agree of course that Marx did not explain his logical method
>enough. But on some points, he said quite a lot, and I would argue
>consistently throughout his economic manuscripts, for example:

I would agree that there seems to be something (deceptively) Hegelian about
the derivation of money which as money is *qualitatively* different from
commodities *as* commodities; yet it is born *of* commodities, *as* a
commodity itself, and only under the pressure of the quantities of
commodites does it ascend from earth to the economic heaven to become not
merely a measure of value and a standard of price, but in virtue of its
function of univeral equivalent and exchange medium, Value Incarnate, Money
as Money (here of of course lies the possibility of a a crisis of general

It is truly scandalous that money comes in actual practice to function as
an Ideal Reality, of which all specific and relative (exchange) values are
the merely mundane reflections. And, being an Ideal reality whose earthly
function (as a coin in circulation) is *to represent itself*, other
representations--NOT COMMODITIES--can be substituted for it.

That is, Marx's theory of money is as much a NON COMMODITY theory of money
as it a commodity theory of money. It is actually a vindication of Marx's
analysis that other representations and paper in particular, though not
other commodites, can be substituted for money.

Yet if Marx's derivation of the secret of money form from analysis of the
commodity form does not indeed follow (but only appears to follow) the
dialectical logic of a Hegelian derivation of categories (or accidently
only does as a freak of nature), then the call to Hegelianize Marx may be a
call to shroud him in pantheistic logical mysticism.

Yours, Rakesh

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