[OPE-L:2872] Re: Re: Re: (5 end) Partial Reply toFred's on Althusser, concluding with CLASS STRUGGLE

From: riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 14:38:46 EDT

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At 23:05 +0100 13-04-2000, Claus Germer wrote:

> Riccardo's
>statement above strikes me and I would shortly ask him on what grounds he
>states that the fact of financing of production requires money not to be a

Claus, I sent the answer to another of Fred's post.

>If one goes through the chapters in part V of vol. III of
>Capital there is IMO no inconsistency between the concept of money as a
>commodity and the working of capitalism based on an advanced banking system
>and a purely credit money circulation.

I have a paper with Realfonzo where we say that Marx's theory of bank
lending is compatible with the good non-commodity theory of money. So, I
agree with part of your statement. But Marx seems to say that in the last
instance money still remains a commodity. I deny that, if production has to
be financed, it can be financed by a commodity money (it is a logical
argument, not an historical one! let's start from t=0; how is financed the
production of the money commodity?). However, in my paper in the Bergamo
proceedings I show that most of Marx's statements may be accepted in the
good non-commodity theory of money.

>Is there a sense in which Marx's
>understanding of interest bearing capital and bank lending for capital
>investment is contradicted by the actual working of the financing of

See above.

>I would add that capitalism had an explicit commodity money until 1971,

You may say that money exchanged between central banks was a commodity,
used to clear the debt-credit relationship, and not *true* money. For me,
true money is the promise to pay of a third party (nowadays, a bank),
definitely NOT a commodity or a bilateral promise to pay

> and
>I think no one can deny that the banking system and finance production
>already existed up to that time, so how can you say that the need to
>finance production requires money not to be a commodity, since money was a
>commodity and finance production was there?

Some stupid guys as Schumpeter and Keynes thought that. The fact is that I
strongly doubt there was ever a money commodity, though I believe gold (or
metal) may have been actually used as some kind of collateral.

>In Marx's theory there is no
>inconsistency between the commodity nature of money and the credit system.
>On the contrary, Marx derives the latter from the former in a consistent
>way. I wonder if Riccardo disagrees with this.

Yes, I disagree, but only on the adjective 'consistent'.
>On Fred's last phrase:
>> If money is
>> indeed no longer a commodity, but once was, then what we need is a theory
>> of money which can explain both money as a commodity and money not as a
>> commodity.
>Right. I would however add that, if one clearly distinguishes, as Marx
>did, between money and the instruments of circulation derived from money,
>which is what credit money is according to Marx, we have an integrated
>theory of money in capitalism. What is being taken as money, in the present
>debate, are in fact standards of prices in the predominant form of credit
>money, f.i. deposits denominated in dollars or marks or yens and so on.

I don't understand this. Is this money or not?

BTW, have you ever read Mises' Theory of Money and Credit'? Sometimes it
looks incredibly similar to Marxism (though he would revolt in his grave
for that!!). For example, this distinction between money and 'instruments
of circulation'. The original title was mistranslated. It actually was
'Theory of Money and Instrument of Circulations'.


        Riccardo Bellofiore
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