[OPE-L:2876] Re: on the money?

From: riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 15:15:36 EDT

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At 14:36 +0100 15-04-2000, Gerald Levy wrote:

>> Money however is a real hypostatization. As absurd is that is.
>"hypostatize: ... to treat or regard (a concept, idea, etc.) as a distinct
>substance or reality" _The Random House Dictionary of the English
>(note: the spellchecker in the Pine system doesn't recognize this word).
>Why are you using words like these? If the reader of e-mail on this list
>has to look up a word in a dictionary, then it is the fault of the writer.

Usually, yes. In this case, no. The term is crucial to understand the
criticism of Hegel in Marx's early writings. And Capital, especially in the
first chapters on value and money, and in the chapters on the real
subsumption of labour to capital, is full of implicit references to this
>> I'd say it's not so much that there is no theory of the necessity of'
>> money in Keynes (at least from the textbooks I have); there is simply
>> no convincing theory of its fetishistic power, though of course this is
>> what puzzled Keynes the most--how one this one thing can become the object
>> of desire which cannot be readily produced even as the demand for it cannot
>> be choked off.

How think an interesting question is: how much Freud there was in Keynes,
early '30s? It is sure that Keynes read Freud, he was in Bloomsbury, etc.
And a lot of his phrases since the '32-'33 seem to refer to Freud, more or
less implicitly. I guess that we may find some kind of explanation of
fetishistic power of money in Freud. There was at least one (unsatisfying)
attempt to make this connection, and it was Norman Brown's Life against
Death. And there are some few recent research on this topic. It is a field
for inquiry. Of course, this may still be not very 'convincing'.

>Do you really think that is what -- "of course" -- puzzled Keynes the

Don't know if Rakesh really thinks what he wrote, but, yes, I agree with
him, this was very puzzling for Keynes (though he produced some kind of
economic explanation, if I remember well, money as something which lulls
our inquietude, etc.).


        Riccardo Bellofiore
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