[OPE-L:4866] Re: Re: Re: value: primary, secondary; latent, possessed?

From: Fred B. Moseley (fmoseley@mtholyoke.edu)
Date: Sat Feb 10 2001 - 00:43:52 EST

On Tue, 6 Feb 2001, Rakesh Narpat Bhandari wrote:

> Here's a question:
> Does the necessity of  money somehow derive from it alone allowing 
> all commodities to be measured in terms of a ratio scale (rather than 
> a nominal, ordinal or interval scale)? Is there some reason (thinking 
> here of Marx's famous letter to Feuerbach) why in a private exchange 
> economy commodities have to be measured in terms of a common 
> (hypostatized?) divisible property so that we can infer numerical 
> proportions among the representations of  commodities that, say, one 
> magnitude is twice or three or x times another?
> Does money alone allow for commodities to be measured in terms of a 
> ratio scale; must commodities be measured in terms of such a scale if 
> the proportioning of social labor is to be achieved in a private 
> exchange economy?

Marx's argument about the necessity of money in Section 3 of Chapter 1 of
Volume 1, as I understand it, is as follows:

1.  In a generalized system of commodity exchange, each commodity is in
principle equivalent to all other commodities in definite quantities.  

2.  In order for each commodity to actually function as an equivalent to
all other commodities, the value of each and every commodity must acquire
a socially recognizable form of appearance.  And this form of appearance
of the value of each commodity is money.

I don't know what this has to do with "ratio scales".  But I think this
is Marx's argument for the necessity of money, based on the nature of
commodities as equivalents.  

What do you think?


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