[OPE-L:7500] Naples on gold

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Sat Aug 10 2002 - 02:32:51 EDT

Michele Naples writes in her contribution to *Marx and Non 
Equilibrium Economics*, ed. Alan Freeman and Guglielmo Carchedi 

"Marx used 'value of money' and 'exchange value' of money 
interchangeably because to him, gold, was a non transformed 
value...As I have suggested elsewhere...Marx's language is consistent 
because gold is produced in mines. Thus *gold exchanges at its value* 
rather than price of production, since mineowners collect absolute 
rent. The neo Ricardian solution is wrong on gold because it 
abstracts from land, a crucial means of production in mining, and 
from landowners' rent. It treats gold as infinitely reproducible, 
like other commodities. But Marx made clear that the good which 
serves as commodity money must be scarce to serve as money. Just as 
Marx rejected Ricardo, he would reject the neo Ricardian model where 
the exchange value of money is determined in the same way as other 
commodities' price of production." p.103

Note: there is  an important discussion of goldin Ernest Mandel's 
contribution to the *Ricardo, Marx and Sraffa* volume which he edited 
with Alan Freeman. In *Economics and Marxism, vol I* Karl Kuhne 
suggests that Bortkiewicz's conversion of dept III into the 
production of gold which is then used as the unit of account has had 
the unfortunate implication that Marx was much more of a metallist 
than he actually was.


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