Re: (OPE-L) Inflation, credit, and the 'money expression of labour' within a value-form perspective

From: Phil Dunn (pscumnud@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Date: Sun May 04 2003 - 11:30:16 EDT

>Paul C wrote on Wednesday, April 30:
>>  What I am asking the value form people is this:
>>   if it is sale for money that validates value what validates money
>>  We know that the value of money changes over time but if we
>>  conceed this,  then money can not be the measure of value,
>>  value must have a prior existence for us to be able to say that
>>  the value of money has fallen.
>>  If that is the case, how can we assign money priority in validating
>>  and measuring value?
>List members Geert and Mike W, within the context of a systematic
>dialectical reconstruction in thought of capitalism, conceptualized
>inflation "as an increase in the money expression of labour, m"
>which "requires in addition an upward move in prices relative to
>labour-productivity change" (_Value-Form and the State: The
>Tendencies of Accumulation and the Determination of Economic
>Policy in Capitalist Society_, p. 148;  also see rest of Ch. 5,
>Section 3).  On a more basic level -- which is what you are most
>concerned about --  their answer is given in Chapter Two, Section
>2 ("The Credit System: Reproduction of Money and Money
>Capital"; Ibid, pp. 81-89 ),  especially sub-sections 9 ("The social
>expression of private pre-validation"; Ibid, pp. 84-86) and 10 ("The
>Central Bank and pseudo-social validation: the fully developed credit
>system"; Ibid, pp. 86-89).  A more formal, mathematical treatment is
>given on p. 96 in the sub-section on "The money expression of labour
>and abstract labour."
>Maybe Geert and/or Mike W would like to offer a more succinct  or
>developed answer to your questions?   In any event, they would no
>doubt be the first to add that they offer _a_  value-form answer to the
>questions you asked rather than _the_ value-form answer.  So, I have
>no idea of how others like Chris,  Tony, and Nicky (or  someone
>sympathetic to some value-form conceptualizations like Phil) view this
>In solidarity, Jerry

I do not see how changes in the value of money over time prevent it
measuring the value of produced commodities.  Money is purchasing
power and its intrinsic value is measured by quantity of the immanent
measure, labour time, it commands.  The value of a nominal unit of
money, as universal relative, is equal to the the ratio of total living
labour time to total nominal value added.  What is required to have a
prior existence is only _equivalent_ value, the labour time
equivalents of money.  The _relative_ value of produced commodities
is then expressed by money as universal equivalent.

The difficulty is due, I think, to Marx's mapping of the
relative/equivalent distinction onto the value/use-value distinction.
Equivalent value has nothing to do with use-value.  The
relative/equivalent distinction is a distinction within the value


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