Re: on money

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 11:24:41 EDT

>--- Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
>>  >Because the product is not produced as an immediate
>>  object of
>>  >consumption for the producers, but only as a bearer
>>  of value, as a
>>  >claim, so to speak, to a certain quantity of all
>>  materialised social
>>  >labour, all products as values are compelled to
>>  assume a form of
>>  >existence distinct from their existence as use
>>  values. And it is
>>  >this development of the labour embodied in them as
>>  social labour, it
>>  >is the development of their value, which determines
>>  the formation of
>>  >money, the necessity for commodities to represent
>>  themselves in
>>  >respect of one another as money--which means merely
>>  as independent
>>  >forms of existence of exchange value--and they can
>>  only do this by
>>  >setting apart one commodity from the mass of
>>  commodities, and all of
>>  >them measuring their values in the use value of
>>  this excluded
>>  >commodity, thereby directly transforming the labour
>>  embodied in this
>>  >exclusive commodity into general, social labour.
>>  >
>>  >TSV III, p.144-145
>The meaning of this passage is not very clear but if
>it is saying, which it apparently is saying,  that the
>value of any commodity is determined by first
>determining how much of money commodity it exchanges
>with and then multiplying that number with the
>concrete labor time embodied in the money commodity,
>then it is theoretically simply wrong.

No it is trying to explain why commodities have to make that
dangerous leap (salto mortale, the Latin Marx uses in Capital I, I
think) into money and why money comes to have peculiar properties,
e.g. monopoly over direct exchangeability, and what must have been
assumed about money to have those properties.

And value never results from adding up concrete labors.

>  Unless money
>commodity is something like silver littered on a
>beach, which can be simply picked up by bare hands,
>all money commodities are produced goods requiring all
>kinds of constant capital items. Thus to determine how
>much of labor time is embodied in a money commodity
>one has to be able to first figure out how much of
>labor time is embodied in those constant capital
>items, and that cannot be done unless you add various
>concrete labors.

Adding concrete labor labors never yields value.

>  Thus the statement above gets into
>vicious circle.

But it's not what this statement is about.

Yours, Rakesh

>Cheers, ajit sinha
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