Re: on money

From: Paul C (clyder@GN.APC.ORG)
Date: Sat May 29 2004 - 16:39:26 EDT

Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

>> ____________________
>> 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.
 The problem we have to explain is why the phenomenon Marx describes
has never historically existed.
In no commodity producing society has some unique commodity developed
into money. Instead money is always some arbitrary unit of account
defined by the state. Its existence can not be explained in the Benthamite
fantasy of equally exchangeing commodities, but instead must be
sought in the existence of surplus labour coercively appropriated by
the state.

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