Re: (OPE-L) on money, capital, and the state

From: Riccardo Bellofiore (riccardo.bellofiore@UNIBG.IT)
Date: Tue Jun 01 2004 - 06:01:56 EDT


I don't know, of course. But I suggest Costas to look at the writings
of Heinsohn and Steiger on the origin of money, an anti-Mengerian
account. Btw, I fear that we are conflating historical and logical
origin. I would argue that Marx is NOT doing historical deductions at
the beginning of Capital. Menger, yes. Schumpeter divorced the two:
he in a sense was historically Mengerian, but thought that the
logical essence of money was not in its hitorically being a commodity
at first.

rb


At 10:36 +0100 1-06-2004, Costas Lapavitsas wrote:
>Can I ask on what historical sources you rely for this strong and confident
>statement?
>
>Costas
>
>At 09:20 01/06/2004 +0100, you wrote:
>>  > Money, it seems to me, arises spontaneously out of private and social
>>>  relations among commodity owners. It is a social nexus that necessarily
>>takes
>>>  the form of absolute ability to buy. In a capitalist economy it also
>>acts as
>>>  claim on wealth, since the division of labour is very detailed and
>>producers
>>>  are independent and in competition. It also becomes capital and
>>>  interest-bearing capital. It further has a variety of non-economic
>>roles. But
>>>  these roles depend on the essential character of money as monopolist of
>>>  buying ability and do not determine it.
>>>
>>>  As for the state, which Jerry and others have brought up, I think that we
>>>  should differentiate between the state inducing the emergence of money and
>>>  the state becoming necessarily associated with money and buttressing it
>>with
>>>  its own power.  The former, I suggest, is analytically misleading (as
>>well as
>>>  historically dubious) and not in line with Marx's letter and spirit. The
>>>  latter I would have no quarrel with.
>>>
>>>  Costas
>>>
>>
>>The problem with this account is that there is very little
>>historical evidence to support it. It is a theoretical back
>>projection of onto early society of Isaac Newtons monetary
>>policy as master of the Mint.
>>
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--

Riccardo Bellofiore
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
"Hyman P. Minsky"
UniversitÓ di Bergamo
Via dei Caniana 2
I-24127 Bergamo, Italy
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