Re: (OPE-L) Shopping with Claus

From: cmgermer@UFPR.BR
Date: Sat Jun 12 2004 - 00:43:39 EDT


Jerry wrote«

> Prelude w/commentary
>
> "Money is a crystal (misleading choice of words, JL) formed
> of necessity in the course of the exchanges, whereby products
> of labour are *practically* equated to one another and thus by
> *practice* converted into commodities." (CI, Kerr ed., p. 99,
> emphasis added)
>
> Money must serve as a medium of exchange (or, to use Marx's
> terminology, a medium of circulation).  Where there is a money
> commodity system, the money commodity itself  (e.g. gold) and
> symbols and tokens of value serve this practical need.  This
> means then that in a system with a money commodity, then the
> money commodity itself must be able to serve -- under ordinary
> circumstances -- as a medium of circulation.
>

Jerry, sorry for the delayed answer. It seems clear to me that your
conclusion after the quotation of Marx does not follow from the quotation,
because what you conclude in not contained in it. However, what seems to
me that you want to say in your conclusion and in the shopping story is
that the thing that is money must circulate as means of circulation,
otherwise it cannot be money. Thus, gold would have to perform this
function today in order to be considered money.

The problem is: why would it be necessary, in the framework of Marx's
theory of money, that the money commodity itself circulated? Taking into
account that the general equivalent - money - performs several functions
in Marx's theory, it seems that an analysis of money in a given historical
period would require an analysis of the way it performs all of them as a
whole and not only one of them. One additional circumsntance should, im my
view, be taken into account: there is a hierarchy of importance of the
different functions. In capitalism the function of means of payment is
dominant and is the basis of both the banking system and credit money,
whose development implies the gradual withdrawal of money (gold) from
circulation. Considering that money is replaced by tokens in the function
of means of circulation and by credit money as means of payment, and
considering additionally that both are dependent on the function of
measure of value, which cannot be performed by them, it seems to follow
that the withdrawal of money from the circulation does not imply its
withdrawal from the function of measure of value.

The worker of the bookstore and the waiter are obviously not necessarily
aware of the different aspects and functions of money and of the theories
of money. Taking their understanding as the basis of an explanation of
money would not take us far in the understanding of money.

comradely,Claus


> Prelude w/commentary
>
> "Money is a crystal (misleading choice of words, JL) formed
> of necessity in the course of the exchanges, whereby products
> of labour are *practically* equated to one another and thus by
> *practice* converted into commodities." (CI, Kerr ed., p. 99,
> emphasis added)
>
> Money must serve as a medium of exchange (or, to use Marx's
> terminology, a medium of circulation).  Where there is a money
> commodity system, the money commodity itself  (e.g. gold) and
> symbols and tokens of value serve this practical need.  This
> means then that in a system with a money commodity, then the
> money commodity itself must be able to serve -- under ordinary
> circumstances -- as a medium of circulation.
>


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