Date: Mon Jul 12 2004 - 06:08:38 EDT
Howard, there seems to be a tension in your post In the first section you say: Quoting Howard Engelskirchen <howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM>: > Hi Fred, > > Thanks for the question, and sorry for the delay in responding to it. > > You ask whether money as a measure of value must be a commodity today. > > Briefly, I'd want to start with the causal tendencies set in motion by > established structures of social relations. Where the social relation that > generates the product as a commodity exists, then the product of labor is > constituted by value, and value, which is not presented empirically like > texture or other physical qualities, must find a vehicle for its expression. > It finds its means of expression in the body of another commodity and this > process in turn generates the money commodity. I don't know any way to > supercede or transcend this process other than by transforming the > generative social structure responsible for the existence of products as > values in the first place (the transition to socialism). So my answer to > your question would be yes. > > Now that said, some qualifications are possible. First, "commodities" might > serve better than 'commodity'. In talking about world money, Marx says gold > and silver can serve as the money commodity simultaneously without either > chasing the other out. It may well be that a small oligarchy of commodities > could together function as world money today. I don't know this, but it > seems theoretically possible. Second, the thing that makes commodities > commensurable is labor time measured by duration, so it is the reciprocal > net work of pro rata proportions of total social labor that must be measured > and given expression. Sophisticated mathematics no doubt helps. Third, > symbols such as inconvertible paper can stand in for money if the coercive > tools of the state ensure their efficacy and a roughly stable relation to > the set of value relations requiring expression is maintained. Such symbols > could also then tend to function as units of measurement. Finally, I doubt > there is a barrier to the currency of a particular nation serving as > something pretty much approximating world money in a particular social > historical conjuncture so long as it is supported by an appropriate relation > of force. In other words, just as with forced currency within a nation, if > the paper money of a nation is to function in that way, there must be > guarantees, legal and otherwise, that if someone accepts paper they will in > fact be able to turn it into real values. > > Anyway, underlying it all, Marx reminds, there lurks always potential for > recourse to nothing but hard cash. > > Howard > > > > > > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Fred Moseley" <fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU> > To: <OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU> > Sent: Friday, July 02, 2004 9:45 AM > Subject: Re: [OPE-L] measurement of abstract labor > > > > On Sun, 27 Jun 2004, Howard Engelskirchen wrote: > > > > > Hi Paul, > > > > > > You wrote: > > > > > > Metrologists want a standard of weight that does not itself > > > 'contain' weight. > > > > > > My understanding is that the standard for measuring length is the wave > > > length emitted by an isotope of krypton. I haven't read the issue of > > > Science you refer to, but my guess would be that if meterologists are > able > > > to define weight in terms of something that is not weight it will be > because > > > they can reduce weight to that property. You might be able to avoid the > > > problem of a mass absorbing mass from the atmosphere, but you won't > avoid > > > the problem that in comparing two things they must be comparable under > some > > > common aspect which they share. Two things are distant from one another > > > because they both have existence in space (Marx's critique of Bailey). > Two > > > things are comparable in the property of what we now call weight because > > > e.g. they both resist acceleration or whatever other common aspect turns > out > > > to solve the kilogram problem. > > > > > > Howard > > > > > > Howard, are you suggesting that money as measure of value must be a > > commodity today? > > > > Comradely, Fred > > ---------------------------------------------------------------- This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
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