Re: [OPE] How to read Capital

From: Dave Zachariah (
Date: Fri Apr 04 2008 - 04:59:45 EDT wrote:
> But commodities are empirical and money is an empirical fact. The 
> question is how we are going to explain the genesis of money. There 
> are, generally speaking, two theories on this: formal and materialist 
> theories of money. The classical (pre-Marx) explanations of money with 
> a reference to barter is a formal one. Adam Smith sensed that when he 
> said production can do without money. Contemporary theories which 
> separates entirely financial markets from material production are 
> formalist theories of money. Marx's explanation of the genesis of 
> money is a materialist one. So that is all I know about this issue.

Dogan, you are missing the point here. Marx's deduction of the genesis 
of money, whether based on dialectical logic or not, does not hold up to 
the empirical evidence. Money did not arise from simple commodity 
production. The fact that one deduces things using empirical categories 
does not mean that they hold empirically.

Science is the construction of parsimonious, internally consistent 
models that can reliably predict observations. No amount of dialectical 
logic can alter this criterion.

//Dave Z
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