RE: [OPE] Dialectics for the New Century

From: Paul Cockshott (
Date: Tue Apr 08 2008 - 18:51:49 EDT

That is not quite the question.

The question is whether commodity exchange alone without the state ever gave rise to money.

Paul Cockshott
Dept of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
+44 141 330 1629

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of paul bullock
Sent: Tue 4/8/2008 1:04 PM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] Dialectics for the New Century

I know of no evidence that money was issued by any state in the absence of 
some form of commodity exchange.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dave Zachariah" <>
To: "Outline on Political Economy mailing list" <>
Sent: Saturday, April 05, 2008 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: [OPE] Dialectics for the New Century

> on 2008-04-05 00:16 paul bullock wrote:
>> Marx demonstrated through a dialectical method, why money came into 
>> existence and what it represented. Then he demonstrated why a concept of 
>> price at one stage in the development of commodity production had to give 
>> weay to another concept ie 'simple price' to 'price of production'. Here 
>> I use the term concept as an idea that actually properly grasps a real 
>> process.
> Paul, I think you need to be careful with the word 'demonstrated' here. 
> You can demonstrate logically, i.e. deduce certain consequences, and you 
> can demonstrate things empirically. They are not the same thing. It does 
> not matter if the logical demonstration was consistent and elegant, if it 
> is contradicted by empirical evidence one discards the theory in the 
> search for a better one.
> Marx deduced the origin of money, but it is a prediction that lacks 
> empirical support. Money did not emerge from commodity production but from 
> pre-capitalist states.
>> (Incidentally since Marx died when my own grandfather was already 16, I 
>> feel you should play down the 'too many years ago' bit as if it were an 
>> argument ;-)
> It was just a reminder that Karl Marx was a human being in a long line of 
> great thinkers but with knowledge and concepts conditioned by the 
> historical circumstances of his day. If you put Marx at par with other 
> great thinkers of that century, such as Darwin and Maxwell and compare how 
> their scientific theories were refined with time as empirical evidence 
> accumulated and new theoretical concepts were introduced, then you will 
> have a sober reading of Marx, the social scientist.
> //Dave Z
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