Re: [OPE] Dialectics for the New Century

Date: Thu Apr 10 2008 - 04:07:31 EDT

 Lets accept for a moment Paul C's state theory of money (which is wrong, he should know that from Smith's exploration of the history of money. People used to use many things as money before  there was anything like that can be called state.) But we have to ask why the state issues money? There must be a reason for that. Traditional explanation says to easy barter (Locke, Smith). It means for the sake of exchange. But why do people use money to exchange. What do they exchange when they use money a mediation between two things? Why do they use a third thing exchange? These questions cannot be answered without referring to commodity and exchange of commodities. The state issues money but it arises from the contradictory nature of commodities.


-----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung----- 
An: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
Verschickt: Mi., 9. Apr. 2008, 11:20
Thema: Re: [OPE] Dialectics for the New Century

By posing the question this way you are asking if the regular use of a money 
commodity could exist WITHOUT  some social and political structure. Thus you 
imply not only that societies had to be political before the evolution of 
money, but that  - wrongly - politics per se provides an  explanation for 
the nature of the money commodity. 

Whilst it is possible to imagine a certain level of 'accidental' , 
spontaneous and coincidental  use of the most convenient commodities as 
money commodities (plural) in very poorly developed  societies, the reality 
is that the two processes go together, and money first evolves at the margin 
of  early society. So your question disguises the real  need to find a money 
commodity to overcome the contradictory nature of the traded good ( that it 
is, without the money commodity any commodity  is both a use value and a 
money commodity). The early role of the state was simply to prevent abuse 
and cheating with the commonly used money because the money commodity  had 
ALREADY achieved social validity. 

Later on the forced circulation of paper money, the use of the 'state' 
stamp, arose because of the desire to promote commodity exchange and so that 
the state could more easily gather in surpluses. BUT this doesn't explain 
why the money commodity exists. 

paul b. 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Cockshott" <> 

To: "Outline on Political Economy mailing list" <> 

Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 11:51 PM 

Subject: RE: [OPE] Dialectics for the New Century 


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 

> _______________________________________________ 

> ope mailing list 





ope mailing list 



> _______________________________________________ 

> ope mailing list 





ope mailing list 


Bei AOL gibt's jetzt kostenlos eMail für alle.  Klicken Sie auf um heraus zu finden, was es sonst noch kostenlos bei AOL gibt.

ope mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Apr 30 2008 - 00:00:18 EDT