[OPE-L:1838] Re: Definitions of value

Michael Williams (100417.2625@compuserve.com)
Fri, 19 Apr 1996 19:28:56 -0700

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Ref Money:
I agree with Paul that money, although historically attaching itself to a
variety of commodities, is not a commodity - and not just for the functionalist
reasons he adduces.
- The most highly developed form of money to date, necessary for the
reproduction of highly developed capitalism, are entries in an electronic ledger
(or even on a smart card or electronic purse).
- It has no value - it is the sole autonomous manifestation of the value-form.
- It is not produced under capitalist relations of production; it is not
produced with a view to exchange.
- It has no use-value consumable outside commodity circulation - it is condemned
to circulate until it 'dies' (2 bank-robbers locked in bank-vault until the
time-lock opens: 1st robber, looking at a $5 bill, 'Look, it says here, "I
promise to pay the bearer on demand $5, signed Chairman of the Federal Reserve.'
2nd Robber: 'Great, if we take that to the Fed., they will give give us ... $5'.
1st bank-robber: 'Great ... hey, wait a minute, we already have $5 ...!' (This
works for sterling, but I don't know if the same words are on US bills?). There
are a couple of excellent passages in CAPITAL on the reflexivity of money (no
refs to hand).
- It has, instead, a social usefulness, which can be backed by bullion, a
Central Bank, 'legal tender' laws, commercial prudence, etc., etc..

comradely greetings,