[OPE-L:2328] RE: commodity money

Duncan K Foley (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Wed, 22 May 1996 19:51:55 -0700

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On Wed, 22 May 1996, Chai-on Lee wrote:
(among other things)

> Firstly, in regard to the LTV,:
> The main message Marx delivered in his discussion on the FORM
> of VALUE in Chapter 1, Section 3 of Capital, vol 1 was this: money
> is also a commodity. The appearance that money is something
> other than a commodity is a fetishism.

I would read this in somewhat weaker terms, as showing how the money form
of value arises from and simultaneously with the commodity form (through
the development of the equivalent form of value.)

> Secondly, in regard to the holistic logical orderings.
> The value of money needs to be explained prior to the commodity
> values. Duncan's explanation is still not successful. Riccardo's
> and Michael's are circular. As for Marx, the commodity itself is
> differentiated into two categories, money and ordinary commodity.
> The differentiation is activated by the development of exchange as
> discussed in marx's Chapter 2 of Capital vol 1.

At least my explanation is separate from the determination of commodity
values, since the speculative valuation of the government debt is not
directly contingent on conditions in other commodity markets.

> Thirdly, in regard to the crisis theory:
> To see the money as a mere value symbol cannot but lead to
> the dichotomy of the classical macro economics. Of course,
> Duncan's conception of credit money is different from the value
> symbol. So, I think his conception would eventually arrive at the
> commodity money conception if the debate should continue
> further. This is very important to me because different money
> conception would provide us quite different visions of the future of
> world capitalism.

How do you fit the current institutional situation (floating exchange
rates, no guaranteed convertibility of national currencies into gold) into
your interpretation?