[OPE-L:2334] commodity money

Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Thu, 23 May 1996 01:21:10 -0700

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Fred Moseley asks on Tuesday, May 21, 1996 in OPE-L:2297:

" I (like Duncan and Mike) would like to ask Chai-on to briefly
summarize why he thinks that money has to be a commodity in
Marx's theory".

Thanks. There are several reasons.

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.

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.

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.

Fourthly, in regard to your solution to the transformation problem;
You value constant capital and variable capital in money terms
from the outset. But if we take it granted that the value of the money
commodity is distinct from its price of production, then we cannot
value the capitals in money terms before the transformation.
You should distinguish value, quasi-value, price of production and
quasi-price of production, etc. as Okishio did.

Fifthly, in our theoretical combat against the bourgeois economics:
They criticise Marx's value theory in this way. Ok, fine. Tell me
what advantage are you expecting from the discussion of labor
value along with prices? I think Marx's theory of money is the
most powerful theoretical foothold in suppressing all valgarised
micro and macro economics. They are all stuck in the money
question, aren't they?

And so many others but I cannot enumerate all those right now

One another: in regard to the future of ex-socialist economies:
Since paper money cannot function as the money by a mere decree, I doubt
the ex-socialist economies will last long unless foreign currencies are used
instead. They lack some foundations that are accumulated historically in the
capitalist economies.

With regards,