[OPE-L:2378] RE: commodity money in Marx's theory

Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Mon, 27 May 1996 22:39:02 -0700

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Dear Fred,

Thank you for your post.

[1]. With regard to the measure of value:

True. The measure of value must have a value to measure the value of
others. The ruler has its own length to measure the length of others.
And the weight of the balance measure the weight of others by its
own weight in the counter-balance. For all this, however. the measure
of value needs not have an intrinsic value. A money substitute can
replace the money in that function.

In measuring the weight of a thing, a spring balance can perform the
function even without an intrinsic weight. It is a sort of derivative
measure. The resonance of an infra-red ray can measure the distance
between two objects without intrinsic length, which is also a derivative

Marx's explanation of those in Chapter 3, Section 1 & 2 of Capital, vol 1
was the same. The meausre of value and the means of circulation can
be functioned by a money substitute (the credit money, the value
symbol, etc.) Yet, those functions such as the means of debt-payment,
the store of value and the world money, etc. can only be done by money, itself. The content of Chapter 3 makes this clear.

Chapter 3, MONEY
3.1 The Measure of Value
3.2 The Means of Circulation
3.3 Money
3.3.1 Hoarding
3.3.2 Means of Payment
3.3.3 World Money

In the above, the same title, MONEY, appears twice in 3.3 and 3 since,
in the two functions of 3.1 and 3.2, a money substitute can replace the money.

[2]. With regard to the Value-Form analysis of Marx:

Maybe I interpret it too strongly.
In the third section of the first chapter 1 of Capital, vol 1, which he titled
The Value-Form, Marx derived the money form from the development of
the general form of value. The reson why money can function as the
equivalent form is seen to be that the money has an intrinsic value.
If money has no value, the exchange between money and a commodity
would no more be called an exchange.
But, once the money form takes root, it is of course capable of being
taken by a non-labor product. Since the equivalent form only have to
represent the labor contained in the relative value form, any means of
exchange can takes the equivalent form in the same manner as a
money substitute can function as the measure of value.
It would be controversal, however, if a value symbol can actually take the
equivalent form completely instead of money.

[3]. Main difference between me and others

The main difference between us appears to be that I do want to
discriminate the credit money from money itself while others do not
care about it. What was a credit money in one zone of trade can be
seen as money itself in another zone. A credit money cannot settle the
debt but money can do it. The state paper money is also to be
distinguished from today's paper money circulating domestically.
The bank account is another kind of credit money. And so on.

[4]. With regard to the logical orderings:

As far as the logical orderings are concerned, I think Duncan, Riccardo,
fred and I are all in agreement. If the money is not to be a commodity,
the determination of the value of money must be explained independently
of the LTV.
Duncan is unique in trying to do this, in trying to conclude the non-
commodity money conception. If he succeeds, then the whole system
of Marx shall be abandoned. More powerful criticism of marx than ever.
If the value of money is determined in the way other than the LTV, why
not the values of other ordinary commodities being determined in the
same way?

With Regards,