[OPE-L:2430] Re: commodity money in Marx's theory

Duncan K Foley (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Thu, 30 May 1996 12:14:46 -0700

[ show plain text ]

On Thu, 30 May 1996, Costas Lapavitsas wrote:
(among other things)
> I fully agree with you that the power of the state to tax,
> and the corresponding social acceptability of state IOUs backing
> modern credit money, is fundamental in this respect. But would you not
> agree that this power of the state is historically specific and not
> ahistorical and abstract?

Yes. I believe that one of the main components of the modern state is its
close relation to credit, banking, and money.

> Otherwise it would also hold for pure
> fiat money.

I'm not sure there is any real historical category of "pure fiat money",
depending on exactly what you mean by that.

> If so, we should first specify the determinants of this
> power, and then see how they are connected with the advance and
> repayment of credit through the credit system.

I agree with this, and I think one can find a lot of relevant material in
the history of banking and public finance. The modern state both depends
on and facilitates the growth of the short-term money market, for example.