[OPE-L:2491] Re: commodity money in Marx's theory

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Fri, 7 Jun 1996 05:34:36 -0700

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Costas wrote in [OPE-L:2490]:

> Credit is trust, a complex, socially specific concept. It
> requires some pretty heroic leaps to show that there is some general
> social nexus among exchange agents which could act as the basis
> for trust. Money is such a nexus, hence Marx's monetary theory of
> credit.

Commodity-money as well requires trust, doesn't it? When a coin is issued
in the name of a state or when paper currency is issued, doesn't the
ability of these forms of money to remain money depend on the trust that
recipients have in their ability to be and remain money? For instance,
what happened to the value of paper currency issued by the Confederacy
after the US Civil War? Since the currency was issued in the name of a
state that no longer existed (and since the US government refused to
exchange confederate bills for US dollars), it ceased to remain money and
became merely paper. Even in the case of gold as money-commodity a certain
amount of trust is implied, i.e. recipients and hoarders trust that the
supply of gold is not going to increase so rapidly that it will devalue
their worth and undermine its ability to remain money. While market
participants may not consciously view these as possibilities, don't they
remain latent possibilities implied by the specific forms that money takes?

In OPE-L Solidarity,