[OPE-L:5204] Re: Metal money

Fri, 6 Jun 1997 17:55:59 -0700 (PDT)

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> Re Alejandro Rs request in [OPE-L:5200]:
> >From Karl Kuhne _Economics and Marxism_, Volume One (London, Macmillan,
> 1979), in Chapter 38 ("Marx as a Monetary Theorist") in the section on
> "The Ghost of Gold Theory and the Unjustified Reproach of Metalism",
> page 335:
> "The entire history of modern industry shows that metal would
> indeed be required only for the balancing of international
> commerce, whenever its equilibrium is momentarily disturbed, if
> only domestic production were organised. That the domestic
> market does not need any metal even now is shown by the
> suspension of the cash payments of the so-called national banks,
> which resort to this expedient in all extreme cases as the sole
> relief (_Capital_, III, ch. 32, p. 517).
> [The English translation used for _Capital_ was Lawrence and Wishart
> (London, 1974)].
> Well, Ale: why dont you tell us why you think the above passage is so
> important?
> In solidarity, Jerry

Thanks Jerry:

I didnt say that the passage is *so* important but that it could be
useful in the discussion carried out by Claus, Duncan, Paul C. and

It seems to me that Claus's points of view are excessively focused in
Marx's monetary theory at the level of analysis presented in Vol 1,
Ch. 3 and some passages of Grundrisse.

For example, in #5181, Claus wrote:

"Theoretically, in Marxs system, the standard of prices must
express a given amount of the money-commodity. However, in todays
economy it apparently doesnt do it."

This is true for the presentation Marx does in Vol 1, Ch. 3 but --
as we see in the above passage of Vol. 3-- even in Marx's times there
were tendencies and realities ("...the domestic market does not need
any metal even now...") that in Claus's terms appear, perhaps, only
as belonging to "todays economy". Marx seems to be describing in
those passages a domestic monetary system purely based on credit
money (the "national banks") which in Vol I, Ch. 3 is clearly
abstracted. In other words, Im not sure that we can reduce "Marx's
system" to the scenario described in Vol. I. BTW, does someone
know what were exactly those "national banks"?

Regarding the points Claus makes concerning the measure of value I
have other comments but just now I dont have time. I would ask to him:
Are you a "metalist"? Do you completely rule out the logical
possibility that social labor-time can be directly **represented** by
a non-commodity? What do you think of the passage of Grundrisse, p.
144? (BTW: These are also questions that I ask myself!!)

Alejandro R.