[OPE-L:5324] Re: use-value of money

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Fri, 4 Jul 1997 12:16:54 -0700 (PDT)

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Hans wrote in [OPE-L:5323]:

> I agree with most of what you wrote in OPE-L 5322, Jerry, except
> perhaps the following:
> >Here, I think, we'd have to examine the role of
> >*cartels* in changing the "mode of regulation" and the distribution of
> >income among different classes on the world market.
> Here I would go with Robert Guttmann, *How Credit Money Shapes the
> Economy*, Sharpe 1994, pp. xvii, 56-59, and elsewhere, who emphasizes
> the role of the *monetary system* in these "modes of regulation".

[Hans -- xvii must be an inaccurate page number (it is the first page of
the "Preface")]

On page 55, Robbie Guttmann writes the following:

"Corresponding to the principle forms of capital accumulation, we
can identify five main institutional forms: [...] * Competition
[2/5, JL], the dominant social relationship between producers
operating in the same market, is also subject to regulation. The
prevailing institutional forms of competition (e.g. price
coordination, advertising, product differentiation) influence the
behavior of different producers in a given sector and play a
major role in the formation of prices. These forms of competition
depend, in turn, on corporate organization and the structure
of industries (e.g. their degree of concentration) [...]".

"Global trade and capital flows", relatedly, is the 5th of the "main
institutional forms."

Thus we see that Guttmann emphasizes _more than_ the "monetary system" of
the mode of regulation.

It seems to me, moving beyond what Robbie wrote, that cartels can both
become an important part of a mode of regulation or help to bring about an
alternate mode [of capitalist] regulation.

What do you think about the "oil crisis" of the 1970s? Didn't that have a
lot to do with cartels? Didn't the actions of the oil cartels (and
reactions of other imperialist powers) [along with many other factors, of
course] cause a change in the mode of regulation?

> The stagflation of the 1970s was a sign of the inherent limitations of
> this system, and the decay of the monetary structures in place at that
> time in the USA facilitated the tremendous increase of speculation and
> fictitious capital in the 1980s and 1990s, which are the fireworks
> marking the end of US hegemony.
> Guttmann says that nowadays we have entered a new mode of regulation,
> best called "global" regulation, and the capitalist system is in need
> of a new international monetary system, a true supranational credit
> money. But his own proposal for such a monetary system is a rather
> idyllic multilateral system. I am doubtful whether it incorporates
> the economic mechanisms which are necessary for the function of this
> international money as measure of value, and it also clearly lacks the
> bite of military force which would be necessary to impose any
> capitalist monetary system on the world.
> I apologize for being rather vague here, but in order to be more
> precise we have to answer the original theoretical question: how can
> credit money serve as measure of value, and what is the role of
> monetary policies or, more generally, state intervention in the
> economy, in this?

OK, what's your answer to that question? I would, of course, be
interested in the answers of others as well.

In solidarity, Jerry