[OPE-L:5673] Commodity Money

Tue, 4 Nov 1997 11:42:15

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Re Claus G. PIAF:

> Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 11:15:02 -0200
> From: "Claus Germer" <cmgermer@SOCIAIS.UFPR.BR>
> To: <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
> Subject[OPE-L:5673] : Re: Commodity Money

I have some notes on Claus interesting post but I dont have time now
to write a "systematic" post as he has done. So I prefer to post only
brief and "unsystematic" observations. Hopefully we can develop the
discussion further in the next days.

Claus wrote:

> Referring to posts from Alejandro, Jerry and Mike:
> I am sorry to disagree with other views, especially from Mike and
> Alejandro.

Why do you apologise for this, Claus? I think the idea of the list is
that we all have different positions and can contrast them. A list
with 100% agreement would be a non-list!
(BTW, its me who should apologise for not responding your posts on
this same issue several months ago.)

1. A question on your following point:

> Thus, a theory of a non-commodity form of money, in the context of
> the labor theory of value, would have to be able to connect prices with
> labor time in a way different than Marx did.

Its not clear to me if you think that the "value of money" is
determined by Marx *under any circumstances* as the labor-time
contained in a unit of gold, as he does e.g. in Grundrisse. By "any
circumstances" I mean e.g. "prices = production prices" or the
existence of non-stationary situations. Could you please clarify this
point? I think the "value of money" as labor contained in one unit of
gold is a valid calculation only in very restrictive situations.

2. A second point, not connected directly with your post, but I think
relevant for this discussion. I came accross the following passage in
Vol I, Chapter 25:

"...when the industrial cycle is in its phase of crisis, a
general fall in the price of commodities is expressed as the
rise in the relative value of money, and, in the phase of
prosperity, a general rise in the price of commodities is
expressed as the fall in the relative value of money. The
so called Currency School conclude from this that with high
prices too much money is in circulation, with low prices too
little." Penguin, p. 770-1

(The passage is in MEW 23, p 648 and I think there is some translation
problem. Maybe, as you are German-speaker, you can check it in the
original.) But my main question is how do you interpret this passage
in the light of the determination of the "value of money"?

3. A third point, defenitely not connected with your post. Here the
newspapers say that the "Real" has been under pressure given the
events in Hong Kong and other stock markets. Have you some
information or thoughts about this?
BTW, does someone have thoughts about the current world stock market

Alejandro Ramos