[OPE-L:1863] Re: the money supply

Subject: [OPE-L:1863] Re: the money supply
From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Wed Dec 08 1999 - 08:56:42 EST

Julian wrote in [OPE-L:1862]:

> Instead (c): "another commodity has become the money commodity".
> Alternatively (c'): "several commodities are candidates to be the
> replacement money commodity".
> As far as my knowledge goes, both of these would be entirely within
> Marx's own thinking.

Quite right. I agree with the above amendments (and, in fact, in previous
posts claimed that there was no necessary reason why gold _per se_ must
be the money commodity in Marx's theory).

I'm still thinking about the rest of your post ....

In solidarity, Jerry

> Until recently, I might have ventured to suggest that the following
> response to claims that money is being de-commodified would also be in
> line with Marx's views -- namely,
> (c'') gold's (apparent) demonetisation is the counterpart of the advent of
> highly sophisticated commodity markets (including futures markets), which
> provide a kind of virtual general equivalent.
> But a recent post (since deleted, so I can't refer) reminded us that Marx
> derided the view that two (material) general equivalents -- i.e. gold and
> silver -- could co-exist for long.
> So, if one accepts that Marx's view of capitalism requires that there be a
> (single) general equivalent commodity, is there anything in Marx that
> requires this to be a physical substance (bearing in mind that Marx clearly
> accepted that commodities did not *have* to be physical substances -- think
> of labour-power, if no other...)?
> In the Grundrisse there is a section of many pages where Marx notes the many
> technical circumstances that make gold most suitable to be the money
> commodity -- but this discussion evidently implies that another commodity
> might supplant gold, if its technical characteristics allowed it to fulfil
> the role of general equivalent more conveniently.

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