Re: on money substance and abstract labor

From: Allin Cottrell (
Date: Wed Jun 02 2004 - 21:09:20 EDT

On Wed, 2 Jun 2004, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> on the analysis of money, it seems that we have to reach clarity as
> to what kind of account Marx is providing. He refers to it as an
> ideal genesis of money--this seems to be the key phrase.  How does
> this compare to a history of money? What about money is it supposed
> to explain? Is it an evolutionary account?

The problem is that an "ideal genesis" can be totally arbitrary: the
way one thinks (on some basis or other) that money "ought to have
emerged".  Marx has a certain amount in common with the standard
neoclassical fairy tales of commodity money -- mostly deriving from
Samuelson -- in this respect (historically vice versa, of course).

Paul C is reminding us of an important obligation: a putative account
of the emergence of money should be consistent with what we now know
of the relevant history.  This seems a minimal materialist

Allin Cottrell.

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