Re: Money, mind and the ontological status of value

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Thu Jun 03 2004 - 10:46:13 EDT

At 2:02 PM +0000 6/3/04, Costas Lapavitsas wrote:
>Not really, Andy, we don't have to know in advance what something is
>in order to know how it emerges. I agree with Mike on this one. On
>money and value, it is important to be clear on the question we are
>trying to answer. For me, the most difficult question is, given a
>commodity set, what makes a money commodity unique? This could be
>answered in many ways, I suppose, but I think that the key is
>money's property to buy all else, which creates a fundamental
>asymmetry with other commodities.

You can't say money's uniqueness is rather in its having come to
specialize in the function of expressing the value of all the other
commodities, as universal equivalent. And you can't say this because
money in its origin did not serve the function of measuring value,
though it did monopolize direct exchangeability (for money to have
served the function of measuring value, other conditions of
possibility had to be in place--I understand you to be arguing).  But
perhaps Marx is not interested in history or the analytics of money's
emergence per se but rather only in the logico-historical of how one
commodity did in fact come to specialize in said function. That is,
Marx's history only follows after, and is strictly delimited by, his
structural analysis of the functional specialization money achieves
in the bourgeois mode of production (if Godelier is right). This is
why his account is an ideal genesis of the money form rather than an
actual history and analysis of money's emergence and varied roles and
functions. It may also be why chartalist concerns do not impinge on
Marx's project of an "ideal genesis of the money form".  I return
again to this phrase because I think our understanding of Marx rides
on it. But I am well be wrong!
I look forward to reading your new book from Routledge.

Yours, rakesh

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Jun 04 2004 - 00:00:01 EDT