(OPE-L) Monetary economics

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Mon Jul 19 2004 - 12:04:50 EDT

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Monetary economics
From:    "Jurriaan Bendien" <andromeda246@hetnet.nl>
Date:    Sun, July 18, 2004 6:12 am
To:      glevy@pratt.edu
Cc:      paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK

Paul B. said:

Your comment is contradictory... you say a commodity theory of money can't
be sustained, but when a crisis breaks out we are back with it.


I don't think there is a contradiction... or maybe you aren't "thinking
dialectically enough" ? I was merely referring to the fact that the
monetary system has evolved very substantially beyond the realities of the
19th century, when you could still make a credible case for a "commodity
theory of money" to explain monetary phenomena. In which case, you have to
show how the basic theory of money, founded on an understanding of the
historical evolution of money, is modified by new conditions. It's just
that in the case of a debased or destabilised currency, the real nature
and functioning of money in exchange relations becomes much clearer, I
think, and the illusions created by fiduciary currency are pierced
through. I aim to do more work on this when I get time (just now my life
is littered with unfinished projects, which probably proves I am being
disorganised). I personally don't think Ernest Mandel's monetary and
credit theory, despite shrewd insights, was really very good, but I do
recommend that article of his I mentioned.

BTW I didn't realise you edited Makoto Itoh's "The Basic Theory of
Capitalism" (which I finally required a copy of). That was a sterling
piece of internationalism ! It's a pity really so little Japanese Marxian
scholarship is available in English.

Best regards,


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