(OPE-L) Re: money don't measure

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri Jul 30 2004 - 09:03:44 EDT

>>> As for the special aspect of gold to which you speak above, gold is in
fact a special status commodity by methodological fiat in Marx's
system. It is assumed to have a given and fixed value throughout the
three volumes of Capital. Grossmann argued that only someone who was
scientifically untutored would consider this to be arbitrary and
undermining of the scientific status of Capital. That is, you will not get
off the block unless you make that assumption. <<<

It wasn't an arbitrary assumption for Marx because it corresponded
to the reality of capitalism during his time. Whether gold
_continues_ to have the special status (as the money commodity)
today is another question.  More specifically, whether a theoretical
system that purports to systematically explain the character of the
bourgeois mode of production now requires such an assumption is
debateable.  The issue shouldn't be what Marx assumed but whether
a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter (capitalism)
requires that one analytically give gold a 'special status'.

I wonder (I'm thinking aloud here): in many fields of study (most
notably, anatomy and  evolution) there is the recognition that
there are forms that only have vestigal (sp?) meaning.  E.g. body
parts that are no longer reuired for existence because of the
evolution of a species. Is the analysis (explanation) of vestigal
(and no longer necessary) forms required in basic theoretical political
economy or can such an analysis be treated as historical footnotes and

Now, back to the boat!

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Jul 31 2004 - 00:00:01 EDT