I have been asked by a commenter, Noa, to examine this paper by Fred Moseley: Money has no price: Marx’s theory of money and the transformation problem. At issue is the mechanism for the transformation of labor values into prices of production for capitalistically produced commodities. Says the commenter,
“The issue is the existence or not of a price of production of gold. Moseley rejects that gold has a production price, unlike all the other commodities, which in capitalism exchange at their production price. The organic composition of capital in the gold industry is below the social average (at least for Marx and this seems still generally accepted), so normally part of its surplus-value would be distributed to branches with a higher OCC, that it would be taking part in the formation/equalisation of the average profit rate. But not if gold has no production price, as Moseley believes.”
As some might know, the transformation problem is one of the most intractable problems of Marx’s labor theory. Many Marxists have tackled it — and failed, in my opinion.
The central problem is how prices of gold in particular (but also all other commodities as well) are constituted under the capitalist mode of production, where commodity production prevails, but the prices of produced commodities are not a direct function of their socially necessary labor times.
Although the subject matter may seem a bit dry, it touches on one of the most important problems of communism today: how the fascist state props up wage slavery and the role of inflation in subsidizing the rate of profit.
Moseley got Marx’s theory wrong and his errors are killing communism. Clarity on why Moseley got it wrong is important for all communists who want to see the end of wage slavery in their lifetime.
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