Two days of debate, but value-form moron STILL can’t explain why commodity money disappeared after 4,200 years…

by Jehu

From Wikipedia:

Shekel or sheqel is an ancient Near Eastern coin, usually of silver. A shekel was first a unit of weight—very roughly 11 grams (0.39 oz)—and became currency in ancient Tyre and ancient Carthage and then in ancient Israel under the Maccabees. The word shekel is based on the Semitic verbal root for “weighing” (Š-Q-L), cognate to the Akkadian šiqlu or siqlu, a unit of weight equivalent to the Sumerian gin2. Use of the word was first attested in c. 2150 BC during the Akkadian Empire under the reign of Naram-Sin, and later in c. 1700 BC in the Code of Hammurabi. The Š-Q-L root is found in the Hebrew words for “to weigh”, “weight” and “consideration”.

The picture above shows an ancient shekel, a minted commodity money coin composed of silver said to circulate in circulate in Carthage between 310 BC and 290 BC, almost 2000 years before the rise of capitalism. As a circulating medium, it suggests there was already an established simple commodity production system well in advance of the capitalist mode of production as Engels stated in his supplement to Capital, volume 3.

For some reason this sort of commodity coin, and commodity money in general, disappeared from circulation throughout the entire world market in a blink of an eye between 1929 and 1971, after having a stable presence since at least 2150 BC — nearly 4200 years. No scholar in the value-form school seems to be able to explain why this happened, although Marx predicted the event about 100 years before it occurred.

I spent two days debating the issue with Marshall Solomon, trying to get him to offer some explanation of this event that is consistent with the value-form theory of money.

The results are below.

Marshall Solomon, February 25, 2021 at 10:06 pm

I have some horrible news for you, comrade. Make sure you’re sitting down. Jamie is right. Fred and yourself are wrong. How do I know, you ask? I will tell you. Not by quoting Robin. But by letting Batman speak for himself:

“If the value of commodities is determined by the necessary labour-time contained in them and not simply by labour-time as such, it is capital that first makes a reality of this mode of determination and immediately goes on to reduce continually the labour socially necessary for the production of a commodity” –Marx, Capital Vol. 3, pg. 180.

Just in case you missed it: “it is capital that first makes a reality of this mode of determination [i.e. value].” Not barter. Not pre-capitalist forms. Capital.

More evidence is not needed. But I will provide it. Not because I have to. Because I want to.

“The concept of value is entirely peculiar to the most modern economy, since it is the most abstract expression of capital itself and of the production resting on it.” –Marx, Grundrisse, pg. 776.

In case you missed it: “value is entirely peculiar to the most modern economy.” Not partially peculiar. Not somewhat peculiar. Mother fucking entirely peculiar to the most modern economy.

I could stop here. Yeah….imma keep goin’.

“…But Ricardo does not examine the form—the peculiar characteristic of labour that creates exchange-value or manifests itself in exchange-values—the nature of this labour. Hence he does not grasp the connection of this labour with money or that it must assume the form of money. Hence he completely fails to grasp the connection between the determination of the exchange-value of the commodity by labour-time and the fact that the development of commodities necessarily leads to the formation of money. Hence his erroneous theory of money. Right from the start he is only concerned with the magnitude of value, i.e., the fact that the magnitudes of the values of the commodities are proportionate to the quantities of labour which are required for their production.” –Marx, Theories of Surplus Value Part 2, pg. 164.

In case your Ricardian ass missed it: “he does not grasp the connection of this labour with money or that it must assume the form of money.”

Must assume the form of money. A peasant’s bartered goods are not produced by wage labor in the commodity form, which means they never manifest themselves as exchange-values, in the value-form, the money form.

Barter: Use Value – Use Value (i.e. no value-form).

Commodity Exchange: Commodity – Money – Commodity (i.e. value-form).

Looks like somebody owes Mr. Merchant an apology.

Nah, in all seriousness, Engels travestied some of Marx’s writings. This has been textually proven beyond a doubt by Arthur, Heinrich, Murray, et. al.

Jehu, February 25, 2021 at 11:28 pm

Engels travestied? The very person who painstakingly assembled the very texts you are quoting from, over many years of his late life, as a obligation to his lifelong collaborator and comrade, travestied the texts you are quoting?

Have you no FUCKING shame! While you’re at it, why don’t you just go piss on his grave, asshole?

Marshall Solomon, February 26, 2021 at 7:39 am

Yes, he distorted some of Marx’s writings. Don’t go full emo on me. This is a fact, not a moral judgment about Fred. I happen to love the guy. He’s been my thumbnail on Quora for years:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Marshall-Solomon

The Myth of ‘Simple Commodity Production’ (2005)

Jehu, February 26, 2021 at 9:02 am

You cite Chris FUCKING Arthur, (that two-bit, half-ass charlatan who thinks Marx got it wrong on money altogether) against Frederick Engels to me? TO. ME.

WTF, Damn, that is strange.

EDIT: I have written extensively on Arthur. Please don’t cite him to me. It’s like offering a ham sandwich to my rabbi father — an insult.

For Arthur, there can be no such thing as simple commodity production as Engels discusses in Volume 3 for the simple reason that, if it exists, and the law of value has existed more or less for thousands of years, Arthur’s patently nonsensical ideas on money are demonstrably proven patently nonsensical. S.C.P. and thousands of years of human history have to go to make room for Arthur and Heinrich and a bunch of other morons.

This is the reason for the hit on Engels by you dumb Marxists. Engels has to go so you can get at Marx.

Marshall Solomon, February 26, 2021 at 10:44 am

“For Arthur, there can be no such thing as simple commodity production as Engels discusses in Volume 3 for the simple reason that, if it exists, and the law of value has existed more or less for thousands of years, Arthur’s patently nonsensical ideas on money are demonstrably proven patently nonsensical.”

Again:

“If the value of commodities is determined by the necessary labour-time contained in them and not simply by labour-time as such, it is capital that first makes a reality of this mode of determination and immediately goes on to reduce continually the labour socially necessary for the production of a commodity” –Marx, Capital Vol. 3, pg. 180.

That is Marx. Not what Arthur says about Marx. Not what Engels says about Marx. Straight from the horse mouth…or pen.

Value is a social form, not an eternal attribute of labor.

Do you also maintain capital is eternal? Because that is the only possible way for value to be eternal, per Marx’s own words.

Jehu, February 26, 2021 at 11:16 am

Marshall, here is the problem.

  1. Engels was aware of that quote from Marx. In fact, he was the person who collected it and prepared it for publication.
  2. He worked with the person who wrote it for forty years.
  3. Are you really going to suggest the in that very same book where he publishes Marx’s original text, Engels went out of his way to attribute to Marx an idea that wasn’t his, after going through all the effort of getting his ideas published?
  4. What contemporary of Engels ever accused him of such a thing as he is being accused of by you? Of literally changing or revising Marx’s writings.
  5. And why did he go through the bother of publishing the original text and only then tacking on an idea that contradicts it in his own hand? Why not just publish his own book and call it volume 3. Who among Marx’s followers would have questioned his work?

***

But this is not enough. This is all meta. What I need you to do is present both models as best you can — the one in which Arthur’s ideas hold sway and the one where money has to a commodity hold sway. Then explain 20th century history using each model in turn. Why did commodity money suddenly disappear during the mid-20th century if money could be anything and the physical material of money was unimportant? Why are there no commodity monies circulating anywhere within the world market today and have not been for at least 50 years. Why did money, as Marx defined it, suddenly and irreversibly go extinct in a blink of an eye after existing for thousands of years?

You do that. Explain it using Arthur’s model. Good Luck.

Marshall Solomon, February 26, 2021 at 12:31 pm

  1. Of course Engels was aware of the quote. But this fact has no bearing on whether or not his claims in the preface and supplement contradict the quote. These two thing are not mutually exclusive. Both are possible.
  2. He did. The preface and supplement were written after Marx’s death.
  3. Yes, Engels did. It was not nefarious or malicious on Engels’ part, tho. It was a methodological error that led him to posit ‘simple commodity production.’ This is difficult shit. Marx struggled articulating it himself.
  4. Engels was THE authority on Marx after Marx’s death. Being an authority and being correct are two different things.
  5. Again, not an intentional deception or a deception at all. Engels did the best he could organizing the (extremely difficult) manuscripts into a coherent text.

Is it really so hard to imagine that Engels is not infallible?

Martha Campbell answers your questions, here: https://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10092/14491/10%20Campbell%20Capital%20FINAL.pdf?sequence=4

Patrick Murray is helpful, as well:

Jehu,  February 26, 2021 at 1:06 pm

I am sure you have misunderstood me. The topic of Ms. Campbell’s addresses, as she explains: “This paper has sought to explain both why Marx begins with money as a commodity and how he establishes that money need not be one.”

This is not exactly what I asked you. I asked you not whether money had to be a commodity, which is a nonsense question if there ever was one, but why commodity money disappeared entirely from circulation within the world market after 1971 — in every country, in all possible forms (oil based Saudi riyal, Chilean silver, Russian gold coin, South African precious metal rand), everywhere, forever. Certainly, some country must have seen an opportunity to fill the void left by a gold standard dollar? Yet, no commodity money circulates anywhere, for the first time in human history since it emerged. We are all well aware that non-commodity money forms have co-existed with commodity money forms for most of human history. When in all of human history has commodity money disappeared from everywhere. How does Arthur’s model explain why this happened.

If, as Marx argued, money adjusts itself to the requirements of commodity circulation, it would seem commodity money is saying the amount of money required for commodity circulation is zero.

How does Arthur explain this when he says money itself posits the values of commodity?

Marshall Solomon, February 26, 2021 at 2:21 pm

The issue is whether or not value requires monetary expression in order to emerge as a historical determined social form of labor. It does. Given the necessity of money, does it have to be a commodity with ‘real’ value. It doesn’t.

Your question is about a historical contingency.

Capitalism IS operating without a money commodity with intrinsic value because money CAN express value without a money commodity with intrinsic value.

Why is money functioning in such a way now? Oil crises, stagflation, Nixon etc etc. Why hasn’t another commodity stepped in and replaced gold? One, it is not necessary for capitalism to function. Two, because of US hegemony.

Marx was not dealing with historical contingencies in Capital. He was laying bare the economic law of motion of a historically determined social form of production and exchange.

What is your point in asking this question? What do you think it proves?

You:

“If, as Marx argued, money adjusts itself to the requirements of commodity circulation, it would seem commodity money is saying the amount of money required for commodity circulation is zero.

Marx’s point is that the quantity of money in circulation does not determine the value/prices of commodities. The value/prices of commodities determines the amount of money in circulation. Whether or not the form of money used to circulate commodities has intrinsic value or not is inessential.

How does Arthur explain this when he says money itself posits the values of commodity?”

Does he say that? Or does he say the value of commodities cannot be posited without money?

Big difference.

Arthur:

“I take value to be a form logically implicit in the objective movement of its positing, and thus established as its result. The process of its positing is borne by the material process of commodity production.” https://chrisarthur.net/value-time-and-labour/

He says value is posited “by the material process of commodity production.” But not immediately. As Marx says, “mediation must…take place.” Value has a substance (abstract labor), magnitude (snlt), and form (money). Within capitalist societies, private labor must become social. Concrete labor must become abstract. The asocial sociality of labor within capitalism necessitates mediation. Money is the necessary social form that mediates private, concrete and social abstract labor. Without money there is no value.

Jehu, February 26, 2021 at 3:15 pm

This is all very interesting, except it does not explain an actual historical event that actually happened: the actual real end of commodity money on August 15, 1971 after a documented 5,000-7,000 year history. We know this actual event actually happened. Nothing in Arthur’s theory tells us why it happened, except that commodity money was merely a contingency that HAPPENED TO HAVE AN AMAZINGLY PERSISTENT 5,000-7,000 YEAR HISTORY! That is almost as long as — what? — agriculture itself?

Being able to explain this actual real historical event is important for only one reason. In the Grundrisse, Marx actually predicted just such an event 110-120 years BEFORE it actually happened. He predicted the event using a theory of money that is decidedly at odds with the one Arthur proposes we use.

The problem for me, specifically, is that you can’t even explain that actual real historical event IN RETROSPECT, except to tell me commodity money was a historical accident in the first place, a mere contingency and was never necessary in the first place. The fact that it ceases to exist so suddenly is of no consequence, despite the fact that no one but Marx — MARX! — predicted its demise.

WTF, dude?

Marshall Solomon, February 26, 2021 at 4:09 pm

This response aligns perfectly with your petty-bourgeoisie point of view. You have this vulgar, crudely empirical, naively positivist understand of the world that is bourgeois through and through.

You:

“This is all very interesting, except it does not explain an actual historical event that actually happened: the actual real end of commodity money on August 15, 1971 after a documented 5,000-7,000 year history.”

I know you quote Marx. But have you actually read him? This is more than pissing on his grave. This is one big ole massive dump!!! His critique of political economy targeted the nonsensical, fetishized bourgeois understanding of the world.

  1. Money as a necessary social form within capitalist society did not end; its dominant mode of expression changed (ie value’s surface appearance).
  2. Money still functions as measure, medium, hoard, means of payment, credit, and capital.
  3. Your crude empiricism leaves you stuck on the surface of society.
  4. Money ‘in its most adequate form as capital’, which determines its subordinate functions as measure, medium, means, etc, does not have not have a 5000-7000 year history. Good god. These subordinate functions and forms are ‘historically modified’ by the capitalist mode of production (i.e., are unique to capital, not universal). They’ve existed, maybe, 500 years…not 5,000.
  5. Your world shattering event is a non-event, in terms of the logic of capital. Nothing fundamentally changed.
  6. Going off the gold standard was a significant historical event, so was the the fall of the USSR, but neither changed the ‘law of motion of capital.’ Crack open a history book if you want an explanation, not Marx.

You:

“The problem for me, specifically, is that you can’t even explain that actual real historical event IN RETROSPECT, except to tell me commodity money was a historical accident in the first place, a mere contingency and was never necessary in the first place. The fact that it ceases to exist so suddenly is of no consequence, despite the fact that no one but Marx — MARX! — predicted its demise.”

LMAO. You conflate money expressing value with money expressing value in a money commodity. This leads you to believe the end of commodity money is the end of value being determined by labor-time (I’m forced to guess here?). Then, you project your misunderstand[ing] onto Marx.

WTF, dude?

Jehu,  February 26, 2021 at 4:48 pm

Nope, nope, nope. Try again.

(Here is a hint: Unlike money, capital (self-expanding value) doesn’t have to be a commodity.)

Marshall Solomon, February 26, 2021 at 5:31 pm

(Here is a hint: Unlike money, capital (self-expanding value) doesn’t have to be a commodity.)

Marx:

“If now we take in turn each of the two different forms which self-expanding value successively assumes in the course of its life, we then arrive at these two propositions: Capital is money: Capital is commodities.”

Capital is a social relation of production that necessarily takes the social form of money and commodities, ‘without getting lost in its movement.’

Marshall Solomon, February 25, 2021 at 10:21 pm

Almost forgot. Was so concentrated on Fred and you.

Jamie says:

“There is a widespread, mistaken tendency to attribute the barter theory of money to Marx, even by some self-identified Marxists who really should know better.”

Again. Spot on.

Marx:

“Economists usually reason that the emergence of money is due to external difficulties which the expansion of barter encounters, but they forget that these difficulties arise from the evolution of exchange-value and hence from that of social labour as universal labour. For example commodities as use-values are not divisible at will, a property which as exchange-values they should possess…Proceeding from this quite superficial point of view, an ingenious British economist [Thomas Hodgkins—MS] has rightly maintained that money is merely a material instrument, like a ship or a steam engine, and not an expression of a social relation of production, and hence is not an economic category. It is therefore simply a malpractice to deal with this subject in political economy, which in fact has nothing in common with technology.” –Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, pg. 51.

I am a Marxist, who has read and reread Marx. I don’t know everything. Like I have clue who Jamie is…I do know he is right, though.

Jehu,  February 25, 2021 at 11:42 pm

Yeah, double taps almost always make a good hit look sloppy and unprofessional.

Marshall Solomon, February 26, 2021 at 7:41 am

I care about the truth…not how something looks. Try my method sometime…

Arbitrary Design (@ArbitraryDesign), February 26, 2021 at 12:43 pm

I didn’t fully grasp this from Merchant,

“Money becomes mediated by its place within the larger theory as it emerges across the entire work, including, crucially, the analysis of the process of production, accumulation, and class struggle.”

I had to ask myself, what is “the larger theory”? Since Merchant was quoting from Capital, I have to assume that it is the labour theory of value. Not the “money” theory of value, not the “commodity” theory of value, but the “labour” theory of value.

The quote that you selected from Engels truly drives that point home, Engels:

“Not only was the labor-time spent on these products the only suitable measure for the quantitative determination of the values to be exchanged: no other way was at all possible. Or is it believed that the peasant and the artisan were so stupid as to give up the product of 10 hours’ labor of one person for that of a single hours’ labor of another?”

Had I read that the analysis of the process of production, accumulation, and class struggle were mediated by the socially necessary labour-time required to produce a commodity, I might have seen the comment from Merchant differently.

Engels also tells us why prices are no longer reflective of socially necessary labour-time here,

“From the moment money penetrates into this mode of economy, the tendency towards adaptation to the law of value (in the Marxian formulation, nota bene!) grows more pronounced on the one hand, while on the other it is already interrupted by the interference of usurers’ capital and fleecing by taxation; the periods for which prices, on average, approach to within a negligible margin of values, begin to grow longer.”

It would be hard to believe that Engels did not have a deep understanding of the labour theory of value.

I had a [peek] in “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific” by Engels, to see if he mentions money in there. I could only find one point and that with regards to crisis within the capitalist mode of production.

Engels:

“In these crises, the contradiction between socialized production and capitalist appropriation ends in a violent explosion. The circulation of commodities is, for the time being, stopped. Money, the means of circulation, becomes a hindrance to circulation. All the laws of production and circulation of commodities are turned upside down. The economic collision has reached its apogee. The mode of production is in rebellion against the mode of exchange.”

I found that almost dismissive. In one of the most, if not the most, important works on Socialism, Engels has nothing more to say about money then to describe it as a means of circulation.

Jehu,  February 26, 2021 at 1:42 pm

Engels could have written volume 3 himself, Yeah, but chose not. He wanted to present Marx mostly unfinished work and leave it for others to continue the study. I think he badly over-estimated the intelligence of his idiot followers. Not a single one of them has added the slightest additional value to the discussion since he died. If physicists were this awful, they would be throwing quote from Special Relativity at each other today instead of modeling string theory.

Arbitrary Design (@ArbitraryDesign), February 26, 2021 at 4:16 pm

I’m not sure if it is overlooked or just poorly understood, but in “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific”, Engels just assumes that the labour theory of value is a done deal, that it is just generally accepted.

“These two great discoveries, the materialistic conception of history and the revelation of the secret of capitalistic production through surplus-value, we owe to Marx.”

“The mode of production peculiar to the bourgeoisie, known, since Marx, as the capitalist mode of production, was incompatible with the feudal system, with the privileges it conferred upon individuals, entire social ranks and local corporations, as well as with the hereditary ties of subordination which constituted the framework of its social organization.”

“In the fourth section of Capital, Marx has explained in detail how since the 15th century this has been historically worked out through the three phases of simple co-operation, manufacture, and modern industry.”

“Thus it comes about, to quote Marx, that machinery becomes the most powerful weapon in the war of capital against the working-class; that the instruments of labour constantly tear the means of subsistence out of the hands of the labourer; that the very product of the worker is turned into an instrument for his subjugation.”

I saw this in the comments for this post, “Engels travestied some of Marx’s writings”, that makes no sense to me as he clearly understood it fully and completely.

Jehu,  February 26, 2021 at 5:06 pm

These folks are just trying to normalize wage slavery. They will go to any lengths to accomplish this.

Marshall Solomon, February 26, 2021 at 6:11 pm

“I saw this in the comments for this post, “Engels travestied some of Marx’s writings”, that makes no sense to me as he clearly understood it fully and completely.”

Engels introduced the concept of “simple commodity production” after Marx’s death, claiming this was a historical stage prior to capitalism depicted by Marx in the first three chapters of Capital. This term – simple commodity production – appears nowhere in Marx’s writings. The first three chapters of Capital deal with ‘simple commodity circulation,’ which is an abstract moment of the capitalist mode of production fetishized by classical political economy. Marx lampoons the notion of simple commodity exchange without capital and wage labor as the realm of “Freedom, Equality, Property, and Bentham.’ It is a purely formal realm of buyers and sellers.

Marx uses ‘simple commodity circulation’ as a heuristic in order to demonstrate the impossibility of surplus-value being created on the assumption of simple commodity exchange (i.e., where equivalent is exchange for equivalent…the realm of Bentham). Labor-power must become a commodity for surplus-value to emerged in exchange (ch. 6). This leads Marx to investigate the ‘hidden abode of production’ (ch.7 ff).

Engels did travesty (i.e., distort) some of Marx’s work. This is undeniable to anyone who has put the effort into reading Marx and secondary literature. Again, this was neither intentional nor malicious on Engels’ part. The source is of this error is the evolutionist, logical-historical method that Engels reads into Capital.

Marx:

“On leaving this sphere of simple circulation or of exchange of commodities, which furnishes the “Free-trader Vulgaris” with his views and ideas, and with the standard by which he judges a society based on capital and wages, we think we can perceive a change in the physiognomy of our dramatis personae. He, who before was the money-owner, now strides in front as capitalist; the possessor of labour-power follows as his labourer. The one with an air of importance, smirking, intent on business; the other, timid and holding back, like one who is bringing his own hide to market and has nothing to expect but — a hiding.”

Indeed, the realm of simple circulation — understood as the realm of simply commodity production, largely because of Engels — has furnished many misguided (vulgar) marxists with misguided ideas, too.

Jehu,  February 26, 2021 at 6:54 pm

Marshall, why did commodity money disappear? Answer this using Arthur’s theory of money or go away, now. You’re not making new points.

Marshall Solomon, February 27, 2021 at 6:07 am

“Marshall, why did commodity money disappear? Answer this using Arthur’s theory of money or go away, now. You’re not making new points.”

Theory explains necessity. Money is necessary to capital. Commodity money is not. The “disappearance” of commodity money was a contingency, the result of a particular historical conjuncture.

A theory of crisis, not money, would explain why this necessity (crisis) within the system of capital must take a particular historical form (e.g. the overproduction of commodities). But theory does not explain contingent moments within the particular historical form (e.g. why too many of this particular kind of commodity just so happened to be overproduced in 1870s). [Did Marshall mean the 1970s? –Jehu]

Your petty-bourgeois empiricism has you, like Darimon, Bray, Gray, Proudhon etc., stuck on the surface.

Disciplining labor got capital out of the crisis of 1970s. Going off the gold standard kept the United States as hegemon.

Why don’t you explain the disappearance of commodity money? It seems to be inordinately important to you.

Jehu,  February 27, 2021 at 11:11 am

Because, Marshall, I don’t have to. Remember what I just told you? Marx explained why commodity money would necessarily disappear 110 years before Nixon left Bretton Woods. He did this based on his theory of money. Now let’s see you do the same thing fifty years after it occurred using Arthur’s bizarre theory.

Marshall Solomon, February 27, 2021 at 3:21 pm

“Because, Marshall, I don’t have to. Remember what I just told you? Marx explained why commodity money would necessarily disappear 110 years before Nixon left Bretton Woods. He did this based on his theory of money. Now let’s see you do the same thing fifty years after it occurred using Arthur’s bizarre theory.”

Because you can’t. Let’s be real.

Jehu,  February 27, 2021 at 4:39 pm

Marshall, are you familiar with my blog? Marx’s theory of the breakdown of production based on exchange value (i.e., of production based on commodity money) is just about all I write about. Ask anyone who reads me regularly.

Marshall Solomon, February 27, 2021 at 5:53 pm

“Marshall, are you familiar with my blog? Marx’s theory of the breakdown of production based on exchange value (i.e., of production based on commodity money) is just about all I write about. Ask anyone who reads me regularly.”

I’m familiar.

Production based on exchange value is NOT production based on commodity money. If production based on exchange value was BASED on any kind of money, then it would be CREDIT MONEY on the WORLD MARKET, not commodity money in simple circulation.

There’s a recurring problem here. You clearly have not read Marx. You may have read Capital Vol. 1. But this has caused more harm than good because you treat abstract categories as if they were concrete. You put the ‘science before science,’ as with Ricardo.

“But it is only foreign trade, the development of the market to a world market, which causes money to develop into world money and abstract labour into social labour. Abstract wealth, value, money, hence abstract labour, develop in the measure that concrete labour becomes a totality of different modes of labour embracing the world market. Capitalist production rests on the value or the transformation of the labour embodied in the product into social labour. But this is only [possible] on the basis of foreign trade and of the world market. This is at once the pre-condition and the result of capitalist production.” –Marx, Theories of Surplus Value Part III, pg. 253.

Commodity money is given to capitalist production, that is, not yet historically modified by (or really subsumed under) capital. Credit money on the world market is capitalist money, not gold in simple circulation.

You speak out of turn. This is tolerable. Every one is ignorant to an extent. But you’re also arrogant as fuck. Ignorance with arrogance leaves no room for discussion.

I read your blog post on Arthur. You literally have no clue what you are talking out. Literally. No. Clue.

Jehu,  February 27, 2021 at 6:46 pm

Marshall, offer an explanation, based on Arthur’s weird theory of money, for why commodity money no longer circulates within the world market after 1971 or go away. Stop trying to change the subject like a whiny little amateur. This should be an easy task for you, since you know so much more about a correct reading of Marx’s theory of money than I do.

Marshall Solomon, February 27, 2021 at 7:39 pm

Change the subject? LMAO. This started with Engels’ mischaracterization. You changed the subject after I provided three Marx quotes from three different texts proving you wrong. Then, you said:

“If, as Marx argued, money adjusts itself to the requirements of commodity circulation, it would seem commodity money is saying the amount of money required for commodity circulation is zero.

How does Arthur explain this when he says money itself posits the values of commodity?”

The first sentence is more f’d up than a football bat. Hoards (simple commodity circulation), then credit money (capital circulation), adjust to the requirements of circulation, not commodity money per se.

The second sentence is more f’d up than a football fucking a bat. I have already proven it to be dead wrong with a quote from Arthur. You have no understanding of Arthur whatsoever. This is clear.

Lastly, I’ve answered your question at least three times. If my answer is not to your liking, oh well. That’s your problem. You need to learn the basics of Marx and then it will make sense.

You have made no attempt to explain anything. None.

Jehu,  February 27, 2021 at 8:29 pm

Commodity money is gone everywhere, Marshall. Everywhere. Stop with your tantrum and explain why that is.

Marshall Solomon, February 27, 2021 at 8:53 pm

Commodity money is inessential to capital. Historically contingent events led from Bretton Woods to going off the gold standard. Capital still operates under the law of value.

Now, you answer?

Jehu,  February 27, 2021 at 10:58 pm

Nope. Not even close. I won’t accept any contingencies in your answer. Contingencies might explain why one or another country left the commodity money system, but it can’t explain why every country on the planet left and not one ever attempted to return. That explanation suggests a law of some sort.

I’m going to give you one more chance. You might begin here, in this quote from De Brunhof’s book on Marx’s theory of money:

https://www.academia.edu/37164401/Suzanne_de_Brunhoff_Marx_On_Money_1976_Urizen_Books_pdf

“Under conditions of advanced bourgeois production, when the commodity-owner has long since become a capitalist, knows his Adam Smith and smiles superciliously at the superstition that only gold and silver constitute money or that money is after all the absolute commodity as distinct from other commodities-money then suddenly appears not as the medium of circulation but once more as the only adequate form of exchange-value, as a unique form of wealth just as it is regarded by the hoarder.”

The “sudden change of the credit system into a monetary system” means that there is a contraction of the functions of money into just one, that of money as object of hoarding. The credit system, which had relieved the internal economy of payments in metallic money, once more falls under the sway of gold and silver. “In the crisis, the demand is made that all bills of exchange, securities, and commodities shall be simultaneously convertible into bank money, and all this bank money, in turn, into gold.”

It would seem then that, since we are talking about the breakdown of production based on exchange value, we should consult De Brunhof who cites Marx here as referring commodity money during periods of crisis. as, “the only adequate form of exchange-value”.

Again, explain, based on Arthur’s bizarre, weird and inane theory of money, why commodity money no longer circulates anywhere within the world market and hasn’t for 50 years after surviving stably for 5,000 years.

BTW, Capital does not operate under the law of value. It operates under two contradictory laws.

Marshall Solomon, February 28, 2021 at 9:00 am

From the link I posted at the beginning of this discussion and you dismissed bc everyone is an “idiot follower,” apparently. Speaking of de Brunhoff:

“The inspiration for this argument comes from de Brunhoff’s Marx on Money. For this reason, my examination of Capital, Chapter 3 is informed by her approach and refers extensively to her discussion of money in simple commodity circulation. It is not clear, however, that de Brunhoff herself recognizes the conclusion I have drawn from her work, namely, that Marx has shown that money need not have intrinsic value. I am building on her work rather than repeating or interpreting it.

I will show next (Section 2) the elements of de Brunhoff’s argument that are most important for my thesis. In the subsequent section (Section 3), I consider the meaning of the double commensurability of commodities – as values and as prices –with which Marx begins Chapter 3. I then turn to Chapter 3 itself (Section 4), taking money’s functions in the order that Marx presents them, but then doubling back to consider the first and second functions in light of the third. It is this last step that I argue supports the thesis that money’s value may be imaginary.”

Campbell addresses Marx methodological procedure, why he makes the assumptions he makes at certain points in the development of categories. This is key for understanding his argument as a whole.

You:

“It would seem then that, since we are talking about the breakdown of production based on exchange value, we should consult De Brunhof who cites Marx here as referring commodity money during periods of crisis. as, “the only adequate form of exchange-value”.”

Pre-crisis ‘commodities alone are money.’ Once the crisis begins, the scramble for money commences. It does not matter if money has ‘real’ or ‘imaginary’ value.

Marx:

“On the eve of the crisis, the bourgeois, with the self-sufficiency that springs from intoxicating prosperity, declares money to be a vain imagination. Commodities alone are money. But now the cry is everywhere: money alone is a commodity! As the hart pants after fresh water, so pants his soul after money, the only wealth. [50] In a crisis, the antithesis between commodities and their value-form, money, becomes heightened into an absolute contradiction. Hence, in such events, the form under which money appears is of no importance. The money famine continues, whether payments have to be made in gold or in credit money such as bank-notes.” –https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch03.htm#S3b

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of quotes from Marx implying money has to be gold, especially when taken in isolation from his argument as a whole. This is why people like us, who are on the same side, are at each other’s throats.

BTW, the law of value is contradictory, a unity of opposites.

I’ll address your Arthur post at some point. And I’ll do it respectfully. I will not address your Arthur question, which I’ve answered four times now.

Jehu,  February 28, 2021 at 12:53 pm

It is not just that money has to be gold. In a crisis, money is the only adequate form of exchange value. Now, for some strange reason, during the 1930s, the only adequate form of exchange value begins to be withdrawn from circulation — not in one country or another, but in all countries and simultaneously. And money never returns. One country after another is forced to sever its currency from commodity money in order to restart capitalist production, the last country being the United States. All the functions of money, as Marx put it, are reduced to one: hoarding.

Capitalists become hoarders of money.

This was entirely predictable. How do I know this? Because Marx predicted it would occur 110 years before it happened, in the Grundrisse. And his reason for it was the same as the one given by Keynes for the Great Depression: the economizing on the use of labor outrunning new uses for labor, or, as Marx put it, capital reduces labor time in the necessary form in order to expand it in the superfluous form.

Capital is a form of transition to directly social labor. It doesn’t need money. Go into any factory and you will see this. Money is an impediment to capital. It is continually trying to abolish it. And to abolish money, capital has to abolish exchange value.

This is missed when dumb Marxists like you argue that money can be anything.

Marshall Solomon, February 28, 2021 at 2:02 pm

“This is missed when dumb Marxists like you argue that money can be anything.”

What a dipshit. Money not having to be gold does not meaning “money can be anything”…whatever that is supposed to mean.

Just go back to the beginning and start over. You don’t understand basic concepts like socially necessary labor time, which leads to your cartoonish reading of Postone.

“Capital is a form of transition to directly social labor. It doesn’t need money. Go into any factory and you will see this. Money is an impediment to capital.”

Capital is “form of transition” that “doesn’t need money”? You petty-bourgeois clowns so clueless.

Look me up when you want to learn something. I’m done wasting my time here.

Jehu,  February 28, 2021 at 2:31 pm

Yes. Go away Marshall. But don’t think I haven’t noticed that you still have not explained why commodity money disappeared so abruptly. And everyone else reading this noticed as well.

Marshall Solomon, February 28, 2021 at 3:01 pm

You should stop worrying about what other people think and actually read Marx.

Jehu,  February 28, 2021 at 3:49 pm

I think you are trying to change the subject. That is what I think. You can’t explain what I asked you to explain, in fact, you never even realized it was an issue until I asked you. So now you just keep pounding the table and waving your hands in the air.

FINIS