[lbo-talk] The German Debate on the Monetary Theory of Value

Angelus Novus fuerdenkommunismus at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 25 12:20:15 PST 2011


> Are u saying that money means that commodities are not exchanged
> porportionally to labor time in producing them ?

At the level of abstraction of Vol. Ch.1, commodities are exchanged proportional to the socially necessary **abstract** labor time. The distinction between concrete labor and abstract labor is key for Marx, and key for those who see Marx's value theory as a theory of money.

> Are you saying there were never actually existing money-commodities ?

No, there have definitely been money commodities, historically speaking. I don't think anyone would dispute that. However, strictly speaking, there is no money commmodity currently existing, though I realize that's a controversial assertion. According to Doug's book, Alan Greenspan claimed to "pay attention" to the course of gold or something like that when developing monetary policy, but that's still a rather far cry from gold functioning as universal equivalent.

> Does the monetary theory of value substitute for the labor theory of
> value?

No, the monetary theory of value **is** Marx's labor theory of value, properly understood, i.e. as distinct from Ricardo or Proudhon's labor theory of value.

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