[OPE-L:2043] Re: Re: gold

From: Jurriaan Bendien (djjb99@worldonline.nl)
Date: Thu Jan 06 2000 - 08:11:11 EST

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You write:
>What you have described there is not the value of a commodity but what marx
>represents as its price, its exchange value in terms of the universal
>equivalent gold.

So does gold itself have a price of production, or only a value ? What is
your opinion ? For convenience, I will quote Prof. Mandel's argument (which
is different from Prof. Itoh's):

"...if commodity-producting labour needs a general equivalent, a 'thing' in
which the social character of its labour is immediately recognised, money
can play that role only because it is itself a commodity. Money is itself
the product of abstract human labour, of a fragment of the total labour
potential at the disposal of a given society. Otherwise, money and all
commodities would in turn remain incommensurable. The money-commodity gold
is therefore the one commodity hich enters the circulation process with its
value and not with a price. When Marx states that all commodities can enter
the circulation process only price-determined (preisbestimmt), this implies
that their price is the expression of their value in the value of the
money-commodity. Any other conclusion would be based upon circular
reasoning. One cannot presuppose the existence of a price determinaton of
commodities without explaining what determines their prices. One cannot
suppose that these prices depend upon the money-commodity without
determining what determines the value of gold. One cannot determine the
value of gold without determining the nature of all value, or upon the
tacit assumption of incommensurability of commodities on the one hand -
prices not determined by value - and of gold on the other hand. Either gold
has a value, or it has a 'price' determined by 'something' else than value,
different and apart from the price of all other commodities. Hence it would
be incommensurable with all other commodities. Only because gold has a
value can all other commodities have prices. But only because the prices of
all other commodities are based upon value, can the value of gold determine
the prices of commodities" (E. Mandel, Gold, money and the transformation
problem, p. 143-144).

In solidarity

Jurriaan Bendien

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