[OPE-L:2150] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: gold

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Date: Fri Jan 14 2000 - 08:48:02 EST

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On Fri, 14 Jan 2000, clyder wrote:

> A series of long term mechanisms ensures that commodity
> exchange ratios oscillate around the ratios of their Smithian
> natural prices. The observed tracking of values by prices
> is a result of these mechanisms. What Ricardo was doing was
> citing one of these mechanisms. It strikes me as invalid for
> Marx to use the end result of the mechanism to argue against
> the mechanism itself.

I agree with Paul. For Ricardo, the "quantity-theoretic"
mechanism was a subsidiary "moment" within a larger process
which assures that gold exchanges at its value. I don't think
Marx understood this. He's not alone: various modern scholars
accuse Ricardo of inconsistency in holding both to an
embodied-labour theory of value and the Quantity Theory. They
haven't grasped Ricardo's conception of long run and short run.

Allin Cottrell
Department of Economics
Wake Forest University, NC

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