[OPE-L:5799] commodity money

Asfilho (Asfilho@aol.com)
Sat, 6 Dec 1997 16:36:11 EST

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In response to Massimo's recent message:

By 'not important' I mean gold is not important as measure of value. It can be
used as an anchor to the price system. How we explain these issues is a
theoretical problem (in other words, the theoretical problem is how do we
explain the process of price-formation under capitalism). This has nothing
directly to do with the practical use of gold as reserve value, or its
political importance in times of crisis.

Let me give one example in order to reinforce the separateness of the two
issues. In the 1920s the British establishment forced the return of the
country to the gold standard. In essence, this was not because they had
realised that a developed capitalist economy needs a commodity-based monetary
system in order to have a meaningful price system. And it was clearly not
because they thought capitalism would collapse without convertibility into
gold. Quite the opposite. The return to the gold standard was a political
weapon in the struggle for the dominance of the international financial system
against the rising power of the US, especially New York.