[OPE-L:5818] Re: commodities, money, and value

Paul Cockshott (wpc@CS.STRATH.AC.UK)
Thu, 11 Dec 1997 17:29:46 +0000

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Gerald Levy wrote:
> Here we see reflected (imho), once again, one of the theoretical divides
> on the list: namely, different understandings concerning the relationship
> between value and money in a capitalist economy. In Paul's description
> of value representation above nowhere do we see a role for *money*. All
> we see is labour time. Yet, for a commodity to have value it must
> possess exchange-value.

No. The reverse holds. To possess exchange value it must posses value.

( That of course applies at the level of analysis corresponding to
production, once one makes the analysis less abstract, things like
which have no value can have exchange value.

> I.e. money and the value-form are a necessary
> form of appearance of value in a generalized commodity-producing society.

Money is a form of appearance or measurement of value, but value must
preceed money logically, for otherwise there is nothing to measure.

> Yet elsewhere, in other contexts, Paul has recognized (and indeed even
> emphasized) the link between commodities and money. Yet, when we come to
> the relationship between value, labour-time, and money, money seems
> somehow to disappear from the scene. Why is that?

I did not appear in that posting, because that was concerned only with
when it comes to the problem of how society estimates value, then one
to discuss money and the changes in the 'value' of money.

(I put value in quotes when writing of the 'value' of money because once
we move from gold to paper money, it no longer has value strictly
This trict absence of monetary value is evident enough in countries like