Money in 1861-63.

One of several passages that are good on the role of money as measure as well as its social genesis i.e. what Jura I think rightly stresses are the qualitative and quantitative aspects of Marx’s monetary theory of value:

“Thus, in considering the existence of the commodity as money, it is not only necessary to emphasise that in money commodities acquire a definite measure of the magnitude of their value — since all commodities express their value in the use value of the same commodity — but that they all become manifestations of social, abstract,general labour; and as such they all possess the same form, they all appear as the direct incarnation of social labour; and as such they all act as social labour, they can be directly exchanged for all other commodities in proportion to the magnitude of their value; whereas in the hands of the people whose commodities have been transformed into money, they exist not as exchange value in the form of a particular use value, but as use value (gold, for example) which is merely a bearer of exchange value. A commodity may be sold either below or above its value. This is purely a matter of the magnitude of its value. But whenever a commodity is sold, transformed into money, its exchange value acquires an independent existence, separate from its use value. The commodity now exists only as a certain quantity of social labour time, and it proves that it is such by being directly exchangeable for any commodity whatsoever and convertible (in proportion to its quantity) into any use value whatsoever. This point must not be overlooked in relation to money any more than the formal transformation undergone by the labour a commodity contains as its element of value. But an examination of money — of that absolute exchangeability which the commodity possesses as money, of its absolute effectiveness as exchange value which has nothing to do with magnitude of value — shows that it is not quantitatively, but qualitatively determined and that as a result of the very process through which the commodity itself passes, its exchange value becomes independent, and is really represented as a separate aspect alongside its use value as it is already nominally in its price.” mecw 32 p 324


About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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