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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:52 pm 
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If you keep talking about subjects other than the OP, I will continue writing words until you suffocate.

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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:40 pm 
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ZeroNowhere wrote:
If you keep talking about subjects other than the OP, I will continue writing words until you suffocate.

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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:29 pm 
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ZN wrote:
Even in the case of Reagan and Thatcher, there was an attempt to foist an image of society as a whole onto the nation, and this has had a strong influence on political thought and rhetoric since their time - indeed, the idea that the interests of the bourgeoisie or of 'greed' are somehow a) just and b) advance the interests of the whole nation (both inherent in popular ideas of meritocracy, or even the view that the bourgeoisie are as they are due to superior genes/personal traits/etc.), and that the working class were somehow being overly selfish and harming the latter through their own struggles were more or less necessary for people like Thatcher. Of course, the artificial collectivism of nationalism - which is if anything a clear attempt at denying class interests - was also important to the era. While the political 'thought' of both leaders would have to be treated more as a Humean series of images than an actual attempt at using a brain, nonetheless these images were generally based around normalising the bourgeois order and arose from the latter, such that they also fall into the general contradiction of the bourgeois state and ideology.


Disagree, a bit. Thatcher is famous, I think for once saying "There is no such thing as society." And there isn't, if you mean by society a community of shared interests. She wasn't kidding. No more than the youth, who during the Brixton riots was apprehended on the Parliament grounds with a knife, saying "Let me at her. Where is she?" And where is he? A true hero for our times and the only honest man in Britain in 1981.

There's class struggle, and the key to making money, for the bourgeoisie is winning the class struggle. That much they know. The notion of flogging nationalism as an attempt at denying class interests misses the cynicism, the manifest, transparent cynicism on the part of the floggers who know, in fact, that they're not kidding anyone except those who dread class struggle-- that is to say labor bureaucrats, assorted democrats, etc. etc. The bourgeoisie themselves, well let's be clear-- they're comfortable, really comfortable with who and what they are and what they do. It's not a case of "greed is good," bur rather that freedom is the freedom to accumulate; democracy is what the market determines it is; and equality only means command over everyone else's labor.

Do they think what they are doing is "good" for society, or the "nation"? Sure they do, because they're making money.


Now as far as exchange rates and currency-money-gold. No fixed rates are not necessary. Stable rates are not necessary. Trotsky was, as he was so often when it comes to task of a proletarian revolution, wrong.

However, we hear all sorts of whining from monetarists, fundamentalists, and even fictitious capital theorists that without a fixed, official convertibility of fiat money into gold, capital exists in some condition of permanent crisis, etc. etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:30 pm 
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TFM wrote:
"See previous comments."


Exactly. And you know what those comments are.

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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:50 pm 
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I have a question about fiat money.

isn't the whole controversy around fiat money absolutely stupid given that it also is a commodity?

it's like difficult to counterfeit money and ****

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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:04 am 
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Question is, in these discussions, does paper money have any intrinsic value. Marx's analysis leads clearly to apprehending the value of paper money only as a token for some other store of value.

Certainly others think paper money need not have any connection to gold, precious metals, peppercorn, cowrie shells, etc. Me? I'm not sure. Historically, money has always had such connections. For it to have "freed" itself from that means that exchange value has some recognized itself as being nothing other than realized abstract labor time. Capital is the command over the labor of others, but that command is manifested through the compulsion to exchange one's labor power for subsistence. That compulsion is represented by money. The effectiveness of money is not dependent upon its connection to gold, but rather the success capital has in reproducing that exchange, that compulsion to exchange; the success it has in reproducing profit.

When accumulation is producing expanded profitability, nobody's worried about the connection of the dollar or the yen or the euro to gold. When profitability falters, suddenly money's connection to, or distance from, gold becomes of major importance.

So I guess yes, there is and must be a connection, but the connection is NOT as Trotsky describes it, as a "sound" means of accounting and measuring efficiency before, during, and after a revolution, but of the security of bourgeois property. BTW, I think Trotsky's statement is one of incredible, and damaging, and revealing mis-apprehension of what social revolution is about.

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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:35 am 
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Think it might be worth splitting this discussion.

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"The thing [calculus] has taken such a hold of me that it not only goes round my head all day, but last week in a dream I gave a chap my shirt-buttons to differentiate, and he ran off with them."

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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:32 am 
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The gold issue is part of the texts which Klaus posted, supplement 3 is in fact the longest texts of all of them!

If by connection to gold you mean "backing" by the gold reserve, I agree the value of currency is not dependent on the amount of reserve. And Trotsky (not only he!) was dead wrong when he wrote this: "From a technically fiscal point of view, the ruble can still less lay claim to superiority. With a gold reserve of over a billion, about 8 billions of bank notes are in circulation in the country. The coverage, therefore, amounts to only 12.5 per cent. The gold in the State Bank is still considerably more in the nature of an inviolate reserve for the purposes of war, than the basis of a currency. " http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky ... t/ch04.htm

Stalin was closer to the truth; "Will the economists in capitalist countries ever understand that they are hopelessly muddled in their theory of a gold reserve as the "sole" guarantee of the stability of the currency?" http://www.marxists.org/reference/archi ... /01/07.htm

During the gold standard the reserves of the BoE were changing all the time, without effect on the Pound's value or stability. If you look at the say 10000 tons of gold in the Euro countries (making the big supposition they were ready to back the Euro with their national gold), at 40 Euro per gram, then obviously the (10000x1000x1000x40=) 400 billion Euros gold reserve doesn't cover the total currency (M3 is about 10 trillion, M1 half of it). So even if we look only at M1, gold reserve would cover just 10%. But the figure of that percentage was irrelevant even at the time of the "gold standard". It is simply wrong to regard the gold like a pawn for paper-notes (so I kind of agree with the response in the text by Ruthlesscriticism). The national gold reserve can perfectly be sold (like Canada did) without debunking the claim that the "value" of currency is dependent on the value of gold.
Kautsky compares it to ground-rent (http://www.archive.org/stream/sozialdem ... 2/mode/2up), where the value of a product on the most fertile ground is not counted by the actual labour in it, but by the labour on the least fertile ground.

Edit; and yes on no longer having gold used in international settlements (its remaining function as world money), first it is not clear if this no longer happens in the NYFR (here is a video about it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrzGcopSY9c ) and hence a lot of conspiracy theory since central banks seem (understandably) reluctant to publish what they do with their gold; but second, even if it just was sitting there doing nothing, it is still money, actually money par excellence, as Marx writes:

A. Hoarding

The continual movement in circuits of the two antithetical metamorphoses of commodities, or the never ceasing alternation of sale and purchase, is reflected in the restless currency of money, or in the function that money performs of a perpetuum mobile of circulation. But so soon as the series of metamorphoses is interrupted, so soon as sales are not supplemented by subsequent purchases, money ceases to be mobilised; it is transformed, as Boisguillebert says, from “meuble” into “immeuble,” from movable into immovable, from coin into money. ... In order that gold may be held as money, and made to form a hoard, it must be prevented from circulating, or from transforming itself into a means of enjoyment.

But in capitalism all of the money as hoard (i.e. not as coin), means less money put into capital accumulation, is regarded as waste (indeed nobody sees the purpose of gold reserves).


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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:48 am 
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Klaus posted one text, and it might be worth having another thread dedicated to one of the supplements, given that they have relatively different subject-matters.

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"The thing [calculus] has taken such a hold of me that it not only goes round my head all day, but last week in a dream I gave a chap my shirt-buttons to differentiate, and he ran off with them."

- Friedrich Engels.

Vocatus atque non vocatus Deus aderit.

2x Security Reasons. DANGER DANGER.

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 Post subject: Re: Money – the “real community”
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:54 pm 
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The Marxist critique of political economy has been often criticized empirically. The “laws” of the falling rate of profit and the increasing immisseration of the working class have been cited as central hypotheses of Marx’s analysis of capitalism that have been falsified “by the facts.” These criticisms, in turn, have been answered by Marxists in ways that have kept the criticisms from being fatal to Marx’s critique, but they, in effect, have left the debate on the status of these “laws” in a conceptual purgatory due to long-standing disagreements as to the meaning of terms like “rate of profit” and “immiseration” and how they should be measured.

It is therefore surprising that the “Marx killers” have not latched on to a much more vulnerable aspect of Marx’s critique of political economy: his account of the central role of gold in a capitalist world. Indeed, money provides an important test case for the viability of a Marxist “research program.” For the options appear simple: Marx clearly argues that gold is necessary for the functioning of capitalism; but since Nixon’s decision to “shut the gold window” on August 15, 1971, gold has played a peripheral role at best in the managing of national or international transactions.

http://www.rebelnet.gr/articles/view/ma ... d/original

Caffentzis's article directly acknowledges what most of today's 'marxist-ish' writers are struggling with (a marxist theory of money) and see as the crisis of marxism. I doubt that Caffentzis himself thinks that he has provided any convincing answer. Marxists in the past did find it impossible to imagine capitalism without gold (in 1919 one wrote that we'd sooner see the realisation of the utopian labour notes money, than really floating pure paper currencies; I think in the journal Bilan the same idea is espoused).

But I think the Euro (the Common Market countries establish fixed rates of exchange between themselves) was the outcome of a kind of response to the US ending the gold exchange standard in 1971.

"After the demise of the Bretton Woods system in 1971, most of the EEC countries agreed in 1972 to maintain stable exchange rates by preventing exchange rate fluctuations of more than 2.25% (the European "currency snake"). In March 1979, this system was replaced by the European Monetary System, and the European Currency Unit (ECU) was defined."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Monetary_System

Gold, Monetary Crises, and a Free Society
http://www.unz.org/Pub/ModernAge-1975q1-00020

And Greenspan liked to see the system run as if it was a gold standard (which can be done, no actual gold is required for a gold standard).

Another issue with most modern 'marxists' (like Caffentzis) is that their revised 'theory' functions as apology of the present system (as preferable to a gold standard). This doesn't just follow Keynes or Friedman, but fascism;

I built up my entire economy on the basis of work. Our German mark unbacked by gold is worth more than gold. - Hitler quoted in Behemoth (1942), pp. 155-157 by Franz L. Neumann http://www.unz.org/Pub/NeumannFranz-1942-00155 (cf. Hitler's Words, 1944, p.331)
and a few pages later (dr Dietrich, The Spiritual Foundation of the New Europe);
'National Socialism has recognized that the best foundation of every currency is confidence in the leadership of the state and in the productive forces of the nation.'


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