Marx, living in the 19th century, reproduces in Das Kapital, Smith and Ricardo's mistake notion of the primitive barter economy, and of money as a commodity that satisfies the need of being a universal third good. I don't think this affects his broader theories on labor's surplus value, or its appropriation by the capitalist through the contrivance of private property as a social institution, but I do have to wonder if Marx would have written capital differently if he knew that credit economies and ledgers and informal recordkeeping and trust-based exchanges predate money as a physical commodity, i.e. that goods and services could be exchanged not in real time, through the upkeep of social relations. This was substantiated by anthropologists and archeologists after he died, so I can't really blame him for the mistake, since he was building on Smith, and Smith was building on Aristotle's assumptions, which turned out to be wrong.
You mean Jenny
In the first 3 chapters you mean? I got the sense he was building up to the concept rather than explaining historical usage.
Barter being a myth is far more uncomfortable to rightoids. It destroys the idea that the state and markets are two separate, independent entities
indeed, the social basis of money, rather than the commodity basis of money, is laid out well in Graeber's Debt, which itself drew the evidence from Caroline Humphrey, Marcel Mauss, Geoffrey Ingham. Systems of collective tribal redistribution, social credit based economies, gift-based economies, patronage-based economies, reputation based economies, and ledger-based economics without commodity money all existed prior to or in conjunction with the commodity form of money. Money being socially constructed allows for its abolition, or its replacement.
>I do have to wonder if Marx would have written capital differently if he knew that credit economies and ledgers and informal recordkeeping and trust-based exchanges predate money as a physical commodity
Why would that change anything? Marx modeled capitalism, not hunter/gatherer tribalism.
>>965346>This was substantiated by anthropologists and archeologists after he died, so I can't really blame him for the mistake
Eeeh I do think he deserves some blame actually. I mean it's not just an empirical issue, his talk about money just doesn't make much sense. Marx would have been more coherent and elegant if he had completely ignored that currency can work without either being gold or being backed by it, but he was empirically-minded enough to admit that currency can be disconnected from gold, and yet his attempt at analysis roots money in gold, and that is just a whack combination.
how so? i am not an ultra. i've been called a dengoid.
>>967363>Marx modeled capitalism, not hunter/gatherer tribalism.
in modeling the history of capitalism marx reproduces and repeats the barter myth of smith, which itself was just speculation put forward by Aristotle, and does not match the archeological record, or anthropological discoveries made since then. Our understanding of the history of the development of the money form, and hence, Capitalism itself, is altered by this information.
>>968261>Capitalism itself, is altered by this information.
I don't see how. The history of money prior to capitalism does not change the nature of the money commodity in capitalism. You are not under the impression that fiat currency is the money commodity, are you?
I'm very curious what these might be. Aristotle was undoubtedly familiar with Greek city-state economics outside of and before the predominance of markets. After all, he was himself a critic of markets.
>>968280>You are not under the impression that fiat currency is the money commodity, are you?
Fiat currency, currency not backed by precious metals. or similar stable commodities, and credit systems, all existed prior to Capitalism. American fiat currency is, if anything, yet another return to something ancient, rather than an innovation. This is something Marx could not have known when describing the history of money, but is nevertheless worth revisiting and revising. Repetition of the barter myth is, in any case, a liberal dogma that Marx simply repeats, and incorrect.
Aristotle assumed a mythical "barter economy" where people could only trade on coincidence of wants, and equal exchange value, until money was one day invented, as a universal third good. Smith builds on this idea, but it's not proven by anthropology or archeology. Instead primitive societies had and still have complex kinship systems, and trust-based trading, where you can, for instance, simply give someone your fish today, and expect to get your shoes a month from now. This is predicated on stability of social relations, rather than bartered computation of exchange values and mutual coincidence of wants.
>being aware of current research is an ultra take
It's also worth noting (as Graeber does) that when you start actually tracking who owes whom and how much, imbalances naturally arise and unless you have some kind of debt forgiveness regularly the accumulation of wealth and all the problems that causes are basically inevitable.
Markets had only been around Greece for several generations in Aristotle's time. How could he have said something so ignorant?
>>968355>This is something Marx could not have known when describing the history of money
I would have thought that Iroquoi wampum was fairly common knowledge in his day. When did he write that book again?
>>968382> When did he write that book again?
between the 1860s and 1880s, volume 1 published in 1867, but based on 20 years of research in England, using English libraries
Aristotle said a lot of stupid things.
I think markets had existed for a while, and gift economy was pretty foreign to Aristotle by his time. Homer describes a gift economy in the mythic account of the Bronze Age. Coinage had existed in the Greek world for a couple hundred years, Herodotus recounts the invention of coinage like it’s a rumor (as in “it’s said the Lydians invented coins”) and he predates Aristotle. The Greeks also tended to view the near-east with a prejudice, they saw it as a despotic slave society. So I think they just saw their credit systems and historic palace economies as weird slave shit. Ancient Greeks (from their perspective) may have engaged in gift economy, but they also traded using commodity money like gold/silver outside of the Greek world. So commodity trade in “outside money” was already known in Homer. I think it was that context that Aristotle made his speculations. In trying to figure out how precious metal came to be money (and archeologists have found hordes including chunks of metal for trade called “aes rude” as far back as the 8th century in Italy, which was even more of a backwater than Greece) he ended up guessing that it had to do with simplifying barter.
That's Capital. He does not delve too deeply into pre-capitalist history in Capital Vol. 1 until the final quarter of the first book, and that is mostly about the Poor Laws and the Inclosures. Are you sure that you aren't thinking of another book of his?
Though another important thing to note is that I don’t think Aristotle had the same theory as later barter theory. I can’t remember his exact phrasing (and it was in translation of course), but he says that money serves to equalize people. I wouldn’t make this claim just off of my own speculation, but I’ve read other scholars of the Greeks claim that Aristotle was specifically talking about money as equalizing the social strata. Like it was a way to exchange between groups of people who held different rank and status in society. So today for instance our economists might neutrally consider variations in shares of income and prices as just representing people’s abstract desire for something, the differential value they each place on currency vs some commodity. But to Aristotle, money was specifically a means of allowing the social strata, which were inherently unequal, to interface while still maintaining their integrity. The price of things and the way money flowed between classes was a representation of the relationship between these groups and their social value.
We KIND of have this notion in the way we think of shares of income in production representing the “value added”, whether it be by capital or labor (this is how production functions serve to ideologically bolster some neutral claim that the profit share is “efficient”), but I think we may see it in this more clinical way than Aristotle would have. To him I think it would be clear that prices and how money flowed had more to do with these class positions, which were widely socially recognized as existing but rooted themselves in stuff like “virtue” or familial honor. Today we root them in this technical idea of earning your class position (through your wealth/income) based on what you contribute to production. In modernity, being a trust fund kid or being an heir is kind of scandalous and looked down on. It’s the ugly side of the property system. But the bright side that represents its true essence is the self-made entrepreneur.
>>968391>they saw it as a despotic slave society
but greece was this too lmao
But different! The glimpse of the Greeks in Homer is our earliest historical account of how they lived, and though it is mythologized it has hints of familiarity to anthropologist’s observation of different ways of life that I think give it some validity as at least showing an idealization of something that really existed. And in Homer, one of the greatest conflicts of the western literary tradition is introduced in Achilles vs Agamemnon, and it’s a conflict over how Achilles feels that Agamemnon has committed an injustice against him by unilaterally deciding to confiscate his spoils of war. Additionally, throughout the Iliad there is a lot of space given to ceremonies of splitting spoils equally, or roughly equally, with some deference given to different parties according to the occasion. That is why it hasn’t been uncommon to compare the invading Argives to pirates. They act like a band of thieves who constantly regulate the order of their group by affirming everyone’s position and value, like pirate ships with their accounts of democratically appointed captains. The Greeks may have had a warrior culture that was somewhat anarchic, with the aristocratic families of the separate clans being on a roughly equal footing and considering people like Agamemnon as roughly “chosen” or “elected” by the associated warriors to lead a war.
It was in that way that they looked at the very centralized and powerful states of the near east as some weird despotism, because the emperors and pharaohs in those nations were like deities at the head of a very explicit pyramid of power. This just appeared as detestable to the Greeks, even though they had slaves and whatnot.
Oh, so Chapter 3. Okay, in that case I'll get back to you when I am not drunk off my ass.
I really like the State school of money history. It just sounds so ingenious. It gives the illusion of choice to the affair of confiscating grain from the peasants to feed the army.
We aren't forcing you to give up your grain! We just require you to pay your taxes in these weird metal pieces. Where can you get them? Well we gave them to soldiers. You'll have to find a way to convince them to gove you these coins, say I hear armies always need more grain…
It also shows how the state does not need to resort to explicit violence to coerce its people. The soldiers aren't asking for grain or forcing the people to give it to them, the peasants need the coin so they are offering the grain! I wonder if this was used to make a local populace more neutral to occupation. The invading army distributes the coins and takes the grain, so now the peasants need to have their territory annexed so their coins are usable for taxes.
this is such an idiotic presentation
youtube essays were a mistake
Anwar Shaikh already refuted this
who are you quoting
are you talking to yourself
suicide isn’t the answer to your problems, you know
In his tome (thing is too big to upload, see libgen) Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises (specifically chapter on Exchange, Money, and Price) he gives examples of things like (sea) shells, grain and the like being used to trade
That isn't really a refutation of Chartalism, only on claims of universality of it.
1. i have this book. it's not "too big to upload."
2. pic rel, this guy just quotes Quiggin's 1940s works, saying barter is the "earliest form of exchange." Anwar Shaikh is simply repeating the barter myth at certain points in the book without drawing on any kind of anthropological data and merely consulting economics textbooks which repeat Smith's assumptions from the 1700s. He is repeating the Western economic assumptions traceable back to Aristotle without building on them. Humphrey's work in 1985 deconstructs the Barter myth, which is part of what the video essay talks about.
it's not a refutation of anything, since Anwar Shaikh simply repeats, ad nauseum, Adam Smith's myth of the barter economy, quoting works from the 1940s which also repeats Smith. We've known the Barter Economy Myth to be wrong for 35 years now but frustratingly neither Liberal Capitalist nor Marxist economists seem to be consulting the real economic data gathered from closely studying the archeological record and the anthropological data of actually existing tribal societies.
Furthermore, recognizing the actual conditions money arises out of is not "Chartalism" or "Neo Chartalism" It is plain and simple a refutation of Smith's Barter Myth nonsense, which he himself simply got from Aristotle. Marxists owe it to themselves to get rid of the barter myth, because it's not only wrong, but it doesn't really hurt the rest of Marx's labor theory of value to get rid of it.
Going to economists to learn about anthropology.
Why do people always do this, anon?
because capitalism has conditioned us into hyper-specialization. In order to be useful to the market we must only do one job. For academics this means interdisciplinary study is out of the question. Capitalism has also conditioned us to view politics, economics, and sociology as isolated things that don't affect each other. Even some Marxian heterodox economists make the mistake of imagining economic orthodoxy is a substitute for the social sciences. A lot of the best and newest economic data is actually coming out of anthropology and archeology, because they go straight to the humans source of these economic behaviors.
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