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The critical role of gold in labor theory (part 2)

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In the first part of this series, I make the following statements: The role of a commodity money in labor theory analysis is not determined by the material the state designates as money in the territory under its control, but by society. Gold (commodity monies generally) still performs the function of measure of value and standard of price despite this …

JehuThe critical role of gold in labor theory (part 2)
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The critical role of gold in labor theory analysis

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1. Was Marx fundamentally wrong in his theory of money Does the end of Bretton Woods and of the gold standard invalidate Marx’s argument on money? (When I say ‘gold’ in this case, of course, I mean any commodity serving in the role of money.) This is the question raised by George Caffentzis, in a 2009 paper, Marxism After the …

JehuThe critical role of gold in labor theory analysis

Can We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now (Part 3)

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5. Capitalistically Determined, Materially Determined and Superfluous labor times If I understand Postone’s argument in his book Time, Labor and Social Domination, (and he can speak to this if I am misreading him) in the capitalist mode of production value (i.e., ‘socially necessary labor time’) appears in not one, but two distinct, historically determined forms. So far as I know, …

JehuCan We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now (Part 3)
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Can We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now? (Part 2)

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3. The problem of identifying economic waste in a capitalist economy As I argued in the previous section of this series, if we are going to set as our aim the complete abolition of labor, there is a big question posed by the problem of a capitalist economy. To reiterate it briefly: In an economy based on directly social labor, …

JehuCan We Completely Abolish Labor, Right Now? (Part 2)
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CLUELESS: “Deflation is bad. M’kay?”

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The world market had been shaken by a series of financial crises, and the economy of Japan had fallen into a persistent deflationary state, When Ben Bernanke gave his 2002 speech before the National Economists Club, “Deflation: Making Sure “It” Doesn’t Happen Here”. Bernanke was going to explain to his audience filled with some of the most important economists in …

JehuCLUELESS: “Deflation is bad. M’kay?”
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CLUELESS: How Ben Bernanke is managing the demise of capitalism

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So I am spending a week or so trying to understand Ben Bernanke’s approach to this crisis based on three sources from his works. In this part, the source is an essay published in 1991: “The Gold Standard, Deflation, and Financial Crisis in the Great Depression: An International Comparison”. In this 1991 paper, Bernanke tries to explain the causes of …

JehuCLUELESS: How Ben Bernanke is managing the demise of capitalism
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Gold and Exchange Rates (Random thoughts)

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This is very geeky, sorry. I posting it because I intend to revisit it sometime in the near future in the context of a review of the Euro-zone crisis. My post on Moseley’s MELT paper (pdf) argues the so-called “price of gold” is actually the standard of price for a currency. I argued in the paper that dollars do not …

JehuGold and Exchange Rates (Random thoughts)
“All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.” – Aristotle

Unemployment: Job Creation or Liberation?

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I find it amazing that people will demand Washington create work, but will not demand freedom from unnecessary work created by Washington. The fixation on work is the principal lever of the fascist state. But, the fixation on work is only a reflex of the role fascist state issued currency plays as the mediator of the means of life. The …

JehuUnemployment: Job Creation or Liberation?
From Wikipedia: A picture of a pre-1933 gold certificate currency

Paul Krugman on interest rates and gold: When a dollar was real money

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I apologize for this part of the series, because it is hopelessly geeky. Unfortunately, I see no way to move forward without getting into the weeds of Marx’s unique contribution to the theory of money at this point. Please bear with me on this. As I really need to explain the difference, before 1933, between a token currency and the …

JehuPaul Krugman on interest rates and gold: When a dollar was real money
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Paul Krugman on interest rates and gold: The Price of Everything, The Value of Nothing

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“The mode of production is in rebellion against the mode of exchange.” – Frederick Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, 1880 Krugman confuses the superficial relations of exchange for a deeper analysis of the capitalist mode of production. This failing might help him when he wishes to ignore the likely results of this sort of examination, but when he actually tries …

JehuPaul Krugman on interest rates and gold: The Price of Everything, The Value of Nothing
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Paul Krugman on interest rates and gold: Why gold is money and dollars are kindling

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I have a simple hypothesis for how Krugman managed to reach the correct conclusion regarding the relationship between the price of gold and the general level of economic activity: he probably started with his conclusion and tried to work backward. He needed an argument for why the rising price of gold might signal deflation rather than inflation. So, he took …

JehuPaul Krugman on interest rates and gold: Why gold is money and dollars are kindling
"ROAD HOG!!!"

Paul Krugman on interest rates and gold: “Mr. Magoo, you’ve done it again”

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Paul Krugman manages to stumble Mr. Magoo-like to his analytical destination through a series of comical errors. Krugman’s argument on gold and deflation is actually an argument on gold and depressions. Krugman begins by explaining that rising gold price has been popularly linked to the prospect of inflation created by the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve Bank. He has …

JehuPaul Krugman on interest rates and gold: “Mr. Magoo, you’ve done it again”
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A Critique of Pure Bullshit, Part Three: Eichengreen on Ron Paul (A Tale of Two Monies)

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I have been critiquing Barry Eichengreen’s unprincipled attack on Ron Paul and his demand for a return to the gold standard, but, so far, I have danced around the real question posed by this vicious hit piece. Eichengreen’s argument is not about whether or not Ron Paul’s ideas can be compared to the insanity of Glenn Beck, nor is it …

JehuA Critique of Pure Bullshit, Part Three: Eichengreen on Ron Paul (A Tale of Two Monies)
Austrian School economists Ludwig von Mises and his student Friedrich A. Hayek

A Critique of Pure Bullshit: Part Two: Eichengreen on Ron Paul (Money and Crisis)

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    Barry Eichengreen makes much of the role the theories of Friedrich Hayek play in Ron Paul’s world view for a reason that becomes immediately clear: In his 2009 book, End the Fed, Paul describes how he discovered the work of Hayek back in the 1960s by reading The Road to Serfdom. First published in 1944, the book enjoyed …

JehuA Critique of Pure Bullshit: Part Two: Eichengreen on Ron Paul (Money and Crisis)
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Eichengreen on Ron Paul and Gold as Money: Part One: A critique of pure bullshit:

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Washington has a problem, and Barry Eichengreen is doing his bit to save it. The problem’s name is Ron Paul, and this problem comes wrapped in 24 carat gold: GOLD IS back, what with libertarians the country over looking to force the government out of the business of monetary-policy making. How? Well, by bringing back the gold standard of course. …

JehuEichengreen on Ron Paul and Gold as Money: Part One: A critique of pure bullshit:
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Inflation, the negative rate of profit, and the Fascist State (Part seven)

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In part one of this series, I showed how inflation affects not only consumption but also production. In the former, inflation expresses itself in the fall of the consumption power of the mass of society. In the latter, inflation expresses itself as a fall in the actual realized rate of profit — a negative rate of profit arising not from …

JehuInflation, the negative rate of profit, and the Fascist State (Part seven)
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Inflation, the negative rate of profit, and the Fascist State (Part five)

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According to the Wikipedia entry on Executive Order 6102, the fine for hoarding gold was ten thousand dollars. At the same time, the executive order demanded all private holdings be turned in and exchanged for government issued ex nihilo dollars at an exchange rate of $20.67 per troy ounce of gold. Using this as our base measure, the fine for …

JehuInflation, the negative rate of profit, and the Fascist State (Part five)
Executive Order 6102

Inflation, the negative rate of profit, and the Fascist State (Part four)

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In the bare bones sketch of Marx’s theory I argued that the value of the object serving as money played no role in its function as money. This was incomplete, of course, but it served to advance my argument until I could directly address the implication of debasement of money by the industrial powers during the Great Depression. In reality, …

JehuInflation, the negative rate of profit, and the Fascist State (Part four)
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Inflation, the negative rate of profit, and the Fascist State (Part three)

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The Wikipedia definition of inflation includes this rather silly statement on the definition of the so-called “real value” of money: …inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a loss of real value in the internal medium of exchange and unit of account in the economy. In this statement the “real value” of money is reduced …

JehuInflation, the negative rate of profit, and the Fascist State (Part three)
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Are we still in a depression? Gold says, “Yes”.

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Cross-posted from Re: The People Gold prices have averaged $1218.57 for the year 2010, as of yesterday. For the whole of 2009, the average price of gold was $972.35. This was a change of some $246.22 year over year — a rise of 25.3% in the average price of gold. We can assume, based on these figures, that the, so …

JehuAre we still in a depression? Gold says, “Yes”.