The Universal Equivalent as Monopolist of the Ability to Buy

  • Costas Lapavitsas

Abstract

The theoretical analysis of money as the universal equivalent in the opening chapters of Capital is a highly distinctive aspect of Marx’s theory of value. Neither classical political economy nor neoclassical economics offers a comparable analysis of the relationship between value and money. In Capital (and elsewhere, selectively cited below) Marx defines money as the universal equivalent, or the independent form of value. By representing value in general, money allows the value of particular commodities (abstract labour-time) to be expressed as price in capitalist markets. This much is common ground within the Marxist theory of money. However, there is far less clarity on the specific economic content of money as the universal equivalent, especially the relationship between value representation and money’s unique ability to buy. Similarly, there is no established understanding of the economic process through which the universal equivalent emerges in commodity exchange.

Keywords

Coherence Tempo Glean Monopoly 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Clower, Robert (1967), ‘A reconsideration of the microfoundations of monetary theory’, Western Economic Journal, 6(4), 1–8.Google Scholar
  2. Fine, Ben and Laurence Harris (1979), Rereading Capital (New York: Columbia University Press).Google Scholar
  3. Itoh, Makoto (1976), ‘A study of Marx’s theory of value’, Science and Society, 40(3), 307–40.Google Scholar
  4. Jevons, William Stanley (1875), Money and the Mechanism of Exchange (London: Appleton).Google Scholar
  5. Lapavitsas, Costas (1991), ‘The theory of credit money: A structural analysis’, Science and Society, 55(3), 291–322.Google Scholar
  6. Lapavitsas, Costas (2002), ‘The Emergence of Money in Commodity Exchange, Or Money as Monopolist of the Ability to Buy’ (London: School of Oriental and African Studies Discussion Paper).Google Scholar
  7. Lapavitsas, Costas (2003), Social Foundations of Markets, Money and Credit (London and New York: Routledge).Google Scholar
  8. Marx, Karl (1859), Contribution to a Critique of Political Economy (Moscow: Progress, 1970).Google Scholar
  9. Marx, Karl (1867), Das Kapital, Band I, English translation by Ben Fowkes of the 4th edn (1894), Capital, Volume I (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976).Google Scholar
  10. Marx, Karl (1894) Das Kapital, Band III, English translation by Ben Fowkes of the 4th edn (1894), Capital, Volume III (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981).Google Scholar
  11. Marx, Karl (1939), Grundrisse (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973).Google Scholar
  12. Sekine, Tomohiko (1999), ‘Marxian theory of value: An unoist approach’, Chiiki Bunseki, Aichi Gakuin, 37(2), 99–136.Google Scholar
  13. Simmel, Georg (1900), The Philosophy of Money (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978).Google Scholar
  14. Smith, Adam (1776), The Wealth of Nations, E. Cannan (ed.), Vols I, II (London: Methuen, 1904).Google Scholar
  15. Weeks, John (1981), Capital and Exploitation (London: Edward Arnold).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Costas Lapavitsas 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Costas Lapavitsas

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations