>>As to the above exchange, capital is a relationship, a twisted
>>relationship: an alienated relationship. That alienation is manifested in
>>its pure form as money: remember the "money soul which percolates society"?
>>A capitalism seized by a vanguard, supposedly in the interests of the
>>working class, is state capitalism, and just as pernicious. Socialism has
>>no place for banknotes except as for burning in the fireplace of someone
>>who is cold.
>Yes but. The money form is a manifestation of the commodity form, which
>Lenin, if I remember rightly, calls in an interesting metaphor the 'cell' or
>'seed' of capitalist social relations. In the example of burning money, what
>you describe is removal of exchange value from one commodity (money) so that
>all remains is its use value.
According to Simon's argument any form of transition from capitalism to
socialism will be "just as pernicious" as capitalism. He obviously imagines
that the transition can be achieved in the blink of an eye by pure and
annointed Saviours (unless, worse, he imagines the whole working class as
an undifferentiated single organism will mightily seize control and
institute a fully collectivized non-alienated system of production and
distribution with no remnants of exploitation or scarcity -- overnight.)
His handlers should whisper in his ear that some formulations are best
reserved for the faithful and kept for internal consumption.
>Which reminds me of a story about Bakhtin- snowed up in a Russian winter and
>without adequate supplies, he is supposed to have used one of his books as
>cigarette paper. No copies of the work remain.
Well, money tokens like banknotes don't actually have exchange value, they
represent it. So you can't remove exchange value from such a token. You can
defrock it, however, and excommunicating it would make its papery use-value
come into prominence, as it would no longer be able to perform its proxy
magic. Paper money isn't a commodity as such, it points to the money
commodity, which is the universally recognized bearer of generalized value
in the society in which it functions, traditionally gold.
If you're snowed up and think you can't get out alive (and winter does
strange things to you) then the social framework is dissolved. This affects
not just banknotes but things like books etc. Makes you wonder if he was
with anybody or all by himself.
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