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Marxism after the Death of Gold

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Marx's notion of gold as the ultimate monetary commodity and the consequence of the cutting of the tie of gold with the dollar in 1971 for Marxism and, finally, shows how a 'slight (class-struggle) stretch' of them can give us an adequate analysis both politically and theoretically. Gold 'as the money-commodity' was in 1867 not only marginal in what Marx called 'world-money', but its use in the form of coins was also marginal to 'domestic' monetary transactions among capitalists and between workers and capitalists. Throughout Capital Marx explored many aspects of money that explicitly were categorically detached from gold and indeed he recognised that this detachment was functional to their operation. The demonetarisation or 'demise' of gold leads neither to a transition from capitalism into a hyper-symbolic social system beyond work and exploitation nor to the end of Marxism as a study and practice of class-struggle.

Keywords: capitalism; death; gold; hyper-symbolic social system; Marxism; money-commodity; workers

10.1163/9789004231351_019
/content/books/b9789004231351_019
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