What is equivalent exchange

Text from: Dieter Suhr: Capitalism as Monetary Syndrome Campus Verlag, 1988, ISBN 3-593-33999-4, pages 25 - 45 (Scanned, proofread and posted on the web by W. Roehrig in August 1999).
2nd chapterMoney as an equivalent and as a non-equivalent of a commodity For Marx, money is on the one hand the "equivalent form" of the commodity (below I.). For Marx, however, money also functions just as much as a "social monopoly" within the world of commodities, whereby "social power (...) becomes private power": that is, something that is significantly superior to the commodity, in any case anything but one of the A commodity is an "equivalent" economic good in every respect (II below). It will have to be clarified how both observations remain compatible with one another (III below). I. Money as the equivalent of goods 1. Money as a general social equivalent form of the commodity Marx describes a series of stages on which the equivalent forms from commodity to money develop. At the end of this series, the commodity "gold" develops into money: "The specific type of commodity, with whose natural form the equivalent form grows socially, becomes a money commodity or functions as money. It becomes its specific social function, (...) to play the role of the general equivalent. " (Marx 1890, p. 83) The equivalence between money and commodity is emphasized again and again and it is stated, for example, that progress consists in "that the form of immediate general exchangeability" or the general equivalent form "is finally achieved through social habit" . (P. 84) In this way, "social action" makes "a certain commodity the general equivalent": "The money crystal is a necessary product of the exchange process, in which different kinds of labor products are actually equated with one another and are therefore actually transformed into commodities. " (P. 10lf.) All other commodities appear only as "particular equivalents of money", and money in turn appears as "their general equivalent". (P. 104)


2. Money as a measure of the value of equivalence The equivalence of money to commodities comes into play in various functions: gold becomes money because it functions "as a general measure of values". It enables "the values ​​of goods to be represented as quantities of the same name, qualitatively the same and quantitatively comparable". (Marx 1890, p. 109) Here money becomes the measure of economic equivalence ("equivalence"), precisely because it is itself simply the "equivalent form" of goods. In this function as a measure of value, money serves "as only imagined or ideal money". (P. 111) Today one speaks of money, as far as the measuring monetary unit is meant, more precisely of the "currency unit". In its measuring function, money appears, for example, in the contractual purchase of goods (p. 150): "Your contractually fixed price measures the buyer's obligation, i.e. the sum of money that he owes at a certain time." At the same time, as Marx says, money functions as an "ideal means of purchase": although it is initially only a question of a buyer's promise of money, not yet the money itself, it can already bring about "a change of hands for the goods". In this respect, money no longer appears as a real "medium of exchange", but as a yardstick for a claim. And what brings about the exchange and what is given in exchange is first of all a legal structure: the legally secured expectation of future payment of money. This purchase price claim is only due in the future. But even in the present it embodies (as an existing right to future payment) the value for which the other is willing to provide the goods. And this future monetary claim is measured in units of the value measure "money" (currency). This creates a "private title on money" which is itself an economic asset and which can "change hands of the goods".



3. The means of payment as the equivalent incarnation of work Of course, money does not only function as a measure of the value of equivalence (currency), but also as an instrument and means for the transfer of value in the form of the "general equivalent form": "Only on the due date of payment does the means of payment really begin to circulate, ie (it) passes from the buyer's hand to the seller's. " (Marx 1890, p. 150) In this respect, money then appears to Marx as "the individual incarnation of social labor, the independent existence of exchange value, an absolute commodity." (P. 152)


4. Naive hoarding and capitalist accumulation The value of goods can be recorded in the form of its general equivalent form of money: "treasure formation". In itself, the "liquid turnover between sale and purchase (...) appears in the restless circulation of money or its function as a perpetuum mobile of circulation." As soon as "the sale is not (no longer) supplemented by subsequent purchases," the rolling coin turns into stationary money, and "the necessity and passion develop (...) to hold onto the changed shape of the goods or their gold dolls . (...) the money turns into a treasure, the seller of goods becomes a treasurer. " (Marx 1890, p. 144). But this is only the first "naive form of hoarding" in which the respective surplus of use-values ​​in gold and silver is transformed into a treasure trove of money. This "naive" use of money is not yet a capitalist form of wealth. The mere use of money as a hoarder has the disadvantage that the "naturally immoderate" "drive of hoarding" is not satisfied insofar as the petrified sum of money does not grow. That is why the treasurer "always drives back to the Sisyphean work of accumulation. He feels like the world conqueror who conquers only one new frontier with every new country." Because he can withdraw from circulation "only in money what he gives it in commodities". (P. 147; also Marx 1857/8, p. 144)


5. Open questions At this point, Marx's presentation becomes unclear: At first, money was the "general equivalent form" of goods. Held in the cash register or in a piggy bank, it turns into a sluggish treasure that doesn't grow. On the other hand, it is evident that invested money capital brings interest. Such monetary wealth grows. It multiplies - and without the money owner having to toil and sweat forever like Sisyphus. That is why the money keeps coming out of the coffers. Otherwise the money owner misses the chance to increase his wealth. The money capitalist only has to toil and sweat if he acquires means of production with his own capital and, as an entrepreneur, carries out organizational, scheduling and management work from early to late: and in such a way that he not only earns an appropriate entrepreneur's wage for it, but also generates an adequate return on investment for its equity. And this our equity entrepreneur only works "profitably" if, in addition to his entrepreneurial wages, he gets at least as much out of his money capital as he would get out if he wasn't toiling and sweating himself, but his money comfortably and comfortably would simply lend. So our investor only has to work and sweat if he plays a double role-playing game in which he engages in two different economic functions: namely, if he invests his money with himself as the entrepreneur who does business with it. Then, in his role as a capitalist, he exploits his alter ego, which works in the other role as an entrepreneur. This clarifies the relationship between the "money capitalist" and the "functioning" or "industrial capitalist". The capitalist soul compels the entrepreneurial soul to produce additional entrepreneurial work so that the equity invested by the capitalist soul is also appropriately yielded. (Suhr / Godschalk 1986, p. 74f.) Marx has precisely described these two souls in the chest of the equity entrepreneur: "The user of capital, even if he works with his own capital, is divided into two people, the mere owner of the capital and the User of capital: its capital itself, with reference to the categories of profit which it generates, is broken down into capital property, capital outside the production process, which in itself generates interest, and capital which, in the process of production, generates entrepreneurial profits. " (Marx 1894, p. 388) If the owner of the capital is to achieve his goal and receive the surplus value, then the industrialist must work hard and take the service of the owner of the capital. He has to identify with his capitalist alter ego and thereby really becomes a "functioning capitalist". And even if the investor and the entrepreneur are different people, a capable person who is made to be an entrepreneur can only fulfill his function under the conditions of the traditional system if he meets the surplus value expectations of the investor , so sees itself as its extended arm. The owners of capital therefore have it in their hands with the help of the money lever to pull the entrepreneurs on their side, to buy them in for the role of the "functioning capitalist" and thereby also to bring them into opposition to the workers, who are themselves original allies would be in the confrontation with the donors. The other open questions also include the fact that Marx, in connection with the capitalist increase in wealth, states that the (capitalist, no longer just "naive") treasurer can "only withdraw from circulation in money what he gives it in commodity." (Marx 1890, p. 147) For the moneylender can in fact withdraw money from circulation in the form of interest without giving it anything in the form of goods: namely, simply by letting someone else use his money temporarily. He simply gets his interest for the temporary provision of the money. This incompleteness and inaccuracy in Marx can be explained later by the fact that Marx explicitly disregards "commercial capital and usury capital" at first. (P. 178) But that is precisely why Marx does not stumble at this point over the decisive questions that inevitably arise here: - Which properties of money make money as such economically useful and so desirable that it can be lent for consideration and that in this way one can increase one's financial fortune without having to toil and sweat like poor Sisyphus? - What properties of money are responsible for the willingness of others to pay interest for the temporary use of money? And: - Which production output is rewarded if the temporary use of money for consumption or for a funeral is paid for with interest? These questions in turn suggest that money is not just a simple equivalent of the commodity, but also has properties that are themselves monetary: properties of added value! So it is necessary to investigate further whether and to what extent Marx communicates observations that show us these additional monetary properties, which are so pleasant or useful that one is prepared to pay a price for them again in the form of money.


II. Money as a non-equivalent superior to the commodity One does not have to look long to find descriptions in relevant contexts in Marx that show money in a role that distinguishes it economically from commodities. Stanisic (1925, pp. 6-9) has compiled some of the most revealing formulations. The material is, however, a bit richer and more differentiated.


l. Money as quick-witted social power in private hands The difference between goods and money is initially recorded very precisely as different uses in exchange: the goods are "a medium of exchange of only limited power compared to money". (Marx I857 / 8, p. 114) Gold and silver have "advantages" over the other commodities in that a lot of exchange value is associated with little metal: "As a result, ease of transport, transfer, etc. In a word, ease of real circulation, what of course (the) first condition for its economic function as a means of circulation (is). " (Pp. 897f., 83) Marx also recognizes, of course, that money is typically more stable than most other commodities; but he does not draw any conclusions from this with regard to a possible non-equivalence in the course of time: "Commodities are perishable money; money is perishable goods". (Marx 1857/8, p. 67). The "piling up of gold and silver" differs from the "piling up of other goods" in that they are more "perishable". (P.144) It was already quoted above that the monetary commodity acquires the “specific social function” of “playing the role of the general equivalent within the commodity world” (Marx 1890, p. 83) - social function and role described as a "social monopoly", and the next sentence speaks of the "preferred place" that money has "among goods". It is only in the objectified form of money that the products and activities of individuals "receive and prove" their "social power". (Marx 1857/8, p. 76) As a "preferred" commodity among commodities, however, the monetary commodity can hardly be of equal value in the sense of a perfect equivalent. In other contexts there is talk of the "privilege of this particular commodity" (Marx 1857/8, p. 84) or of the "supremacy of money" over the "real needs of production". (P. 144) But that's not all. Money also appears as the "nervus rerum", as a "social bargaining chip", and the same paragraph speaks of the "power of money, the always quick-witted, absolutely social form of wealth." And Marx then quotes approvingly, thinking about money: "Gold is a wonderful thing! Whoever has it is master of everything he wants. With gold one can even let souls get into paradise." (Marx 1890, p. 145) In another context, the speculative utility of money is described with the help of a quote: "The great advantage that is connected with the possession of gold and silver, since it gives the opportunity to choose the most favorable moments of purchase . " (Msrx 1862/3, p. 525) Through money, circulation becomes a large, alchemical social retort "into which everything flies in to come out again as a money crystal." And this wonderful money "is itself a commodity, an external thing that can become the private property of everyone. In this way, social power becomes the private power of the private person." (Marx 1890, p. 145/6) And as if the "magic of money" (p. 107; more recently Binswanger 1985) and the "apparently transcendental power" (Marx 1857/8, p. 65) of money are not even alive If enough could be described, Shakespeare and Sophocles are called to witness. (Marx 1890, p. 146) All of these statements on money are preceded by earlier ones, the most notable of which is probably the one in the article "On the Jewish Question". Money appears as a "worldly god" or as a "world power", and it says: "The emancipation from haggling and money (...) would be the self-emancipation of our time." "The God of practical need and self-interest is money. Money is the zealous God of Israel, before whom no other god may exist. Money humiliates all gods of man - and turns them into commodities. Money is universal, the self-constituted value of all things. It has therefore robbed the whole world, the human world as well as nature, of its peculiar value. Money is the being of work and existence alien to man, and this alien being rules him, he worships it The God of the Jews has become secular, has become the god of the world. " (Marx 1844, pp. 372-375) After all, money appears to Marx in fact on the one hand as a mere "equivalent form" of the commodity, but on the other hand as a downright magical instrument of private social power, in the face of which everything is in him transformed subordinate goods.


2. inconsistency of money Marx is well aware of this contradiction between "equivalent" and "non-equivalent". At first it appears to him as a contradiction between the ideal measure of values ​​on the one hand and the independent means of payment on the other. But then the power of independent money can also show itself in a very real and tangible way: "This contradiction is blatant at the moment of the production and trade crises, which is called the money crisis." Here the money suddenly and abruptly changes from its only ideal form to "hard money": "It becomes irreplaceable through profane goods. The use value of the goods becomes worthless and the value disappears before its own form of value Enlightenment conceit the money for empty delusion.Only the commodity is money. "And in the next moment the world market is shouting:" Only the money is a commodity! "In the crisis the contrast between the commodity and its value structure, the money, is heightened to the point of absolute contradiction (Marx 1890, p. 152) Marx sees contradictions at work which make money a means of power. The prerequisite for this is the development and objectification of money: "The need for exchange and the transformation of the product into pure exchange value progresses in the same Measures like the division of labor, ie with the social character of production. But to the same extent as the latter grows, so does the power of money, i.e. the exchange relationship is established as a power external to and independent of the producers. In the same proportion as the producers become dependent on exchange, the exchange seems to become independent of them and the gap between the product as product and the product as exchange value grows. "(Marx 1857/8, p. 64f.) Money is in itself "immanent" contradicting itself. By becoming independent it reverses the situation: "Money is originally the representative of all values; in practice things turn around and all real products become the representatives of money. (...) So we see how it is intrinsic to money to fulfill its purposes while at the same time negating them; to become independent against the goods; to become a means to an end; to realize the exchange value of commodities by separating them from them; facilitate exchange by dividing it; to overcome the difficulties of the direct exchange of goods by generalizing them; to the same degree as the producers become dependent on exchange, to make the exchange against the producers independent. "(pp. 67-69) Although these contradictions are" immanent "to money, it is also said that money does not bring them Opposites and contradictions, but rather the contradictions and contradictions produce the "apparently transcendent power of money" (p. 65) But if the power of money is only a product of the development towards capitalism, then why does interest arise of usury money beforehand?


3. Asymmetry of sale and purchase But not only in this immanent contradiction, and not only in the crisis, where it is taken to extremes, the contradiction between money as the mere equivalent form of the commodity on the one hand and money as an instrument of power on the other becomes apparent. Rather, it can already be observed in every single, small business with money and goods in which the money-owning buyer and the seller of their own goods or work face each other. There is an asymmetry in all of these businesses. (Suhr 1983, p. 22ff .; Suhr / Godschalk 1986, p.28ff.) It is related to two properties of money: firstly with the optimal exchangeability of money, which is derived from its general equivalent form, secondly with the fact that the money owner sees it as " Treasurer "is free not to spend his money as a buyer, but to hold it back (" naive "treasury building) or to devote it to capital purposes (capitalistic" treasury building "with the generation of surplus value). Marx ridicules those economists who assume a "necessary balance of sales and purchases" (Marx 1890, p. 127), that is, assume that every seller can be sure of his own buyer. He quotes James Mil1 as a "sample of economic apologetics" with the following assumption: "There can never be a shortage of buyers for all commodities. Whoever offers a commodity for sale demands to receive a commodity in exchange for it, and is therefore a buyer through the mere fact that he is a seller. Buyer and seller of all commodities taken together must therefore maintain an equilibrium by a metaphysical necessity. " (Marx 1859, p. 78) And Marx counters this assumption of equilibrium and symmetry with dashing irony: "The metaphysical equilibrium of buyers and sellers is limited to the fact that every purchase is a sale and every sale is a purchase, which is no great consolation ) for the custodians who do not sell it, and therefore do not bring it to buy either. " (P. 78) This is based on the following inequality between seller and buyer: "Nobody can sell without someone else buying. But nobody needs to buy immediately after he has sold himself." (Marx 1890, p. 127) In the GW phase of the GWG process, the buyer has an advantage: "He can wait," writes Engels (1868, p. 250), while WG as the phase of the sale includes "the A commodity is useless if it is not sold, and likewise that this can happen. " Because the simple exchange is split up into sale and purchase and money intervenes, an elementary inequality arises. Marx is not afraid to cite multiple evidence for this. And because the asymmetry that money brings into the system of exchange is decisive in assessing the possible capitalist properties of money, the evidence for the "various formal determinations" of the commodities, to which Marx agrees, should be: (Marx 1859, p. 78f .; 1890, p. 127f.) Can also be reproduced in detail here: "In the possession of money we only need to make an exchange in order to obtain the object of the wish, while we are with other surplus products have to do two, of which the first (getting the money) is infinitely more difficult than the second. " (George Opdyke) "The higher sellability of money is precisely the effect or natural consequence of the lower sellability of goods." (Thomas Corbet) "Money has the property of always being exchangeable for what it measures." (Charles Bosanquet) "Money can always buy other goods while other goods cannot always be bought by money." (Thomas Tooke) The unique exchangeability that distinguishes money from other goods has recently been emphasized, for example, by Lawrence H. White (1987, p. 452, following Leland B. Yeager, 1968, p. 45ff.): "Money's supreme salability in comparison with all other assets. " The products are no longer directly exchanged because the "existing direct identity between the exchange of one's own and the exchange of someone else's work product" is split up. The money intervenes: "The separation of sale and purchase (...) makes a mass of sham transactions possible before the definitive exchange (...) and thus enables a mass of parasites to penetrate the production process and exploit the divorce. " (Marx 1859, p. 79) For money, as the mediator of the circulation of goods, assumes the function of the means of circulation. As such, it can turn against circulation and thus trigger crises. (Marx 1890, p. 152) It can fail as a mediator of economic communication because money owners withhold it and only make it available again under certain conditions. The "identical" and symmetrical exchange process of the barter economy is replaced by the asymmetrical structure of sale and purchase: the buyer can buy when he wants, and he does not need to buy immediately after he has sold himself. The seller, however, remains seated on his labor or goods if and for as long as the money owner likes not to buy or not to buy. But whoever cannot get rid of his work or goods because he depends on the will of the money owners to buy - who in particular cannot sell his own work as a commodity, cannot subsequently appear as a buyer: he cannot get the food and means of production. genes that he needs in order to live, work, produce and consume. Once again: "The metaphysical equilibrium of buyers and sellers is limited to the fact that every purchase is a sale and every sale is a purchase, which (is) no particular consolation for the custodians who do not sell it, and therefore do not bring it to buy . " (Marx 1859, p. 78) Thus the dependence of the worker as a seller on work begins before he enters the shop; and so his dependency is repeated every time he starts over and offers his work. It is up to the owner of the medium of circulation to deny him entry into circulation. "The usurers transform themselves (...) into rulers of the medium of circulation (... and) thus into rulers of production." (Engels 1894, p. 284) This power does not emerge from labor, the value of which is in money, but from the fact that the need for exchange is exploited: "The need for exchange and the transformation of the product into pure exchange value progresses in the the same measure as the division of labor, that is, with the social character of production. But to the same extent as this grows, so does the power of money. " (Marx 1857/8, p. 64) This power of money is not the power of the seller who offers immovable goods or labor, but that of the buyer who has movable money in hand. And it is the power of the financier who, with the money, has the power to turn others into buyers. Those who are rich within society can typically assume the role of money owner and buyer. Who, on the other hand, typically sees themselves repeatedly referred to the role of the seller? The answer is simple: if you have to live from your work, you have to sell your work as a commodity, so you have the poorer commodity card of the economy game in your hand. On the other hand, those who do not have to use any of their goods themselves can silver them and turn them into money: Then they have a share in the "social monopoly" of the "general equivalent" money, by means of which "social power" becomes "private power". If it is correct that nobody can sell without someone buying, but nobody has to buy just because he has already sold: then the buyer with his money does indeed have the longer lever - then it is conceivable that he will control the situation can use to get more than one equivalent, - then it is conceivable that the seller of the commodity "labor" gets less than one equivalent. Because whoever sits on the longer lever can exert more pressure. He has the greater bargaining power, while the other comes under negotiating pressure. This creates an unequal deal in which the money owner can negotiate a price that exceeds the price under equilibrium conditions. And indeed: Marx describes the capitalist production process as a process in the course of which the capitalist ultimately pays less work than he gets, so that the worker also gets less money than he does in work. So the capitalist can easily buy surplus labor. The thing with added value seems that simple. But Marx himself does not want the process of selling and buying work and the creation of surplus value to be interpreted as a "surcharge" (surcharge when concluding a contract). (Marx 1862/3, p. 512) It is as if that were too easy for him. It is as if Marx wanted to clear up larger and more difficult secrets: he asks the reader to leave the noisy sphere of circulation and exchange in order to penetrate with him into the "hidden place of production". There it will show not only how capital is produced, but also how one produces it oneself; and now the process becomes almost paradoxical: "This whole process, the transformation of money into capital, takes place in the sphere of circulation and does not take place in it." (Marx 1890, p. 209) A later critic sees it quite differently: "The consumer, driven by personal needs, cannot wait although his money would allow him; the goods manufacturer cannot wait either, although his personal needs allow him would allow in some cases; but the owner of money acting as a merchant, the owner of the general, indispensable medium of exchange, he can wait, he can regularly embarrass the producers and consumers of goods by using the medium of exchange (money) And the embarrassments of the one are the capital of the other in trade. " (Gesell 1949, p. 316f.)


4. Neutralization of the asymmetry by reversing roles? I cannot and will not go into the subtle explanations of surplus value, in which a careful distinction is made between labor value, use value and exchange value. Rather, I would like to deal with a simpler preliminary consideration with which Marx convinces himself and his readers that the surplus value, despite the superiority of money over the commodity in general and over labor in particular, does not already occur on the occasion of the sale and purchase of commodities or labor simply arises as a "surcharge" (surcharge): First of all, when it comes to added value, Marx examines the blatant difference between goods and money, which is described as downright magical elsewhere, as well as the difference between sale and purchase, which is covered elsewhere with a great deal of quotation, rhetorically downplayed to the point of irrelevance - as if Marx had to convince himself that there is no such blatant difference: "In any case, on the commodity market only (!) the owner of the goods stands opposite the owner of the goods , and the power that these persons exercise over one another is only (!) the power of their goods The unity of the commodities is the material motive of the exchange and makes the commodity owners mutually dependent on one another, in that none of them holds the object of his own need and each of them holds the object of the other's needs in his hand. Besides this material difference in their use-values, there is only (!) One more difference between commodities, the difference between their natural form and their transformed form, between commodity and money. And so the goods owners only (!) Differ as sellers, owners of goods, and as buyers, owners of money. "(Marx 1890, p. 174f.) After that there is practically no difference between goods and money, between seller and buyer is visible except for the small one between the natural form and the money form, Marx plays through two (for him purely hypothetical) cases in a completely abstract way, namely that either the buyer or the seller has an excellent, better position. On the one hand: "Now suppose it is given to the seller by some inexplicable privilege to sell the commodity above its value, at 110 if it is worth 100, that is, with a nominal price premium of 10%. So the seller collects an added value of 10. But after being a seller, he becomes a buyer. He now meets a third owner of the goods as a seller and, for his part, enjoys the privilege of selling the goods 10% more expensive. And our man won 10 as a seller to lose 10 as a buyer. (...) "(p. 175) On the other hand:" Let us assume, conversely, that it is the buyer's privilege to buy goods below their value. Here it is not even necessary to remember that the buyer becomes a seller again. He was a seller before he was a buyer. He's already lost 10% as a seller before gaining 10% as a buyer. Everything stays the same again. "" The formation of surplus value and therefore the transformation of money into capital can neither be explained by the fact that the sellers sell the goods above their value, nor by the fact that the buyers buy them below their value. " (P. 175) These hypothetical and highly abstract thought games are apparently convincing and irrefutable; after all, the possible advantage of the buyer is immediately compensated by the disadvantage that he then has as a seller. In the same way, the disadvantage that the person appears to be in his role as seller of his work has to be immediately compensated for by the advantage he enjoys in the role of buyer of his groceries. But the appearance of this formal symmetry is deceptive, and Marx, the theoretician of historical materialism, lets himself into by the ideal equality The alternation of role-plays as seller and buyer are deceiving: Marx forgets, neglects, even represses here precisely that fundamental polarization between capital and labor that otherwise constitutes the historical starting point and the materialistic basis of his critique of political economy: Marx's hypothetical and highly abstract thought games on the role of seller and buyer simply assume symmetry economically, which Marx elsewhere and which is then apparently proven. In his mind games Marx treats the worker, who has to sell his work and buy food in order to be able to live, abstractly and formally, no differently from the capitalist who buys work or goods because he can already live and beyond Want to make profits. Marx implicitly presupposes real symmetrical conditions: that all those involved in the game of selling and buying are equally rich at the beginning, equally urgently dependent on the acquisition of food, and in the long run equally willing and able to save.Because only under this economically unreal assumption does the compensation calculation that Marx presents works. But it is precisely this assumption that is not fulfilled if, along with Marx, one presupposes the historical separation of capital and labor. Then you have to start with workers who have to sell and buy in order to live and the wealthy who can, but do not have to, buy other people's work. The game begins with a kind of "curve specification" for the money owner and with disadvantages for the seller of work: "Nobody can sell" (not even a worker), "if nobody buys" (namely the capitalist the work), says Marx. (Marx 1890; p. 127) The buyer can let the seller fidget. If the capitalist has let the worker fidget enough to get the desired surcharge, then the worker gets his wages and the capitalist produces goods with the underpaid work. Thereupon they do not swap their roles as capitalist and non-capitalist, but their roles as buyer and seller: Now, says Marx, the worker as a consumer can again take from the capitalist any surcharge that the capitalist has enforced on the employment contract : "Our man", the worker, "has already lost 10% as a seller, before he" wins "again 10% as a buyer", as a consumer. "Everything stays the same again". (P. 175) But there are still a wealthy capitalist who can wait, even if he reduces his profit, and a worker and consumer who wants to sell his work because he has milk, bread and housing must buy. Each round is about profit on the edge of his already large fortune. This is concerned with his existence in every round, and the money owner has him on the lead of the "advance payment" emphasized by Marx himself. There can be no question of the worker in the role of the consumer being able to get back as a buyer what he had to give up in excess work as a seller of work. It is much more possible to exploit it a second time, be it with the interest on a consumer loan. And when the worker as a consumer has spent his money on the satisfaction of his needs and the capitalist has sold his goods, they face each other again in the first, unequal round, but in such a way that the capitalist now has something else better if the worker goes into negotiations with a little less equipment. And because the capitalist not only has the means of production at his disposal, but also the means of circulation, the workers cannot simply do business with one another, build up production without the wealthy and emancipate themselves from the masters of circulation. For as long as the typical "polarization" persists, the general rule for workers is: "Nobody needs to buy immediately because they have sold themselves." (P. 127) Because the worker sells his work in order to buy something immediately. It is the same existential needs that first compel him to sell his labor and then to offer the money he has earned in exchange for food. The pressure he is under when buying is the same as he was under when selling his work. III. Interpretation of equivalence-and-non-equivalence Money is an equivalent of the commodity (I. above). Money is also a non-equivalent of the commodity (above II.). How can one understand this paradox? Money is an equivalent of the commodity at the moment the contract is concluded. The money acts as a benchmark. And when the purchase price is paid, the amount determined in this way is paid. It is about the face value of money in terms of its exchange value. Money, on the other hand, is superior to commodities in trade insofar as it facilitates the exchange of inert commodities by liquefying their value. To this extent we are not dealing with the value equivalent in money, but with the monetary liquidity of this equivalent, which constitutes the utility of money itself. It is no longer a question of the face value of money, but of its exchangeability value: the useful (cost-saving) superiority of money in the processing of exchange transactions and simple transfers of purchasing power. Because the value equivalent, as it is in every commodity, gets an additional use value in the commodity "money" due to its "quick wittedness", the money becomes a composition of a commodity equivalent (face value) on the one hand and the special one , itself useful general equivalent form of this value (exchangeability value) on the other hand. As long as the goods function as goods (and not yet as goods), it is not their use value that is of interest, but their sales value. For the typical owner and dealer of goods, the use value of goods is negligible, but their value is substantial. Money, on the other hand, is useful for the goods owner and dealer not only as a simple equivalent of goods, but above all in his quick wittedness: goods and money are both intended for exchange. But the money has the better exchangeability. This is precisely where the superiority of the general equivalent form of the monetary commodity lies over the other equivalents that are contained in inert commodities. The commodity is "a medium of exchange of only limited power compared to money". (Marx 1857/8, p. 114) This greater exchangeability of money is at the same time the original interest in its natural form: the elementary source form of surplus value. At this point we must think of the critic of Karl Marx who identified the crucial fulcrum of the problem of surplus value in the monetary system and to whom I too owe the decisive suggestions in the end. What is meant is Silvio Gesell, who is best able to speak for himself here: "Strangely enough, by the way, Marx also begins his investigations into interest with money. However, he suffered the misfortune that he (despite Proudhon's warning) was at the crucial place with one false assumption began and exactly like the usual capital-friendly interest researchers treated money and commodities as perfect equivalents (...) But it is even more remarkable that Marx in the process of exchange, which he himself describes as a rule (GWG '= money, commodity , Mehrgeld) finds a contradiction with the claimed equivalent, but promises to prove the solution of this contradiction elsewhere, namely in a long chain of middle links.This 'long chain' is the production process, and this chain begins and ends in the factory. The entrepreneur is not one of many exploiters, but is the exploiter tlos at the wages office. In order to smoothly resolve the contradiction uncovered by Marx in the formula G.W.G ', I will not need such a chain of middle links. I will throw the rod at the mouth of interest and pull it straight out of its element, recognizable to everyone. The power that belongs to the exchange formula G.W.G 'will be revealed immediately in the exchange process. I will show that money in the form in which we took it over from the ancients without looking at it is not an 'equivalent' and that it cannot circulate in any other way than according to the GWG formula. "(Gesell 1949, p. 314f. Like Marx, Gesell recognized the indispensability of money for the division of labor, but he also discovered that it is the possibility of withholding money at no noteworthy expense that leads to interest and surplus value, because the other means to exchange it cheaply , on which money as the cheapest route of economic communication. Even before Gesell, political economists concerned themselves with the superiority of money and endeavored to make the commodity more liquid, thus reducing the disadvantage of the commodity by improving circulation (eg "labor") - to be raised in relation to money (while Gesell, conversely, would like to bring money into line with commodities through the cost of money). But Marx was certain of his cause: he held neither the theoretical one n Approaches nor the practical suggestions for informative or helpful. In the end, his reply was only ridicule: "The 'organic' construction of 'Arbeitsgeld' and 'Nationalbank' and 'Warendocks' is only a dream Labor money is an economic-sounding phrase for the pious wish to get rid of money, with money the exchange value, with the exchange value the commodity, and with the commodity the bourgeois form of production , partly after Gray, but it was reserved to Mr. Proudhon and his school to seriously preach the degradation of money and the ascension of commodities as the core of socialism and thus to dissolve socialism into an elementary misunderstanding about the necessary connection between commodities and money. " (Marx 1859, pp. 68/69) Friedrich Engels (1885, pp. 175-182), looking back and discussing with Rodbertus, once again outlines the socialist attempts to translate Ricardo's (1817) labor theory into direct reform practice. He doesn’t let the utopias of wages go down well. In the following, however, it is a matter of showing to what extent, despite everything, Marx himself has already brought together many other building blocks of knowledge to the insight that money plays an even more decisive role than that which he already recognized as a barter mediator.