Karl Marx: Critique of Political Economy


b. Means of Payment

Up to now two forms of money which differ from the medium of circulation have been considered, namely suspended coin and hoard. The first form, the temporary transformation of coins into money, reflects the fact that in a certain sphere of circulation, the second term of C—M—C, that is M—C the purchase, must break up into a series of successive purchases. Hoarding, however, is either simply due to the separation of the transaction C—M which does not proceed to M—C, or it is merely an independent development of the first metamorphosis of commodities, money, or the alienated form of existence of all commodities as distinct from means of circulation, which represents the always saleable form of the commodity. Coin held in reserve and hoards constitute money only as non-means of circulation, and are non-means of circulation merely because they do not circulate. The distinctive form of money which we now consider circulates or enters circulation, but does not function as means of circulation. Money as means of circulation was always means of purchase, but now it does not serve in that capacity.

When as a result of hoarding money becomes the embodiment of abstract social wealth and the material representative of physical wealth, this aspect of money acquires specific functions within the process of circulation. When money circulates simply as a means of circulation and hence as a means of purchase, this presupposes that commodity and money confront each other simultaneously; in other words, that the same value is available twice, as a commodity in the hands of the seller at one pole, and as money in the hands of the buyer at the other pole. The simultaneous existence of the two equivalents at opposite poles and their simultaneous change of place, or their mutual alienation, presupposes in its turn that seller and buyer enter into relation with each other only as owners of actually existing commodities. But the metamorphosis of commodities, in the course of which the various distinct forms of money are evolved, transforms the commodity-owners as well, and alters the social role they play in relation to one another. In the course of the metamorphosis of commodities the keeper of commodities changes his skin as often as the commodity undergoes a change or as money appears in a new form. Commodity-owners thus faced each other originally simply as commodity-owners; then one of them became a seller, the other a buyer; then each became alternately buyer and seller; then they became hoarders and finally rich men. Commodity-owners emerging from the process of circulation are accordingly different from those entering the process. The different forms which money assumes in the process of circulation are in fact only crystallisations of the transformation of commodities, a transformation which is in its turn only the objective expression of the changing social relations in which commodity-owners conduct their exchange. New relations of intercourse arise in the process of circulation, and commodity-owners, who represent these changed relations, acquire new economic characteristics. In the same way as within the sphere of internal circulation money becomes nominal, and a mere piece of paper representing gold is able to function as money, so a buyer or seller who comes forward as a mere representative of money or commodities, namely one who represents future money or future commodities, is enabled by the same process to operate as a real buyer or seller.

All the distinct forms evolved by gold as money are merely manifestations of aspects latent in the metamorphosis of commodities, but these aspects did not assume a separate form in the simple circulation of money, in money as it appears as coin and the circuit C—M—C as a dynamic unity, or else they emerged merely as potentialities, as did for example the interruption of the metamorphosis of commodities. We have seen that in the course of the transaction C—M the commodity as a real use-value and nominal exchange-value is brought into relation with money as a real exchange-value and only nominal use-value. By alienating the commodity as use-value the seller realises its exchange-value and the use-value of money. In contrast, by alienating money as exchange-value, the buyer realises its use-value and the price of the commodity. Commodity and money, accordingly, change places. The active process of this bilateral polar antithesis is in its turn separated while it is being carried through. The seller actually alienates the commodity but realises its price in the first place only nominally. He has sold the commodity at its price, but the price will only be realised at a predetermined later date. The buyer buys as the representative of future money, whereas the seller sells as the owner of a commodity available here and now. On the one hand, the seller actually hands over the commodity as use-value without actually realising its price; on the other hand, the buyer actually realises his money in the use-value of the commodity without actually handing over the money as exchange-value. Just as formerly money was represented by a token of value, so now it is symbolically represented by the buyer himself. Just as formerly the value-token as a universal symbol entailed a State guarantee and a legal rate, so now the buyer as a personal symbol gives rise to private, legally enforcible, contracts among commodity-owners.

Conversely, in the transaction M—C, money as a real means of purchase may be alienated, thus realising the price of the commodity before the use-value of the money is realised, or before the commodity is handed over. This happens, for instance, in the well-known form of advance payment; also in the form of payment used by the English government to buy opium from Indian ryots, and is largely used by foreign merchants living in Russia to buy goods produced in that country. In these cases, however, money functions only in the familiar form of means of purchase and therefore requires no new definition, [1] or any further discussion. With regard to the changed form which the two transactions M—C and C—M assume here, we shall only note that the purely conceptual distinction of purchase and sale as it appears directly in circulation becomes now a real distinction, since there is only money in one case and only commodity in the other; in each of them, however, only the extreme is actually available from which the initiative comes. Both forms, moreover, have in common the fact that in each of them one equivalent exists only by common decision of buyer and seller, a decision which is mutually binding and is given a distinct legal form.

Seller and buyer become creditor and debtor. Whereas the commodity-owner as the guardian of a hoard was a rather comical figure, he now becomes terrifying, because he regards, not himself, but his neighbour as the embodiment of a definite sum of money, and turns his neighbour and not himself into a martyr to exchange-value. The former believer becomes a creditor [In German a pun on the words “der Gläubige,” the believer, and “der Gläubiger,” the creditor. – Ed] and turns from religion to Jurisprudence.

"I stay here on my bond!"

In the changed form of C—M, in which the commodity is actually on hand and the money is merely represented, money functions first as the measure of value. The exchange-value of the commodity is assessed in money as its measure, but the exchange-value assessed by contract, that is the price, exists not merely in the mind of the seller, but is also the measure of the liabilities of the buyer. Secondly, money functions here as means of purchase, although it is merely its future existence which casts its shadow before it, for it causes the commodity to move from the hands of the seller into those of the buyer. On the settlement day of the contract, money enters circulation, for it moves from the hands of the former buyer into those of the former seller. But it does not come into the sphere of circulation as means of circulation or means of purchase. It fulfilled these functions before it existed, and it appears on the scene after ceasing to perform these functions. It enters circulation as the only adequate equivalent of the commodity, as the absolute embodiment of exchange-value, as the last word of the exchange process, in short as money, and moreover as money functioning as the universal means of payment. Money functioning as means of payment appears to be the absolute commodity, but it remains within the sphere of circulation, not outside it as with the hoard. The difference between means of purchase and means of payment becomes very conspicuous, and unpleasantly so, at times of commercial crises. [2]

The conversion of products into money in the sphere of circulation appears originally simply as an individual necessity for the commodity-owner when his own product does not constitute use-value for himself, but has still to become a use-value through alienation. In order to make payment on the contractual settlement day, however, he must already have sold commodities. The evolution of the circulation process thus turns selling into a social necessity for him, quite irrespective of his individual needs. As a former buyer of commodities he is forced to become a seller of other commodities so as to obtain money, not as a means of purchase, but as a means of payment, as the absolute form of exchange-value. The conversion of commodities into money as a final act, or the first metamorphosis of commodities as the ultimate goal, which in hoarding appeared to be the whim of the commodity-owner, has now become an economic function. The motive and the content of selling for the sake of payment constitutes the content of the circulation process, a content arising from its very form.

In this type of sale, the commodity moves from one position to another, although its first metamorphosis, its conversion into money, is deferred. On the buyer's side, however, the second metamorphosis is carried through, i.e., money is reconverted into commodities, before the first metamorphosis has taken place, i.e., before the conversion of the commodities into money. In this case, therefore, the first metamorphosis appears to take place later than the second. Hence money, the form of the commodity in its first metamorphosis, acquires a new distinctive aspect. Money, that is the independent development of exchange-value, is no longer an intermediary phase of commodity circulation, but its final result.

No proof in detail is needed to show that such purchases on credit, in which the two poles of the transaction are separated in time, evolve spontaneously on the basis of simple circulation of commodities. At first it happens that in the course of circulation certain commodity-owners confront one another repeatedly as buyers and sellers. Such repeated occurrences do not remain merely accidental, but commodities may, for example, be ordered for a future date at which they are to be delivered and paid for. The sale in this case takes place only nominally, i.e., juridically, without the actual presence of commodities and money. The two forms of money, means of circulation and means of payment, are here still identical, since on the one hand commodities and money change places simultaneously, and on the other, money does not purchase commodities but realises the price of commodities previously sold. Moreover, owing to the specific nature of a number of use-values they are really alienated not by being in fact handed over but only by being leased for a definite period. For example, when one sells the use of a house for a month, its use-value is delivered only at the expiration of the month, although the house changes hands at the beginning of the month. Because in this case the actual transfer of the use-value and its real alienation are separated in time, the realisation of its price also takes place later than the date on which it changes hands. Finally, owing to differences in the period and length of time required for the production of different commodities, one producer comes to the market as a seller before the other can act as a buyer, and if the same commodity-owners repeatedly buy and sell one another's products, the two aspects of the transaction are separated according to the conditions of production of their commodities. This gives rise to relations of creditor and debtor among commodity-owners. These relations can be fully developed even before the credit system comes into being, although they are the natural basis of the latter. It is evident however that the evolution of the credit system, and therefore of the bourgeois mode of production in general, causes money to function increasingly as a means of payment to the detriment of its function both as a means of purchase and even more as an element of hoarding. For instance in England, coin is almost entirely confined to the sphere of retail trade and to petty transactions between producers and consumers, whereas money as means of payment predominates in the sphere of large commercial transactions. [3]

Money as the universal means of payment becomes the universal commodity of contracts, though at first only within the sphere of commodity circulation. [4] But as this function of money develops, all other forms of payment are gradually converted into payments in money. The extent to which money functions as the exclusive means of payment indicates how deep-seated and widespread the domination of production by exchange-value is. [5]

The volume of money in circulation as means of payment is first of all determined by the amount of payments due, that is by the aggregate prices of the commodities which have been sold, not of the commodities that are to be sold as is the case with simple money circulation. But the amount thus determined is subject to modification by two factors: first by the velocity with which a coin repeats the same operation, or the number of payments which constitute a dynamic chain of payments. A pays B, then B pays C and so on. The velocity with which the same coin can act repeatedly as means of payment depends, on the one hand, on the interconnection of the commodity-owners' relations as creditors and debtors, in which the same commodity-owner who is a creditor in relation to one person is a debtor in relation to another, and so forth; and on the other hand, on the period of time separating the various dates on which payments are due. The series of payments, or of first metamorphoses carried out subsequently, is qualitatively different from the series of metamorphoses represented by the movement of money as means of circulation. The second series does not only appear in temporal succession, but it comes into being in this way. A commodity is turned into money, then into a commodity again, thus making it possible for another commodity to be turned into money, and so on: in other words, a seller becomes a buyer and another commodity-owner thereby becomes a seller. This sequence arises fortuitously in the course of commodity exchange itself. But the fact that the money which A pays to B is then used by B to pay C, and then by C to pay D, etc., and that moreover payments rapidly succeed one another – this external relation is but a manifestation of a previously existing social relation. The same coin passes through various hands not because it acts as means of payment; but it is passed on as means of payment because these hands have already been joined. A far more extensive integration of the individual into the process of circulation is accordingly signified by the velocity of money as means of payment, than by the velocity of money as coin or means of purchase.

The aggregate of prices of simultaneous, and therefore spatially coexisting, purchases and sales is the limit beyond which the velocity of currency cannot be substituted for its volume. But this barrier does not exist when money functions as means of payment. If payments falling due simultaneously are concentrated at one place, which occurs at first spontaneously at the large foci of commodity circulation, then payments offset one another like negative and positive quantities: A who has to pay B may receive a payment from C at the same time, and so on. The amount of money required as means of payment thus depends not on the aggregate amount of payments which are due to be made simultaneously, but on the degree of their concentration and on the size of the balance left over after the negative and positive amounts have been offset against one another. Special devices for this type of balancing arise even if no credit system has been evolved, as was the case in ancient Rome. But consideration of them is no more relevant here than is consideration of the usual settlement dates, which in every country become established among people of certain social strata. Here we shall merely note that scholarly investigations of the specific influence exerted by these dates on the periodic variations in the quantity of money in circulation have been undertaken only in recent times.

When payments cancel one another as positive and negative quantities, no money need actually appear on the scene. Here money functions merely as measure of value with respect to both the price of the commodity and the size of mutual obligations. Apart from its nominal existence, exchange-value does not therefore acquire an independent existence in this case, even in the shape of a token of value, in other words money becomes purely nominal money of account. Money functioning as means of payment thus contains a contradiction: on the one hand, when payments balance, it acts merely as a nominal measure; on the other hand, when actual payments have to be made, money enters circulation not as a transient means of circulation, but as the static aspect of the universal equivalent, as the absolute commodity, in short, as money. Where chains of payments and an artificial system for adjusting them have been developed, any upheaval that forcibly interrupts the flow of payments and upsets the mechanism for balancing them against one another suddenly turns money from the nebulous chimerical form it assumed as measure of value into hard cash or means of payment. Under conditions of advanced bourgeois production, when the commodity-owner has long since become a capitalist, knows his Adam Smith and smiles superciliously at the superstition that only gold and silver constitute money or that money is after all the absolute commodity as distinct from other commodities – money then suddenly appears not as the medium of circulation but once more as the only adequate form of exchange-value, as a unique form of wealth just as it is regarded by the hoarder. The fact that money is the sole incarnation of wealth manifests itself in the actual devaluation and worthlessness of all physical wealth, and not in purely imaginary devaluation as for instance in the Monetary System. This particular phase of world market crises is known as monetary crisis. The summum bonum, the sole form of wealth for which people clamour at such times, is money, hard cash, and compared with it all other commodities – just because they are use-values – appear to be useless, mere baubles and toys, or as our Doctor Martin Luther says, mere ornament and gluttony. This sudden transformation of the credit system into a monetary system adds theoretical dismay to the actually existing panic, and the agents of the circulation process are overawed by the impenetrable mystery surrounding their own relations. [6]

Payments in their turn necessitate reserve funds, accumulations of money as means of payment. The formation of reserve funds, unlike hoarding, no longer seems an activity extraneous to circulation, or, as in the case of coin reserves, a purely technical stagnation of coin; on the contrary money has to be gradually accumulated so as to be available at definite dates in the future when payments become due. Although with the development of bourgeois production, therefore, the abstract form of hoarding regarded as enrichment decreases, the form of hoarding necessitated by the exchange process itself increases; a part of the wealth which generally accumulates in the sphere of commodity circulation being drawn into reserve funds of means of payment. The more advanced is bourgeois production, the more these funds are restricted to the indispensable minimum. Locke's work on the lowering of the rate of interest [7] contains interesting information about the size of these reserve funds in his time. It shows how substantial a proportion of the money in circulation in England was absorbed by the reserves of means of payment precisely during the period when banking began to develop.

The law regarding the quantity of money in circulation as it emerged from the examination of simple circulation of money is significantly modified by the circulation of means of payment. If the velocity of money, both as means of circulation and as means of payment, is given, then the aggregate amount of money in circulation during a particular period is determined by the total amount of commodity-prices to be realised [plus] the total amount of payments falling due during this period minus the payments that balance one another. This does not affect at all the general principle that the amount of money in circulation depends upon commodity-prices, for the aggregate amount of payments is itself determined by the prices laid down in the contracts. It is however quite obvious that the aggregate prices of the commodities in circulation during a definite period, say a day, are by no means commensurate with the volume of money in circulation on the same day, even if the velocity of circulation and the economic methods of payment are assumed to remain unchanged; since a certain quantity of commodities is in circulation whose prices will only be realised in money at a later date, and a certain amount of money in circulation corresponds to commodities which have left the sphere of circulation a long time ago. This amount of money depends in its turn on the value of the payments that fall due on this day, although the relevant contracts were concluded at widely varying dates.

We have seen that changes in the value of gold and silver do not affect their functions as measure of value and money of account. But with regard to hoarded money these changes are of decisive importance, since with the rise or fall in the value of gold and silver the value of the hoard of gold or silver will rise or fall. Such changes are of even greater importance for money as means of payment. The payment is effected at a date subsequent to the sale of the commodities; that is to say, money performs two different functions at two different periods, acting first as a measure of value, and then as the means of payment appropriate to this measure. If meanwhile a change has occurred in the value of the precious metals, or in the labour-time needed for their production, the same quantity of gold or silver will have a greater or smaller value when it functions as means of payment than at the time it served as measure of value, when the contract was signed. The function which a specific commodity, such as gold or silver, performs as money, or as exchange-value that has assumed an independent form, comes here into conflict with the nature of the specific commodity, whose value depends on variations in its costs of production. It is well-known that the fall in the value of precious metals in Europe gave rise to a great social revolution, just as the ancient Roman Republic at an early stage of its history experienced a reverse revolution caused by a rise in the value of copper, the metal in which the debts of the plebeians were contracted. Even without further examination of the influence which fluctuations in the value of precious metals exert on the system of bourgeois economy, it is clear that a fall in the value of precious metals favours debtors at the expense of creditors, while a rise in their value favours creditors at the expense of debtors.

c. World Money

Gold becomes money, as distinct from coin, first by being withdrawn from circulation and hoarded, then by entering circulation as a non-means of circulation, finally however by breaking through the barriers of domestic circulation in order to function as universal equivalent in the world of commodities. It thus becomes world money.

In the same way as originally the commonly used weights of precious metals served as measures of value, so on the world market the monetary denominations are reconverted into corresponding denominations of weight. Just as amorphous crude metal (aes rude) was the original form of means of circulation, and originally the coined form was simply the official indication of metallic weight, so precious metal serving as universal coin discards its specific shape and imprint and reverts to neutral bullion form; that is when national coins, such as Russian imperials, Mexican thalers and English sovereigns, circulate abroad their titles become unimportant and what counts is only their substance. Finally, as international money the precious metals once again fulfil their original function of means of exchange: a function which, like commodity exchange itself, originated at points of contact between different primitive communities and not in the interior of the communities. Money functioning as world money reverts to its original natural form. When it leaves domestic circulation, money sheds the particular forms occasioned by the development of exchange within particular areas, or the local forms assumed by money as measure of price – specie, small change, and token of value.

We have seen that only one commodity serves as a measure of value in the internal circulation of any country. But since in one country gold performs this function, in another silver, a double standard of value is recognised on the world market, and all functions of money are duplicated. The translation of the values of commodities from gold prices into silver prices and vice versa always depends on the relative value of the two metals; this relative value varying continuously and its determination appearing accordingly as a continuous process. Commodity-owners in every country are compelled to use gold and silver alternately for foreign commerce thus exchanging the metal current as money within the country for the metal which they happen to require as money in a foreign country. Every nation thus employs both gold and silver as world money.

Gold and silver in the sphere of international commodity circulation appear not as means of circulation but as universal means of exchange. The universal means of exchange act however merely as means of purchase and means of payment, two forms which we have already described, but their relations are reversed on the world market. When in the sphere of internal circulation money was used as coin, i.e., as the intermediary link in the dynamic unity C—M—C or as the merely transitory form of exchange-value during the perpetual motion of commodities – it functioned exclusively as means of purchase. The reverse is the case on the world market. Here gold and silver act as means of purchase if the interchange is only unilateral and therefore purchase and sale are separated. For example, the border trade at Kyakhta is in fact and according to treaty stipulations barter, in which silver is only used as a measure of value. The war of 1857-58 induced the Chinese to sell without buying. Thereupon silver suddenly appeared as means of purchase. In deference to the letter of the treaty, the Russians turned French five-franc coins into crude silver articles which were used as means of exchange. Silver has always served as means of purchase for Europe and America, on the one side, and Asia, where it congeals into hoards, on the other. Precious metals, moreover, serve as international means of purchase when the usual equilibrium in the interchange of products between two nations is suddenly disturbed, e.g., when a bad harvest compels one of them to buy on an extraordinary scale. Precious metals, finally, are used as international means of purchase by the gold and silver producing countries, where they are direct products and also commodities, and not a converted form of commodities. With the development of commodity exchange between different national spheres of circulation, the function which world money fulfils as means of payment for settling international balances develops also.

International circulation, like domestic circulation, requires a constantly changing amount of gold and silver. Part of the accumulated hoards is consequently used by every nation as a reserve fund of world money, a fund which is sometimes diminished, sometimes replenished according to fluctuations in commodity exchange. [8] In addition to particular movements of world money which flows backwards and forwards between national spheres of circulation, there is a general movement of world money; the points of departure being the sources of production, from which gold and silver flow in various directions to all the markets of the world. Thus gold and silver as commodities enter the sphere of world circulation and in proportion to the labour-time contained in them they are exchanged for commodity equivalents before reaching the area of domestic circulation. They accordingly already have a definite value when they turn up in these areas. Their relative value on the world market is therefore uniformly affected by every fall or rise in their costs of production and is quite independent of the degree to which gold or silver is absorbed by the various national spheres of circulation. One branch of the stream of metal which is caught up in a particular area of the world of commodities immediately enters the domestic circulation of money as replacement of worn-out coins; another is diverted into various reservoirs where coin, means of payment and world money accumulate; a third is used to make luxury articles and the rest, finally, is turned simply into hoards. Where the bourgeois mode of production has reached an advanced stage the formation of hoards is reduced to the minimum needed by the different branches of the circulation process for the free action of their mechanism. Under these conditions hoards as such consist only of wealth lying idle, unless they represent a temporary surplus in the balance of payments, the result of an interruption in the interchange of products and therefore commodities congealed in their first metamorphosis.

Just as in theory gold and silver as money are universal commodities, so world money is the appropriate form of existence of the universal commodity. In the same proportion as all commodities are exchanged for gold and silver these become the transmuted form of all commodities and hence universally exchangeable commodities. They are realised as embodiments of universal labour-time in the degree that the interchange of the products of concrete labour becomes world-wide. They become universal equivalents in proportion to the development of the series of particular equivalents which constitute their spheres of exchange. Because the exchange-value of commodities is universally developed in international circulation, it appears transformed into gold and silver as international money. Since as a result of their versatile industry and all-embracing commerce the nations of commodity-owners have turned gold into adequate money, they regard industry and commerce merely as means enabling them to withdraw money in the form of gold and silver from the world market. Gold and silver as international money are therefore both the products of the universal circulation of commodities and the means to expand its scope. Just as the alchemists, who wanted to make gold, were not aware of the rise of chemistry, so commodity-owners, chasing after a magical form of the commodity, are not aware of the sources of world industry and world trade that are coming into being. Gold and silver help to create the world market by anticipating its existence in their concept of money. Their magical effect is by no means confined to the infancy of bourgeois society, but is the inevitable consequence of the inverted way in which their own social labour appears to the representatives of the world of commodities; a proof of this being the remarkable influence which the discovery of gold in various new areas exerted on international trade in the middle of the nineteenth century.

As money develops into international money, so the commodity-owner becomes a cosmopolitan. The cosmopolitan relations of men to one another originally comprise only their relations as commodity-owners. Commodities as such are indifferent to all religious, political, national and linguistic barriers. Their universal language is price and their common bond is money. But together with the development of international money as against national coins, there develops the commodity-owner's cosmopolitanism, a cult of practical reason, in opposition to the traditional religious, national and other prejudices which impede the metabolic process of mankind. The commodity-owner realises that nationality “is but the guinea's stamp,” since the same amount of gold that arrives in England in the shape of American eagles is turned into sovereigns, three days later circulates as napoleons in Paris and may be encountered as ducats in Venice a few weeks later. The sublime idea in which for him the whole world merges is that of a market, the world market. [9]


[1.] Of course capital, too, is advanced in the form of money and it is possible that the money advanced is capital advanced, but this aspect does not lie within the scope of simple circulation.

[2.] Luther emphasises the distinction which exists between means of purchase and means of payment. [Note in author's copy.]

[3.] Despite Mr. Macleod's doctrinaire priggishness about definitions, he misinterprets the most elementary economic relations to such an extent that he asserts that money in general arises from its most advanced form, that is means of payment. He says inter alia that since people do not always require each other's services at the same time and to the same value, “there would remain a certain difference or amount of service due from the first to the second, and this would constitute a debt". The owner of this debt may need the services of a third person who does not immediately require his services, and “what could be more natural than for the second to transfer to the third the debt due to him from the first". The “evidence of a debt, would pass from hand to hand;... what is called a currency....when a person receives an obligation expressed by a metallic currency, he is able to command the services not only of the original debtor, but also those of the whole of the industrious community.” H. D. Macleod, The Theory and Practice of Banking, Vol. I, London, 1855, Ch. I [pp. 24, 29].

[4.] “Money is the general commodity of contract, or that in which the majority of bargains about property, to be completed at a future time, are made.” Bailey, op. cit., p. 3

[5.] Senior (op. cit., p. 221) says: “Since the value of everything changes within a certain period of time, people select as a means of payment an article whose value changes least and which retains longest a given average ability to buy things. Thus, money becomes the expression or representative of values.” On the contrary, gold, silver, etc., become general means of payment, because they have become money, that is the independent embodiment of exchange-value. It is precisely when the stability of the value of money, mentioned by Mr. Senior, is taken into account, i.e., in periods when force of circumstances establishes money as the universal means of payment, that people become aware of variations in the value of money. Such a period was the Elizabethan age in England, when, because of the manifest depreciation of the precious metals, an Act was shepherded through Parliament by Lord Burleigh and Sir Thomas Smith to compel the universities of Oxford and Cambridge to provide for the payment of one-third of the rent of their lands in wheat and malt.

[6.] Boisguillebert, who wishes to prevent bourgeois relations of production from being pitted against the bourgeoisie themselves, prefers to consider those forms of money in which money appears as a purely nominal or transitory phenomenon. Previously he regarded means of circulation from this point of view and now means of payment. He fails to notice, however, the sudden transformation of the nominal form of money into external reality, and the fact that even the purely conceptual measure of value latently contains hard cash. Boisguillebert says, wholesale trade – in which, after “the appraisal of the commodities,” exchange is accomplished without the intervention of money – shows that money is simply an aspect of the commodities themselves. Le detail de la France, p. 210

[7.] Locke, Some Considerations on the Lowering of Interest, pp. 17, 18

[8.] “The accumulated money is added to the sum which, to be really in circulation and satisfy tbe possibilities of trade, departs and leaves the sphere of circulation itself.” (G. R. Carli, Note on Verri, Meditazioni sulla Economia Politica, p. 192, t. XV, Custodi, I.c.)

[9.] “Intercourse between nations spans the whole globe to such an extent that one may almost say all the world is but a single city in which a permanent fair comprising all commodities is held, so that by means of money all the things produced by the land, the animals and human industry can be acquired and enjoyed by any person in his own home. A wonderful invention.” Montanari, Della Moneta (1683), p. 40