Bill Dunn
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Like the chapter on unemployment, this chapter and the next argue that there are problems and lacunae in Marx’s understanding of money and finance which a critical engagement with Keynes can help to address. Marxists agree with Keynes in insisting that money is not ‘neutral’. There is a specific financial moment which can impact on investment. Therefore, in as far as a Marxist analysis of money remains incomplete, so too does any analysis of the broader political economy. The chapter accordingly identifies three related areas where such a constructive dialogue can potentially enrich monetary analysis. The first involves thinking about money’s social relations and its material properties. Money has specific material properties, which both reflect and reflect on capitalist social relations, potentially taking them in new directions. The shift between different monetary systems – bimetal, gold, gold exchange, pure fiat money, electronic money – are neither simply policy choices nor the requirements of some abstract capitalist teleology, and they can have substantive economic repercussions. The second section argues that the non-neutrality of money means that money needs to be reintegrated analytically and that Keynes’s critique of the mainstream view that money does not matter, that money is neutral, usefully highlights the ineliminable importance of money, the specific financial and state monetary moments, and how these impact on the real economy. The third section continues that an engagement with Keynes’s concept of liquidity preference, extended and understood as a social and institutional phenomenon, can enrich Marxist monetary analysis.

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