Bill Dunn
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Money and states in capitalism's uneven development
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This chapter builds on the basic arguments of the two previous chapters. Money is an inherently imperfect and shifting measure of value; it is endogenous to capitalism but this is not equivalent to seeing it as ‘non-state’, because the state itself needs to be conceived as within, not without, the capitalist system as a whole. Institutional forms change how money works, and the actions of these institutions, particularly of states, matter in the sense of making a real difference not only to monetary forms but to accumulation. The first section comments generally on debates around exogeneity, endogeneity, and the role of the state and other institutions in managing money. The second section illustrates this, drawing on important historical examples of the essential role of states and other financial institutions in monetary affairs and hence in capital accumulation. It is impossible to tell the history of money within the scope of a single short chapter, but six important examples emphasise the conceptual points. This section develops the earlier discussions about money and interest, particularly about the non-neutrality of money and the need to take this seriously in terms of its impacts on capital accumulation and to move from relatively abstract accounts to concrete depictions of institutional relations.

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