Bumping this thread because I just read Chapter 3, and I barely understood a thing beyond the C-M-C cycle.
I was pretty tired when I read the first half yesterday, might have been a bad idea to keep going, but I've been putting off reading this chapter for months, and I wanted to get done with it so I can finally tackle the rest, which I've heard is easier to follow.
I've understood in Chapter 2 that money is a commodity, and while it could technically be anything, precious metals are the most practical form of commodity money. So far so good.
However, nowadays, money isn't a commodity anymore. Fiat money doesn't have any intrinsic value, and there is basically no difference in the socially necessary labor time expended when a central bank decide to create $100 or $1,000,000 of currency.
I've heard nice theories, most notably by Jehu and Ted Reese, explaining why the world economy abandoned commodity money in 1971, and why value still matters in the end, and I think their insights are extremely interesting, explain a lot of things about automation, and I have no problem with them (pic related).
My problem is that Marx is explaining to me his theory of money within the context of the 19th-century, with god-awful Hegelian prose, and I'm absolutely lost.
My main question is: Will I miss anything important if I don't spend more time on this chapter?
I plan to read the third chapter of Heinrich's Introduction to the Three Volumes of Capital before moving on, just to be sure I have a good grasp of the categories of value, money, and so on. Is it okay to do so and not bother with that chapter anymore for now?
My second question is: Why does Marx say the amount of gold/silver a nation holds doesn't determine the prices of commodities?
It's true that it is in direct contradiction with the thesis that value is determined by SNLT, but it would explain why commodities are cheaper in one country than one other.
Moreover, what happens in an economy fueled by commodity money when overall, more value is produced than what can traded through money and a credit system? Is that what Marx was referring to when he was mentioning monetary crises at the end of the chapter?
Last question: Why would a banker hide £600,000 under his desk (ref. footnote #51 on marxists.org)? Did he conspired to create a little monetary crisis so porky would need to borrow more from him?