Such a crises occurs only where the ever-lengthening chain of payments, and an artificial system of settling them, has been fullydeveloped. Whenever there is a general and extensive disturbanceof this mechanism, no matter what its cause, money becomessuddenly and immediately transformed from its merely ideal shapeof money of account into hard cash. Profane commodities can nolonger replace it. The use-value of commodities becomesvalueless, and their value vanishes in the presence of its ownindependent form. On the eve of the crisis, the bourgeois, withthe self-sufficiency that springs from intoxicating prosperity, declares money to be a vain imagination. Commodities alone aremoney. But now the cry is everywhere that money alone is acommodity! As the hart pants after fresh water, so pants his soulafter money, the only wealth.
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May 5, 1818
March 14, 1883