Trouble with Fetishism.

Sorry googlers this post isn’t about some whacky comedy or a maudlin psychotherapy session, its about my Marx chapter. And while re-reading the chapter felt like a maudlin comedy, I think I may have cracked the problem.

First the problem–if your argument is to show that Marx’s concept of fetishism is integral to his characterizations of fetishistic forms of value and is deployed to describe not just the commodity but money, capital, interest-bearing capital and the trinity formula–how the fuck do you show this without providing an exegesis of all three volumes of Capital?

The first time I tried to tackle this issue by discussing the fetish character of commodities and money in the context of summary of the first two chapters of Capital, then moving to define capital and the class relation, then summarizing interest-bearing capital and showing how its all cashed out in the trinity formula. When re-read this I realized that this shit was desultory and tedious.

So my solution is to define capital first by summarizing the form analysis of part one and relating it to the formula of capital and the class relation. From there I move to discuss the role of fetishism in this definition as a theory of the social constitution and constituents of a theory of social domination in which the forms of value are collectively constituted and function autonomously to invert and dominate individuals. I begin by showing how Marx conceives of these elements in the fetish character of commodities section. I then move to demonstrate that they are magnified in each consequent form of fetishism where on one hand the fetish form becomes more abstract and autonomous and where on the other hand domination becomes more concrete in the personifications of the class relation. Then I cash this out in the trinity formula which provides Marx’s most concrete application of fetishism–in the perverted topsy turvy of the trinity formula–on the basis of his resume of the three volumes of Capital. This will cut down on the tedious plodding exegesis and still let me set up a good ground of comparison between how Marx conceives of fetishism and the role it plays in his theory of the constitution and constituents of social domination and how Lukacs, Adorno and Lefebvre conceive of fetishism and the way they apply it to their theories of social domination.


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Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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