Notes on The Trinity Formula and Critical Theory.

What follows are some thoughts on what I am set to propose at the end of my thesis. Its set to be one of these points that combine fanfare with the speculative move of pointing toward something.

It will be set up by the first two parts of my conclusion.

In part one I sum up the four substantive chapters by comparing how Marx, Lukacs, Adorno and Lefebvre use fetishism in the constitution and constituents of their theories of social domination. My comparison will draw out their differences in contrast to historical accounts and theoretical accounts that characterize their similarities.

In part two I will sum up my criticisms of each of their theories. This will be roughly as follows: Marx’s theory is fragmentary and incomplete. The other theories that draw on Marx to supplement Marx’s theory have insufficient accounts of the social constitution of domination and of the way in which commodity fetishism is constitutive of social domination.

Then we get to the speculative part where I propose that elements of all of these theories could possibly be integrated for relevant contemporary critical theory of fetishism and social domination.

I propose that this theory should move from basing itself on an account of commodity fetishism to an account of the trinity formula. This is the case for several reasons: (1) the trinity formula provides a concrete account of the constitution and constituents of social domination. (2) This account incorporates how the different elements of the trinity formula function in an interrelated socially specific manner in the perverted forms of revenue suprlus value is distributed in. (3) These perverted forms of revenue account for the constitution and reproduction of the trinity formula, the personification of capitalists and landowners and misery of the proletariart. (4)  This also forms the basis for how subjects are socially embodied in the perverted topsy turvy world of capital. It therefore seems that this model might provide a good basis for integrating other elements of society into account of how the socially specific form of capitalist social production constitutes and reproduces itself.

At the same time I also argue that this theory should try to address capital as embedded in current socially complex historical reality.

Here’s where I get reaaaal speculative

On an objective level in the current neo-liberal conjuncture Lukacs’ analysis of bureaucracy and Adorno’s analysis of administration and the supra-individual elements of his account of the exchange abstraction rather than possessing analogous properties might be shown to function in socially specific manner’s in accordance with the imperative of constitution, distribution and reproduction of the capitalist mode of production. In addition Lefebvre’s notion of socially produced abstract space might provide a way of thinking about how these elements are socially embodied. Possible examples of this might include–for the sake of immanent critique or impact or just to kiss my examiners ass or whatever–the privatization of academia which has led to the depression of lecturers wages and transformation into contingent contract-based work who none the less–partly by virtue of the surplus army of recent phd students–reproduce the university and their increasingly miserable conditions.

Marx’s scanty account of the subjective side of this might be supplemented by some account of debt as a necessary component in selling your labour-power along with a combination of Adorno’s notions of subject formation with Lefebvre’s insistence of internal opposition to determination that is always present in these acts in the constitutive complexity of social reality.

Like I said, speculative. But at the least the trinity formula seems like a good basis. Time to cook some dinner.

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About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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