Fetish Character and personification in 18661-63 Continued.

Another of Marx’s summary notes that recall the logic of the fragmentary argument he presents over the course of the 1861-63 manuscripts. I highlight it for the continued emphasis on personification and the fetish characteristic properties of value. Note here the explicit correlation between what Marx terms as the ‘general social form of labour appearing as the quality of a thing’ and the later mention of fetishism in relation to the inverted expression of social labour and the nature of money. Another of way stressing that Marx’s theory of fetishism is his theory of value, not a theory of ideology or false consciousness:

“We have seen not only how capital produces, but how it is itself produced, and how it emerges from the production process as a relation changed in essence, how it develops in the production process. On the one hand it transforms the mode of production, on the other hand this changed shape of the mode of production, as well as the attainment of a specific level of development of the material forces of production, is the foundation and the condition — the presupposition — of capital’s own formation.  Since living labour is incorporated into capital — through the exchange between capital and the worker — since it appears as an activity belonging to capital, as soon as the labour process starts, all the productive powers of social labour present themselves as productive powers of capital, just as the general social form of labour appears in money as the quality of a thing. Thus the productive power of social labour, and the specific forms of it, now present themselves as productive powers and forms of capital, of objectified labour, of the objective conditions of labour, which — as such an independent entity — are personified in the capitalist and confront living labour. Here once again we have the inversion of the relation, the expression of which we have already characterised as fetishism in considering the nature of money.” MECW 34 p. 122

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About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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