Issue #34 September 2020

Marx’s “The Fetishism of The Commodity And Its Secret”

The interest in the value of the commodity has nevertheless a deeper sense. By Marx’s time, it has become obvious that capitalism has the capacity to unleash an incredible amount of forces and a rapid technological and scientific progress. It was able to create an enormous amount of profit. But where do these profits come from? Seemingly out of nowhere. While the feudal lord extracted the serf’s wheat through violence and subjugation, the capitalist seemed to pay his workers a fair salary, namely the market value of labor. He also — given an ‘ideal’ image of capitalism that Marx heuristically accepts in Capital—sells the commodities at the market price, and he still makes a profit from it. It seems, therefore, that nobody is exploited and that, at the same time, an incredible surplus is generated. The value of the commodity, therefore, indeed becomes mysterious, as its surplus seems to appear out of nowhere. To uncover its “fetishism” becomes, therefore, a matter of utmost importance.

Credits: Video editing and soundtrack by John C. Brady.


September 2020


Gilbert Simondon and the Process of Individuation

by Matt Bluemink

Deleuze on Problems, Singularities, and Events

by John C. Brady

An Impersonal Liberalism: Simone Weil and the Sacred

by Riley Clare Valentine

The Agency of Objects

by Ron Richardson

Marx’s “The Fetishism of The Commodity And Its Secret”