[OPE-L:2607] Re: Searching for "fetish" and "alienat*" in *Capital*, Vol. 1

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@PRATT.EDU)
Date: Sun Mar 26 2000 - 19:37:12 EST

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Paul Z wrote in [OPE-L:2606]:

> I did a search of *Capital*, Vol. 1. "Fetish" and "fetishism" ONLY
> appears in that ONE 12-page section of Chapter 1 (other than in Chapter 3,
> "the hoarder, therefore, makes a sacrifice of the lusts of the flesh to
> his gold fetish").

Does "Results of the Immediate Process of Production" count? See, e.g.
pp. 982-983 , 1003, 1046 in Penguin edition of Volume 1. "Alienation" is
also a subject that is discussed in the "Resultate", e.g. p. 990.

[NB: Two German words "Entfremdung" and "Verausserung" (with an umlaut
over the "a") are evidently rendered into English as "alienation". The
latter seems to concern "alienation by sale"].

Back to fetishism: And why limit ourselves to Volume 1? What about Volume
3, e.g. Ch. 24 ("Interest-Bearing Capital as the Superficial form of the
Capital Relation") and Ch. 48 ("The Trinity Formula")? If you say that
Vol. 1 was published after the drafts for what became Volume 3 were
written, you would be correct. However, note the reference to fetishism
in the drafts for what became Volume 2 (p. 303, Penguin ed.) which was
written after the publication of Volume 1.

In any event, a word search is a poor substitute for reading the context
to discover the role of fetishism and alienation since there are places
where it should be obvious to us what Marx is talking about (e.g. p. 982,
V1), but wouldn't be picked-up by the "word search" since the *words*
"fetishism" or "alienation" aren't used there. Word searches by computer
are fast and easy, to be sure, but they have severe limitations and can
not substitute for a scholarly and critical reading of the text. I think
you understand this limitation, but it is worth noting anyway.

In solidarity, Jerry

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