[OPE-L:2608] Re: Re: Searching for "fetish" and "alienat*" in *Capital*, Vol. 1

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sun Mar 26 2000 - 22:04:32 EST

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Gerald Levy <glevy@PRATT.EDU> said, on 03/26/00 at 07:37 PM:

>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.

More exactly,

Vol. 2, Ch. 11: "Furthermore this brings to completion the fetishism
peculiar to bourgeois Political Economy, the fetishism which metamorphoses
the social, economic character impressed on things in the process of
social production into a natural character stemming from the material
nature of those things."

Vol. 3, Ch. 24: "The relations of capital assume their most externalised
and most fetish-like form in interest-bearing capital."

Vol. 3, Ch. 48: "If capital originally appeared on the surface of
circulation as a fetishism of capital, as a value-creating value, so it
now appears again in the form of interest-bearing capital, as in its most
estranged and characteristic form."

In other words, I take this as an assist: fetishism appears even less
prominently in Vol. 2 and Vol. 3.

>In any event, a word search is a poor substitute for reading the context
>to discover the role of fetishism and alienation...

I have read what I am discussing, before and after word searches were
available. None of us on this list are ignorant of contexts. I also
recognize that there are other places which could be read as a discussing
of fetishism. I was only pointing to exactly what I posted -- use of the
exact word "fetish" or "fetishism".

We are in a real S_T_R_E_T_C_H to make a case that fetishism is THE
thematic message of Marx.

Jerry, I suspect you also think it is a stretch, as I don't recall your
ever having so emphasized fetishism. And thanks for the comment on use of
"alienation" from two German words.


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