Re: [OPE-L] Derrida's ghosts

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Fri Oct 28 2005 - 23:00:16 EDT

If I remember correctly, there may be very important similarities
between Keenan's Derridean reflections and Michel Henry's earlier analysis
of the impossible equation in what was translated as Marx: Philosopher
of Human Reality (Tom Rockmore wrote the intro to the English version).
  Perhaps both are examples of fluent Marxese?
Yours, Rakesh
ps I have moved again and most of my books are still in boxes.

On Fri, 28 Oct 2005 19:48:36 -0700
  Michael Perelman <michael@ECST.CSUCHICO.EDU> wrote:
> Keenan, Thomas. 1993. "The Point is to (Ex)Change It: Reading .Capital.
> Rhetorically." in Emily Apter and William Pietz, eds. Fetishism (Ithaca: Cornell
> University Press): pp. 152-85.
> 169: C1, p. 128: Marx describes the residual after abstracting away all use value.
> He calls the residual a "gespenstige Gegenstandlichkeit."  "There is nothing of them
> left over but this same ghostly objectivity, a mere jelly of undifferentiated labor."
>   168: LC, p. 46 "each one of them completely resembles the other.  They all have
> the same phantomic reality.  Metamorphosed into identical sublimes, samples of the
> same indistinct labor."
>   168: "Because they resemble each other, as all ghosts do, having no phenomenal or
> sensible features by which to distinguish "themselves," the operation of which they
> are the remnant can finally occur.  Thanks to their resemblance, the condition of
> exchange are met -- the very exchange that leaves them, atomless, behind.  Without
> ghosts, no exchange."
>   169: "the commodity as ghost is a figure for the most rigorous of reductions, the
> radical elimination of all traces of use value, with one exception: the residue of
> the abstraction itself."
>   171: C1, p. 152 "The secret of value-expression, the likeness and equivalence of
> labor ... could not be deciphered until the concept of human similarity or equality
> had already acquired the permanence of a popular prejudice."  "But [it] is  first
> possible only in a society where the commodity form is the general form of
> labor-product."
>   Compare the following to Sohn-Rethel.
>   171: "Exchange is possible because abstraction reveals the common humanity
> surviving in the things exchanged."
>   171: In other words, human is equated with ghostly.
>   176: C1 143-4 "We see then, that everything our analysis of the value of
> commodities previously told us is repeated by the linen itself ....  Only it reveals
> its thoughts in a language with which it alone is familiar, the language of
> commodities."
> --
> Michael Perelman
> Economics Department
> California State University
> Chico, CA 95929
> Tel. 530-898-5321
> E-Mail michael at

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