Re: [OPE-L] Michael Schauerte

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Sat Apr 28 2007 - 12:36:57 EDT


Fred writes:

>"Detour" suggests something temporary and

Isn't that what you want to suggest, that the detour is in fact not
necessary? That it temporary and inessential?

Marx's point of course is that the sociality of our labor need not be
established ex post facto in the mediated value form but could be
established ex ante. Marx is not arguing for the elimination of
mediations (it's hard to imagine that he does not accept some aspects
of Hegel's critique of immediacy), only against the temporal
deferment of  the establishing of the sociality of  labor. For this
reason, detour may well be a superior translation than mediated which
does not suggest temporal deferment.

As for commodity owners, I think of purchases at Home Depot. One buys
building materials not from a commodity owner but from a check out
machine. One scans the purchased items and then one's credit card.
I face the machine, not the commodity owner or his human proxy; the
machine recognizes not me  as a living affectual human being but a
credit card. I may as well be another machine.  Commodity exchangers
have only a shadowy existence or ghostly presence in the exchange
realm of the economy on which economic theory focuses.   The things
which do exchange are simply center stage. Can there be a drama of
things? There have in fact been many dramatic histories organized
around commodities, things. Isn't that strange, asks Bruce Robbins

One of Marx's great accomplishments was that in his chapters on the
production of surplus values he was able to pitch out of the
depersonalized orbit of economic theory into the human needs of
people. No Ricardo, Walrasian, neo Ricardian, or neo classical
economist has ever kept so close to the ground of the living needs of


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