[OPE-L:4661] RE: Tilting at Windmills

andrew klima (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 09:16:47 -0700 (PDT)

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Three pages from the end of the section on the "Fetishism of the Commodity and
Its Secret" in Ch. 1 of _Capital_ I, Marx writes that the expression of labor
in value and the expression of the duration of labor by the magnitude of value
pertain to "a social formation in which the process of production has mastery
over man, instead of the opposite." They are not "self-evident and
nature-imposed necessit[ies]," as the political economists think. In a long
footnote, he goes on to argue against the "end of history" thesis and to state
that consciousness corresponds to the particular real foundation of society at
a given moment. The last sentence of the footnote illustrates the point thus:

"And then there is Don Quixote, who long ago paid the penalty for wrongly
imagining that knight errantry was compatible with all economic forms of

The footnote is on pp. 175-76 of the Vintage ed.

Andrew Kliman