Re: [OPE] "Parasitism"

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Tue Feb 10 2009 - 17:16:12 EST

Paula wrote:
> The 'mystified form of appearance that material products assume when
> produced as commodities' (commodity fetishism) then follows logically
> from this.

Yes, but you are taking the 'form of appearance' of value as its
definition. In my view this is a misreading of Marx, but more
importantly it is a problematic view because 'value' is re-mystified by
this definition thereby undoing the clarification brought by political
economy. Moreover, I think leads to incorrect conclusions.

For instance, Marx wrote that the 'form of appearance' of wealth in
capitalist societies is "an immense accumulation of commodities". Are we
to conclude from this that wealth is a collection of commodities? That
would be to misread the meaning of 'form of appearance'.

> This is probably why our views differ; we are not talking about the
> same thing. I am indeed concerned with value in general, and I think
> Marx was also interested in this more fundamental category, otherwise
> he would not have written about commodity fetishism.

It is not that Marx was not interested in the category of 'value'; but
his discussion on productive labour revolves around the creation of
'surplus-value' proper. As far as I can recall he never mentions 'value'
as such there.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Tue Feb 10 17:19:27 2009

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