'Materialism'

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lem
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Jun 15 2007 05:01
'Materialism'

Yes, well, I would like to argue with anyone who doesn't think that:

Marxism is materialist because social relations are real (what starts every inverstigation) and dialectical in themselves (tho a social relation in itself is somewhat contradictory idea confused)

The fetish is a material confusion of social relations. I.e. it's not being able to enjoy something because we don't own it when naturally (when property relations are dissolved) we do.

Thanks

lem
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Jun 15 2007 05:06

The relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour.

i think yeah, if you think of capitalist wealth (or something similar) as the products of our labour!

cos tbh i still want to legally own the stuff that i create. and i don't much care about whether someone's new pair of glasses are nicer than my current pair of glasses. but boy do i want a fuck off big house. maybe it's a schiz thing?

In that world the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men’s hands.

this is hard to disagree with. and yet it just doesn't conflict with my thesis!

who can seriously say that commodity fetishism does not have to be replaced with something more and better that genuine friendships, or something like that.

(wrong forum. should be in thought sad )

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 15 2007 07:37

moved to thought

lem
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Jun 15 2007 17:19

Bumped. Thanks for moving.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 15 2007 17:21
lem wrote:
boy do i want a fuck off big house. maybe it's a schiz thing?

unless a lot of people are schiz, i don't think it's just you wink

lem
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Jun 15 2007 17:27

yes i know mate... i imagine that alot of people want a big fuck off house tho tbh.

lem
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Jun 15 2007 17:28

pilgrim e.g. he's schiz. all my friends in hospital. that weirdo bodach...

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 15 2007 17:30
lem wrote:
who can seriously say that commodity fetishism does not have to be replaced with something more and better that genuine friendships, or something like that.

i don't think you're going to get anyone saying commodity fetishism is a good thing, though i think primmos argue that any mass society is just as alienating though, and that the products of our labour in communism would appear as an independent force dominating us too, hence why primmos reject technology.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 15 2007 17:37

here's an interesting example of commodity fetishism:

A Judge wrote:
"You took from Anthony Walker his most precious possession, that is to say his life"

i.e. murder is bad because it's a really bad form of property crime.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4487208.stm

lem
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Jun 15 2007 17:39

you don't like having commodities then? it doesn't feel good? have a glance thru the chapter on commodity fetishism, particularly

The relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour.

In that world the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men’s hands.

and say that the interpretation i gave given is not, more simple and not contradicted.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 15 2007 17:43
lem wrote:
you don't like having commodities then? it doesn't feel good?

commodity fetishism doesn't mean liking commodities - it means that commodities appear to take on subjective characteristics when they are just objects - like in the bit you quoted "In that world the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race."

lem
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Jun 15 2007 17:44

reified abstractive etc. rubbish

lem
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Jun 15 2007 17:44

sorry for triple post.

ok but don't we imbue something subjectiv into products when we create them. isn't that self realization?

lem
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Jun 15 2007 17:44

"You took from Anthony Walker his most precious possession, that is to say his life"

And you think compound is what? A neat summation of what (other than "commodity fetishism")?

eta: i can explain commodity fetishism in a simple sentence: commodity fetishism is when an object we naturally own is taken by capitalists. the rest of the section is giving more detail on how that happens.

can you explain commodity fetishism in full?

eta2: it means that commodities appear to take on subjective characteristics when they are just objects

what does this mean tho?

also consider that marx is often thought to be a behaviourist. The relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour. as to the only other interpretation of this i can see:i don't much care about whether someone's new pair of glasses are nicer than my current pair of glasses.

eta3: In order, therefore, to find an analogy, we must have recourse to the mist-enveloped regions of the religious world. In that world the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life thats not a fucking analogy. its the exact same relation.

wangwei
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Jun 16 2007 21:16

Commodity fetishism is pretty simple, it's just the commodification of the worker into the tool of capital's valorization. Just as the savage worshiped the work of his own hand, falling on his face before it, we worship ideas as a mediator of reality. Bakunin does a much better, more lucid, exploration of commodity fetishism in "God ant the State", though Marx's discussion of it in The German Ideology, Grundrisse, and Capital are very illuminating as well.

I'm just trying to understand what you're arguing. Are you just tyring to pick a bone with those on this board who eschew Marx, the dialectic, and historical materialism?

lem
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Jun 17 2007 23:21

Not particularly: I'm more intersted in picking a fight with my previous misunderstanding of this line

The relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour..

The bit in bold does not I think mean the useful products of labour: say a porsche and a pair of glasses. But capitalist owned goods: products which have been taken from us.

I think there is a genuine difference between my interpretation (CF = Products taken from us), and some idea that it is commodities having subjective characteristics. Being imbued with labour power or whatnot. I think that commodities are really imbued with labour power; this is not an illusion.

What do you think the quote means? Can you offer a quote that contradicts my understanding?

I could go on,.but will just edit later...

lem
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Jun 17 2007 23:21

glitch, sorry.

ernie
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Jun 18 2007 09:26

Lem

I am in the same boat as wangwei here, it is still not clear what you are trying to say, but that could be because my little grey cells are a bit tired. However, the nub of the question may be

Quote:
I think that commodities are really imbued with labour power; this is not an illusion.

If I remember correctly the point Marx makes about this question is that because labour power has become a commodity this makes the product of the proletarian's labour appear to be something alien to him/her. Commodities are clearly imbued with labour power, they could not exist otherwise, but it is the social nature of this labour power that is the central point. I hope that makes sense. I have not got time at present to go back a read the first chapter of Capital Vol1 which explains this.

Lem, what was your former understanding of this? If we could have a summary of that may be we could help with your present attempt to clarify your thoughts.

lem
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Jun 23 2007 12:39

hi thanks.

so e.g. reading capital politically says that commodity fetishism is marx repudiating his previous analysis: that he is not an objectivist.

leaving aside cleavers bizzare goal, it seems very clear to me that he is wrong wrt commodity fetishism.

what is more important than the way we feel jealous of bourgeois wealth, how we want and need it? again it seems clear to me that that is commodity fetishism: or more accurately cf is when the extraction of goods from said worker. this is a nice answer because, e.g., commodity fetishism would then be an element of experience (of ALL workers), and it already offers it's own solution and transformation (- workers owning would they make, self realization).

i think that alot of people (probably most tbh) that read marx forget that he is trying to argue to the points that he makes.

ernie
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Jun 24 2007 16:35

Lem, I think I am understanding what you are getting at, is this not what Marx meant about the impact of alienation upon the proletariat. If I remember correctly Marx says that both the individual bourgeoisie and proletarian feel alientation, but the difference is that the proletarian due to being part of a revolutionary class revolts against his/her alienation i.e., the bourgeois endures his/her alienation because they gain materially from it, whilst the proletariat due to their exploitation -the extraction of surplus value- gain nothing apart from being made a outlaw in society. Is this what you are trying to get at?
If I am barking up the wrong tree Lem I am sorry but it is still not too easy to fully grasp the totality of the point you are grappling with.

lem
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Jun 26 2007 02:15

ernie: it's more a point of interpretation of a piece of philosophy, rather than me trying to make a political point.

:-/ dunno what political point could be made with it tho. maybe that giving up on buying stuff is just going to make you unhappy, not closer to communism at all.

no, the political point i am trying to make is i think that the quality of marx scholarship seems to be quite low sad

lem
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Aug 23 2007 22:26

Onwards to a glorius understanding of Marxist materialism wink

Quote:
The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism - that of Feuerbach included - is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence, in contradistinction to materialism, the active side was developed abstractly by idealism -- which, of course, does not know real, sensuous activity as such.

Feuerbach wants sensuous objects, really distinct from the thought objects, but he does not conceive human activity itself as objective activity. Hence, in "Das Wesen des Christenthums", he regards the theoretical attitude as the only genuinely human attitude, while practice is conceived and fixed only in its dirty-judaical manifestation. Hence he does not grasp the significance of "revolutionary", of "practical-critical", activity.

Quote:
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.

I'm struggling with this quote. I tried to argue on another board that this means that Marxist materialism states that the thing reality is sensuous human activity. So that the dialectic was inverted by Marx so that it applies to reality not ideas. And that this is a culmination of the dialectic of philosophy - which is synthesized into revolutionary activity.

And that the inverted dialectic is revolutionary activity - activity that knows that it itself is dialectical and real.

I was told i was talking bollocks and that i didn't understand Hegel or dialectics.

Can anyone say where i've gone wrong it cos it seems really neat interpretation [it's all there] smile

lem
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Aug 23 2007 23:03

that's not quite what i'm saying. it's the liking of other people's property; not your own shoes or the shoes you can afford to buy but bourgeois shoes.

lem
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Aug 23 2007 23:09
Quote:
The relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour.

A material confusion; i.e. nothing to do with theory but goods actually being not ours and that upsetting us.

Quote:
In that world the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men’s hands.

it's all there - i mean you see how those lines could mean that? in which case it's a case of what you think materialism is.

lem
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Aug 23 2007 23:19

i dunno who among us can say that they don't "post on libcom cos they hate not being able to afford stuff".

as i said earlier, cleaver's interpretation is abstractive and reified - i'll invent a theory and then say "watch out" - that'll fix it regardless of the reader's material conditions!

lem
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Aug 23 2007 23:25

it's not emotional that's just how to spie it. commodity fetishism = phsyical alienation but it does upset one.

lem
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Aug 24 2007 16:14

i reckon i can see lefort and marx going together nicely smile

i think the key to understanding this is that he is not an equalitarian in the theses; but HAS synthesized philosophy into practical activity. and that this is revolutionary.

BUT the theses are revolutionary and nothing more: they are not internationalist they are not the universal act.

witness what happens when revolution is not equalitarian - new strata develop with the new property relations; these new strata fill the empty place of power of democracy - corrupting democracy into tyranny.

lefort is a revolutionary because he is self-management; therefore he is a marxist. unfortunetly marx is not an equalitarain and marxist activism is not universal: marxism alone degenerates into tyranny.

how can marxism be made a universal act, an international revolution, an equalitarian activism?

through feminism and internationalism? through making the reality of Marxism "catch up" into Marxism into revolution?

:-/

eta: shit that's really nutty isn't? well at least i mention both philosophers :-/

lem
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Aug 25 2007 21:29

you're all [petty] theorists aren't you? stop with the wisecracks and tell me what you think?

lem
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Aug 27 2007 01:15

adorno is right and there is a uncaptured remainder to a dialectic [tho imo he argues only for a petty materialism when saying so].

a remainder to naive materialism and a remainder to idealism [rather than what Marx missed being a single synthesized block, he missed elements of what was synthesized: such is more accuarte to Hegel i have been led to]. that should imo be reunited with practical activity for that revolution to be equalitarian and permanent.

those remainders if critical interrogate what is independent of dialectic of activity [sensuous reality].

what remains are e.g.: phenomenology - which is idealist [as it can account for education [see Heidegger's analysis of how we reach the reduction]]; and Lacanian psychoanalysis - which is a naive materialism [as it cannot?].

lem
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Aug 27 2007 01:34

i'm arguing that lacan is a critical naive materialism it interrogates entities which are not practically-creative and is true.

that's if the remainder of a dialectic synthesizing x and y is called x and y and not part x and part y.

angry

lem
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Aug 27 2007 01:38

well the admins are obviously going to delete that.

you think lacan is marx then whatever i don't see much effort being put into the criticisms by the haters. i've dressed it up weirdly but there's not much i'm saying which isn't common sense imo laugh out loud