Mo’ Commodities, Mo’ Problems

“Now–improving on Sir Thomas More, who, at an earlier stage of capitalist development, at the time when the great estates were being depopulated and turned into sheep-runs, had said that the sheep were eating the people–Marx presents us with a picture of a world in which the commodities command the human beings. These commodities have their own laws of movement, they seem to revolve in their orbits like electrons. Thus they keep the machinery moving, and they keep the people tending the machines. And the greatest of the commodities is money, because it represents all the others. Marx shows us the metal counters and the bank-notes, mere conventions for facilitating exchange, taking on the fetishistic character which is to make them appear ends in themselves, possessed of a value of their own, then acquiring a potency of their own, which seems to substitute itself for human potency. Marx had stated the whole theme in a sentence in an English speech of 1856: ‘All our invention and progress seem to result in endowing material forces with intellectual life, and in stultifying human life into a material force.’

… Marx’s readiness to conjure up these visions of independent and unpetitionable fetishes, which, though inanimate, usurp the rights of the living, is evidently primarily derived from this own deficiency in personal feeling, which he projected into the outside world. Like other satirists, he punished in others the faults he felt to be dangerous in himself, and it was precisely this blinded and paralyzed side of Karl Marx’s peculiar personality which has made it possible for the active and perceptive side to grasp and to explain and to excoriate, as no one else had been able to do, that negation of personal relations, of the responsibility of man to man, that abstract and half-unconscious cruelty, which had afflicted the life of the age.”

— Edmund Wilson in To The Finland Station


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  1. is this a rip off of mo’dernity mo’problems. i am so on to you.

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