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The epoch of quasi-commercial fetishism (on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx)

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 03-08-2018
TERRA ECONOMICUS. 2018.  Т. 16. № 2. С. 6-16. 
Тематический раздел:
Two hundred years ago a genius was born, who influenced modern social studies.The «theory of commodity fetishism» is one of the remarkable features of the Marxist methodological framework. This theory is the key to understanding the essence of the modern economy: those economists who are well-acquainted with it, may be proudly referred as the theorist, as opposed to those who are only applied economists, not familiar with the theory of commodity fetishism. The article deals with the elements of Marx's theory of commodity fetishism, remained underestimated, with the reasons for the commodity fetishism's transformation into a quasi-commodity one, and with the dangers of the quasi-commodity fetishism. The theory of commodity fetishism is set forth in the final, fourth, paragraph of the famous first chapter of the first volume of «Capital» by Karl Marx. The fate of this paragraph is amazing. Usually, the readers of the first chapter pay more attention to the historical logic of the commodity exchange genesis, with the fourth paragraph set aside. Meanwhile, this paragraph is the one which deals with the author's striking insights into the essence of the economic relations. Moreover, this text also deals with the «defetisation» of the subject of economic theory. The article focuses on quasi-commodity fetishism, which reduces the social essence of the economy to commodities' substitutes. The author defines «quasicommodity fetishism» as an imaginary autonomy of a non-independent commodity fetishism. As the author argues, appearance of quasi-commodity fetishism was due to transformation of the economy into the quasi-economy. In the quasi-economy, the circulars and orders issued by the officials become dominant commodities. It is not surprising that the real economy is being displaced by its imitation - quasi-commodity production with its curious quasi-commodities, tirelessly manufactured by the bureaucratic structures.
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