The theory of commodity fetishism by james o'toole 1importance of the theory an enchanted, perverted, topsy-turvy world, in which monsieur le capital and madame la terre (land) do their ghost walking as social characters and at the same time directly as mere things (1. Ontological analysis of commodity • marx's theory of commodity value-form is not a historical explanation • it is an ontological analysis of the existence of commodity • he anticipated the spread of commodity value-form as the dominant form of value 46. Exchange-value allows one to determine what one commodity is worth in relation to another commodity, for example how many units of corn one might exchange for a given unit of linen in a complex market, all sorts of different commodities, although satisfying different needs and wants, must be measurable in the same units, namely money.
A commodity's only use value for the capitalist lies in its exchange value (or its role in the process of producing more commodities) money is the unique commodity that becomes the universal equivalent for all other commodities. This fetishism of commodities has its origin, as the foregoing analysis has already shown, in the peculiar social character of the labour that produces them as a general rule, articles of utility become commodities, only because they are products of the labour. In political economy and especially marxian economics, exchange value (german: tauschwert) refers to one of four major attributes of a commodity, ie, an item or service produced for, and sold on the market.
Marx's account of fetishism addresses the exchange-value of commodities at the level of the economic relations of production, it fails to deal in any detail with the use-value or consumption of commodities. In marxist theory, commodity fetishism is a state of social relations, said to arise in complex capitalist market systems, in which social relationships are defined by the values that are placed on commodities. Marx's commodity fetishism, to my limited understanding, is about social relations of labour and commodities and how commodities are somehow detached from the real value, the socially necessary labour, to produce a commodity eg a pair of shoes. Be sure to define use-value and exchange-value in your answer use marx's analysis of commodities and commodity fetishism and kuttner and/or michael sandel in discussing one thing (good, service) that putatively should not be subject to markets forces, not bartered, bought, sold, et cetera.
To what extent some economists are misled by the fetishism inherent in commodities, or by the objective appearance of the social characteristics of labour, is shown, amongst other ways, by the dull and tedious quarrel over the part played by nature in the formation of exchange value. According to marx, exchange value is very closely linked to his concept of commodity fetishism commodity fetishism is a term coined by marx that explains the relationship man has with commodities. Marx borrows this concept to make sense of what he terms commodity fetishism as marx explains, the commodity remains simple as long as it is tied to its use-value when a piece of wood is turned into a table through human labor, its use-value is clear and, as product, the table remains tied to its material use. In addition to a use value, commodities have an exchange value exchange value • not about the qualities or quantity - but it is about the quantitiative relation so x amount of boot-polish • exchange x amount of boot polish for y of silk and z of gold .
Art becomes part of commodity fetishism [full of marx on commodity fetishism from capital, 14] this classical marxist theory has some value for baseline analyses of commodities, but it is too easily used in reductive ways that fail to account for complexity of social and historical factors in the functions of the artworld. The illusion that value comes from the commodity itself and not from the social relations behind it is a fetish a capitalist society is full of such illusions money appears to have god-like qualities, yet this is only so because it is an object which is used to express the value of all other commodities. A preview of commodity as anthropologists use the term other important terms and concepts covered include: fetishism, capitalism, alienation, market, bour. Instead of the value determining the price of a commodity, a fetishized commodity's price determines value (321) thus, fetishism is the gap between the material and exchange value thus, fetishism is the gap between the material and exchange value.
Capitalism is a mode of production based on private ownership of the means of production capitalists produce commodities for the exchange market and to stay competitive must extract as much labor from the workers as possible at the lowest possible cost. Because the value of labour is central to marx's thinking (and the exchange-value of a commodity is often greater than the cost of labour) marx is critical of capitalisms emphasis on exchange-value over use-value. The very essence of commodity fetishism is to forget that the unique freedom afforded by commodity exchange is premised on the underlying relations of coercion and exploitation forms of commodity exchange have existed for thousands of years if not longer. On many occasions, marx does treat fetishism as a misrepresentation in the sense that believing that exchange-value inheres in commodities is an analytical mistake hence for instance, money is mysterious and dazzling, and demystifying the commodity form makes this mystery disappear.
Cultural commodity fetishism and explores its implications for understand- argue that use value is subjugated to the demands of exchange value in. In a developed market society one commodity eventually emerges as the primary commodity in which all other commodities express their exchange value this is what money is for most of the history of capitalism this commodity has been gold. It links commodity fetishism with the predominance of exchange value money exempliﬁ es how social relations between people can assume the fantastic form of a relation deﬁ ned by a 'thing', that is money, and is the basic deﬁ nition of the value. N8 devil and commodity fetishism in south america capitalist social formation, the two forms of fetishism, the magic of reciprocity exchange and the magic of commodity exchange, im.
Marx defines commodity fetishism as the phenomenon in which the commodity is endowed with value through the labor process yet ultimately has a perceived value that is independent of the labor that produced it. One of the most celebrated and frequently excerpted sections of karl marx's capital is the fetishism of commodities and the secret thereof in it, marx uses the concept of fetishism — the worship of an object believed to possess spiritual powers — as an analogy for the capitalist system of exchange. It is because all commodities, as values, are realised human labour, and therefore commensurable, that their values can be measured by one and the same special commodity, and the latter be converted into the common measure of their values, ie, into money.