segunda-feira, 28 de fevereiro de 2011

Commodity fetishism...

We are full time workers at the shop, working hard to finish all the details to open our little organic gourmet shop. Here I have more pictures of our little food hall which we plan to offer more products very soon.

When I am at my store, surrounded by beautifully packaged products, organic and gourmet specialties from all over world, it is nearly impossible not to remember the words of Karl Marx on what is known as Commodity fetishism. If you, like me, were extensively educated by his words and his thoughts, you will understand. I could not avoid thinking about Commodity Fetishism, which I reproduce a extract below. There is no such a thing as too much conscience, so, it all sounds very much adequate with the moment, if you know what I mean.

Commodity fetishism (O fetiche da mercadoria)

"A commodity is... a mysterious thing, simply because in it the social character of men’s labour appears to them as an objective character stamped upon the product of that labour; because 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. This is the reason why the products of labour become commodities, social things whose qualities are at the same time perceptible and imperceptible by the senses. In the same way the light from an object is perceived by us not as the subjective excitation of our optic nerve, but as the objective form of something outside the eye itself. But, in the act of seeing, there is at all events, an actual passage of light from one thing to another, from the external object to the eye. There is a physical relation between physical things. But it is different with commodities. There, the existence of the things qua commodities, and the value relation between the products of labour which stamps them as commodities, have absolutely no connection with their physical properties and with the material relations arising therefrom. There it is a definite social relation between men, that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things. 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, 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 I call the Fetishism which attaches itself to the products of labour, so soon as they are produced as commodities, and which is therefore inseparable from the production of 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."

Karl Marx, O Capital Vol. 1, chapter 1 section 4

(The keys to the shop...)

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