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The Role and Place of ‘Commodity Fetishism’ in Marx’s Systematic-dialectical Exposition in Capital

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This article aims to contribute to the literature on Marx’s systematic-dialectical method through a critical reading and discussion of the significance and presentational ‘architecture’ of the section on commodity fetishism in the dialectical sequence of form-determinations in Capital. In order to undertake this task, the paper firstly explores the content and expositional structure of the first three sections of Chapter 1 of Capital. This sets the stage for a methodologically-minded close examination of Marx’s presentation of the fetish character of the commodity, which shows that there is a precise systematic sequence which gives unity to the flow of his argument within the section on ‘The Fetishism of the Commodity and its Secret’. The conclusion is that only through a proper grasp of the dialectical method can the full systematic significance and implications of Marx’s account of commodity fetishism be uncovered.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics and Administration, National University of Quilmes; National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET)Argentina


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