Fetishizing, it seems to me, is the transformation of the thing
into a social entity. (end)
The problem is that Marx's view is the exact opposite. For him,
fetishization is the transformation of a social relation of power into a
thing -- for instance, the car is assigned the status that comes with the
power over others expressed by the owner's ability to dispose over social
value, or money is seen as a source of wealth rather than an expression of
power over the labour of others embodied in a product of labour.
Things as relations seem more appropriate to a title of Feitshization.
I am of the opinion that Marx concept of the fetish that attaches itself to
commodity production, (THE FETISHISM OF COMMODITIES AND THE SECRET THEREOF)
is much richer than status seeking or the assignment of status over
product(s) or raw consumerism or ideas concerning why an individual prefers a
Cadillac over a Jeep. One can imaginably develop a fetish (idol worship) or
over anything, but this is not Marx meaning.
Industrial production is by definition social production because of the
concrete configuration of the instruments, tools, machines and energy source
driving production. Because of the society division of labor, people must
cooperate a certain way - even against their will, in order for society
to take place. Capitalism is an interlocking system of buying and selling -
commodities, and selling and buying, with the means of production owned/run
or made operational on the basis of capitalist private property principles.
In a society where all products acquire the form/function, of a commodity;
social relations between (of) people, appear and is expressed, assert
themselves, as a material relations between things.
The material act of buying and selling or exchanging everything
(commodities) is how bourgeois production relations express the unity of
The mode of production in which the product takes the form of a commodity,
or is produced directly for exchange, is the most general and most embryonic
form of bourgeois production. It therefore makes its appearance at an early
date in history, though not in the same predominating and characteristic
as now-a-days. Hence its Fetish character is comparatively easy to be seen
through. But when we come to more concrete forms, even this appearance of
simplicity vanishes. Whence arose the illusions of the monetary system? To it
gold and silver, when serving as money, did not represent a social relation
between producers, but were natural objects with strange social properties.
Since the producers do not come into social contact with each other until
they exchange their products, the specific social character of each producer’s
labour does not show itself except in the act of exchange. In other words,
the labour of the individual asserts itself as a part of the labour of
only by means of the relations which the act of exchange establishes
directly between the products, and indirectly, through them, between the
SECTION 4 : THE FETISHISM OF COMMODITIES AND THE SECRET THEREOF
A commodity is not merely a product created by labor. When individuals in a
society creates products for their own immediate consumption, these products
do not acquire a commodity form. Products acquire a commodity form when they
are produced for their exchange value. A table is a table whether produced in
antiquity or today. However, the King of antiquity table does not acquire the
form of a commodity. It is only at a certain stage in the growth and
development of production and exchange that the social relations between
appear as and express a real existing material relations between items being
exchanged - things. Only through exchange is that one common ingredient to all
products - value, expressed, revealed or made manifest.
However, it is not just exchange of values that create the fetish attached
to commodities. Money hides the social (production) relations of producers.
1). The characters that stamp products as commodities,
2). and whose establishment is a necessary preliminary to the circulation of
3). have already acquired the stability of natural, self-understood forms of
social life, before man seeks to decipher, not their historical character,
for in his eyes they are immutable, but their meaning.
4). Consequently it was the analysis of the prices of commodities
5). that alone led to the determination of the magnitude of value, and it
was the common expression of all commodities in money
6). that alone led to the establishment of their characters as values.
7). It is, however, just this ultimate money form of