Commodity Fetishism

Topics: Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Labor theory of value Pages: 2 (622 words) Published: April 20, 2013
Karl Marx introduces the concept of commodity fetishism which is our society’s obsession with the consumption of goods and services. It is in Marx’s opinion that this is used to mask the exploitation of the working class as they become obsessed with consuming. We use capitalism as a system of exchange value, for example we exchange our labor in order to afford food to survive instead of producing our own food. The prices we see when we walk into a store represent the human labor required to produce the product and the approximate use value one would achieve using it. The use value is simply the amount of utility we gain from consuming or using a good or service. Now, I travel very often on business trips with my father’s investment company; recently we went on a trip to Boston with Mackenzie Investments. We stayed in a world class hotel and were treated to box seats at a NFL game, this was paid for; Marx would refer to Mackenzie’s business functions as having an exchange value. The company will subsidize our travel costs as well as provide goods and services to satisfy our wants in order to build a relationship and in turn receive our business. The use value we receive from the consumption of these commodities will also impact how we view Mackenzie. Perhaps a person in attendance at the football game detests the sport while another adores it; each person will value the experience differently as it provides different utility to each person. Our relationship between ourselves and Mackenzie is not based on an intrinsic level but rather on the giving of commodities, we will only briefly talk to the fund managers of the company so it’s hard to build a relationship on anything but what they provide us with. This relationship has the ability to be built on the giving of goods and services due to the capitalist society’s commodity fetishism. We will observe the working class where more and more people are working in factories and large corporations to produce more...
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