Università di Bologna
The social relationship «presenting itself in a thing». Law of value, fetish-character and the method of the Critique of political economy: an interpretation of the first chapter of Capital
Abstract: The first chapter of Marx’s Capital revolves around the connection between the criticism of commodity fetishism (arising from the non-illusory fetish-character of commodities and money) and the theory of its value. The latter seeks to explain the very commodity-form of the product of labour; the former, its distorted, naturalized and abstract manifestation at the cognitive ‘surface’ of modern market relations, as unconsciously reproduced by ‘bourgeois’ economic science. Thus, that connection describes the ‘objective’ or ‘thing-like’ form taken by these relations, both as a deception and as a real structure of the relations themselves. These theoretical connections, as well as the relative method Marx invented and followed in his Critique of political economy, have been fully defined only by recent authors and studies.
Keywords: Fetish-character; Fetishism; Theory of value; Labour; Critique of Political Economy.