Chapter 1: The Commodity

After our study of the Matrix trilogy, we outlined a plan on how to approach Marx’s behemoth, Capital. After our study of the Soviet system, we argued why the study of Marx’s crowning work might be particularly interesting, especially concerning the relation between democracy and exploitation.

Today, we take a look at Chapter 1 (except the fetishism sub-section) and try to faithfully summarize its contents. Our challenge is to do it under the 1000-word mark. Here we go.

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Should Workers Be Entitled to Yachts?

Poor-man-yacht

Credits: Gizmodo and Chicago Tribune.

The Marxian Matrix is not dead! After a long and difficult hiatus in which we grappled as much with Marx’s Capital as with present-day capitalist constraints, the time has come to set the stage of our engagement with Capital Vol. 1 by touching upon the works of those that Marx refers to in his magnum opus.

Not only should excerpts of related thinkers help show how Capital can be a step up from these, but they should also give a clue as to the power of Capital in highlighting with awesome lucidity the problematic nature of today’s capitalist social relations.

In our first element of decor, Bernard Mandeville about the status of the worker:

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Matrix analysis (2): Machine Praxis

grafitti-790945_1920

Credits: Pixabay.

Welcome back. This is part two of four of our analysis of the Matrix trilogy through the lens of Karl Marx’s writings. In the previous entry, we tried showing how the Battery Scene is indicative of a message within the movie which is extremely similar to the one propagated through Marx’s written work. Through the notions of wages, the content of the “first historical act”, the conditions under which something transforms into capital, some supporting data by Thomas Piketty and, finally, two dimensions of alienation, we argued that the battery scene and Marx were saying the same thing: that the human being has become, for all intents and purposes, a simple repository of the resource Capital needs so that it may exist and reproduce.

What we did not yet discuss is that, within this same scene, there is a problem, an internal incoherence, a contradiction.

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Matrix analysis (1): Battery

Credits and copyright: Warner Bros.

Picture credits and copyright: Warner Bros.

This publication is called the Marxian Matrix and I thought it would be a great idea that we start by a precise analysis of the Wachowskis’ Matrix. After watching the movies again for the purposes of this analysis, I have come to believe that it is not only a great idea, but an indispensable stop on the path of our inquiry into the present structure of social relations. This first part and the next three that follow are, as it were, arguments for this indispensability.

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About this publication

Hi there, and welcome to the Marxian Matrix! This publication has been up a while now (2-3 years) and, in the meantime, my posture has changed. For this reason, this page is currently [UNDER RECONSTRUCTION] until I can properly express what the Marxian Matrix… is about.

That being said, if you enjoy any of the content here and/or want to encourage this type of conscious effort, please leave a comment telling me what you appreciate and, if you’re feeling generous, send a tip at the following BTC address: 1RNv6j3FAJDiuxdMy5aa5PEEHrcesQ9CJ