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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Thomas Piketty, Revenant of Feuerbach?

I am in the process of going through Piketty’s newest book, Capital and Ideology. While I am very admiring of Piketty’s decision to refuse the Legion of Honour, there is a  profound contradiction between the data that Piketty presents in his two books and their implicit implications, and the explicit meaning he himself has given to the data. Were we living in a kind of censorship like the one attributed to Eastern European communism, I would simply assume that it is a stratagem to outplay the censors; fortunately or not, we are not in that situation, which begs the question: why would the title and data of both books be implicitly reminiscent of Marx’s own work (Capital), yet reject so explicitly the basic tenets of Marxian theory?

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