Intellectual and Manual Labour

(New Left Books 1973). But also read Macciocchi’s own contributions to this important and exciting book. Althusser on intellectuals: ‘It is extremely difficult for specialists and other bourgeois and petty-bourgeois “intellectuals” (including students). For a mere education of their consciousness is not enough, nor a mere reading of Capital. They must also make a real […]

On autonomy and the avant-garde

But if this position rightly demolishes the opposition between art and technological mediation enshrined in late modernist theory1 it nevertheless suffers from its own kind of blindness: the identification of technological mediation with the democratization of form. By subsuming art under technology, this kind of thinking renders the connection between form and ethics harmless or […]

The spectral ontology of value

There is a void at the heart of capitalism. It arises because of the nature of commodity exchange, which abstracts from, or absents, the entire substance of use value. What is constituted therewith is a form of unity of commodities that does not rest on any pre-given common content – which does not exist, it […]

The concept of money

The concept of money Christopher J. Arthur In the history of philosophy the greatest minds have been aware that the existence and power of money pose a problem. One need only mention Aristotle, Kant, Hegel and Simmel. Of course, if one accepts, as I do, that Capital is a work of philosophy as much as […]

Commodity aesthetics revisited

Thus much of this, will make black white; foul, fair…This line from Shakespeare figures in a longer quotation in Marxʼs Capital, in the chapter on hoarding. The sentence to which the footnote with the Shakespeare quotation is attached, reads: ʻJust as in money every qualitative difference between commodities is extinguished, so too, for its part, […]

The absolute artwork meets the absolute commodity

The absolute artwork meets the absolute commodity Stewart martin Art’s relation to commodification is an unavoidable and entrenched condition for much of the theory, history and practice of art today; so entrenched, in fact, as to have become implicit and assumed for many. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, considerations of this relation have […]

Elasticity of demand

Elasticity of demand Reflections on The Wire John kraniauskas Can’t reason with the pushermanFinance is al that he understandsCurtis Mayfield, ‘Lit le Child Runnin’ Wild’David Simon and Edward Burns’s TV series The Wire (HBO, 2002–08) opens with a killing and builds from there, over five seasons and sixty hours of television. What it narrates is […]