Fetishism and the Value-form: towards a general theory of value

by Desmond McNeil

“The purpose of the book is to reconsider the meaning of value, taking as a starting point, and guiding thread, Marx’s concept of fetishism. McNeill critically examines how Marx uses the term throughout all his writings – first in his radical journalism, and finally, in Capital, as an analytical tool for dissecting capitalism. He shows how the religious analogy implied in the term fits ill with the material analogies that Marx otherwise uses to explain the concept of value, and explores instead the merits of analogy with language: comparing value and meaning. In conclusion, McNeill discusses the social relations of exchange and consumption, and suggests that Marx’s labour theory might be reinterpreted as a special case of a more general theory of value”. (From the Foreword by Keith Hart)

“This is imperative reading for anyone interested in understanding commodity fetishism,from the fantastic form of the material and social relations of exploitation through to the commodity as a sign that conceals so much more than it reveals of the origins, nature and consequences of global markets in all of their disastrous glories.” (Ben Fine)

Available for $ 19.99 (hardback) or $ 1.99 (download) at Lulu.


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