Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reification/Commodification & Marxism

Comments or thoughts on Marxism or Marxist theories? How does reification or commodification limit our creativity and intrinsic power? Is Marx's/Berstein's dream a possibility in America? Is it a false prediction, or have we simply not exhausted capitalist possibilities?

14 comments:

bballinsupasta said...

i find the "dimensions of Marx" that doc spoke about interesting. i agree with him that marx will continue to be relevant in many way but not so much in the great revolution kind of way.

Aaron Nussdorf said...

I think that this is almost post-modern in the sense that the possessor does NOT possess the object; rather, the object possesses the owner.
I think that the Reification of people and dieties to be highly acurate, and it has truth. The Enlightenment would suggest that Reason surpasses the supernatural.

Ehren said...

So does commodification state that a person becomes defined by their possessions and attributes all of of their influence to the things they have? Just clarifying. Is Reification just the name of the work written by Fuerbach stating the theory of commodification?

Mr. Plainview said...

I think Marx raises an interesting concept when he claims class conflict is the driving force of history. Does this mean all progress in every aspect of life would cease? As a race, do we depend on this class conflict to survive?

Aaron Nussdorf said...

I dont think that as a race we "need" class conflict, rather as a society, class conflict keeps everything "stable."

stephen said...

I agree that class conflict certainly does have much influence with our history, however, I do not believe it is the driving force necessarily. Many conflicts over the years were over political as well as philosophical ideas that were beyond the constraints of classes.

puddlewonderful said...

How does class conflict keep things stable, Aaron?

bballinsupasta said...

to ehren...i believe yes and yes

puddlewonderful said...

Commodification doesn't state that a person is defined by what they own, but it is a specific form of reification. Reification is when a person gives something else qualities which the human possesses-- I think in Fuerbach's examples, or at least, one of Doc's, was to god(s). The ancients, for example, gave Nike the power of victory in war, when really it belonged to the victorious army, and was a product of that army's efforts, not the goddess' gift.

Commodification is a form of reification on consumer goods. We ascribe to those goods qualities which we ourselves possess-- for example, we say that a pair of shoes are sexy, and will make us sexy-- but we possess qualities of sexiness, not shoes. Likewise we might say that a Mercedes will make us powerful, but we possess power, not a car.

Dean Elazab said...

Class conflict does drive a lot of the world. Lower class works to get to middle, which powers the foundation of a country. the middle does thier jobs that make up a higher ring of jobs so that they will become wealthy or stay middle class. And the rich lead new businesses and investments that drive the innovation of a nation. without these thier woudnt be an incentive to improve ones life

Aaron Nussdorf said...

I dont think that what dean is describing is "class conflict." Rather, I think, what he calling "conflict," that it is really human selfish behavior.

Dean Elazab said...

thats not human selfishness, its the drive to succeed and that is what causes conflict. lower classes are mad at the ones above it and then they fight if they cant get thier way. think, if everyone was the same class how would 1 person pick a carpenter as a job and one pick a lawyer. it would be impossible everyone would pick doctor/lawywer/entrapanuer and then society would collapse

Aaron Nussdorf said...

I would like to think people would follow their "beruf" or "calling." But that is a little too utopian to actually work.

By selfishness, I mean the desire/need to obtain resources, and, when those resources are used, no one could use them. A modern resource is eduaction, so people strive to enter schools that offer the best education. Once a seat at a school is filled, no one else can use it.

Also, I think that we are looking at the same situation with two different views. I think that I am looking at the individual striving to survive, while you, Dean, are looking at the society as a whole with masses within it attempting to reach the next level up from their current position.

ndepass said...

i agree with aaron on this topic and i think his point on the school was a nice point and i do think there is a difference between society as a whole striving to obtain things and an individual striving to obtain things. However it is not necessarily a bad thing and like dean says it does drive society.