Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Commodity (HUM225/ HUM415)

“A commodity is… a mysterious thing, simply because in it the social character of men’s labour appears to them as an objective character stamped upon the product of that labour; because the relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as a social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour… It is a definite social relation between men, that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things. In order… to find an analogy, we must have recourse to the mist-enveloped regions of the religious world. In that world, the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relations both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men’s hands.”

— Karl Marx, Capital