It would be interestintg to study what parts of Marx are taught in each discipline and come up with a comparison of the historian’s Marx, the Theorist’s Marx, the philosopher’s Marx, the political-economist’s Marx etc. etc. They’re bound to be different. (Personal experience has taught me that the political science Marx is the hopelessly vulgarized Marx of teleology and laws, whereas of course , the philosophical and theoretical sophisticated Marx abounds with Hegelian sublties.) As I’m categorized as a theorist, I can’t muddy my hands with empirical work, so somebody get to it!

This research idea crossed my mind today when I was reading up on fetishism in Capital. Now, I’d read the Fetish Character of Commodities and its Secrets, countless times, but, I’d never read the sections on the fetish charcter of Capital, which is a shame because they’re brilliant distallations of the Hegelian influenced idea of Capital. They are also staggeringly relevant descriptions of the financial crisis/ depression cluster fuck going on now;

The appearance;

Relations of capital assume their most external and most fetish-like form in interest bearing capital…. [They] Appear[s] as  a mysterious and self-creating source of interest- the source of its own increase. The thing ( money, commodity, value) is now capital even as a mere thing, and capital appears as a mere thing. The result of the entire process of reproduction appears as a property inherent in the thing itself. …in interest-bearing capital, therefore, this automatic fetish, self-expanding value, money generating money, is brought out in its pure state and in this form no longer bears the birthmark of its origin. The social relation is consummated in the relation of a thing, of money, to itself. Instead of the actual transformation of money into capital, we see here only form without content.

The appearance and the social essence behind the appearance;

This 2 becomes distorted. While interest is only a portion of the profit, i.e. of surplus value, which the functioning capital squeezes out of the labourer, it appears now, on the contrary, as though interest were a typical prod of capital, the primary matter, and profit, in the shape of profit of enterprise, were a mere accessory and by-product of the process of reproduction. Thus, we get the fetish form of capital and the conception of fetish capital…it is the capacity of money, or of a commodity, to expand its own value independently of reproduction—which is a mystification of capital in its most flagrant form

The repercussions;

In its capacity of interest-bearing capital, capital claims the ownership of wealth which can ever be produced, and everything it has received so far is but an instalment for its all-engrossing appetite. By its innate laws, all surplus labour which the human race can ever perform belongs to it. moloch

As long as the social character of labour appears as the money existence of commodities, and thus as a thing external to actual production, money crises- independent of or as an intensification of actual crises—are inevitable.