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The Gothean dramaturgy, a theoretical source of the Marx Capital

Conference

French

ID: <2268/220199>

Abstract

For the analysis of the value shape of the commodity, Marx uses “abstraction” similar to “chemical reagents”. Thus, the analysis of the goods reveals its ontological nature: since the contradiction between the value of use and the exchange value is its constituent element, the goods are more likely to be regarded as ‘chemical corpority’ — the very nature of the contradiction between a polarised activity which becomes effective in its interaction with other goods. However, the transition from a general value to a silver shape leads to the merchandise nature and its secrecy: the relationship between goods replaces the richness of social relations. Therefore, in order to better penetrate this secrecy, the analytical point of view of the method of investigation moves to synthetic exposure and the chemical process passes over to the alchemical process: it is that ‘the capitalist, by transforming money into goods which serve as material elements of a new product, by incorporating them (...) the living labour force, converts value (...) into capital, animated monster who starts to work as if he had the diable in the body’. This discursivity of the capital is decomposed as an intertext. The last quote borrowed and reversed one to Faust: “Only if he had love in the body”. Love, a real link, turns into diabolus, which unites. This reversal is itself in line with that other point of view, expressing the idea of the loss of the procedural link in the transition from analysis to summary: “She mokes herself (...), she has the parties in her hands, she only lacks her spiritual bond”. Furthermore, the Capital follows the general idea of elective affinities, a novel in which Goethe analyses social relations following a chemical model where love and friendship prove to be truly human ties. Was the Capital borrowed from theatrical and literary works by its theoretical side even before they borrow it from it?

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