Marx, Karl

The figure of Karl Marx is perhaps one of the most ubiquitously abused in modern times. Perhaps the greatest contribution of Marx to helping us understand the ruins all our own is what he calls “the fetich nature of the commodity and the secret thereof.”

The ruins all our own are made up of persons, places and things that persons, places and things make out of one another. These persons, places and things are made as commodities. They are branded, packaged, and communicated from one person, place or thing to another. These persons, places or things are not authentic, but are rather fetiches, made for use, disposable, and replaceable. These persons, places and things are like masks and other fetiches made by West African societies. They serve as locations of sacrifice and their inherently sacred nature is contrasted by their inherently disposable nature. As a made person, place and thing, every person, place or thing is inherently sacred and disposable. There is no way beyond this in The ruins all our own.

Perhaps the greatest weakness of revolutionary followers of Marx to date is the failure to understand that persons, places and things are what is made when history is made. To make history is to make persons, places and things one does not know and may never know inherently sacred and disposable. The mass killings and violence against persons, places and things by revolutionaries do not make persons, places and things sacred. They rather make the fetiches made out of these persons, places and things sacred and inherently disposable.

The work of Marx serves as an allegorical tool in that it provides a chance for social change only amongst those persons, places and things that realize they are inherently sacred, disposable, and unable to affect this situation.


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