Use Value (and Aesthetics)

Jon Beasley-Murray jpb8 at
Thu Mar 30 00:11:54 MST 1995

A little addendum, which I thought of while posting to someone privately
(but which was also suggested to me by Rakesh a while back over in sunny

Of course, there are the (still fairly stunning, and thus clearly
exceptional) instances of cultural products essentially standing in for
money as universal equivalent (ie. as pure exchange value).  This was
clear enough in the art speculation of the 80s (Rakesh--what was the
article you were discussing about this?) in which Van Gogh's "Sunflowers"
(say) effectively became a $23 million (or whatever) dollar bill or bond.

I think there are some other examples of this, but not many--_Heaven's
Gate_ may be one, as it is impossible to watch it without thinking of the
money spent, or at least which is *only* known in so far as it embodies
exchange value.

Take care


Jon Beasley-Murray
Literature Program
Duke University
jpb8 at

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