100423.2040 at compuserve.com
Tue May 28 09:32:00 MDT 1996
The recent agreement for reciprocal promotion by
MacDonalds and Disney is a nice illustration of the
fourth sentence of Capital, which I so often quote.
After explaining that a commodity is something that satisfies
a human want of some sort or another, Marx adds
"The nature of such wants, whether, for instance they spring
>from the stomach or from fancy, makes no difference."
Nor to Capital, if it can raise surplus value from the sale
of the commodity, and aid the processes of centralisation
Now how would you explain that concisely to your
kids when they want to know why Ronald MacDonald is
having to share his home with new playmates?
While I share many people's frustration with
postmodernism and postmarxism, I do think this trend
has currency for a reason. With rising surplus use values,
a greater proportion of use value is devoted
to meeting wants of the imagination rather than the stomach.
That does not make it any less real, contrary to what
mechanical marxists might say. We will have to
join issue with the postmarxists on where they are
right, if we are to make headway.
What real emotional nourishment will be received
along with the hamburger, from a kaleidoscope of
cartoon characters who appear in proportion to
the relative size of the capitals behind their
corporate sponsors, not according to any
psychologically meaningful interaction?
Is this too high a moral ground to take?
There is now another food scare going on in
Britain that almost all the baby milk
products contain traces of material that
inhibits reproduction, and the government
wont say which companies are the worst.
It in not impossible that damage to
psychological health, as well as
damage to physical health and
the environment may
become matters of public concern
within a few decades.
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