humour me

June 22, 2011

The building blocks of materialism, it turns out, are immaterial:

“There is a physical relation between physical things. But it is different with commodities. There, the existence of the things qua commodities, and the value relations between the products of labour which stamps them as commodities, have absolutely no connection with their physical properties and with the material relations arising therefrom. There is a definite social relation between men, that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things.” -this was written a hundred and fifty years ago.

“The capitalist epoch is therefore characterised by this, that labour-power takes in the eyes of the labourer himself the form of commodity which is his property; his labour consequently becomes wage labour. On the other hand, it is only from this moment that the produce of labour universally becomes a commodity.”

“The bookbinding trade in the city of London employs very many young girls from 14 to 15 years old, and that under indentures which prescribe certain very definite hours of labour. Nevertheless, they work in the last week of each month until 10, 11, 12, or 1 o’clock at night, along with the older labourers, in a very mixed company. ‘The masters temps them by extra pay and supper,’ which they eat in neighbouring public-houses. The great debauchery thus produced among these ‘young immortals’ (()) is compensated by the fact that among the rest many Bibles and religious books are bound by them.”

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