Fulvio Carmagnola

The feeling-machine. Goods, desire, consumption

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Marx; Fetishism; Social Libido; Symbolic Goods.

Are marxian theories about "Mehrwert" out-of-date? This essay starts from a brief reading of two well-known passages from "Grundrisse" and "Das Kapital", suggesting that their connection could display an original forecast about our present economy of «symbolic goods» (P. Bourdieu) or «lust economy» (J.-F. Lyotard). In a further step I put a short analysis of some keywords to describe this subject - "régime" (M. Augé), "myth" (F. Jesi), "social libido" (P. Bourdieu), "device" (M. Foucault), "power" (M. Foucault, G. Deleuze) - that can radically change marxian main ideas about utility value and at the same time could be paradoxically a way to update marxian own theories. These could be basic features of a "feeling-machine", i.e. a device producing enjoyment and desire as source of economic value, i.e. a second and complementary part concerning present operational mode of our late capitalistic economy. This knowledge economy, whose outline we can see just in Grundrisse as a theory of "general intellect", is now coupled to a sort of machinery producing "plus-de-jouir", according to a statement by Jacques Lacan.

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