Marx, once again, was way ahead of his time

Here’s an interesting juxtaposition:

Nature:

Handling or even contemplating money can relieve both physical pain and the distress of social rejection, according to a study by Chinese and American psychologists. But remembering cash one has spent intensifies both types of hurt. The findings suggest that the mere thought of having money makes people feel physically stronger and less dependent on the approval of others to satisfy their needs. “Money activates a general sense of confidence, strength, and efficacy,” the researchers propose.

The study backs up previous experiments in which experimental subjects who had been subconsciously primed with thoughts of money were less likely to ask for help on difficult tasks. “Previous work hadn’t gone as far as to link reminders of money to something at a physical perceptual level,” explains Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, who was involved in both past research and the present study, which was published in Psychological Science.

Marx:

By possessing the property of buying everything, by possessing the property of appropriating all objects, money is thus the object of eminent possession. The universality of its property is the omnipotence of its being. It is therefore regarded as omnipotent. . . . Money is the procurer between man’s need and the object, between his life and his means of life. But that which mediates my life for me, also mediates the existence of other people for me. For me it is the other person.

* * *

That which is for me through the medium of money — that for which I can pay (i.e., which money can buy) — that am I myself, the possessor of the money. The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. Money’s properties are my — the possessor’s — properties and essential powers. Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no means determined by my individuality. I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautiful of women. Therefore I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness — its deterrent power — is nullified by money. I, according to my individual characteristics, am lame, but money furnishes me with twenty-four feet. Therefore I am not lame. I am bad, dishonest, unscrupulous, stupid; but money is honoured, and hence its possessor. Money is the supreme good, therefore its possessor is good. Money, besides, saves me the trouble of being dishonest: I am therefore presumed honest. I am brainless, but money is the real brain of all things and how then should its possessor be brainless? Besides, he can buy clever people for himself, and is he who has a power over the clever not more clever than the clever? Do not I, who thanks to money am capable of all that the human heart longs for, possess all human capacities? Does not my money, therefore, transform all my incapacities into their contrary?

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2 Responses to “Marx, once again, was way ahead of his time”

  1. Steve M. Says:

    I myself am waiting for Marx and Engels’s hairstyles to come back into fashion.

  2. Uncommon Priors » Marx was way ahead of his time, part II. Says:

    [...] (Previously. Evidently I need a Marx category.) [...]

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