Re-reading Sohn-Rethel

When does real abstraction happen in the sense of Marx? Or if we follow the logical transmissibility of abstraction, when does real performance of abstracting occur? If the commodity is an outcome of real abstraction, then the latter must have originated in some unobtrusive layers of reality that requires abstraction to ex-pose it. But isn’t also society the very origination point of this indifference of abstraction? One that certifies its unreachability, but at the same time unfolds society’s irreducible inconsistency as being that of the consistent derivation of the negative? No wonder many have been drawn to Spinoza by reading Marx. There must always be an inexistent supersensible determinate that overdetermines negative forms of intervening in social crises. We can only rely on social memory as basis of future interventions, albeit, not the memory of the social any more than the negativity of memory (of the indeterminate).

I’m also reminded here of Karatani’s textual intervention on the enigmatic nature of commodity fetish that anthropologicaly speaking dates back to primitive society’s approaches to social exchange – keeping the exchange relations at the level of mystery, not that there was something to be hidden, but because there was nothing determinate to prove. This inexistent determinate is what binds society itself, unbeknownst even to its constituents.

The fact that capitalism successfully codes this exchange relations indeterminate does not mean capitalism discovered the secret of what there is to prove. Quite the contrary: codification only proves what it cannot prove by the highest determinism of the negative

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