work in progress in social theory and cultural sociology


12.27.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

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‘While individual consumption consumes use-values as the means of subsistence of the living individual, productive consumption consumes as “the means whereby labour, the labour-power of the living individual, is enabled to act”. In order to maintain the products of past labour in their objective existence as use-values, it is necessary for them to remain in contact with living labour, to be “thrown” (as Marx puts it) into the labour-process as the results and the conditions of existence of that process. If the possibilities inherent in a use-value are realized neither in the sense of individual nor in that of productive consumption, if it is not put to the service of human purposes, it reverts to the sphere of the “metabolism of nature”. The artificial, humanized, “second” nature which was erected on the basis of the first nature is transformed back into the latter. The “transformation” of the materials of nature by men is undone by the destructive force of the extra-buman-influences exerted by nature.’ (Alfred Schmidt: The Concept of Nature in Marx, London 1971: NLB)



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