Contraction In Marx's Capitalist Realism By Karl Marx

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Quoting an unknown source, Fredric Jameson once exclaimed that “it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism” (“Future City” n.pag). Mark Fischer in his book titled Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative builds on this notion and says that there is a “widespread sense that not only is capitalism the only viable and political economic system, but also that it is impossible to even imagine a coherent alternative to it” (8). What makes capitalism such an overwhelming, undefeatable force? How can one explain the pervasive presence of capitalism in each and every sphere of our lives? And finally, how does capitalism pre-empt any act of resistance or critique thereby reproducing itself endlessly?
A huge body of writing has dedicated itself to answering the above mentioned questions. Karl Marx wrote three volumes of Capital as an attempt to uncover the workings of the political economy. In these volumes, Marx identified one phenomenon that plays a crucial role within the operations of capitalism i.e. abstraction. The concept of abstraction has a wide register of meanings in Marx’s writings and he applies this term to a number of categories like abstract thought, abstract labour etc. It is imperative to understand the finer nuances of abstraction within Marx’s writings to be able to appreciate the import of this chapter.
Dialectic between Abstraction and Concretion
In Marx’s Interpretation of History, Melvin Rader explains that the word
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