Abundant theological niceties: power, substance, and form in Marx’s theory of value (audio)
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
1M ago
A summary of Marx’s theory of value presented in Part 1 of Capital, with special attention to (i) his use of Aristotelian concepts of power, substance and form, (ii) how our social practices assign new roles and properties to the people and objects recruited to fulfill them, (iii) why abstract labor is not labor abstracted, but the exercise of abstract power, (iv) how the total labor-power of society is continually allocated to perform concrete tasks that satisfy effective demand (the law of value) via unequal exchange of quanta of abstract labor (commodities) for symbolic representations of q ..read more
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Artificial Intelligence (Cosmopod podcast)
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
3M ago
A group of us discussed the recent advances in AI and how Marxists should approach this technology on the Cosmopod podcast. Artificial Intelligence ..read more
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Marx, Faraday and the Spectral Objectivity of Value (in Cosmonaut magazine)
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
5M ago
What did Marx mean by the “spectral objectivity of value”? Why did he mention the Victorian spiritual practice of summoning spirits into tables in the first paragraph of his famous chapter “On the fetishism of commodities”? And what has Michael Faraday, discoverer of the electromagnetic field, got to do with all this? This essay, published in Cosmonaut magazine, is a Victorian ghost story that unveils the hidden spirit that haunts commodities. Marx, Faraday and the Spectral Objectivity of Value. Prefer a YouTube talk, then click here ..read more
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Motion as contradiction: Zeno, Hegel and the calculus (audio)
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
6M ago
This talk, presented to the Oxford Communist Corresponding Society on Jan 26th 2024, examines the relationship between Zeno’s ancient argument of the paradox of the arrow, which seems to demonstrates that motion is logically impossible, and the mathematical calculus, our most successful formal theory of change and motion. I argue that the calculus, when properly interpreted, does indeed solve Zeno’s paradox by pointing to the necessity to understand reality as not only composed of what is, but also composed what isn’t (i.e. absence or “negativity”), in the sense that motion (and change in gene ..read more
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Motion as contradiction: Zeno, Hegel and the calculus
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
9M ago
“This is generally the way in which real contradictions are reconciled. For instance, it is a contradiction to depict one body as constantly falling towards another, and as, at the same time, constantly flying away from it. The ellipse is a form of motion which, while allowing this contradiction to go on, at the same time reconciles it.” Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Ch. 3 Introduction Any particular thing is what it is, and is not what it isn’t. For example, a seed is not a plant.  But things change all the time. For example, seeds become plants. But how can something that is what it is, beco ..read more
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Marx, Faraday and the Spectral Objectivity of Value (CU 2023 talk)
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
11M ago
What did Marx mean by the “spectral objectivity of value”? Why did he mention the Victorian spiritual practice of summoning spirits into tables in the first paragraph of his famous chapter “On the fetishism of commodities”? And what has Michael Faraday, discoverer of the electromagnetic field, got to do with all this? This talk, which I presented at the Communist University 2023, is a Victorian ghost story that unveils the hidden spirit that haunts commodities. The meeting that never happened ..read more
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I like my Marxism dark
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
1y ago
..read more
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Isaac Newton’s occult properties (audio)
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
2y ago
This is a recording of a talk given on 9th June 2022 in Oxford. I discuss the two sides of Newton: the enchanted medieval Christian — believer in occult spirits that move the universe — and the disenchanted early modern scientist — believer in mechanisms, laws and the experimental method. I discuss Newton’s Arianism and his speculations that a Cosmic Christ maintained the laws of nature both in the macrocosm (the incorporeal transmitter of action at a distance) and in the microcosm (the alchemical spirit or “fire at the heart of the world”). But his decades as Master of the Royal Mint did not ..read more
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Interview on Marx’s Real God (Metaphysical Podcast)
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
2y ago
The nice people at The Metaphysical Podcast (Seattle) interviewed me about Marx’s Real God. We get into the differences between Marx’s Real God and the gods we’re more familiar with, the great power of egregores in shaping human history, capitalism as an inverted continuation of pre-capitalist sacrificial religions, social control systems, and why the Real God is demonic, the cause of enormous social ills, which must be overthrown. Alternative History/Politics: Ian Wright and Dark Marxism ..read more
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Review of “How Labor Powers the Global Economy” by Emmanuel Farjoun, Moshé Machover and David Zachariah.
Adventures in Marxist Theory
by Ian Wright
2y ago
My review of “How Labor Powers the Global Economy” (2022) the sequel to the seminal “Laws of Chaos” (1983) can be read in the Weekly Worker ..read more
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