Fetish Object


In order, therefore, to find an analogy, we must have recourse to the mist-enveloped regions of the religious world. In that world the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men’s hands. This I call the Fetishism which attaches itself to the products of labour, so soon as they are produced as commodities, and which is therefore inseparable from the production of commodities. This Fetishism of commodities has its origin, as the foregoing analysis has already shown, in the peculiar social character of the labour that produces them.” – Karl Marx, Capital Vol. 1, chaper 1 section 4

De La Saussaye regards fetishism as a form of animism, i.e. a belief in spirits incorporated in single objects, but says that not every kind of worship paid to material objects can be called fetishism, but only that which is connected with magic; otherwise the whole worship of nature would be fetishism. The stock and stone which forms the object of worship is then called the fetish.


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