Fetishism

Blog #2

According to Karl Marx’s theory of Capitalism, the fetishism of commodities came about. Capitalism made people become materialistic. A fetish is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or particularly a man-made object that has powers over others. In other words, a fetish is a commodity. Fetishism is the belief that natural objects have supernatural powers, or that an object created by people has power over the people.

 

Today, we can see this idea of fetishism very clearly. Commodities basically “take over” our lives. There are always newer versions of products coming out to the public and no one wants to be “left behind”. Everyone saves up money to buy these products. The worse part is that the older version never gets touched again. For example, if you have a pair of Nike sneakers and buy a new pair, you will never look at the old pair again even if it’s still wearable. We see commodities as a way to express who we are, just like the actor in Fight Club said about the furniture he wanted to purchase. For example, we will buy the latest version of the iPhone and purchase a “cute” cover that represents us best. We may buy more memory for the phone to make it perfect.

 

We can even see the idea of fetishism in music. For example, take a look at the lyrics in Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’:

 

They can beg and they can plead

But they can’t see the light, that’s right

‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash

Is always Mister Right, ’cause we are

 

[Chorus:]

 

Living in a material world

And I am a material girl

You know that we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl

 

Madonna clearly states that she will only date a boy with “cold hard cash” because we will in this material world and she has to buy all of her favorite commodities. For her, the only boy who is “Mister Right” is the one with the cash. 

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One response to “Fetishism

  1. Comment 2
    I must agree with Megan and say that this example of Madonna’s “Material Girl” is a perfect example of Marx’s idea of fetishism. In this song Madonna shows her interest in all these material things and a wealthy life style. Her preference over a man with money reminds me of the idea of a “gold digger.” We live in a society in which some people’s perception of love is associated with money and commodities. It is sad to say but if a man is wealthy a woman might overlook a someone else who may love her but cannot provide her with much comfort.

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