American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

Marx and the Aesthetics of Political Economy
Beverley Best

In what way can Marx’s analysis in Capital be described as an aesthetic project? Perhaps counter intuitively, we could argue that Marx’s economic texts, Capital in particular, enact a linking of aesthetics and politics through the staging of the politics of method (of analysis) and the latter’s aesthetic affinities. The goal of this discussion is simply to characterize certain dimensions of the movement of Marx’s method of analysis and exposition in Capital, and to argue that we can aptly characterize this movement by way of the category of the aesthetic. This effort is an attempt to rethink the Marxian critical procedure as an aesthetic movement, as presupposing those dynamics that have since been identified with the ascent of an aesthetic modality of subjects and objects: an experiential movement of critique, the affective comportment of that critical-analytical movement, the embodied character of power-knowledge. An aesthetic comportment of Marx’s method of analysis expresses itself in one other way: in the engagement and provocation of what I will call “experience,” the intersection of an abstracted conceptuality and an embodied knowledge-sensation. This characterization of Marx’s method contributes to a larger project dedicated to articulating what I have called a Marxian aesthetics of political economy.

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