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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front. Philos. China    2008, Vol. 3 Issue (2) : 282-293     DOI: 10.1007/s11466-008-0018-6
A path of interpreting the “consumer society”: The perspective of Karl Marx and its significance
TANG Zhengdong
Philosophy Department, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
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Abstract  When Western Marxist sociologists, such as Jean Buadrillard, constructed their critical theory of consumer society, they took the consumer society as an objective fact and methodologically restricted themselves to the non-historical method of sociology, making them unable to grasp the correct meaning of Karl Marx’s historical materialist methodology. Thus, they were unable to adequately critique and transcend consumer society. After spending the early 1850s building a theoretical foundation, Marx pointed out in 1857–1858 Economical Manuscript and 1861−1863 Economical Manuscript that the governing model of capital was so complicated that it made consumption very important to the socio-economic form. Moreover, he explained the way of surpassing the conscious form of fetishism developed in consumer society from the perspective of the development of capitalist production.
Issue Date: 05 June 2008
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