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PHILOFRIDAY — Karl Marx on Pianos and Mad People

 

What’s does a piano player and a mad man have in common? Read Marx and see for yourself:

Is it not crazy, asks Mr Senior, that the piano maker is a productive worker, but not the piano player, although obviously the piano would be absurd without the piano player? But this is exactly the case. The piano maker reproduces capital, the pianist only exchanges his labour for revenue. But doesn’t the pianist produce music and satisfy our musical ear, does he not even to a certain extent produce the latter? He does indeed: his labour produces some- thing; but that does not make it productive labour in the economic sense; no more than the labour of the mad man who produces delusions is productive.

— Karl Marx in Grundrisse (1857-61)

Have a great weekend!

 

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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