Philosophy of Right: The Family

If any was in doubt over the relationship between capital and GWF Hegel’s interpretive categories, these surely must yield before his treatment of the family, §§142-181, in Philosophy of Right, where the subjective, feminine, element and the objective, male, element are held in marriage to form a universal. To be sure, this misogynist metaphor enjoys its own prehistory. And, yet, remarkably or not, this prehistory survives its passage into the nineteenth century not only intact, but much fortified by the journey. The element of desire is feminized and sensationalized — literally made subject to sensation [Empfindung] — while the male is objectified and rationalized. Insofar as the metaphor holds good — i.e., insofar as misogyny enjoys social and legal validity into the twentieth and now into the twenty-first centuries — it may help us to account for the sexualization of the commodity, which is held to liberate those who consume it (and who in turn are consumed by it) however briefly from their bondage to physical being. In this orgasm, the commodity user is released. Yet, GWF Hegel fundamentally misrecognizes the unique historical and social construction of this meme ascribing it instead to being as such and so he naturalizes a disinction inscribed everywhere on the commodity whose social being consists of a sublime immaterial value form and its material form of appearance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.