23 dic. 2010


There are very few things that don't present themselves, demand to be seen directly, as commodities. Even these things might be forms of "cultural capital" or commodities on some more sophisticated model, but they don't have an immediate exchange value.

Now the form of cultural studies that values objects just because they are popular, or have a widespread currency (best-selling novels, hit films and songs), just lets the market itself be a yardstick of value. I continue to defend a concept of value that resists commodification. In other words, something valuable that has no monetary value is, for that very reason, something that resists that overpowering logic. It may be futile, but at least we can try.

Defenses of the humanities that try to "cash in" their value are doomed, because surely the Humanities themselves are the valuable thing. Bécquer has the right idea when he said that the value of the poem written on a bank-note is the same as the value of the bank-note.