Creative Industries and Commodity Exchange
This chapter confronts the concept of immaterial labour through an analysis of an archetypal example: creative industries like advertising, branding and graphic design. Interrogating Andrea Fumagalli’s account of the value added by immaterial labour’s ‘general intellect’, it suggests that both traditional Marxist and postoperaist notions of circulation’s productiveness or unproductiveness elide the latter’s determination by the law of value. In intervening in the buying and selling of commodities, fields like advertising play a more fundamental role than is captured in such conceptualisations, making possible the value relation itself. This is supported by Marx’s writings in Capital Vol. 2 on the ‘work of combustion’ and transportation, and applied to an understanding of capitalist crisis as centring on a classed contradiction of constrained consumption resulting in overproduction.
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