A Note on the Real Economy



[O]ne recurrently tempting alternative has been to offer a theory of economy based on a distinction between real and artificial needs. But the concept of “real” need is itself, as Marx himself showed, twinned indissolubly with that of profit. The notion of the bare minimum, the strict necessaire, emerges coevally with that of surplus value as a “gift of nature.” To found an economic anthropology on such a concept of absolute need, the bare minimum, is to mistake the bare existence of the wage laborer for the very model of life itself.
— Simon Jarvis, ‘Adorno, Marx, Materialism’


About anti

Anthony Iles is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. A founder member of the Full Unemployment Cinema. A contributing editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005. He is the author, with Josephine Berry-Slater, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: writing and crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product. Recent essays have been published in Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.
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