Thought Form II: Subject / Object



Compelled by the money-mediated society, also the notion – more precisely: the thought form – of subject and object arises .  At the beginning of the 17th century Descartes as the first is compelled to assert that the entire world consists only of subject and object. He called them something else but soon these elements were denoted as they in the meantime entered everyday vocabulary. The entirety of modern philosophy will work and labour with them, even if it later tries to get away from them. But as concepts subject and object do not make sense to exalted philosophers or to everyday thinkers just because Descartes prescribed them. The money of modern times prescribes them to everyone. 

In money and good, we routinely think in terms of two separate, purely correlating elements

Money and merchandise veil themselves in subject and object: the conceptual pair subject and object forms itself from them. They are the two units of exchange value we confront in any purchase, the exchange value in the money and the exchange value in the merchandise: With the one we pay for the other. Both values consist as such in nothing tangible, rather to handle them properly when buying we must regard them and think about them as these values – the state and its laws insist. As these notional values they consist in fact of nothing, nothing other than that they correlate with each other in transactions. Money only has value insofar as it can buy goods of value; that is, in that it correlates value to value, one unit relating to another corresponding unit. In money and goods, we routinely think in terms of two separate, purely correlating elements.

The suject-object schism splits the world in two

Philosophy construes subject and object in exactly these terms: both only exist as themselves in relationship to their respective disconnected other. Subject is only subject in that it refers to an object external to itself; and object is only object in that an external subject relates to it. Indeed, everyday thinking enriches both abstract concepts with content: With subject we think of something human-like, with a body, psychology and the rest. But reversed, that only means we see all these people likewise as subjects, as separate from a world of objects. The subject-object schism, as has long been lamented, splits the world in two – with one determinant, money as subject, and what it determines, the world, as object.

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