Arts of the Working Class #16

May 2021

Excerpt published from forthcoming, long-form essay “The Valuation of Necessity” to be released in full in June 2021. Link.

Social orders can then be seen as operations of power to stabilize certain non-alethic necessities, and this is often done by elevating said necessities into an ideologically alethic status—a process we can identify as the naturalization of necessity.[1] Such a tendency, has long been observed by Marx, who noted that the holy-trinity of production (capital, land, and labor) alongside its corresponding forms of income (interest, rent, and wages) is perpetuated by the dominant classes who justify their wealth based on the “natural necessity” of such a political-economic model.[2] These particular categories of production and wealth accumulation are only necessary relative to a non-absolute (non-alethic) historically contingent, organization of production/distribution. While recognizing that the artificiality of naturalized necessity offers a point of leverage from which to challenge dominant social-ordering models, there is obviously much more at stake than simply announcing a given order as not alethically necessary. – Excerpt