Worship religion and commodity fetishism. Actuality of Walter Benjamin's thought

Working paper by Luis Martínez Andrade

This text analyses the timelessness of the revolutionary romantic critique of capitalist modernity in Walter Benjamin’s thought. One hundred years after “Capitalism as Religion” has been written (1921), we will show its importance and study the way in which the German philosopher elaborates his micrological-Marxist analysis. First, we will examine the nodal points of his romantic critique both in his books Einbahnstrasse and Passagenwerk. Then we will look at the role of fashion in the dynamics of consumption. Our interest lies in revealing the dis/continuity of Benjamin’s critique of the logic of capitalist modernity.

The author

Luis Martínez Andrade​ holds a PhD in Sociology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He is the author of Religion sans rédemption. Contractions sociales et rêves éveillés en Amérique latine (Paris, van Dieren, 2015), Las dudas de Dios: Teología de la liberación, ecología y movimientos sociales (Santander, Otramérica, 2015), Écologie et libération. Critique de la modernité dans la théologie de la libération (Paris, van Dieren, 2016), Feminismos a la Contra. Entre-vistas al Sur Global (La Voragine, 2019) and Textos sin disciplina. Claves para una teoría crítica anticolonial (Universidad de Guadalajara, 2020)

The text

This article largely reproduces the paper presented by the author at the seminar from the Observatoire des écritures contemporaines françaises & francophones at the Université Paris 
Nanterre, March 20, 2019 while he was a visiting postdoctoral researcher at the Collège d'études mondiales/Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme.

Citing this document: Luis Martínez Andrade, Religion cultuelle et fétichisme de la marchandise. Actualité de la pensée de Walter Benjamin, FMSH-WP-2021-150, mars 2021.
Published at 4 June 2021