John McCreery (JLM@TWICS.COM)
Sat, 4 Nov 1995 14:15:45 +0900

In re Tomaso,

>>Mimetic capital is what Mcreery seemed to be alluding to - the Late
capitalist Marxian idea that knowledge is commodifed in late capitalism (one
might ask when it was not commodified?), such that it becomes its own
support structure and value system - it becomes objectified.<<

I would avoid confusing objectification with commodification. The former, it seems to me, is a much broader and more inclusive genus of which the latter is a
species, differentiated by the fact that commodities are for sale. Objectified
knowledge also includes knowledge to which access is restricted by inheritance
or initiation dependent on special qualifications: being male, being a senior male or female, belonging to a certain caste or class, or, in a meritocracy,
exhibiting a certain level of talent and/or prior knowledge. Thus, for example,
I think a lot recently about the explicit training in self-discipline and
leadership that are part of daughter Kate's curriculum at Annapolis, wondering
why it is that these particular bits of social capital are so highly restricted
in their distribution. If distributed more widely they might indeed cease to
function so powerfully as signs of command, but the benefits would, I am
tempted to believe, be valuable indeed in today's increasingly chaotic world.

P.S. The list of qualifications above is NOT intended to be exclusive; I am
writing on line and forgot to add an "etc."


John McCreery